Brussels sprouts are a nutritious, low-carb vegetable that can easily be incorporated into a ketogenic diet. But how many brussels sprouts can you eat while staying in ketosis? Here’s a look at brussels sprouts nutrition facts, benefits, and how to enjoy them on a keto diet.
Brussels Sprouts Nutrition Facts
Brussels sprouts are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and are related to broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. They grow as small, compact heads on thick stalks and resemble miniature cabbages.
Here is an overview of the nutrition profile of 1 cup (156g) of cooked brussels sprouts (6):
- Calories: 56
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Vitamin C: 137% DV
- Vitamin K: 230% DV
- Folate: 20% DV
- Manganese: 25% DV
- Potassium: 14% DV
As you can see, brussels sprouts are very low in calories and fat. They also contain a good amount of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese and potassium.
Additionally, brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants like kaempferol and glucobrassicin. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage (7).
Net Carbs in Brussels Sprouts
When following a keto diet, it’s important to pay attention to net carbs rather than total carbs.
To calculate net carbs, simply subtract fiber from total carbs.
For example, a 1-cup (156 gram) serving of brussels sprouts contains:
- Total carbs: 12 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- 12 – 5 = 7 grams of net carbs
So while brussels sprouts contain 12 grams of total carbs per cup, the net carb count is just 7 grams due to their high fiber content.
This makes brussels sprouts a low net carb vegetable that can easily fit into a keto diet.
Benefits of Brussels Sprouts on Keto
Including brussels sprouts as part of a well-formulated ketogenic diet can provide many important nutrients and health benefits, including:
Rich in Antioxidants
Brussels sprouts are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, kaempferol, glucobrassicin and others.
Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. They also help protect cells against free radical damage (8).
Supports Heart Health
The fiber, vitamin K and potassium in brussels sprouts support heart health. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure while vitamin K prevents calcium buildup in the arteries (9, 10).
Improves Blood Sugar Control
The fiber in brussels sprouts slows digestion and helps improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity (11).
Brussels sprouts boost the body’s natural detox processes and could help protect against cancer. This is thanks to antioxidants like sulforaphane and glucobrassicin (12).
Brussels sprouts are high in vitamins C and K, which help support the immune system. Vitamin C, in particular, plays many vital roles in immune health (13).
The high fiber content of brussels sprouts supports regularity and healthy digestion. Fiber adds bulk to stool and helps food move smoothly through the intestines.
How Many Brussels Sprouts on Keto?
Most people can easily fit 1–2 cups of cooked brussels sprouts, or around 10–20 sprouts, into their daily carb limit on keto.
Here’s a look at how many net carbs are in different serving sizes of brussels sprouts:
|1 cup, cooked (156 grams)
|2 cups, cooked (312 grams)
The standard keto diet recommends limiting net carbs to 20–50 grams per day. However, some people may need to stay under 30 grams to reach and stay in ketosis.
Brussels sprouts will account for a larger portion of your daily carb limit compared to low carb options like spinach and lettuce. Still, they can be incorporated in moderate amounts along with a variety of other keto-friendly vegetables.
Tips for Adding Brussels Sprouts to Keto
Here are some simple tips for enjoying brussels sprouts while staying in ketosis:
Stick to Cooked Brussels Sprouts
Cooking brussels sprouts reduces their carb count slightly compared to eating them raw. Opt for steaming, roasting or sautéing to max out their nutrition.
Pair Them With Healthy Fats
Combining brussels sprouts with healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, butter or ghee can help steady your blood sugar response.
Don’t Overdo It
Portion control is key. Limit brussels sprouts to 1–2 cups per day and round out your vegetables with low carb options like leafy greens, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumber, etc.
Account for Carbs From Other Foods
Be mindful of your net carb intake from other foods like dairy, nuts, low carb fruits and vegetables.
Monitor Your Ketone Levels
Testing your ketone levels with urine strips can help you determine if too many brussels sprouts are knocking you out of ketosis.
Healthy Brussels Sprouts Recipes for Keto
Here are some delicious, keto-friendly recipes featuring brussels sprouts:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Roasted brussels sprouts topped with crispy bacon is a simple and delicious side. Roasting caramelizes their flavor.
Cheesy Stuffed Brussels Sprouts
Removing the core of brussels sprouts and stuffing them with cheese adds great flavor. Bake until browned and bubbly.
Brussels Sprout Hash with Eggs
Make a veggie hash by sautéing diced brussels sprouts with cooked bacon or sausage. Crack eggs on top and bake.
Creamy Brussels Sprout Soup
Puree cooked brussels sprouts with chicken broth, garlic and cream for a comforting, keto-approved soup.
Brussels Sprout Fried Rice
For a twist on fried rice, use riced brussels sprouts instead of white rice. Stir in eggs, meat and seasonings.
Brussels sprouts contain goitrogens, compounds that may interfere with thyroid function by blocking iodine absorption. However, this is usually only an issue for those with pre-existing thyroid conditions.
Cooking helps inactivate the goitrogenic compounds in brussels sprouts, as does limiting intake of large amounts to under 1 pound (450 grams) per day.
Brussels sprouts are a keto-friendly, low net carb vegetable. They provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
While they are higher in carbs than some vegetables, one serving of 1–2 cups can typically be enjoyed as part of a healthy keto diet.
Include brussels sprouts along with a variety of other low carb vegetables to maximize nutrition.