Are Brussel Sprouts Keto Friendly? Carbs and Calories in Brussel Sprouts

brussel sprouts keto

People seem to have a love-hate relationship with Brussel sprouts… They either love them or hate them.  Overcooked sprouts can be mushy and odorous; however, properly cooked sprouts are actually quite delicious and can lend a sweet, nutty flavor to dishes.

In this article, learn the best ways to prepare and cook your Brussel sprouts.  If you weren’t a fan before, you just might learn to like them.

These cruciferous vegetables look just like mini cabbages and are one of the most nutritious vegetables out there.  They are easy to incorporate into side dishes and main courses, like pasta, frittatas, salads, or casseroles.

Brussels sprouts offer a number of health benefits.  They have the power to reduce cancer risk, decrease inflammation, and improve blood sugar control.  Keep reading to discover all the ways these amazing little sprouts can positively impact your health.

Are Brussel Sprouts Keto Friendly?

Brussels sprouts are low in carbs and make a great food choice for those following the Keto diet. Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, which brings the net carbs down to just 4.7 grams per cup, which makes them a Keto friendly vegetable to add to your meal plan. 

Add a tablespoon of butter or use a healthy oil to cook them and eat them with a serving of meat to get more protein and healthy fats.  This will help keep you satiated without the carbs. 

How Many Carbs are in Brussel Sprouts?

One cup of Brussel sprouts (88 grams) contains 8 grams of total carbs.  Brussel sprouts contain 3.3 grams of fiber per cup, so that lowers the net digestible carbs down to only 4.7 grams per serving.  Brussel sprouts pair well with meats like beef, pork or lamb and roast them together with other low carb veggies for a Keto-friendly dinner.

How Many Calories are in Brussel Sprouts?

There are only 38 calories in a cup of Brussel sprouts.  If you add butter to your Brussel sprouts or cook them with oil, the calorie count will increase by 100 calories for every tablespoon of fat used.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1 cup of Brussel Sprouts (88 grams)
Calories 38
Total Fat 0.3 grams 0%
Saturated fat 0.1 grams 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 grams
Monounsaturated fat 0 grams
Cholesterol 0 milligrams 0%
Sodium 22 milligrams 0%
Potassium 342.3 milligrams 9%
Total Carbohydrate 8 grams 2%
Dietary fiber 3.3 grams 13%
Sugar 1.9 grams
Protein 3 grams 6%
Vitamin A 13% Vitamin C 124%
Calcium 3% Iron 6%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 10%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 5%

Types of Brussel Sprouts

There are more than 110 different varieties of sprouts. Popular types available in the USA include:

  • Albarus – A high quality, firm, well-filled Brussel sprout.
  • Brodie – A mild-flavored sprout with a slightly sweet, peppery flavor.
  • Kryptus – Another variety of sprout bred for its mild, nutty flavor.

Health Benefits 

cooked brussel sprouts calories

Rich in Nutrients and Antioxidants

Brussels sprouts contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer growth and decreases inflammation. They are an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C.  Vitamin C works as an antioxidant in the body, while vitamin K is important for blood clotting and bone metabolism. In addition to these nutrients, Brussels sprouts also offer trace amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus.

Anti-Cancer Properties

Sprouts contain high levels of vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fibre, and can help protect against colon and stomach cancer.  An 80g serving of sprouts contains four times more vitamin C than an orange.

According to a study published by TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute in the Netherlands, participants who consumed 2 cups of Brussels sprouts daily, significantly reduced the damage to their cells from oxidative stress by 28 percent.

Another study in 2008 published by the Institute of Cancer Research in Vienna, Austria reported that Brussels sprouts could protect against carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) and prevent oxidative cell damage from free radicals.

Supports Heart and Digestive Health

Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, which can promote regularity and promote digestive health.  Fiber reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes.  It also promotes helps nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar

The fiber and antioxidants in Brussels sprouts may help stabilize blood sugar levels.  Research shows that an increased intake of cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, leads to a lower risk of diabetes.  The alpha-lipoic acid in Brussel sprouts works as a powerful antioxidant that has positive effects on blood sugar and insulin.

A Good Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, and cognitive decline.  Brussels sprouts are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, containing 135 milligrams in just a half-cup serving.

Reduces Inflammation

The vitamin C in Brussel Sprouts works as an antioxidant in the body to boost immune health, iron absorption, and collagen production.  It is also a key component in the growth and repair of tissues.

Side Effects

Brussels sprout is generally safe when consumed in normal food amounts. However, eating Brussels sprout might cause gas, which could make symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) worse. 

It isn’t known if Brussels sprout are safe when taken in medicinal amounts.  There are no reported drug interactions with Brussel sprouts.

How to Prepare and Cook Brussel Sprouts

brussel sprouts carbs

Overcooked Brussel sprouts are mushy and give off a sulfuric odor, much like rotten eggs due to their sulforaphane content.  With that being said, when they are perfectly done, Brussel sprouts are sweet, a bit crisp, and mildly-flavored.  Roasted, sautéed or grilled sprouts are much more appetizing and have a mild, nutty flavor when cooked this way.

To avoid overcooking when boiling or steaming sprouts, cut an X shape into the top of the sprouts if cooking them whole. This helps the inner leaves cook evenly, so the outer leaves don’t get mushy before the inner part of the sprout is cooked.  They should only take about 5 minutes in boiling water to cook. 

Most chefs cut them in half to make sure the inner leaves get cooked evenly.  Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and remove any wilted or tough outer leaves. Cut each sprout in half to help the inner leaves cook evenly, so your sprouts aren’t left raw in the middle. 

Once cooked, remove from heat when they are still tender-crisp and serve immediately while still hot.  This method may take less than 5 minutes, so keep an eye on the pot and test the sprouts’ firmness with the prongs of a fork. 

Roasted Brussel sprouts are delicious as well.  Simply cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts and toss the sprouts with a bit of olive oil, garlic, sea salt and black pepper.  Roast them on a baking sheet for a few minutes until they’re tender and slightly crisp.

Do Brussel Sprouts Cause Gas?

Cruciferous vegetables, like as Brussel sprouts, cabbage and broccoli, contain complex sugars that the body can’t digest, called raffinose.  This sugar remains undigested until it is fermented by bacteria in the gut, which results in gas and bloating.

Brussel Sprouts also produces gas in the body because of its high fiber content.  The insoluble fiber in the sprouts doesn’t break down until reaching the small intestine.

Are Brussel Sprouts Good for Diabetics?

Cruciferous vegetables like Brussel sprouts offer a number of nutrients that have been linked to blood sugar control and therefore they make an excellent addition to a diabetic-friendly diet. 

Research shows that Brussel sprouts are associated with a decreased risk of diabetes.  The fiber and antioxidants in the sprouts may help keep your blood sugar levels stable.  

Brussels sprouts also contain alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that positively impacts both blood sugar and insulin.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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