Is Broccoli Keto-Friendly?

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable related to cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale. It is packed with many of the essential nutrients the body needs. Add it to get some green onto your plate. It will also provide cancer-fighting properties and fantastic flavor to your meals. However, is it ok to have broccoli when following a keto diet?

In this article, we will discuss some of the most common topics related to this cruciferous veggie. We will answer questions such as: What is it? How many carbs does it have? Are you allowed to eat it on keto? How much can you have when following a low-carb diet? What can you eat with broccoli? What type can you have? We will answer all of these questions and more!


What is broccoli?

Broccoli, Brassica oleracea, is a large edible flower full of vitamins and minerals. This commonly known food is part of the cruciferous family. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, and was cultivated in ancient Rome! Most of the plant is edible, from the flower to the stalks.

Cruciferous vegetables are widely celebrated for their health benefits. There are different types of this veggie, but among the most common ones, you can find Calabrese, Sprouting, and purple. All of them will provide the same benefits: potent antioxidants, cancer-fighting properties, and reducing inflammation.

Broccoli nutrition facts

This vegetable is known for being nutrient-dense and low in calories. It is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and manganese. It is genuinely a fantastic food to eat weekly or even daily. We know the nutrient benefits it gives. However, how many grams of carbs does it contain, and can you add it to a ketogenic diet?

Serving size: 1 cup raw (76 g)

  • Calories: 30 kcal
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Total carbs: 4.8 g
  • Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Net carbs (total carbs - fiber): 3 g
  • Protein: 2 g

One cup raw has just 3 g of net carbs. Not only is it low in carbs, but it also contains a small amount of protein. All in all, it is an ideal food to add to a keto plan.


Is broccoli on the keto diet?

Yes! You can eat it when following a ketogenic plan.

This cruciferous vegetable contains a low number of carbs, making it an ideal food to add. Not only does it give you nutrients that you need, but it is also high in fiber. (Foods that contain > 3 g fiber/ 100 kcal are considered to be high in fiber.) High-fiber foods tend to be more satiating, which makes them perfect to feel fuller for longer. In the end, by feeling fuller, you eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.

Remember that you still need to add up the number of carbs per day when following a keto diet to ensure you are not surpassing your daily budget. Always add up the carbs you eat per day to stay within the recommended number.


How much broccoli is allowed on the keto diet?

One or two cups per day will give you many of the essential nutrients your body needs to maintain optimal health, especially vitamin C and vitamin K.

Having two cups per day won’t make your carb intake that high. It will only provide 6 g of net carbs.

If you feel that two cups are a lot, try mixing it up with other low-carb veggies to add additional colors to your plate. Each color provides different nutrients. That is the reason why we always recommend eating the rainbow!

What kind of broccoli can you have on keto?

One benefit of vegetables is that they are very versatile. You can add them any way you like to your eating plan. There are different types of broccoli. No matter which kind you decide to add, all of them will have the same nutritional value.

There are different ways you can have this delicious green food. Try some of the fantastic options below to eat broccoli in several keto-friendly ways.

  • Raw: perfect as a delicious crunchy snack.
  • Roasted: place them in the oven with some olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Soup: cheesy broccoli soup is excellent comfort food for those cold days.
  • Steamed: cooked with a little bit of butter for flavor.
  • Shredded: add them to your keto pancakes or baked goods to increase the nutrient intake.
  • Rice: it is a good substitution for regular rice.

Add them to a salad to add some crunch or a more complex way, such as the broccoli soup. Any way you have it, you will increase your nutrient intake without adding too many carbs.



What can you eat with broccoli?

To make a complete meal with this vegetable, add healthy fats and protein to the equation.

Try adding a few florets to your omelet to create a greener breakfast. You can also make egg muffin cups that are filled with broccoli and cheese.

If you have it as a snack, try accompanying it with a healthy dip. For example, add creamy guacamole made with Greek yogurt for the perfect combination of protein and fat.

On the other hand, if you are using the veggie as a side dish for lunch or dinner, it will pair nicely with a portion of any protein of your choice and a drizzle of olive oil.

Keto-friendly broccoli alternatives

This veggie is a keto-friendly food that has very few carbs per cup. Nonetheless, it’s always good to have variety in your diet. Other veggies in the cruciferous family are an excellent choice to add. Try the following foods for other keto-compliant veggies packed with nutrients:

  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bok choy
  • Arugula

Most of them will have a similar carb content to broccoli. Some may have a little bit more or less, but all of these options are low in carbs and a great choice to add to your daily diet.

FAQ about broccoli on a keto diet

Do you still have more questions related to this cancer-fighting veggie? Here, we will discuss some of the most common questions related to this tasty vegetable and the ketogenic diet.

Being such a fibrous food, it would be challenging to surpass your daily number of carbs just with broccoli. For example, even if you love this food enough to eat 4 cups of it raw (that’s a lot!), you would only be eating 12 g of net carbs.

However, it’s important to also factor in the other carb-containing foods you eat during the day. Count each gram of net carbs you eat to ensure you stay within your macros.

Yes, it is a very low-carb option you can have as a snack.

Since it is very high in fiber, it will provide satiety. It will make you feel fuller for longer.

Add some healthy fats or a high-protein dip to have the perfect on-the-go snack. For example, add a blue cheese Greek yogurt dressing.

Yes! It is keto-friendly, but it will depend on how you make it.

Most recipes contain several veggies (broccoli, celery, and onions), butter, chicken broth, flour, and milk. To make a keto-approved recipe, make sure to remove the flour and switch the milk to cream.

Add some cheese to the equation to make a complete meal out of it by adding some protein!

Broccoli is an incredible food to add to recipes. Here is a list of some recipes you can make with this cruciferous veggie.

  • Creamy soup
  • Cheesy casserole
  • Sauteed with lemon and garlic
  • Savory waffles
  • Tortillas

Both have the same number of net carbs: 3 g per cup. So one is not considered better than the other.

Remember that the healthiest diet has variety. Alternate between the two to take advantage of the different nutrients each will offer.

You can eat it either raw or cooked.

Cooking it will boost its antioxidant capacity (specifically lutein), bonus if you add some healthy fat along with it because lutein is fat soluble . However, cooking might reduce other heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C, so make sure not to cook it to death!

When cooking it, make sure to cook it for a short amount of time and, if possible, use the water you used to cook it with. It will be packed with vitamins and minerals.


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