The keto diet is particularly popular – and it’s not hard to see why! Whilst it is a restrictive diet, it helps to give dieters the nutrition and tools they need to make healthy changes to their bodies.
However, it can be a very tricky diet to follow. It works by cutting out all food that is high in carbohydrates, which tends to mean significant changes to one’s pre-existing diet.
In fact, there are many common foods that you wouldn’t expect to be high in carbohydrates!
As such, if you’re undertaking a keto diet, it is important to be equipped with all of the appropriate knowledge. That’s what we’re doing here!
Eggplants are a very nutritious food, but how can you incorporate them into a keto-friendly diet? Find out below.
Eggplants, also known as aubergines, are a part of the nightshade family of plants. They are incredibly versatile and popular all across the world.
There are many different varieties of eggplants, however, the most common type has a deep purple skin color.
Eggplants are a staple in many different cuisines. Their versatile texture and flavor allow them to be used in a myriad of different ways – particularly in vegetarian and vegan dishes.
They are also bursting with nutritional value! Learn more below.
Eggplant Nutritional Profile
Eggplants are rich in many different nutrients. In fact, they are considered nutrient-dense food. To learn more about the nutritional profile of one cup of raw eggplant, take a look at the table below.
|Manganese||10% of RDI|
|Folate||5% of RDI|
|Potassium||5% of RDI|
|Vitamin K||4% of RDI|
|Vitamin C||3% of RDI|
Eggplants also contain other nutrients, such as niacin, copper, and magnesium. It is also worth mentioning that the nutritional value of eggplant will differ depending on how it is cooked.
Health Benefits Of Eating Eggplant
With a nutritional profile as impressive as the one above, you’re likely thinking – wow, eggplant must be good for me. Well, it is! It boasts a huge range of health benefits. Check out the best ones below.
Rich In Antioxidants
Eggplants are particularly rich in antioxidants. These are substances that help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Many studies have shown that antioxidants can help to prevent and fight diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Eggplants have a particularly high content of anthocyanins. This is a pigment with antioxidant properties.
In addition to being responsible for the vibrant color of eggplant skin, it has also been found to be especially effective at protecting cells from damage.
Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease
The antioxidants within eggplants are also thought to help protect against heart conditions. Animal studies have shown that eggplant juice can actually lower the risk of heart disease in rabbits.
In fact, such studies have concluded that eating eggplant can improve heart function and reduce the severity of heart attacks.
Although, it is important to note that much more research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.
Promotes Healthy Blood Sugar
Eggplants are high in fiber. Fiber can work to slow the rate of digestion and absorption of sugar by the body. In turn, this helps to keep blood sugar levels maintained and prevents large blood sugar peaks and crashes.
Aids With Weight Loss
Thanks to their high fiber content and low number of calories, eggplants are an excellent addition to any weight loss program.
Thanks to their versatile texture, they also work well as substitutes for high calorie ingredients in recipes (e.g. potatoes).
Eggplant contains a compound called solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (SRGs). This type of compound has been shown in animal studies to reduce cancer cells and reduce the recurrence of some kinds of cancer.
Specifically, SRGs have been shown to be quite effective when reducing the risk of skin cancer. However, much more research is needed, particularly human studies, to confirm these results.
Easy To Add To Your Diet
This technically isn’t a health benefit. However, it is definitely worth mentioning.
Some kinds of foods boast great nutritional benefits, but they are almost impossible to incorporate into a normal diet. This is not the case with the humble eggplant.
Eggplants are incredibly versatile. They can be cooked in pretty much any way, including baked, roasted, grilled, sauteed, or even blended into dips and sauces.
You can also easily swap out high calorie foods for eggplants to create a much healthier dish.
Is Eggplant Keto-Friendly?
After reading about the wonderful health benefits associated with eating eggplant described above, you’re likely wondering, but… is eggplant keto-friendly?
Well, you’ll be happy to hear that it is, in fact, very keto-friendly!
Eggplant contains just 3g of carbs per 100g. It also has a high water content, a surprising amount of protein, and an excellent amount of fiber.
As such, it will work wonderfully as a part of a keto diet! For recipe inspiration, check out the section below!
Following the keto diet can be hard – especially when you need to learn how to cook with all of these low-carb ingredients. For some inspiration, check out our favorite low-carb and keto-friendly eggplant recipes below.
Low Carb Eggplant Pizza
Pizza is a big no-no in the keto diet. For many people, giving up their pizza nights can be super tricky. However, this recipe will satisfy all of your cravings! It is just as delicious as regular pizza, and it is so much healthier!
Moussaka is an absolutely delicious traditional Greek dish. It truly is comfort in a bowl! It normally isn’t keto-friendly, however, this low-carb version will work as a part of even super strict keto diets.
This recipe is perfect when you have a craving for an indulgent and comforting dish.
Keto Eggplant Parmesan
Finding easy, quick, delicious, and nutritious weeknight dinners on the keto-diet can feel impossible.
If you’re struggling to fill a gap in your weekly rotation, you should definitely check out this keto eggplant parmesan recipe. It tastes so good that you’ll forget it’s low in carbohydrates!
Low-Carb Eggplant Sticks
Dinner parties and get-togethers should be fun events. But, when you’re following a strict diet like the keto-diet, you might dread such events.
However, if you take these low-carb eggplant sticks along with you, you’ll have something keto-friendly and healthy to snack on when everyone is dipping into the bread selection!
Finally, we just had to mention this wonderful eggplant rollatini recipe – it is a delicious, low-carb taste of Italy! If you serve this dish to guests, they would never believe that it is actually low carb!
It is full of nutrition but tastes so rich and indulgent that our mouth is watering just writing about it.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have some burning questions regarding the keto diet and eggplants, we’re here to help! Take a look at our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. You’ll be a keto expert in no time.
How Do you Cook Eggplant on a Keto Diet?
You can cook eggplant in many different ways. However, for the healthiest and best results texture-wise, we recommend baking it.
For a basic dish, lightly coat eggplant slices with vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and spices of your choice and bake it in the oven until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Is Fried Eggplant Good for Keto?
You absolutely can fry eggplant as a part of the keto diet. It will still be low in carbs. For instance, you can dry eggplant slices to create eggplant fries.
However, frying food doesn’t produce the most healthy results. If you want a light meal, be sure to bake the eggplant.
What Vegetables are Keto?
In addition to eggplant, there is a huge range of other vegetables available to people following a keto diet.
When you are following any diet, particularly those that are restrictive, it is important to ensure that you are eating as many different types of vegetables as possible so that your body has access to a wide range of nutrients.
We’ve listed some of the best keto-friendly veggies below. Check them out!
There are under 4g of carbohydrates in 100g of asparagus. It is also very high in iron, vitamin C, and potassium. You can choose to eat asparagus raw, however, we recommend that you saute it or steam it.
There are under 3g of carbs in 1006 of celery. It is also very low in calories, making it the ideal addition to any keto diet. Celery also contains many essential nutrients that potentially work to protect the body against different diseases.
There are many different kinds of tomatoes, and each variety has a different amount of carbohydrates. However, one cherry tomato contains less than 1g of carbs. Cherry tomatoes also include phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C.
Spinach is somewhat of a super food. It is well-known for its super high calcium and iron content. It has under 4g of carbs per 100g, and it also contains many antioxidants that work to prevent oxidative stress.
Cucumber is an excellent addition to a keto diet. It has under 4g of carbs per 100g, and you can make the carb content even lower by peeling the cucumber before you eat it. Cucumbers also include essential nutrients such as vitamin K.
Following the keto diet can produce amazing results and really help to turn your health around. However, it can also be a particularly difficult diet to follow. We hope that this article has inspired you to incorporate the wonderful and nutritious eggplant into your diet!
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