Toasted acorn squash topped with brown is appetite-filling for many keto fanatics. Not only that, but it has become breakfast, dessert, and even lunch carb-less addition to palatable dishes for others.
So, is acorn squash keto?
Many dietitians suggest getting acorn squash out of your keto diet. It's savory for weight loss but unsavory for health.
Many keto-diet fanatics have mixed feelings for acorn squash. High in calories and low in carbs, many people jump off of their seats for a bite. But it's not always the case. This squash fruit provides separate nutrition for different seasons of the year. Winter squash? Fewer carbs. Lesser calories. Don't mind me when I say it's useless in both cases.
Stop before you judge and keep reading to know why I said no to is acorn squash keto!
What is Acorn Squash?
If you're a picky eater, this one is for you.
No, I won't start singing but tell you the blues of the moon, aka acorn squash, in this article.
But before we dig into that, I highly recommend the know-how of this fruit and how it's prepared to get the DING session going. We will not forget everybody's favorite part, the nutritional value.
Here are a few words to describe acorn squash,
- Winter squash
- Dark green or orangey-brown skin
- Deep yellow, orange, or red flesh.
- Shaped like a small pumpkin or acorn and
- Has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
Melons, cucumbers, and zucchini belong to the same family as the acorn squash, the Cucurbitaceae family. In your diet plan, you can roast, steam, pure, or sauté an acorn squash. Many food fanatics use this starchy vegetable instead of pumpkins in the recipe.
Let's break down the nutritional value as per FoodData Central.
Per uncooked 100 g,
- Calories: 47
- Protein: 1.4 g
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbs: 11 g
Per cooked one cup,
- Calories: 83
- Protein: 2.4 g
- Fat: 0.5 g
- Carbs: 20 g
You can observe a significant difference in nutritional value when cooked. It is essential to follow the cooking process for better absorption of nutrients.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, Acorn squash is an excellent source of Vitamin C and B vitamins, including folate and pantothenic acid, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Also, one cup of mashed acorn squash equals 0.042 g of total saturated fatty acids.
That's pretty low for the amount!
Is Acorn Squash Keto Friendly?
Let's focus on the important part, is it or not?
The important thing is that you are eating healthy through and through your keto diet. But what if one extra scoop of one extra starchy vegetable puts all your hard work down the drain?
Let's discuss why acorn squash isn't keto-friendly.
Lower glycemic index than white rice but higher to be added to the keto diet? What does that mean?
Avoid Acorn' NOT-THE-BLISS' Squash in Keto-Diets
Technically, when we talk about glycemic index, we are talking about ranking carbohydrates. This entity is done on a scale from 0 to 100. Topped up by how much they raise blood sugar levels after eating.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. One of the main ways it does this is by promoting a low glycemic index (GI). This means that the diet helps keep blood sugar levels more stable, leading to better blood sugar control and improved diabetes management.
The keto diet's glycemic index, or GI, should be lower than 50, whereas it is higher with acorn squash.
Keep reading if that doesn't make enough sense for excluding acorn squash from your diet!
Higher in Carbs and Sugar
7 grams of net carbs per 1-cup of uncooked, raw serving with this starchy vegetable. That might not sound like much. But it can add up quickly when trying to stay under 20 grams of net carbs daily.
Guys, it's very high in sugar. As high as you can imagine. Like 6 grams of sugar per cup. Use broccoli that is lower than one gram of sugar per cup.
Acorn squash is not the most keto-friendly vegetable, but it's not the worst. If you're trying to stay under 20 grams of net carbs daily, you should avoid eating too much acorn squash. Try zucchini or yellow summer squash if you're looking for a keto-friendly alternative to acorn squash. These vegetables have a lower glycemic index and contain fewer carbs and less sugar than acorn squash.
How many Calories are in a serving of Acorn Squash?
If you are jam-packed with acorn squash in your keto diet, rethink your plan. Well, I am not here to question your decision, of course. But there are healthier alternatives to acorn squash (if you have read till now, you will know what I mean).
So, how many calories are in a serving of acorn squash?
Acorn squash boasts of being low in calories. One cup (205 grams) of cooked, peeled acorn squash contains just 70 calories. A large part of these come from carbohydrates — 12.69 grams, to be precise. It also packs in 5.33 grams of fiber and 1.37 grams of protein.
Can you incorporate Acorn Squash into the keto diet?
Many keto-experts don't suggest more than one acorn squash diet per day in your diet plan. It all depends on your daily carb intake goals. For example, if you want to stay under 20 grams of carbs per day, you'll need to limit other high-carb foods to make room for the squash. If you have a bit more wiggle room in your macros, you could enjoy a larger serving size of this veggie.
Acorn squash might be your getaway to the sweet and sour part of the diet.
Less than 100 calories might catapult you to the other side of the diet plan you had in your mind. But in keto, the prospect is a little different.
You are bound to take 800 calories or less per day. Five meals per day will take up 500 calories if you eat acorn squash. Here's the problem, keto fanatics do not recommend eating starchy vegetables alone. Maintain your macros; add another fruit or vegetable, and you will surpass the daily calorie count.
Once or twice might be a good choice. Otherwise, you will see your well-planned diet frayed at the seams.
I hope I did a good job on the brevity of is acorn squash keto. Researchers have made a game-changing breakthrough when it comes to acorn and keto in one sentence. However, a good alternate is acorn-flour that you can make from the ease of your home.
In case you are still not convinced, let me know in the comments below. I will try to add more research to solidify my claim.
That being said, if you want to give acorn squash a try, go ahead! Just remember to limit your portion size and keep an eye on your carb intake for the day.
Click on one of the links below to learn more about keto friendly foods:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is acorn squash same as butternut?
The main difference is that butternut squash is much starchier in comparison to acorn squash. It gives it a much smoother texture. Acorn squash is generally eaten as it is once it's down cooking in the oven or steamer.
Why eat acorn squash?
The benefit of eating acorn squash comes from the fact that it has a very high level of Carotenoids. These are very powerful antioxidants that help fight both inflammation and prevent damage to the cells.
Can I eat acorn squash raw?
It's not advised to eat acorn squash raw. They have a very hard exterior and a very fibrous flesh which makes them not ideal for consumption.