Is Ackee Keto Friendly? Unfortunately, no, ackee is not keto friendly. Although it is full of fantastic nutrients, it is also high in carbs making it not suitable for a keto diet. Don’t worry though, we’ve lined up some fantastic alternatives for you.
What is Ackee?
Ackee, also known as (Blighia sapida), is technically a fruit but cooked as a vegetable – just like the common tomato.
It natively grows in West Africa where it’s an evergreen tropical staple. The ackee tree was brought over to Jamaica in the 18th century and has since become the national fruit of Jamaica, which has formed part of the country’s national dish: ackee and saltfish.
The inner parts of the ackee, known as the arils, are the only edible parts of the fruit. Unripe ackee fruit is very poisonous and is the main cause of poisoning in both Africa and the Caribbean.
Ackee is a very fatty fruit that visually resembles scrambled eggs. Despite this, it has a buttery mouth texture and a finishing taste that’s quite bitter, with an almost nutty flavor when oven-baked.
A Keto-Cap (aka A Keto Recap!)
If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.
As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet.
The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.
For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;
- 70% of their calories from fat
- 25% from protein
- 5% from carbohydrates
Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet.
There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.
Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.
One of the main benefits which attract people to the keto diet is that it can cause significant reductions in insulin levels (by up to 75%) and blood sugar levels, which can be attractive to those that struggle with diabetes, amongst other health complaints.
What is the Nutritional Value of Ackee?
The following nutritional information is based on the content of a 100 gram serving of fresh ackee.
Carbs: 12 grams
Protein: 2.9 grams
Fat: 15.2 grams
Fiber: 2.7 grams
Sugar: 0.8 grams
Calories: 151 cal
How Many Net Carbs are there in 100g of Ackee?
Net carbs can be calculated by deducting the amount of fiber from the total number of carbs within a food item.
In 100g of ackee fruit, there are approximately 9.3g of net carbs; (12 grams of carbs – 2.7 grams of fiber = 9.3 grams of net carbs).
Is Ackee Keto Friendly?
As shown above, although being a very fatty fruit, ackee is also very carb-dense, which doesn’t make it keto-friendly.
Despite this, there are some unique health benefits to ackee fruit that shouldn’t be overlooked. Ackee is rich in complex, energy-producing carbs that help to balance blood sugar levels and can stave off Type 2 diabetes.
With ackee, you don’t experience the dips and spikes in glucose levels associated with simple sugars and its high fiber content controls blood glucose and insulin levels.
For other high fiber foods, check out our keto friendly, high fiber foods.
The compromise of including ackee within the keto diet would be to use small amounts of it as an accompaniment to a dish. When used in an ackee and saltfish recipe, for instance, you can opt to substitute a portion of the ackee fruit for that of a low carb vegetable like cauliflower or cabbage.
What are the Best Keto Alternatives to Ackee?
There are some equally satisfying alternatives you can still enjoy on a keto diet.
- Avocado: (100 g/half an avocado) 1.8 g Net Carbs, 14.7 g Fat
- Cauliflower: (100 g raw or cooked) 3 g Net Carbs, 0 g Fat
- Eggplant: (100 g raw or cooked) 3 g Net Carbs, 0.2 g Fat
- Cabbage: (100 g raw or cooked) 3.6 g Net Carbs, 0.1 g Fat
Some of these can be used the same way as ackee can in cooking. Others – even if not containing any fat content – can be used as healthy, macro-friendly accompaniments to keto-friendly recipes and snacks.
Staying hydrated on the keto diet is really important, for more on how much water you should be drinking, check out our guide to staying hydrated on the keto diet.
If you’re planning on dehydrating yourself(!) and drinking alcohol on the keto diet, check out our ultimate guide to drinking alcohol on a keto diet. Also, you may be interested in, how to recover from a cheat day.
Summary: Is Ackee Keto Friendly
In short, no, as delicious as ackee is, it is not keto friendly due to its relatively high carb content. Good news though, there are a number of keto friendly alternatives that you can substitute ackee for. You don’t have to miss out on anything on the keto diet.