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Are Brussel Sprouts Keto-Friendly?

Brussel Sprouts on a kitchen counter

Are Brussel Sprouts Keto-Friendly? The answer lies in moderation.

While this nutritious vegetable is packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, its carb content requires it to be strictly limited on a ketogenic diet.

In this article, we'll delve into the details of the net carbs in Brussel Sprouts, discuss strategies for moderately incorporating it into a keto diet, and explore its overall nutritional value.

We'll also suggest some keto-compatible alternatives and share some unique insights on how to enrich your diet, while keeping it keto-friendly.

So, let's dive in and get to know more about Brussel Sprouts and their role in a keto diet.


  • Are Brussel Sprouts keto-friendly? Yes, but only in moderation due to their carb content.
  • Brussel Sprouts are packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, but they can potentially disrupt ketosis if consumed in large amounts.
  • Overconsumption of Brussel Sprouts on a keto diet could cause difficulties in maintaining ketosis and may increase the odds of experiencing keto flu symptoms.

Are Brussel Sprouts Keto-Friendly?

Brussel Sprouts, a common vegetable found in many diets, raises the question of its compatibility with the ketogenic lifestyle. The answer lies in moderation. With an average of 5.15g net carbs per 100g serving, Brussel Sprouts can be considered keto-friendly, but only when consumed with strict portion control.

This is due to the carbohydrate content found in Brussel Sprouts. They contain approximately 5.15g carbs per 100g. While this number may not seem high, it's essential to remember that a ketogenic diet typically places a very low limit on daily carbohydrate intake, usually around 20-50g per day. Therefore, consuming Brussel Sprouts in large amounts could potentially tip the scales and take an individual out of ketosis.

Can You Have Brussel Sprouts on a Strict Keto Diet?

Including Brussel Sprouts in a strict ketogenic diet, which typically permits less than 20g of net carbs per day, can be achievable but requires careful portion control. Given that a 100g serving of Brussel Sprouts contains 5.15g net carbs, it can occupy a significant portion of the daily carb allowance on a strict keto diet.

In this context, every gram of carbohydrate counts. Consuming Brussel Sprouts in moderation can allow you to enjoy the vegetable’s nutritional benefits without exceeding your daily carb limit. However, this would mean that only a small portion of Brussel Sprouts could be included in each meal.

For those following a more lenient low-carb diet, where the daily net carb limit is between 30-50g, there is a bit more flexibility. In these cases, portion-controlled servings of Brussel Sprouts can be incorporated into the diet more comfortably without disrupting the state of ketosis.

Carbs In Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts contain 5.15g of net carbs per 100g serving. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber content from the total carbohydrate content, which is particularly important in a keto diet as fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest.

Brussel Sprouts Nutrition Facts

Brussel sprouts, often underappreciated, are a powerhouse of nutrients. A 100g portion contains a mere 43.0 kcal, making it a low-calorie food with a plethora of benefits. For your carbohydrate needs, there are 8.95g present, of which net carbs are 5.15g and dietary fiber is 3.8g. This fiber helps promote a healthy gut environment, an essential aspect of overall wellness.

Protein, the building block of body tissues, is present in the form of 3.38g. Although the total fat content is low at 0.3g, it includes a balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Brussel sprouts are chock full of vitamins, including Vitamin A, B-6, C, E, and K1. The high Vitamin C content, 85.0mg, is known for its immune-boosting properties, while Vitamin K1, at a whopping 177.0ug, is vital for blood clotting.

This veggie is also rich in minerals like Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium, essential for maintaining body fluid balance, bone health, and heart rhythm, respectively. Notably, Brussel sprouts contain 389.0mg of Potassium, a nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure.

Trace elements like Iron, Copper, Zinc, and Selenium are also found in Brussel sprouts. Of particular interest is the presence of 1.4mg of Iron, important for hemoglobin formation.

Furthermore, they provide a variety of essential amino acids like Leucine and Lysine, vital for protein synthesis and tissue repair. The presence of antioxidants like beta-carotene and Lutein + zeaxanthin, known for combating oxidative stress, further enhances their nutritional profile.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 5.15g
Carbohydrate, by difference 8.95g
Fiber, total dietary 3.8g
Total fats 0.3g
Protein 3.38g
Sodium, Na 25.0mg
Potassium, K 389.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 23.0mg
Calcium, Ca 42.0mg
Vitamin A 38.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.22mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 85.0mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.88mg
Vitamin K1 177.0ug
Copper, Cu 0.07mg
Iron, Fe 1.4mg
Phosphorus, P 69.0mg
Selenium, Se 1.6ug
Zinc, Zn 0.42mg
Beta-carotene 450.0ug
Lutein + zeaxanthin 1590.0ug
Betaine 0.8mg
Manganese, Mn 0.34mg
Thiamin 0.14mg
Riboflavin 0.09mg
Niacin 0.74mg
Pantothenic acid 0.31mg
Folate, total 61.0ug
Choline, total 19.1mg
Calories 43.0kcal
Water 86.0g
Tryptophan 0.04g
Threonine 0.12g
Isoleucine 0.13g
Leucine 0.15g
Lysine 0.15g
Methionine 0.03g
Cystine 0.02g
Phenylalanine 0.1g
Valine 0.16g
Arginine 0.2g
Histidine 0.08g
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.06g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.02g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.15g
Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Brussel Sprouts on a Keto Diet

While Brussel Sprouts can be incorporated into a ketogenic diet, they present a potential challenge for those trying to achieve or maintain the state of ketosis. Due to their carbohydrate content, consuming Brussel Sprouts in large quantities could potentially exceed the daily carb limit of a strict keto diet. This could interrupt the state of ketosis, which is central to the keto diet's effectiveness.

However, Brussel Sprouts also offer specific nutritional benefits. They are a good source of fiber, which aids in digestion, and they're rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and folate. They also contain antioxidants, which are compounds that help protect the body against damage by free radicals. These nutritional properties contribute to overall health and wellness, making Brussel Sprouts a valuable addition to any diet when consumed in moderation.

Incorporating Brussel Sprouts Into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Pair with High-Fat Foods: Since Brussel Sprouts contain a moderate amount of carbs, pairing them with high-fat, low-carb foods can balance out your meal. For example, cooking Brussel Sprouts with olive oil or butter, and serving them alongside a fatty fish like salmon can create a well-rounded, keto-friendly meal.
  2. Portion Control: Due to the carb content, it's important to practice portion control when incorporating Brussel Sprouts into a ketogenic diet. A serving size of around 100g (approximately five to six sprouts) should keep your carb intake in check.
  3. Keto-Recipe Ideas: There are many creative ways to include Brussel Sprouts in your keto meal plan. One idea could be roasting Brussel Sprouts with bacon and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Another could be a salad with shredded Brussel Sprouts, paired with a tangy, high-fat dressing and topped with a good source of protein like grilled chicken or hard-boiled eggs.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Brussel Sprouts

  1. Broccoli: A popular choice in the keto world, broccoli is lower in carbs than Brussel Sprouts. It also comes packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent keto-friendly alternative.
  2. Spinach: This leafy green is another fantastic low-carb option. It can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads and stir-fries to smoothies and omelets.
  3. Zucchini: Known for its versatility in keto recipes, zucchini is a low-carb substitute for Brussel Sprouts. It can be spiralized as a pasta substitute, grated into casseroles, or sliced for use in stir-fries.

Concluding Thoughts on Brussel Sprouts and Keto

While Brussel Sprouts offer several health benefits due to their high fiber content, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they present certain challenges when included in a strict ketogenic diet. Their moderate net carb content can occupy a significant portion of the daily carb allowance, making it harder to maintain the state of ketosis, especially if consumed in large quantities.

As such, portion control is crucial. Brussel Sprouts should ideally be consumed in moderation, paired with high-fat, low-carb foods. Keto-friendly alternatives like broccoli, spinach, zucchini, and cauliflower can serve as excellent substitutes, providing similar nutritional benefits with fewer carbs.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, but you should limit your intake due to their moderate carb content. Pair them with high-fat, low-carb foods to keep your keto diet balanced.

Brussel Sprouts are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They contribute to overall health but should be eaten in moderation on a keto diet due to their carb content.