Eggplant has got to be one of my most favorite veggies ever. I’ve used eggplant as an ingredient substitute for potatoes, pasta, and even bread!
You may be wondering if eggplant can fit into your ketogenic diet, who wouldn’t? It’s delicious.
Is eggplant keto friendly? Eggplants are considered a low-carb nutrient-dense keto friendly vegetable.
In this article, I’ll cover how many carbs are in eggplant, its nutrition facts, and health benefits, and share some excellent eggplant recipes you may want to consider trying.
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Can You Eat Eggplant On Keto?
Almost anyone can manage to fit in some eggplant into their ketogenic diet.
Eggplants are a low-carbohydrate nutrient-dense vegetable, meaning they contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals with few calories.
You see, your carbohydrates for the day can be seen almost like a budget you get to spend daily. What you choose to spend your budget on is entirely up to you.
While there may be better choices than others to fill your carbs with, only you can decide whether fitting in certain foods are worth it to you or not.Luckily, eggplant is relatively low in carbohydrates, and you can eat a healthy amount relative to the number of carbs you would end up with.
Is eggplant parmesan keto friendly? Most traditional eggplant parmesan’s are not keto friendly, but I give you a keto friendly recipe for one down below.
How Many Carbs Are In Eggplant?
One cup (82g) of eggplant has 4.7 grams of total carbohydrates with 2.8 grams coming from fiber, leaving you with 1.9 grams of net carbs 1
For reference, an average size eggplant is 142 grams (5 oz.)Therefore, if you ate an entire average-sized eggplant, it would only net you ~4 grams of carbohydrates and can be quite filling.
Eggplant Nutrition And Health Benefits
Eggplants are jam-packed with nutrition, containing some of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
Besides being packed with nutrients, eggplants may offer some health benefits.
High in antioxidants
Eggplants are rich in anthocyanin, a type of flavonoid that is responsible for the pigment (color) of eggplant 2
Antioxidants are substances that help protect or slow damage to the body from damage caused by free radicals. 3
May help with blood sugar
While a ketogenic diet may be a great tool in helping control blood sugar, adding foods such as eggplant may help as well.
Eggplants are high in fiber and contain polyphenols (natural plant compounds), which may reduce sugar absorption and increase insulin secretion. 4
One study looked at polyphenol-enriched extracts of eggplant, and it showed that it might reduce levels of specific enzymes which influence sugar absorption 5
May reduce the risk of heart disease
In a study done in rabbits with high cholesterol, 10ml of eggplant juice was given daily for two weeks. The rabbits experienced both a reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Also, in another animal study, eggplant fed for 30 days improved heart function and reduced heart attack severity 6
Keto-Friendly Eggplant Recipes
If you’re looking for some inspiration for what to do with this high-fiber, low-carb vegetable, here are some ideas to bring into the kitchen.
Eggplant is quite known for its use in this spin on an Italian classic.
Eggplant Lasagna or eggplant Parmesan is a great and tasty way to introduce eggplant to someone new or those non-believers.
Just don’t tell them it’s eggplant beforehand and see if they notice the difference.
Feel free to leave the peel or remove it based on your preference. I like to use the recipe down below using Rao’s marinara sauce, which is one of the lowest-carb sauces I’ve found available at most grocery stores.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Peace Low And Low Carb
Want a low-carb version of fries? Bet you never thought to use eggplant, did you.
Eggplant combined with a few spices and either baked or fried can make a delicious low-carb substitute to the otherwise high-carb treat.
This recipe also works great if you have an air fryer!
Roasted Eggplant Dip
This keto-friendly eggplant dip or baba ganoush is the perfect dip to serve alongside your favorite protein or scooped up with some pork rinds.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Cast Iron Keto
Want a flavor AND crunchy replacement for potato chips? These eggplant chips will be sure to satisfy your cravings.
If there is one thing I tend to miss a lot when on a ketogenic diet, it’s a nice salty, crunchy snack.
Give these keto friendly eggplant chips that have very minimal ingredients and cook in as little as 15 minutes a try.
Feel free to pack these up for the kids to take to school or even as a keto-friendly movie snack to sneak in your purse. 😉
Keto Eggplant Pizza Bites
This low-carb eggplant pizza recipe uses eggplant as the crust. If you’re tired of those cauliflower or meat-based crusts, give eggplant a try or for a change-up.
Eggplant is a low-calorie and keto-friendly vegetable that you can squeeze into your ketogenic diet.
What’s better is that eggplant is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be cooked in a variety of different ways (baked, roasted, grilled, fried, etc.) and a low-carb replacement for many high-carb ingredients.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, grab an eggplant.