Can You Eat Blueberries on a Keto diet?

Updated on October 31st, 2020
Are Blueberries Keto-Friendly

Blueberries are low in calories and sugar, packed with flavorful nutrients, making them an excellent fruit choice to relish on their own, as a garnish, or in desserts or smoothies.

However, you may be curious about whether they are a fit for the high fat, low carb keto diet. On keto, many individuals aim to consume 50 or fewer grams of total carbs per day, or 25 gms of net carbs, which refers to the entire carb content minus the sugar, alcohol, and fiber contents [1].

This prepares our body to be in a state of ketosis, in which it burns fat as a significant fuel source rather than carbs. Ketosis provides some advantages for blood sugar control, weight loss,  and epilepsy management [2]. This article reviews blueberries’ carb content, whether they can be part of a keto diet, and some other low carb fruit choices.

Blueberry Benefits

As stated by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capacities among all vegetables and fruits. By incorporating just 1/2 a cup of blueberries into your day, you double your antioxidant intake from food.

This fruit’s deep blue color comes from a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins, which often occur in nature along with proanthocyanidins, another potent antioxidant [3].

The blue hue of blueberries is due to these same compounds – proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins. These compounds’ dense concentration is responsible for the berry’s protective effect against heart disease, brain aging, and cancer [4].

Keto-friendly blueberries

Blueberries also have flavonoids, which increase the antioxidant glutathione levels. This compound will minimize inflammation in the brain, a condition believed by many experts to play a major role in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other aging diseases. Parkinson’s Patients have been proven to have low glutathione levels in their brain tissue.

The most outstanding aspect of blueberry research is in the area of brain longevity. In a study done by James Joseph, M.D., at Tufts University, rats equivalent in age to 65-year-old humans were fed an amount of dried aqueous blueberry extract equal to one-half cup for an individual.

Other experimental groups received dried aqueous spinach extract, vitamin E, or strawberry extract. After 8 weeks, by which time the rats were 75 human years old, they took part in multiple memory tests and mobility tests that the experts dubbed the “rat Olympics.”

All the rats demonstrated some improvement in mobility and memory tests. But the “blueberry rats” experienced the most remarkable progress in motor coordination and balance.

Are Blueberries Keto-Friendly?

After reading all of the fantastic benefits of blueberries, we bet you’ e believing that they are one of those low carbohydrate keto fruits that are low enough in the number of net carbs to be able to adapt to your keto diet! Well, great news for blueberry keto admirers!

So let’s know how many carbs blueberries have and if they get the keto thumbs up!

While they contain slightly higher grams of carbs than other keto diet-friendly fruits like avocado, they are still regarded as keto-friendly so long as you consume less than a cup.

It contains lower grams of net carbs than many fruits and has an impressive keto nutritional value profile because it has antioxidants, fiber, and cancer-fighting nutrients.

Blueberry nutritional content 

A cup of blueberries has about 14.5 grams of net carbs. Grams of net carbs are just the number of carbs that our body absorbs (it doesn’t absorb fibrous carbs). It may be calculated by subtracting the total number of fiber from the total number of carbs.

Let’s discuss the details

A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of raw blueberries contains

  • Calories: 57
  • 84% Water
  • 14.5 grams of Carbs
  • 0.7 grams of Protein
  • 2.4 grams of Fiber
  • 10 grams of Sugar
  • 0.3 grams of fat
  • 12.1 grams of Net Carbs

This low carb fruit’s two significant constituents are water (84 percent) and carbs (14 percent). The remaining (2 percent) is made of little amounts of protein and fat. Most of the carbs in blueberries are from simple glucose, sugars, and fructose.

They also contain fiber. Sixteen percent of the carb content is made up of fiber. That makes it one of the finest low carb fruits and a keto-friendly option.

Blueberries have a GI (glycemic index) score of 53 out of 100. This is a measure of how fastly food raises blood sugar levels. This is a relatively low score, which makes them a safe food option for people with diabetes. It is also fantastic  news for lovers of the ketogenic diet.

All of this infers that blueberries are a keto-friendly food but that they should not be overeaten. Limit yourself to half a cup daily to incorporate around 7.5 carb calories to your macro count while also relishing the myriad health benefits that this fantastic little fruit offers.

Other Berries

Few other berries that are low in carbohydrates include raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. These berries make excellent dessert toppings, allowing you to indulge your sweet tooth guilt-free. Berries can be enjoyed frozen or fresh. Just be careful not to overindulge, as any berries can throw you out of keto.

Restrict yourself to a 1/2 cup of berries per day.

You may also be thinking about other fruits, such as the banana. Carbs in a banana are higher than blackberries, so should be added with caution to your keto diet plans.

Keto-Friendly Blueberry Recipes

1. Keto Blueberry Smoothie 

  • 1/3 cup sugar-free tapioca pudding mix
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup heavy cream

2. Blend and Enjoy

  • Keto Cheesecake Shake 
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 packet sweetener
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Bottom Line

Blueberries are nutritious and healthy, and raw blueberries can easily be part of your keto diet — particularly if you’re counting total carbohydrates rather than net carbohydrates. However, most food products made with blueberries and dried blueberries will be extremely high in carbs for keto.

What’s more, other berries like raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are even lower in net and total carbs than blueberries. Regardless, any of these berries are an excellent way to include nutritious fresh fruit in our keto diet — as long as we keep our portion sizes in mind.

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