In recent years a number of fruits and vegetables have attained the status of ‘super food’ due to their amazing health gaining properties. At the top of many expert’s list of superfoods stands the blueberry. This delicious little treat is a powerhouse of nutritional goodness, with vitamins, minerals, phyto-chemicals and antioxidants galore. But how does it stack up with the keto diet in terms of grams of carbs?
The goal of the keto low-carb diet is to keep your carbohydrate intake to a minimum, ideally below 20 grams of carbs per day. Many people make the mistake of thinking that fruits are clearly healthy and do not contain simple carbs, and so are perfectly fine on the keto diet. But not all fruits are created the same. That is why it is important to examine each fruit’s grams of carbs to determine whether or not it is suitable for the ketogenic diet.
In this article, we will dig deep to discover just how keto friendly the amazing blueberry really is.
Among all fruits and vegetables, blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capability, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. By adding just half a cup of blueberries to your day, you double your antioxidant intake from food. The deep blue color of this fruit comes from a type of flavanoid known as anthocyanins, which often occur in nature alongside proanthocyanidins, another powerful antioxidant.
The blueness of blueberries is due to these same compounds – anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. The high concentration of these compounds is responsible for the protective effect of the berry against brain aging, heart disease, and cancer.
Blueberries also contain flavonoids which increase the levels of the antioxidant glutathione. This compound will reduce inflammation in the brain, a condition thought by many experts to play a major role in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other diseases of aging. Patients with Parkinson’s have been known to have low levels of glutathione in their brain tissue.
The most impressive aspect of blueberry research is in the area of brain longevity. In research done by James Joseph, M.D., at Tufts University, rats equivalent in age to sixty-five-year-old humans were fed an amount of dried aqueous blueberry extract equal to one half cup for a person. Other experimental groups received vitamin E, dried aqueous spinach extract, or strawberry extract. After eight weeks, by which time the rats were seventy-five human years old, they took part in several tests of memory and mobility that the researchers dubbed the “rat Olympics.” All the rats showed some improvement on the memory and mobility tests. But the “blueberry rats” experienced the most dramatic improvement in balance and motor coordination.
Dr. Joseph and his team also found that when animals are fed with the berries, they have an enhanced ability to make and release dopamine. This is associated with a reversal of the motor dysfunction that takes place when we age
These berries are also a great source of dietary fiber. Of all the berries, the number one disease fighter has got to be the blueberry. The antioxidants that this fruit contain help to reduce cholesterol levels, reducing the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.
Blueberries are believed to help people lose weight because it influences a person’s genes that regulate fat-burning which then helps reduce fat in our body. Researchers have been looking at the potential of the fruit to help reduce body fat levels. It seems that this incredible fruit may actually influence the genes which regulate fat burning and storage. This may help to reduce abdominal fat while also bringing down cholesterol levels. In combination with a low fat diet, blueberries are believed to also be able to bring down triglyceride levels and improve blood sugar levels. The high levels of fiber in the fruit is another contributor to weight loss. Fiber is extremely satiating, meaning that it will fill you up and keep you full without having to eat a whole lot of calories. A serving size of blueberries ( a handful) will only add 80 calories to your daily amount.
Are Blueberries Keto-friendly?
After reading all of the amazing benefits of blueberries, I bet you’e hoping that they are one of those low carb keto fruits that are low enough in grams of net carbs to able to fit into your keto diet! Well, good news for blueberry keto lovers!
So let’s find out how many carbs blueberries contain and if they get the keto thumbs up!
While they does contain slightly higher grams of carbs compared to other keto diet friendly fruits like avocado, they still considered keto-friendly so long as you eat less than a cup.
It has lower grams of net carbs than most fruits and has an impressive keto nutritional value profile because it contains fiber, antioxidants, and cancer-fighting nutrients.
A cup of blueberries has around 14.5 grams of net carbs. Grams of net carbs are simply the number of carbohydrates that the body absorbs (it does not absorb fibrous carbs). It can be computed by subtracting the total number of fiber from the total number of carbohydrates.
Let’s drill down on the details . . .
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of raw blueberries contains
- Calories: 57
- 84% Water
- 0.7 grams of Protein
- 14.5 grams of Carbs
- 10 grams of Sugar
- 2.4 grams of Fiber
- 12.1 grams of Net Carbs
- 0.3 grams of Fat
The two major constituents of this low carb fruit are carbs (14 percent) and water (84 percent). The other 2 percent is made up of small amounts of fat and protein. The majority of the carbs in blueberries are from the simple sugars, glucose and fructose. They also contain fiber. 16 percent of the carb content is made up of fiber. That makes it one of the best low carb fruits and a keto friendly option.
Blueberries have a glycemic index score of 53 out of 100. This is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. This is quite a low score, which makes them a safe food option for diabetics. It is also good news for followers of the ketogenic diet.
All of this means that blueberries are a keto friendly food, but that they should not be over consumed. Restrict yourself to half a cup daily to add about 7.5 carb calories to your macro count while also enjoying the myriad health benefits that this amazing little fruit provides.
Some other berries that are low in carbohydrates include blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. These berries make great dessert toppings, allowing you to indulge your sweet tooth guilt free. Berries can be enjoyed fresh or frozen. Just be careful not to overdo it, as any berries can throw you out of keto. Restrict yourself to half cup of berries per day.
You may also be wondering about other fruits such as the banana. Carbs in banana are higher than blackberries so should be added with caution your keto diet plans.
Keto-Friendly Blueberry Recipes
Keto Blueberry Smoothie
- 1/3 cup sugar free tapioca pudding mix
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup water
- 1/3 cup blueberries
BLEND AND ENJOY
Keto Cheesecake Shake
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup blueberries
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 packet sweetener
BLEND AND ENJOY
Chocolate Blueberry Clusters
- 3 cups keto friendly
- chocolate chips
- 4 cups blueberries
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Flaky sea salt to garnish
- Add chocolate chips and coconut oil into a heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a double boiler and heat until the mixture melts. Stir until well combined.
- Line a tin sheet baking paper. Drop dollops of the mixture on the sheet. Leave a gap of an inch between 2 clusters.
- Press blueberries lightly on the mixture. Sprinkle salt on top.
- Place baking sheet in the freezer. Freeze until firm.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- 2 cups cream
- 2 tbsp cocoa butter
- 1 tsp liquid stevia
- 8 egg yolks
- ⅛ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup blueberry
- Divide the berries into two parts (one part use for decorating). Mix another part until homogeneous. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks.
- Pour 100 ml of cream in a saucepan; add vanilla, heat over the low fire. Pour the yolks into the cream, not forgetting to stir. Warm up until creamy mass thickens. Do not boil.
- Remove from the stove, add cocoa butter, mix. Cool to room temperature.
- In a bowl, beat 400 ml of chilled cream, add xanthan gum and stevia. Then add the yolk mass and berry puree, and gently mix with a spatula.
- Put the mass into ice cream bowls and place in the freezer for 5 hours to set. When serving, decorate with whole blueberry.
Find more recipes here.
Most fruit have too high sugar a content (and therefore, high carbs) to be keto-friendly BUT blueberries aren’t one of those.
To recap, one cup of raw blueberries have about 56 calories, with 14 .5 grams of carbs. It also yields almost 2.4 grams of fiber, to provide just 12.1 grams of net carbs. That gives it a big thumbs up when it comes to the ketogenic diet. Considering all of the amazing benefits that this superfood offers in terms of brain functioning, the reversal of age related degeneration, heart health and weight loss, that makes the blueberry a must have for healthy, long term nutrition plans.
Other great low carb berries are strawberries and blackberries.