Strawberries are probably the best known keto-friendly fruit, but are blueberries keto too? Yep. The vast majority of berries are in fact—a yummy little low-carb corner of the fruit food group. They are, however, still a fruit and contain natural sugars. As a result, it’s important to portion with care.
Quick Answer: Blueberries are fine on the keto diet in moderation with every 5 berries being roughly 1 net carb, equating to about 9 net carbs per half cup (berry number will vary by size). This applies to both fresh and frozen berries (unsweetened), but not dried.
What’s in a Blueberry?
Blueberries are 84 percent water and 14 percent carbs (with roughly 16 percent being fiber), .7 percent protein, and .3 percent fat. They are an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and manganese.
Blueberries: Keto Positive Points
-May help control blood sugar levels and lead to smaller insulin spikes.
Several studies conducted between 2010 and 2017 (Study 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) have shown that blueberries, along with numerous other berries, can help maintain stable blood sugar levels by improving glucose response and slowing carb absorption leading to smaller insulin spikes. This effect can minimize the effects of the small carb-content in berries on the keto diet.
-Low glycemic load.
Blueberries also have a glycemic load (GL) of 5, which is low. This means they don’t cause sudden spikes in blood sugar. Glycemic load measures how likely the carb content of a single serving of a given food is to raise your blood sugar. The number assigned is obtained by multiplying the carb content of a typical serving of the food by its glycemic index.
The glycemic load of blueberries is based on 100 g (roughly 1 cup) and a glycemic index (GI) of 53. The GI on blueberries is technically low, but just barely. So, why is the GL so low?
Blueberries are mostly water, this means while the sugar content has the potential to affect blood sugar at about half the speed of straight glucose, the content of a serving is unlikely to do so.
Blueberries: Keto Negative Points
-Many recipes make overeating easy.
Popular blueberry recipes such as smoothies, pie, jams, sauces, and cobblers often use several cups of berries per serving, making many preparations easy to exceed your carb goal with. Be watchful of your portion size.
-Pesticide contamination risk.
As a result, it’s recommended you properly rinse your berries just before consumption and aim to only buy from suppliers who avoid the heavy use of pesticides (a great reason to shop local).
Some Keto Blueberry Friendly Uses
Keto Blueberry Sauce:
A great topping for desserts, such as keto cheesecake or ice cream, keto pancakes, and even steak, blueberry sauce is easy to make. Simply place around 2 cups fresh or frozen berries, ¼ cup low-carb sweetener of your choice, ½ cup water, and a bit of lemon juice in a pot on medium heat for 15 minutes or so. (2 tablespoons will be roughly 5 net carbs so use sparingly).
Keto Blueberry Muffins:
Made with coconut flour or almond flour, keto blueberry muffins are a popular prevent-cheats treat. Our favorite recipe is this coconut flour version from Peace, Love, and Low Carb. While many keto-friendly baked goods come out a bit flat and lack the muffin-top we all love (on our baked goods that is), this recipe gives a nice rise.
Keto Blueberry Smoothie:
Keto smoothies are excellent for breakfast and both pre- or post-workout. They are also easy to alter to your tastes. Coconut milk, ¼ cup or so frozen blueberries, an ounce or two of cream cheese, and a sugar-free sweetener make a good base recipe for blueberry keto smoothies. You can add sugar-free fiber, keto-friendly protein powder, heavy cream, other berries, and more to switch things up.
Still have questions about blueberries? Have an awesome blueberry keto recipe? Drop us a comment!