Is Eggplant Okay On A Keto Diet? Things you should know
Eggplant, also called aubergine, belongs to the nightshades family, tomatoes and pepper are included in this family as well and this family of plants has been proven to provide many medicinal qualities and products.
Although the most popular type of eggplant is of purple color, there are also white or striped, pear-shaped, and cylindrical shapes. Eggplant varies in size and can be as small as a golf ball or as large as a football.
Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable that provides fiber and a wide range of nutrients. They are also a source of phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants.
Antioxidants as you have known are molecules that help your body to eliminate free radicals (unstable molecules) that can damage cells if they accumulate in large amounts. Foods that contain antioxidants can help you prevent the body from a range of diseases. Some of the antioxidants present in eggplant include nasunin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Is Eggplant Keto?
Eggplant is actually a great vegetable for the Keto diet. It is low carb and at the same time led with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 1 cup of raw eggplant contains 4.8 carbs, with 2.5 grams of fiber, which amounts to only 2.3 net carbs, not too shabby!
Eggplant’s slightly bitter flavor and spongy texture can make it an interesting and tasty addition to many dishes.
Some Health Benefits Of Eggplants
- Eggplant has a quite extensive content of vitamin and minerals, it is a great source of vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, copper, fiber, folic acid potassium, and a lot of other nutrients.
- It helps improve bone health due to the high presence of iron and calcium which are very important in improving and preserving overall bone health. The natural plant compounds that are responsible for the unique coloration of eggplant have also been linked to reduce osteoporosis, help the bone to get stronger and even increase bone density.
- The high fiber content in eggplants also improves your gastrointestinal health.
- Eggplants have also been traced to reduce cancer because of the presence of a lot of antioxidants which help to protect the body against diseases. By eating eggplant, you are also ingesting natural antioxidants. A high level of antioxidants vitamins like manganese in your body will help ensure that your organs are protected.
- Asides from the fiber in eggplant aiding digestion, it also helps to improve your heart health. This is because fibers reduce the amount of cholesterol that your body absorbs by binding it with your system’s bile to help your body naturally get rid of it.
- Eggplant also increases brain functions because they are rich in natural chemicals, called phytonutrients, which have been known to improve mental health. This happens because of increased blood flow throughout the body and into the brain. By delivering more blood into the brain, phytonutrients help boost memory by stimulating your neural pathways to develop.
- The high amount of Iron in eggplant also helps to prevent the body from Anemia. Generally, not getting enough iron in your body can be very dangerous to your health. Since Iron deficiency in your body can result in anemia, eating food like eggplant that is high in iron can help combat health conditions like anemia.
Eggplant is low in calories and carbohydrate but Rich In Nutrients
Eggplant is a non-starchy vegetable, which is low in carbohydrates. For instance, an entire 1 pound eggplant has only 137 calories, 0.986 grams of fat and 32.2 grams of carbohydrate (less than two slices of bread), 16.4 grams of fiber, and 5.37 grams of protein. Eggplant also is cholesterol-free, contains almost no sodium (11 mg in one whole eggplant), and rates low on the glycemic index chart.
Foods that have a low glycemic index don’t raise blood sugars as quickly as other foods that contain carbohydrates. The fiber count is a whopping 16.4 grams if the eggplant is unpeeled.
1 cup of cubed eggplant (without fat) has 20.5 calories, 0.148 grams of fat and 4.82 grams of carbs, and 2.46 grams of fiber.
Additionally, eggplant is rich in antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation and fight off disease. It’s a good source of potassium. Studies have shown that a diet rich in potassium, an essential mineral, and electrolyte, can help to prevent stroke, high blood pressure, and increase bone mineral density.
How to Choose and Store Eggplant
When purchasing an eggplant, aim to choose an eggplant that is free of cracks and discoloration. Your eggplant should be clean, shiny, and heavy for its size. Store your eggplant in the refrigerator and use it within 5-7 days of purchase.
Healthy Ways to Prepare Eggplant
Eggplant is easy to prepare. it is not hard to slice and can be cut into rounds, cubes, wedges, strips, etc. It is a versatile vegetable that can take on many different flavors, it can be sauteed, roasted, fried, grilled, baked, or steamed. There’s more to eggplant than parmesan, which can be a heavy, high-fat dish. When making eggplant, be mindful of how much fat you are using.
Eggplant acts like a sponge and soaks up the oil very quickly, therefore if you are looking to watch your weight, be conservative with the oil. Cut eggplant long and grill it or dice it up and mix it with other vegetables for a colorful and flavorful side dish.
You can also use eggplant to make “chips”, fiber-rich dips, as well as a vehicle for stuffing. Eggplant also goes well with any varieties of protein – chicken, fish, etc. The possibilities are endless.
You can also enjoy eggplants in the following ketogenic ways:
- Eggplant Lasagna: Slice eggplant lengthwise into thin slivers and use in lasagna in place of noodles.
- Ratatouille: Saute eggplant, onion, garlic, zucchini, peppers, and tomato in a little olive oil to make ratatouille, a stewed vegetable dish. Ratatouille is a great way to enjoy eggplant and other summer vegetables. It can be served with crusty bread, for a delicious meal.
- A New Kind Of Kabob: Add a little new flavor into your kabobs. Cut eggplants into cubes and add along with your usual kebob favorites.
- Bread (Bake and Serve): Slice eggplant into rounds. Dip into beaten egg whites, then dip it into bread crumbs. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake until tender. Serve on rolls with mixed greens, tomato slices, and black olives.
- Cut eggplants into cubes and add to your favorite curry sauce and simmer until tender. Serve over brown basmati rice.
- Stir-Fry: Add eggplant to your Stir-fry early on [along with other hard vegetables] so it cooks thoroughly.
- Roast, Peel and Serve over Pasta: Roast a small eggplant. Cool. Peel and cut into cubes. Add the tomato sauce with fresh basil. Serve over pasta.
- Eggplant pizza crust: Replace pizza crust with sliced eggplant and add tomato sauce, cheese, black Olives, Red Onions, and other toppings for gluten-free, low-calorie treat.
- You can also make eggplant Bruschetta as an appetizing appetizer at parties and events.
- Eggplant Side Dish: Saute or stir-fry chunks of eggplant in olive oil and serve it aside.
- Burger Garnish: Cut eggplant lengthwise into thick slices and grill them. Serve them alone or in a burger.
- Oven-baked Eggplant Fries: Slice eggplant into strips or wedges and bake them.
We can’t both stand. The early morning is a great meal to add to your ketogenic diet meal plan and can be spiced up in different recipes to produce a mouthwatering meal set for you personally or if you have guests over.
It is extremely low in carbs and would not push you out of your ketosis state. It also has a lot of nutrients that do your body a lot of good. When next you have friends (fellow keto dieters or non-keto) around, you should surprise them with a keto recipe for eggplant.