Raw blueberries make a great addition to your meals if you’re following a ketogenic diet and counting carbs. In contrast, dried blueberries and food products containing blueberries are likely to be high in carbohydrates. In addition to being low in sugar and calories, blueberries are packed with nutrients and taste great, so they are a great fruit choice for smoothies and desserts.
If you follow the low-carb, high-fat keto diet, you may wonder if they suit. A keto diet typically limits total carbs to 50 grams or 25 grams of net carbs per day, which are total carbs less fiber and sugar alcohols. By doing this, your body enters a state of ketosis, where fat is used for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Ketosis can help people lose weight, control blood sugar, and manage epilepsy.
This article explore the carb content of blueberries, are blueberries keto-friendly, how they can be incorporated into a keto diet, and other low-carb fruit options.
What is the Keto Diet?
Ketogenic diets usually include the following:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Berries and low-carb fruits
- Nuts and seeds
- Foods high in fat, such as hard cheese, cream, and whole butter
- Meat (grass-fed and free-range) pork, chicken, beef, and eggs
- Fish and seafood
- Olive oil, coconut oil, pure butter, and vegetable oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Nutrition in Blueberries
Raw (fresh or frozen) or dried blueberries contain drastically different amounts of carbohydrates.
Raw blueberries contain the following nutrients in half a cup (74 grams):
- Calories: 63
- Total carbs: 11 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Net carbs: 9 grams
Alternatively, 1/2 cup (60 grams) of dried blueberries contains:
- Calories: 190
- Total carbs: 48 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Net carbs: 43 grams
Are Blueberries keto-Friendly?
Keto diets can include blueberries, especially raw blueberries. However, keeping your portion sizes in check would be best. If you’re counting total carbs, you can easily incorporate 1/2 cup (74 grams) of raw blueberries into your day, but counting net carbs may be more challenging. In contrast, sweetened and unsweetened dried blueberries are high in sugar and carbohydrates.
In addition, blueberry products, such as pie filling, blueberry juice, jams, and jellies, typically contain sugar unless specifically stated otherwise. However, the product may not be keto-friendly due to its high carb content.
Consider portion size when adding blueberries to your keto diet and the total and net carb counts of products that contain blueberries, such as dried blueberries.
Alternative Keto-Friendly Fruits
The following fruits are lower in carbs:
- Avocado: Keto dieters love this creamy fruit because it contains few carbs and is high in healthy fats.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are a relatively low-carb fruit with about 6 grams of net carbohydrates in 100 grams.
- Raspberries: Raspberries have a net carb content of about 5 grams per 100 grams, making them a great keto food option.
5 Health Benefits of Blueberries
A blueberry contains a high concentration of vitamin C and phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which may reduce the risk of metabolic and degenerative diseases. Among the health benefits of blueberries are:
- Lowers the risk of heart disease: Research conducted at Harvard School of Public Health reveals that blueberries may reduce the risk of heart attacks. Blueberries also reduce cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels due to their high fiber content.
- Lower cancer risk: Blueberries have a high anthocyanin concentration, which may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress associated with cancer.
- Improves brain health: People with mild cognitive impairment have been shown to benefit from blueberries. In studies, blueberries have been shown to help the brain produce high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is beneficial to the brain.
- Improves eye health: Blueberries protect the eye cells from damage by reducing inflammation and stress in the eye’s inner nerve layer (retina).
- Promotes gut health: Blueberries contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential phytochemicals for gut health.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, we explored are blueberries keto-friendly in above. In a keto diet, raw blueberries are easy to incorporate, especially if you count total carbohydrates rather than net carbohydrates. Dried blueberries and most products containing blueberries must be lowered in carbs to be keto-friendly. In addition, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries have lower net carbs and total carbs than blueberries. If you keep your portion sizes in mind, these berries can be a great addition to your keto diet.