Last updated on May 2nd, 2017
Is broccoli low-carb? It depends . . .
I haven’t written many posts about vegetables over the years. Nuts, yes. Seeds, yes. Even fruits (avocado, blueberries, strawberries and tomatoes).
Once in a while, I’ve put up a photo of a plate with, say, a few green beans and a big juicy steak. But the focus has not been on the beans.
The lack of focus on veggies may give readers the false impression that I don’t eat many. In fact, I do veggies.
Not just lettuce, either, but real, honest-to-gosh, cooked vegetables — the kind your mom made you sit at the table with until you’d finished them.
I thought I’d start writing about a few of the go-to veggies in my LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) diet, just to give a more accurate impression. For me, the big five cooked vegetables are broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green beans, and spinach (with an honorable mention to cabbage).
Since broccoli is first on the list alphabetically, and I have already created a nice green graphic for it, we will begin there and take up the other vegetables in future posts.
Anita and I eat cooked broccoli with dinner two or three times a week. Sometimes it’s fresh, steamed broccoli. Sometimes it’s frozen chopped broccoli heated up in the microwave. Sometimes it’s broccoli slaw stir-fried with chicken or beef. I also occasionally eat raw broccoli in a salad, or just on its own (especially at a buffet, and especially if there is dip). Both Anita and I also enjoy broccoli-cheese soup.
I have to say that broccoli is a main-stay in my diet. But is broccoli low-carb? Is it LCHF? Well, no, not on the face of it. About two-thirds of the calories in raw broccoli come from carbs, and hardly any come from fat. In its raw, natural form, broccoli is close to fat-free. So when it comes to being LCHF, broccoli can’t compare to other plant-based foods like avocados and macadamias, which bring plenty of their own fats to the table.
But if you compare broccoli to potatoes, carrots or sweet-corn, then, yes, broccoli is very low-carb. It’s also low-calorie, for whatever that’s worth.
You can certainly improve broccoli from a low-carb, high-fat perspective by topping it with butter or a rich cheese sauce. For instance, adding a table-spoon of melted butter to a cup of chopped broccoli would take the fat content up by 11 grams, and balance off the 8.6 grams of carbs plus protein.
You also get fiber with your serving of broc, as well as valuable nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C and K. (Usually the raw form of a vegetable is best for getting such nutrients.)
I’m stopping short of putting broccoli in my LCHF hall-of-fame, but it is a nutritious and versatile veggie that I often eat and will continue to eat.