Fall is here, and it’s pumpkin season. In this article, learn if pumpkin is keto-friendly, and how many carbs pumpkin actually has.
Crunchy leaves, cooler evenings, pumpkins spice lattes — you know what time it is. Pumpkin is one of those foods that we associate with fall, cozy baked goods, creamy soups, and holiday desserts.
But is pumpkin keto? If you are confused about whether pumpkin is a low-carb or a high-carb food, read on.
Can you eat pumpkin on the keto diet?
If you’ve asked yourself this question, you’re not alone! If you are on a keto diet, you may be wondering if you can eat pumpkin goodies this fall. The short answer is that pumpkin can definitely be keto-friendly — you just need to watch your portion size. Read on to learn more specific information — including net carb count for fresh and canned pumpkin.
But first, let’s talk about pumpkins.
What is a pumpkin?
The pumpkin is a type of winter squash. While some people consider them vegetables, they are actually a fruit — a botanical berry, to be exact!
Pumpkins are characterized by their round shape, smooth skin, and deep orange color. Pumpkins have a thick shell containing flesh and seeds.
Pumpkins are grown for use in decoration, as well as for food. Canned pumpkin puree is made from different varieties of pumpkin that the ones used for Halloween jack-o’-lanterns.
Pumpkins are very versatile in cooking. Many parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, and even the flowers. Pumpkin can be boiled, steamed, and roasted. It is often used in soups, purees, pie, and other baked goods.
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are edible and make a delicious snack. They are a good source of protein, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
Is pumpkin a carb?
Pumpkin isn’t “a carb” per se — but it does have carbs!
Some foods are easy to identify as high carbohydrate foods — bread, rice, and pasta, for instance. Some vegetables are high in carbs as well. Most people following a ketogenic diet avoid high-carb vegetables like potatoes and corn. You may want to remove starchy vegetables from your diet, too.
According to the exchange system from the American Diabetes Association, the following vegetables are classified as starches.
- Acorn squash
- Butternut squash
The highest-carb, lowest-fiber vegetables are potatoes and corn.
Of the vegetables on this list, pumpkin has the least amount of net carbs.
Is pumpkin Keto-friendly?
Yes, many people eat pumpkin on the keto diet. You can easily incorporate pumpkin into a low-carb diet. Like most things, it’s still important to watch your portion size.
If a batch of keto pumpkin muffins calls for a cup of pumpkin puree, each muffin only has about a tablespoon of puree.
Are pumpkin seeds keto?
Yep, the seeds can be part of a ketogenic diet too. Shelled pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are 4g per 1oz serving.
How many net carbs are in pumpkin?
In contrast, pumpkin contains lower amounts of sugar and starch than other starchy vegetables.
To calculate the number of net carbs in pumpkin, we subtract the number of grams of fiber from the grams of total carbs.
For example, 1 cup of raw pumpkin has 8 grams of carbohydrates per cup, and it also has 1 gram of fiber. Subtracting 1 gram of fiber from 8 grams of total carbs yields 7 grams of net carbs.
For another example, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin has 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup, and it also has 4 gram of fiber. Subtracting 4 grams of fiber from 10 grams of total carbs yields 6 grams of net carbs.
1 cup of raw pumpkin has 7 grams of net carbs and 30 calories
½ cup of canned pumpkin has 6 grams of net carbs and 42 calories.
Is pumpkin a low-carb food?
Pumpkin is a lower-carb fruit when compared to most other varieties of winter squashes. Pumpkin contains lower amounts of sugar and starch than other starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn.
However, the way that pumpkin is often prepared — combined with sugar in baked goods — that gives most pumpkin recipes a higher carb count.
If you are looking for keto pumpkin recipes, check out these:
What has more carbs: sweet potato or pumpkin?
Sometimes people suggest substituting pumpkin with sweet potato. But if you are on a low-carb or keto diet — watch out!
Sweet potatoes have much more sugar and calories than pumpkin. Pumpkin is not as sweet and has much lower net carbs than a same-size serving of sweet potatoes.
One cup of pumpkin puree has about 13 net carbs, while one cup of mashed sweet potatoes has about 50 net carbs.
Pumpkin has a glycemic index rating of 6, compared to sweet potatoes which have a ranking of 52.
Pumpkin is great for anyone looking to control their blood sugar, or for anyone on a low-carb, low glycemic, or keto diet.