Food & Nutrition

Carbs in Cucumbers & Other Nutritional Info

Carbs in Cucumbers & Other Nutritional Info

Being exceptionally rich in water, cucumbers definitely make for a refreshing summer vegetable. In fact, most cucumbers are up to 95% water, the rest is mainly carbs and fiber.

You're probably wondering whether these carbs in cucumbers matter on keto. The short answer is not really. There are only negligible amounts of carbs in cucumbers, so you can definitely add them to your keto salads, dips, and other meals. Other than that, cucumbers are a fantastic source of health-boosting phytochemicals and antioxidants.

No matter if you go for slicing, pickling, Persian, or gherkins, you can benefit from adding cucumbers to your keto meal plan.

In this article, we talk about cucumber nutrition data with a special focus on carbs in cucumbers. We also explain how cucumbers benefit you on a ketogenic diet and how to add them to your daily meals.

How many carbs in cucumbers?

Cucumbers are one of the lowest-carb veggies out there at only 3 grams net carbs in half a cup of sliced produce. This fact alone makes cucumbers an ideal keto vegetable. But there's more to this summer vegetable than its low-carb content. Here's more on the nutritional value of cucumber.

How many calories in cucumber?

A cup of sliced cucumbers with peel (around 100 grams) provides just around 16 calories. Most of these calories are from the tiny amount of net carbs we mentioned earlier, but some are also from its protein and omega-3 fatty acids (less than 1%).

Nutritional value of cucumber

Cucumber Nutrition Facts 100g – calories 15 (1%DV)

Total Carbs

3.6g

Net Carbs

3.1g

Fiber

0.5g

Fat

0.1g

Protein

0.7g

   

VITAMINS

 

Vitamin A

105IU

Vitamin C

2.8mg

Vitamin K

16.4mcg

Vitamin B5

0.3mg

Folate

7mcg

   

MINERALS

 

Calcium

16mg

Iron

0.3mg

Magnesium

13mg

Potassium

147 mg

Manganese

0.1mg

As far as the micronutrient profile of cucumbers goes, it's really nothing to write home about. A cup provides around 20% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin K, but other than that, cucumbers are not very nutrient dense. The same amount provides only 2-5% of the DV for vitamins A, C, B5, and folate. Cucumbers also contain small amounts of the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron (2-5% DV). 

Can you eat cucumbers on the keto diet?

Yes, cucumbers are fantastic for keto and here are 5 reasons why.

  1. Cucumbers make sticking to daily carb limits easier thanks to their negligible carb content.
  2. Cucumbers contain water, as well as electrolytes, which helps fight keto flu.
  3. The peel of cucumbers has valuable fiber that helps improve digestive health.
  4. Their crunchy texture makes them an ideal keto snack when dipped in nut butters.
  5. These vegetables are extremely versatile, which is important when your choice of veggies is limited.

Health Benefits of Cucumbers

Cucumbers provide a plethora of health benefits that are especially noteworthy when you're on a keto diet. 

Diabetes prevention

Cucumbers contain a class of biochemicals called cucurbitacin that studies found have antidiabetic activity [2]. Cucurbitacins help prevent diabetes and other metabolic problems by increasing fatty acid oxidation, inhibiting fat accumulation, and improving insulin metabolism.

Free-radical scavenging

Cucumbers contain powerful antioxidant, most notably flavonoids and tannins. Research shows that these two compounds function as powerful free-radical scavengers [3]: free radicals can lead to health problems if left unchecked.

Pain relief

The flavonoids and tannins in cucumbers are also mild pain relievers. These compounds relieve pain by reducing inflammation through their effect on prostaglandins – hormone-like substances that play a role in the inflammatory response.

Weight loss

Because cucumbers are a low-calorie vegetable, they also promote weight loss. Replacing high-carb and calorie-dense food with cucumbers will definitely help you get closer to your goal weight.

Digestive health

Because of their high water content and small amounts of fiber, cucumbers improve digestion. Staying well-hydrated, especially when beginning a keto diet, is important for regular bowel movements. If you go for naturally-fermented cucumbers (pickles), then you will also improve your intestinal flora since these are loaded with probiotics.

How to Eat Cucumbers on Keto

There are hundreds of cucumber varieties, but edible ones are divided into three main groups: slicing, pickling, and seedless and all are perfect for keto. Which one you should go for should only depend on your taste and preferences.

Choosing keto cucumbers

The most popular cultivars are slicers, burpless, English cucumber, and lemon cucumbers. Burpless cucumbers are great if you don't like bitter-tasting food. However, you will miss out on some health benefits since these are lower in cucurbitacins. Pickling cucumbers are specifically grown for pickling and they also include gherkins which are small in size (around 1-5 inches).

If you like pickles, then go for naturally-fermented products. Many commercial pickles are not really fermented and the brine may contain added sugars. Bread-and-butter pickles are an example of pickles you need to avoid.

Preparing keto cucumbers

Cucumbers water

Cucumbers are delicious all on their own, but you can also add them to salads, low-carb sandwiches, dips, and sauces with pickles. A cucumber salad with cream and dill is an example of a perfect keto dish – low in carbs and high in fat.

Other ways you can prepare cucumbers include making cold, refreshing soups and you can also use them as crudités. Tasty keto dips with cucumbers as crudités include guacamole, hummus, and sour cream with herbs. The mild taste of cucumbers also pairs wonderfully with yogurt in any kind of salad. Flavored cucumber water is also a great low-carb option.

Cucumbers for hydration

To exceptional water and keto electrolytes content of cucumbers can help you during summer heat waves. Staying hydrated is also important when dealing with keto flu, and cucumbers can definitely help you feel better.

Takeaways

Since there are only negligible amounts of carbs in cucumbers, you can definitely add this summer veggie to your keto food list. Besides helping you stay within your keto macros, cucumbers also provide added health benefits like glycemic control, antioxidant protection, and even mild pain relief.

To get the most out of a cucumber, definitely eat them with the peels on. That's where all the nutrients and antioxidants are concentrated. If you're worried about pesticides in the peels, then go for organic produce. Add cucumbers to your keto salads, soups , dips, and sauces and you'll stay hydrated, full, and within your daily keto macros.

References

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5209612/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4441156/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3019374/
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