Brussels Sprouts: Should You Eat Them on a Ketogenic Diet?

are brussel sprouts keto

Not only are Brussels sprouts very healthy veggies, but they are also keto-friendly.

Before going on the keto diet, you might have adored your Brussels sprouts with excessive amounts of butter, sometimes some sweetness added, and even excessive amounts of cheese.

Then you could easily just eat an entire plateful!

Brussels sprouts get their name from Brussels, the capital of Belgium, where they are thought to have been first cultivated.

But it was the Romans who were the ones to cultivate it into all its different forms.

Can You Eat Brussels Sprouts On Keto?

brusssel sprouts

They aren’t miniature cabbages, although they are from the same species

They are in the same species as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, and cabbage.

You might not even know this, but all the above species of Brussels sprouts are actually different parts of the wild cabbage plant.

The wild cabbage plant was bred for all the different parts and species.

For instance, Brussels sprouts are the bud, broccoli is the flowering head, kale and cabbage are the leaves, and kohlrabi is the roots.

Brussels sprouts are so delicious it is recommended you eat them raw. Boiling Brussels sprouts can cause the loss of some of the important antioxidants and vitamins.

But still, if you don’t like the idea of eating raw sprouts, then steaming them for 20 minutes or microwaving them for about 3 minutes should help them still to retain most of their nutrients [1]

The smell that comes from cooking Brussels sprouts is due to the high levels of sulfur-containing compounds which are called glucosinolates.

Five good reasons why Brussels sprouts are excellent for keto

1) It’s a low-calorie veggie…

…which helps you to lose weight easier.

They only contain 43 calories per 100 grams a serving.

They are fiber-dense, making you feel full quickly without downing a lot of calories. They are low in net carbs and glycemic index [2], containing only 5.2 grams of net carbs per 100 grams of serving.

That means your carb content won’t cause your blood insulin levels to spike.

2) When you maintain low levels of insulin, you achieve ketosis

Brussels sprouts are packed with fiber and this slows down sugar absorption [3]. One of the goals of the keto diet is to avoid insulin spikes so that you can be in a metabolic state of ketosis.

3) Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C…

…which improves immune health. Brussels sprouts actually contain higher amounts of vitamin C than oranges or lemons do. Just 100 grams of Brussels sprouts contains 124% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

One study completed on 11,000 participants found that Vitamin C was able to reduce the duration of a common cold by an average of 8% [4].

4) They can help you to lose weight because they are cruciferous greens

Unlike a lot of weight-loss diets, the keto diet isn’t just about losing weight.

It is also about the wonderful health benefits that are achieved through making better food choices, such as eating healthy greens, which not only help you lose weight but build your immune system as well.

5) Brussels sprouts are so easy to include in keto recipes

You can bake, roast, sauté, or boil Brussels sprouts on the keto diet because Brussels sprouts are very keto-friendly.

They are so versatile and offer you numerous ways of preparing them in delicious dishes.

Now that you are on the keto diet, even though it is about eating high-fat content, you will still have to be careful of the number of calories you have in a day as well.

It is true that you could probably eat more calories on the keto diet over the standard American diet, for instance.

This is because your insulin levels remain low and you are also in fat-burning mode. It doesn’t mean that calories don’t count though.

Generally, calorie counting on the keto diet or controlling calories strictly is unnecessary

That’s because the keto diet is actually consistent with food that has been designed for people to eat. A diet such as a keto diet is low in starchy and sugary carbs, favoring fats and proteins.

Keto veggies are full of fiber and generally, are what humans have been eating for thousands of years already [5].

So just how many carbs are in Brussels sprouts?

For every 100-gram serving of Brussels sprouts, there are 9 grams of carbohydrates. This isn’t very high for a veggie. It’s also one of the reasons why Brussels sprouts are such keto-friendly vegetables.

You don’t have to be concerned with the carbs that are in green vegetables because they usually have high amounts of fiber in them. The fiber in Brussels sprouts slows down the release of insulin.

The release of insulin kicks you out of ketosis. Just eating 9 grams of carbs from veggies isn’t going to have a huge impact at all on your insulin and blood sugar levels compared to say, eating 9 grams of carbs from cereal, bread, or sugars.

How many Brussels sprouts can I eat on the Keto diet?

So we said that Brussels sprouts don’t have a huge number of carbs in them when compared to other veggies.

You can eat quite a few Brussels sprouts before needing to worry about breaking your keto diet. Lots of recipes, though, talk about including balsamic reduction sauce. Often this smacks of plenty of sugar or honey.

Other recipes will include bacon coming from a non-organic source.

Even though bacon is ketogenic, non-organic bacon could be full of parasites.

As far as the sugar in the sauce goes, it is recommended that you use stevia as a sugar substitute. And for the bacon, it is recommended that you use organic turkey bacon and not pork.

Carbs in Brussel Sprouts

There are quite a lot of ways you can enjoy eating Brussels sprouts.

Those days are gone when you could smell Brussels sprouts being boiled up in a pot.

But today, they are so deliciously prepared it’s hard to remember when we were little kids and had to swallow down boiled Brussels sprouts! Today we can eat them as roasted, sautéed, or shaved Brussels sprouts in salads.

And then what about a Brussel sprouts casserole!

As we did mention above already, there are only 8 carbs in a cup of Brussels sprouts. They have 3.3 grams of fiber per cup. Because you can subtract fiber from the carbs, that leaves you with net carbs over.

In this instance, there will be 4.7 net carbs in Brussels sprouts.

Millions of people who follow the keto diet will only allow themselves 20 net carbs or less on a daily basis.

That’s why eating Brussels sprouts is one of the best low-carb veggie choices you can make.

The health benefits of Brussels sprouts

Not only are Brussels sprouts low in carbs, but high in fiber.

These delicious little mini sprouts are chockablock full of other minerals and vitamins too.

Let’s look at all the goodness found in them:

½-cup serving (78g) of Brussels sprouts nutritional data

Calories: 38 per cup

Fat: 0.3 grams per cup

Calories: 28.1 kcal

Protein: 1.99 g

Total Carbs: 5.44 g

Fiber: 2.03 g

Net Carbs: 3.41 g

Vitamin K: 109 ug – 137% RDI. Vitamin K is critical for building strong bones and regulating blood clots.

Vitamin C: 48.4 mg – 81% RDI

Vitamin A: 30.4 ug – 12% RDI

Calcium: 28.1 mg –  3% RDI

Foliate: 46.8 ug – 12% RDI

Magnesium: 15.6 mg – 9% RDI

  • The benefits of cruciferous veggies can never be understated – there’s a reason they are called superfoods [6] – and Brussels sprouts are no different. They’ve got more vitamin C in them than lemons and oranges. The sprouts also produce a unique chemical called sulforaphane. This compound has powerful anticancer properties, defending anyone from other diseases as well.
  • Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants and particularly high in fiber. A half-cup consists of 2 grams of fiber.
  • Brussels sprouts have been shown to decrease inflammation.
  • They are also excellent at detoxing the liver, and helping with ulcers and other digestive problems.

Can you juice Brussels sprouts?

Juicing of Brussels sprouts has already made a big splash at a lot of juice bars and health food restaurants.

It puts a very delicious spin on veggies, from raw juice cocktails to green smoothies. If you haven’t yet put fresh Brussels sprout juice on your menu yet, you’ve been missing out big time.

Health-conscious consumers know that Brussels sprouts have a very nutritional profile, as you can see above, making them a natural choice for cleansing and healing.

Don’t be surprised if you find you can order your Brussels sprout juice with other delicious low calories fruits such as lemon, pineapple, or lime.

There is plenty to celebrate with the raw vegetable juice trend.

How about a couple of keto Brussels sprouts recipes?

There are heaps of delicious recipes using Brussels sprouts.

The boiled cabbage days are over, so even with only 4.7 net carbs in Brussels sprouts, the keto recipes we give you aren’t going to add much more carbs to your dish.

Remember always when it comes to a recipe that you check the serving sizes for each recipe.

Someone might think a cup is a serving size but another person might consider it as 1.5 cups. Just make your portion size smaller to ensure you stick to your net carbs for the day.

Simple Caramelized Brussel Sprouts

This recipe is really simple. It’s the perfect side dish to a low-carb meal. All you need is 1 lb. of Brussel sprouts, some olive oil, ground black pepper, and garlic salt.

To do

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Cut the Brussels sprouts in half, placing them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Then drizzle olive oil, ground pepper, and garlic salt to taste over the sprouts, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Turn the sprouts with a spatula and continue to cook for 15-20 more minutes until they are soft, crispy, and browned.

Cheesy Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

This recipe includes plenty of melted mozzarella cheese and garlic. The sprouts cook in just 40 minutes.

Here is the full recipe.

Low Carb Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin  



Brussel sprouts are veggies that have so much going for them – in the way of being ultra-nutritious, helping you to achieve a healthy weight, giving you more energy, and improving your complexion and eyesight.

If you’re following a low carb or keto diet, you’ll be pleased to know they’re considered one of the lowest carb vegetables – something to enjoy regularly.

And they are keto-friendly because they are low in carbs.

Brussels sprouts also have a variety of additional health benefits because they are so high in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and minerals.

These tasty, cabbage-like, often ignored veggies on plates across the USA deserve a second look because they offer so many benefits. Gone are the days when they were cooked as squishy, salty vegetables.

Today they have made a huge comeback because their versatility, tastiness, and health benefits have made people take a third and even fourth look at this amazing little sprout.