People in the low-carb and keto community are constantly looking for an alternative to high-carb pasta. Is spaghetti squash a good keto replacement?
The world has gone pasta mad! Everyone loves a bit of pasta but everyone knows just how many carbs are in pasta making it a Keto dieter’s worst nightmare.
Still, even though Keto dieters stay away from the high-carb food, this doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the deliciousness of a tasty pasta meal if you find an alternative, and often, pasta is what someone craves the most when they begin a Keto diet.
Looking for low-carb alternatives in the Keto world is common and this is how spaghetti squash was invented.
But will it kick you out of ketosis? Is it low-carb enough for you to stay on track? All the answers lie in this article, go keep reading to find out!
The Invention Of Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash or vegetable spaghetti is part of a group of cultivators.
This group falls under the Cucurbita pepo species and although the plant is technically a fruit, it is more widely known as a vegetable.
Over the years, people have cultivated this fruit in the fall. The color of the fruit can vary but it is often ivory, yellow, or orange.
If the fruit is orange, this means it has a lot of carotene in it. Apart from the meat, the insides of the fruit also contain lots of large seeds.
Although it has bright and vibrant colors, this is not what the fruit is famous for.
When the fruit is raw, it is hard, just like other species of squash but when you cook it, it softens and then falls naturally into strands that look like spaghetti. This is what gave it its name spaghetti squash.
How Do You Make Spaghetti Squash
Making spaghetti squash is easy but you can get creative with the process. You can either bake, broil or roast this fruit and sometimes you can microwave it too. Once cooked, you simply take a fork and start separating the strands of spaghetti squash.
Now you have plain spaghetti squash, how you use this and make it into a meal is entirely up to you.
A very popular way of using spaghetti squash is to bake and top it with some spinach and parmesan cheese, then add as many tasty and spicy sauces as you desire.
You could also add different toppings, meats, and other vegetables. This will make it exciting, fill you up and increase the nutritional value.
Spaghetti Squash Nutritional Information
Before you begin using spaghetti squash, you will be pleased to know that it has plenty of nutritional benefits.
In just 100g of the fruit when you eat it raw, you will find it has 31 calories, 0.64 grams of protein, 0.57 grams of fat, 6.91 grams of total carbs, 1.5 grams of fiber, and 5.54 grams of net carbs.
This nutritional information barely changes when you boil it with salt but it will have slightly lower calories of just 27 and only 5.04 grams of net carbs.
You should bear in mind that these facts are only the nutritional information for the spaghetti squash and should you add any sauces, meat, or toppings, the value will increase accordingly.
Is Spaghetti Squash Healthy?
Apart from it being so low in calories, spaghetti squash has lots of health benefits and provides you will plenty of nutrients.
It has lots of micronutrients such as being a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese and it contains small amounts of magnesium, folate, iron, calcium, and thiamine.
Squash also has plenty of fiber and this plays an active role when it comes to digestion.
It slows down digestion and what we mean by this is that it slows down the emptying of the stomach.
When your body does this, you will be fuller for longer and this means you won’t be snacking through the day and in between meals.
The fiber in squash also helps to stabilize blood sugar as it slows down glucose absorption.
It can increase the extraction of insulin in the liver and bind bile acids. It also increases insulin sensitivity at the cellular level.
Another benefit is that squash pasta has many antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that help combat any oxidative damage.
Oxidative damage happens when free radicals become ions from our metabolism. Antioxidants bind to the radicals and stop them from causing any oxidative stress to the cells in our body.
Antioxidants also play a role in the prevention of some cancers, chronic diseases, and diabetes.
The beta-carotene in squash is a plant pigment and is also present in similar plants and orange vegetables.
It is part of the carotenoids and is an antioxidant that plays a role in staying healthy.
Can You Eat Spaghetti Squash On A Keto Diet?
When you look at the list of the nutritional facts higher up in the article, you see that spaghetti squash is very low in carbs, calories, and fat, and since it only has around 5 grams of net carbs, it can be used in a low-carb diet.
You can incorporate it and eat spaghetti squash as part of a keto or low-carb diet, but just remember adding sauces and other toppings will alter the carb content, as well as nutritional information.
You can eat it on its own, but this is not the tastiest option and you might get a little bored.
We suggest you add some toppings and sauces, but make sure they are keto-friendly first! You can still create a delicious meal with spaghetti squash and keep the carbs low so that it fits into a low-carb and keto diet.
Therefore, to give you an answer to this article, yes, you can eat spaghetti squash on a keto diet. It’s a great way to keep carbs low but still enjoy a delicious pasta meal.
Don’t forget how important protein and fat are on a Keto diet so make sure you top it with plenty of meat and other vegetables, as well as your Keto-friendly sauce! It is fresh produce and you can buy it minimally processed. You can also cook it to your liking or even eat it raw.
Even if you are a strict Keto dieter, spaghetti squash will not kick you out of ketosis and you should be good to go if you choose this as your next pasta alternative.
Why not try some cheesy bacon spaghetti squash or some stuffed spinach squash.
The possibilities are endless and since it’s so versatile, it’s perfect for the whole family, even those not on the Keto diet.
Remember if you are ordering spaghetti squash at a restaurant, check to see what sauces they use first and what extra topping they use, so you don’t accidentally kick yourself out of ketosis and eat too many carbs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Carbs Does Spaghetti Squash Have?
When it is boiled and served on its own, in 100 grams, it has only 6.46 grams of total carbs, however, 1.4 grams are fiber, and this leaves only 5 grams of net carbs.
This means it is low-carb compared to a lot of other vegetables and it is keto-friendly.
What Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like?
It has quite a neutral taste which means you can flavor it how you want and add sauces as you please.
It can be a little sweet but the taste doesn’t linger and the texture will vary. It also has a slightly nutty flavor.
What Can I Substitute For Spaghetti Squash?
You can also have acorn squash, buttercup squash, delicate squash, or hubbard squash but always check the carbs on these first to ensure they work within your diet.
We hope you have enjoyed this article on spaghetti squash and understand how you can use it as a healthy, low-carb pasta alternative.
It is perfect for when you want something quick and easy and will not kick you out of Ketosis, whilst still providing you with plenty of nutritional and health benefits! What’s not to love!