Is Butternut Squash Keto or Not?

butternut squash keto friendly or not

If you are looking for a way to lose weight and live a healthier life, you may have thought about switching to the keto diet; however, this could involve you giving up some of your favorite foods. For example, you might be wondering, is butternut squash keto or not? In order for you to follow the keto diet, you need to limit your number of carbohydrates. Learn more about butternut squash and the keto diet below. 

Short Answer: Butternut Squash Is Okay in Moderation

Butternut squash does have carbohydrates; however, it does not have as many carbohydrates as other fruits and vegetables. Therefore, butternut squash is okay in moderation. Butternut squash, also known as winter squash, has approximately 10 grams of carbohydrates per serving. A serving size is a cup, so this is probably close to what you might serve with a meal. You need to be careful with how many servings you eat of butternut squash, as it could knock your body out of ketosis if you eat too much. 

Long Answer: Taking a Closer Look at Butternut Squash

If you are trying to follow the keto diet, the goal is to put your body in a state of ketosis. Ketosis takes place when you are body has to burn fat for energy, producing ketones as a by-product. If your body has access to carbohydrates, it is going to burn them for energy. Carbohydrates are among the easiest nutrients for your body to digest. If your body is burning carbohydrates for energy, you are not burning fat, which means you might not lose weight. Therefore, if you want to keep your body in ketosis, you have to avoid carbohydrates, which is why many people on the keto diet limit their daily intake of carbohydrates to 25 or 50 grams per day.

So, can you eat butternut squash on the keto diet? Is butternut squash low carb? The answer is yes, as long as you take a close look at how much you eat.

sliced butternut squash on the keto diet

How Much Butternut Squash Can I Eat on the Keto Diet?

According to the nutrition facts above, butternut squash has approximately 10 grams of carbs in a single serving. A serving is one cup. For example, If you eat a half-cup of butternut squash in your dinner, then this totals 5 grams of carbohydrate. If you eat 2 cups of butternut squash with your dinner, then that totals 20 grams of carbohydrates. 

These numbers alone are unlikely to knock your body out of ketosis, even if you are following the strictest of guidelines. On the other hand, you are probably going to have other sources of carbohydrates throughout the course of the day. Therefore, you need to take the butternut squash you are eating and combine it with the other sources of carbohydrates.

Ultimately, the answer to how much butternut squash you can eat on the keto diet is dependent on the other foods you can center. It is important to keep a running total of your carbohydrates so you keep your body in a state of ketosis.

How do I Know if I am in Ketosis?

If you are in a state of ketosis, some people say they can smell a fruity sensation coming from their bodies. Ketones are similar to the smells released by fruit, which is why this takes place. On the other hand, if you really want to know if your body is in ketosis, you may want to purchase ketone test strips for your urine. If you stop ketones in your urine, this is a sign that your body is in ketosis. 

Can I eat Butternut Squash Soup on the Keto Diet?

A lot of people love the taste of butternut squash soup. Therefore, you may be disappointed to know that you probably cannot eat butternut squash soup on your own. If you make this at home using ingredients from scratch, then you might be able to make this work; however, if you purchase this at the store, butternut squash soup usually contains a number of ingredients that increase the carb count. 

For example, store bought butternut squash soup probably contains other ingredients such as sugar, flour, and other starchy vegetables, including carrots. When this is combined with butternut squash, the carbohydrate count is probably going to be too high. Therefore, you should stay away from butternut squash soup at the store. At the same time, you may be able to substitute a few of these ingredients if you make it at home. 

Are There Any Substitutes for Butternut Squash?

If you are trying to limit your carbohydrate count while still enjoying that delicious butternut squash texture and flavor, there are a few options available. These include:

  • You might want to give pumpkin a try, which has fewer carbohydrates per cup than butternut squash. 
  • You might also want to try spaghetti squash, which is in the same group as butternut squash, but is larger and has a lower number of carbohydrates
  • You could also take your butternut squash and combine it with a number of other vegetables that are keto-friendly, such as cauliflower, to keep the flavor while also reducing your carbohydrate count. 

These are just a few of the many options you may want to try if you are looking for a substitute for butternut squash. It could help you save a number of carbohydrates. 

Spaghetti squash can be a low-carb alternative to Butternut squash

Are There Any Low Carb or Keto Recipes I Can Eat That Use Butternut Squash ?

Yes, there are still plenty of ways you can enjoy butternut squash while still sticking to the keto diet. As long as you think carefully about the ingredients you are including, you should be able to keep track of your carbohydrate count. That way, you know if you are sticking to your limit. A few examples include: 

  • Consider Making a Dip with Vegetables: You can use butternut squash to create a dip if you mix butternut squash with olives, vegetables, and a bit of olive oil. Then, you can use something keto-friendly, such as cucumbers, and dip this in the mix.
  • Make a Butternut Squash Salad: You could also make a butternut squash salad. Combine your butternut squash with baby kale and grilled chicken for a delicious keto-friendly lunch. You can even add a few spices if you want to give this a bit of a kick. 
  • Use Butternut Squash with a Steak Dinner: If you really want to go all out, you can also serve butternut squash with steak for a keto-friendly dinner. If you grill your steak with butternut squash and green beans or kale, you should create a delicious meal without breaking your carbohydrate limit. 
  • Combine Butternut Squash with Seafood: You can also pair butternut squash with a fish that is relatively low in carbohydrates, such as grill trout. Then, you can top this with an herby pesto for a delicious dinner. 

There are a lot of recipes that use butternut squash that will not break your carbohydrate limit. It is important for you to keep a close eye on your carbohydrate intake so that your body stays in ketosis. Even though butternut squash does contain carbohydrates, it should be okay for the keto diet when consumed in moderation.