One of the first things that many people new to the keto diet end up doing is seeking out keto-friendly versions of some of their favorite pasta dishes. Luckily, you can use a wide variety of different fruit and vegetables as low carb pasta replacements.
Squash (in quite a few of its varieties) is one such replacement that you can use for making pasta. Summer squash is an especially popular choice for this purpose.
But is summer squash keto? Let’s take an in-depth look in order to definitively answer that very question.
What Makes Summer Squash a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
Summer squash (and other varieties of squash like butternut squash and spaghetti squash) is incredibly popular amongst low carb dieters. Here are a few of the biggest reasons why:
- Summer squash is low in both calories and carbs.
- Contains a modest amount of dietary fiber which helps to further lower its overall net carb count.
- Rich in essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients that can provide a wide range of health benefits.
- Incredibly popular choice to use as a keto pasta replacement (can be sliced or spiralized to make low carb veggie noodles).
Is Summer Squash Keto?
Summer squash is absolutely a 100% keto-friendly option that you should be including as part of your diet. Along with other similar options like zucchini, summer squash is considered to be the ‘go to’ choice for making low carb veggie noodles to make keto-friendly pasta dishes.
The combination of being low in both calories and net carbs, combined with an abundance of essential micronutrients and antioxidant compounds, makes summer squash one of the most perfect keto-friendly veggies that we can think of.
Summer Squash Nutrition Facts
Assuming that you’re using a 100 gram serving size of summer squash, it will provide you with the following approximate nutritional breakdown:
- 16 calories
- 0.2 grams fat
- 1.2 grams protein
- 3.4 grams carbs
- 1.1 grams dietary fiber
- 2.2 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 2 mg sodium
- 262 mg potassium
Summer Squash Health Benefits
It should come as no surprise to anyone that you can gain quite a few great health benefits by including summer squash in your keto diet. Here are 3 of the top benefits:
- Rich source of disease fighting antioxidants. Yellow fruit and veggies like summer squash are rather rich in beta carotene, which is converted into the antioxidant vitamin A by your body. Vitamin A is essential as it helps maintain healthy vision, it promotes growth and development, and it even helps to protect the mucous integrity in your body. (1)
- Provides a solid amount of dietary fiber. Summer squash also contains enough dietary fiber per serving to make it more than worth your while, particularly if you’ve been dealing with any digestive issues. Dietary fiber helps to keep you feeling full for longer, while also improving digestion and helping to keep bowel movements regular. (2)
- Heart healthy option. Summer squash contains no dietary cholesterol, which makes it an ideal choice to use as a keto-friendly pasta replacement for any individuals who may need to watch their cholesterol intake. The combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in summer squash also work in tandem to help further fortify your body against heart disease.
Keto Summer Squash Alternatives
Looking for a keto-friendly substitute for summer squash? We’ve got you covered with everything from different squash options to complete substitutes:
- Butternut squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Acorn squash