Keto Diet for Beginners: Are Onions a Keto-Friendly Veggie?

bowl with onions to use for keto recipes

Many hard-core keto followers believe that they must omit onions from all their recipes. This is unfortunate because it creates dishes lacking in flavor, which results in some keto food followers losing interest in the lifestyle quickly. Can you eat onions on keto? At Sugarless Crystals, we have found that a little onion goes a long way in improving the flavor of the dishes and keeps dieters on track. The following information will help you better understand the types of onions, and how to use them in your ketogenic foods.

Types of Onions

Many consumers think there are only a few types of onions: white, yellow, and red. There are many types in this broad class. Using some of the non-standard onion types may help you feel more comfortable in using onions in your keto food cooking.

  • Scallions are the youngest onions harvested. The round bulb at the plant’s base is white and narrow. 
  • Green onions are slightly older and wider. The bulb is whitish-green and ovular and not round.
  • Spring Onions are small onions that have been grown over the winter and harvested at the beginning of spring. They have small round bulbs and are larger.
  • Yellow Onions are full-grown onions. They have a stronger taste and make up 90% of onions produced and used in the US. They are usable in any recipe that does not specify onion type.
  • Red Onions are usually spicier and sharper than yellow and white onions. These are frequently used raw in recipes that call for diced onions.
  • White Onions are softer and milder than yellows and reds. These are papery thin and harder to slice but have less of an aftertaste
  • Sweet Onions are mild and crisp. They are usually used in recipes that need a sweeter taste, for stuffing, and for frying onion rings.

Each type has a few variances in carbs, calories, fiber, and protein. Of course, our main concern with keto is the carbs. Scallions, green, and spring onions are slightly lower in carbs than full-grown onions but require more quantity for flavor. All the other onions are about equal when it comes to the number of carbs in onions.

How Many Carbs Are in Onions?

Most of the carb numbers you will find quoted are for an entire onion. No one eats an entire onion in one setting. Most of the calculators quote an average onion at 7.8g to 9g of carbs per 100 grams of onion. Divide this amount by the number the recipe will serve. Usually, each diner will only be consuming 2g to 3g of carbs from onions in the dish.

What Else Should I Know About Onions?

Not only do onions add so much to the flavor of our dishes, but there are also many health benefits that we cannot overlook. The Keto lifestyle creates some deficits in our vitamin and mineral needs. Onions meet many of these needs. There are numerous health benefits  attributed to onion consumption, including:

  1. Packed with nutrients
  2. May benefit heart health
  3. May boost digestive health
  4. Loaded with antioxidants
  5. Contain cancer-fighting compounds
  6. Help control blood sugar
  7. May boost bone density
  8. Have antibacterial properties
  9. May lower blood pressure
  10. May lower LDL

According to the USDA FoodData Central Database, onions are high in Vitamin C and Potassium. Potassium is especially beneficial as it is hard for many people to get in their diet.

We say yes to the question, “Can you eat onions on keto?” We offer a great Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms recipe that you can use as a topping for your steak, chicken, or even as a side dish. Also, we have 37 other recipes that use onions. Contact us for advice on other issues about the keto lifestyle.

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