Carbs and Calories in Asparagus: Is Asparagus Keto Friendly?


asparagus keto

If you’re a huge fan of asparagus like I am, you’re in luck.  I’m happy to report that asparagus is low in carbs and perfect for low carb diets, like Keto.

You’re probably aware that asparagus offers some excellent health benefits, but did you know eating asparagus regularly can actually help you lose weight?  It’s true!  Keep reading to find out how.

In this article, I’ve included a delicious recipe for Cheesy Bacon Asparagus Casserole, along with some other great low carb meal ideas using asparagus.

Read on to discover all the delicious ways to serve asparagus so that you’ll get the most out of this amazing superfood.

How Many Carbs are in Asparagus?

  • A full cup of asparagus contains 5 grams of carbs.
  • A 100 gram serving contains 3.9 grams of carbs.
  • Each medium-sized spear of asparagus contains only 0.5 grams of carbs.

How Many Calories are in Asparagus?

  • A full cup of asparagus contains 27 calories.
  • A 100 gram serving contains 20 calories.
  • Each medium-sized spear of asparagus contains only 3 calories.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size:  100 grams of Asparagus
Calories 20
Total Fat 0.1 grams 0%
Saturated fat 0 grams 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 grams
Monounsaturated fat 0 grams
Cholesterol 0 milligrams 0%
Sodium 2 milligrams 0%
Potassium 202 milligrams 5%
Total Carbohydrate 3.9 grams 1%
Dietary fiber 2.1 grams 8%
Sugar 1.9 grams
Protein 2.2 grams 4%
Vitamin A 15% Vitamin C 9%
Calcium 2% Iron 11%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 3%

Origin

Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant species.  Its folk name is “sparrow grass” and the scientific name for this plant is “Asparagus officinalis”.  This crop’s young shoots are eaten as a spring vegetable.   The term, asparagus originates from the Greek “asparagos”, which was derived from the Persian “asparag”, translating in English to “sprout” or “shoot”.

Health Benefits

asparagus carbs

Superfood Nutrient Profile

Asparagus is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K.  What’s more, it is rich in minerals like folate, iron, copper and calcium.  Additionally, asparagus contains a substantial amount of protein and fiber. All of these nutrients combined in one little green vegetable gives asparagus superfood status.

Excellent Source of Folic Acid

Asparagus is rich in folic acid, an important nutrient especially for pregnant women as it protects against birth defects.  Studies show that folic acid supplements cuts the risk of premature birth in half when taken regularly a year prior to conception.

Rich in Vitamin K

Like other green veggies, asparagus offers a good source of vitamin K. This vitamin is helps in wound healing and blood coagulation.  It also helps your body absorb calcium.

A Powerhouse of Antioxidants

Asparagus, especially the purple variety is a powerhouse of antioxidants.  This veggie is packed with anthocyanins that prevent cell damage from free radicals.  Cooking the asparagus is required to activate the cancer-fighting properties.  To retain its nutrient profile, be careful not to overcook asparagus.  Boiling this veggie for too long or sautéing it at too high a temperature can cook off its nutrients. 

Asparagus is also rich in vitamin E, another crucial antioxidant that strengthen your immune system.  Vitamin E also protects against cell damage from free radicals.  

Supports Urinary Tract Health

The amino acid, asparagine contained in asparagus means this veggie is a natural diuretic.   Eating asparagus helps prevent water retention by flushing out excess fluid and salt.  Eating asparagus regularly may also prevent urinary tract infections.

Combats Belly Bloat

Asparagus supports the health of your digestive tract as it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.   Asparagus also contains prebiotics to help produce good bacteria in your gut.  This wondrous veggie can also reduce gas and its diuretic properties flush excess body fluid, which also reduces bloating.

Fights Depression

Asparagus is packed with folate, a nutrient known to boost mood.  Research has discovered a link between low levels of folate and vitamin B12 in people who are suffer from depression.  Physicians and psychiatrists are known to prescribe daily doses of these vitamins to depressed patients. Asparagus also contains high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that is also associated with improved mood.

Boosts Libido

Asparagus can help boost sex hormones and acts as a natural aphrodisiac.  The vitamin B6 and folate contained in this veggie help may increase feelings of arousal.  In addition, vitamin E also boosts the respective sex hormones in men and women, testosterone and estrogen.

Helps a Hangover

Studies show that a serving of asparagus might help cure a hangover because of the minerals and amino acids in asparagus.  Asparagus can also help protect the liver against the toxins in alcohol.

Side Effects

asparagus calories

There are no life-threatening side effects of eating asparagus.  If you eat a lot of asparagus, you may experience some gas and a pungent smell to the urine, however these side effects do not pose a risk, unless you are allergic to asparagus.

Fiber in Asparagus

There are 2.1 grams of dietary fiber in a 100 gram serving of asparagus.

Sugar in Asparagus

There are 2 grams of sugar in a 100 gram serving of asparagus. 

Protein in Asparagus

A 100 gram serving of asparagus contains 2.2 grams of protein.

Cheesy Bacon Asparagus Casserole – Make it Keto!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • ½ pound of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions:

  1. While your oven preheats to 400 degrees, toss the asparagus with oil, garlic and sea salt.
  2. Place half of the asparagus in an oven-safe casserole dish. Top with half of the bacon and cheese. Repeat with another layer of asparagus and top with more bacon and cheese.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and smoked paprika on top.
  3. Bake until asparagus is as tender (about 20 minutes or so) and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.  Contains 6 grams of carbs per serving.

How to Serve Asparagus on Keto

If you’re new to asparagus or looking for some new ways to enjoy this veggie, try out some of the following low carb meal ideas:

  • Grill asparagus with shrimp and toss with Zucchini noodles (or veggie noodles of choice) and olive oil.
  • Roast it with garlic and parmesan.
  • Grill bacon-wrapped asparagus.
  • Serve asparagus as a side dish along with fish, chicken or beef.
  • Add asparagus to stir-fried veggie dishes.
  • Smother steamed asparagus with cheese sauce.
  • Add asparagus tips to omelettes or frittatas.
  • Include asparagus in casseroles and bakes.
  • Toss asparagus in a salad, combining cherry tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
  • Top grilled asparagus with a creamy curry sauce made with coconut milk.

Is Asparagus Good for Weight Loss?

Asparagus is a veggie that is chock full of nutrients, but low in fat and carbs. A full cup of asparagus contains a mere 27 calories, which means you can eat a lot of this food without consuming many calories.   

Because asparagus is made up of about 94% water, this veggie is very hydrating.  Not only are that, water-rich foods are associated with weight loss. 

Additionally, asparagus contains a substantial amount of soluble and insoluble fiber.  Boosting your fiber intake helps manage weight because fiber-rich foods digest slower, keeping you feeling satiated for longer, which prevents snacking between meals. 

Additionally, a diet high in fiber helps combat constipation and lowers cholesterol.  Fiber rich foods also help prevent heart disease and diabetes, two diseases related to obesity

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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