Is Butternut Squash Keto? Carbs and Calories in Butternut Squash


butternut squash keto

Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that is actually technically a fruit.  Not only is it delicious, but it’s also filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. 

Butternut Squash is also known in Australia and New Zealand as butternut pumpkin or gramma.

Butternut squash makes a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes. It can be roasted, baked, or sautéed. You can also puree cooked butternut squash into soups and stews. Keep reading for a tasty low carb recipe for Creamy Keto Butternut Squash Soup.

If you’re following a strict low carb diet, like Keto, you’re probably wondering if you should incorporate butternut squash into your meal plan.  Read on to discover what butternut squash can do for your health and vitality.

Is Butternut Squash Keto Friendly?

Butternut squash can be a part of a healthy Keto diet.  While it is fairly high in carbs, a small serving can be enjoyed in moderation.  By pairing it with other veggies that are low in carbs, along with a serving of protein and healthy fat, you can definitely incorporate it into a keto-friendly diet.

How Many Carbs are in Butternut Squash?

A 100 gram serving (about a half-cup) of cooked Butternut Squash contains 10 grams of net carbs.  While this is fairly high in carbs, it has a low glycemic index.  You can probably get away with having a small serving of squash on Keto, as long as you make it part of a larger meal consisting of low carb veggies, a serving of meat and healthy fat.

How Many Calories are in Butternut Squash?      

A 100 gram serving (about a half-cup) of cooked butternut squash contains 45 calories.  Adding a tablespoon of butter to your squash adds 100 more calories.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 100 grams of cooked Butternut Squash
Calories 45
Total Fat 0.1 grams 0%
Saturated fat 0 grams 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams
Monounsaturated fat 0 grams
Cholesterol 0 milligrams 0%
Sodium 4 milligrams 0%
Potassium 352 milligrams 10%
Total Carbohydrate 12 grams 4%
Dietary fiber 2 grams 8%
Sugar 2.2 grams
Protein 1 grams 2%
Vitamin A 212% Vitamin C 35%
Calcium 4% Iron 3%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 10%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 8%

Health Benefits

butternut squash calories

Rich in Nutrients

Butternut squash provides about 10% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for organ function and healthy eyesight.  The B-vitamins thiamine and pyridoxine contained in butternut squash help your body convert nutrients into energy.  It also contains decent amounts of thiamine, pyridoxine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamin C, containing almost 90% of the recommended daily amount per cup. This vitamin is essential for the production of collagen, the main protein in your skin.  It also helps in the production of several neurotransmitters. Calcium and potassium assist muscle function, while magnesium and manganese to reduce inflammation and support the cardiovascular system.

Fights Chronic Disease

Vitamin C also plays a key role in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases associated with oxidative stress. Studies show that diets rich in antioxidants found in butternut squash, like carotenoids, which lowers the risk of chronic diseases.  For instance, adequate intake of dietary fiber, beta-carotene and vitamin C helps to lower the risk of developing lung cancer.

Promotes Heart Health

The antioxidants contained in brightly colored vegetables like butternut squash have positive effects on heart health.  Squash helps reduce the risk of heart disease and hypertension because of its polyphenolic compounds and the anti-inflammatory activity associated with these compounds. 

According to one study on over 2000 people, it was determined that the risk of heart disease fell by 23% simply by adding a daily serving of orange vegetables, like butternut squash.

Protects Against Mental Decline

Adequate intake of vitamin E has been shown to have a protective effect against neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease. 

According to a study on 140 older adults over an 8-year period, subjects who had the highest blood levels of vitamin E also had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those with the lowest levels of vitamin E.

Side Effects

Butternut Squash is safe for most people in normal food amounts, but it can cause diarrhea and irritation of the stomach and intestines in some people.

Though rare, butternut squash may also cause skin allergy in some people, leading to contact dermatitis of the hands when they peel and cut up the squash. If you have this sensitivity, wear gloves while peeling and preparing your squash.

Ways to Enjoy Butternut Squash

butternut squash carbs
  • Roast cubed butternut squash in olive oil, salt, and pepper for a delicious side dish.
  • Cut up butternut squash into fries and bake them in the oven with olive oil.
  • Incorporate pureed butternut squash into baked goods, like muffins to add moistness.
  • Puree butternut squash, milk and seasonings into a delicious soup.
  • Add cubed squash to stew and chilli.
  • Stuff cooked butternut squash halves with ground beef, sautéed onions, and top with melty cheddar cheese.
  • Mash baked butternut squash with salt, milk, and a pinch of cinnamon for healthier mock mashed potatoes.
  • Add pureed butternut squash spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg to pies as an alternative to pumpkin pie.

Creamy Keto Butternut Squash Soup Recipe   

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, toss chopped butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Lay the squash evenly on a lightly sprayed/greased sheet pan and roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes (flipping halfway through) until it softens.
  3. Place chopped bacon in a large soup pot and turn the heat on medium-low until cooked through.
  4. Stir in the butter, onion and garlic, cooking until translucent and aromatic.
  5. Turn up the heat to high and stir constantly for about 45 seconds until it thickens scraping any bits off of the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add in the roasted butternut squash and the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and cover to let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat and season with the artificial brown sugar and salt and pepper. Blend the soup with an immersion hand blender or puree into a blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings if needed and serve.

Related Questions:
Is Butternut Squash Good for Weight Loss?

Butternut squash is low in calories and rich in fiber, which makes it a healthy choice for a balanced weight management diet.  It contains both insoluble fiber, which is linked with fat loss and appetite suppression, which is helpful if you’re trying to lose weight.

According to an 18-month study, women who had the highest intake of fiber lost more weight than those with the lowest intake of fiber.  This proves that fiber is beneficial for weight loss.

Are Butternut Squash Seeds Safe to Eat?

All squash seeds (from butternut, acorn or spaghetti squash) are completely edible and make a nutritional snack. You can eat them just like you would pumpkin seeds (pepitas) because pumpkins are also of the squash family.  

Is Butternut Squash a Healthy Complex Carbohydrate?

Butternut squash is an excellent source of fiber, providing you with over 25% of your daily needs in just one cup.  This makes it a nutritious complex carbohydrate that has a low glycemic index of just 51 so it won’t spike your blood sugar or insulin levels.

Is Butternut Squash Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Just one cup of butternut squash contains around 40% of your daily recommended iron needs.  This mineral is important for the cognitive development of the fetus and reduces the risk of anemia, a factor that helps prevent maternal and neonatal deaths.

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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