It’s important to regularly include plenty of healthy greens while you’re following the ketogenic diet in order to ensure that you’re providing your body with all of the micronutrients that it requires. Today we’re going to be taking an in-depth look at okra in order to see how it fits in with the keto diet. Is okra keto? Let’s find out.
What Makes Okra Such a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
Before we really get into whether or not okra is a keto-friendly food, we’ll first start by taking a quick look at a few of the reasons why okra is so popular amongst low carb dieters in the first place. Here are three of the main reasons why:
- Okra is a healthy green fruit that is low in both calories and net carbs.
- Most of the carb content in okra comes by way of dietary fiber.
- While it’s technically a fruit, okra is most commonly used like a vegetable for culinary purposes, and it can be easily incorporated into a variety of low carb dishes with fantastic results.
Is Okra Keto?
Okra is definitely a 100% keto-friendly food.
Admittedly, it doesn’t offer you much in the way of protein or dietary fat, but not every keto food has to. After all, you still need to supply your body with all of those essential vitamins and minerals somehow.
With that in mind, okra is a great food to include as part of your keto diet because it’s rich in essential micronutrients, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. It’s also an excellent source of dietary fiber.
When you take all of the above into consideration, it’s incredibly easy to recommend okra to any and all keto dieters.
Okra Nutrition Facts
Here is the approximate nutritional breakdown for a 100 gram serving size of okra:
- 33 calories
- 0.2 grams dietary fat
- 1.9 grams protein
- 7 grams carbs
- 3.2 grams dietary fiber
- 1.5 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 7 mg sodium
- 299 mg potassium
Health Benefits of Okra
As with most healthy green foods, okra is quite nutritious and offers up some pretty impressive health benefits. With that in mind, here are 3 of the top health benefits that you can gain by including okra as part of your keto diet plan:
- Good source of antioxidants. Okra is quite a rich source of antioxidants. It’s particularly rich in polyphenols and both vitamins A and C. Studies have shown that including polyphenols like those found in okra as part of your diet can also help to improve your heart health by protecting against blood clots and oxidative stress. (1)
- May help protect against heart disease. In addition to its polyphenol content, okra also contains a gel-like substance known as mucilage that can actually bind to the cholesterol in your body during digestion. When this occurs, it causes the cholesterol to be eliminated as bodily waste instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream, which can potentially reduce your risk of heart disease even further. (2)
- May help protect against cancer. There is also evidence that okra can help to keep diseases like cancer at bay as well. This is because okra contains a type of protein known as lectin, which has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in humans. (3)
Keto Okra Substitutes
Here are a few of our top suggestions for replacing okra in keto recipes; we have provided options for replacing okra:
(Learn more: Are Bell Peppers Keto-friendly?)