Jalapeno peppers are a spicy favorite. They’ve got a good amount of bite to them without being unbearably hot. But are they okay with a keto diet? Here’s what you need to know.
Jalapenos are small spicy peppers. They are usually picked prematurely, which is why most people are familiar with green jalapenos, but they turn red if left on the plant. Red jalapenos, though not as popular, are a little sweeter, but still have a lot of kick.
Yes, jalapenos are keto-friendly, but just like anything else, you have to make sure you’re counting your macros. Because jalapeno peppers are so hot, most people don’t eat as large a portion size as, say, a bell pepper, so portion size is not usually a problem when you use them in a low carb recipe.
One regular jalapeno pepper has about 0.5g net carbs if eaten raw. Keep in mind that this is the amount for a fresh, raw jalapeno. These peppers are also commonly sold pickled, and some of the brines used may contain more sugar than others. Still, this shouldn’t be enough to add too many carbs. Generally, a serving size of pickled jalapenos has 1g net carbs.
There are many benefits to eating jalapenos. Some evidence indicates that these spicy peppers may boost metabolism, help you lose weight, fight infection, and improve heart health.
Jalapenos also contain capsaicin, which is shown to potentially prevent cancer and act as a natural pain remover.
The biggest downside of eating jalapenos is that they are very spicy. Not only can this cause upset stomach or heartburn, but you also have to be really careful when preparing them for your meal.
When preparing jalapenos, wear gloves so that spicy compounds do not get on your skin. If this happens and you forget and touch your eye, you will experience a lot of pain.
To tone down the spice a bit, remove the white membranes inside the pepper as this is where the majority of the spiciness is. If you eat jalapenos and find them to be too spicy, drink some milk. Be careful with how much you’re drinking as it could affect your ketosis, but milk will help soothe the heat.
Jalapenos can also exacerbate heartburn and IBS, especially for people with these conditions who don’t eat the peppers often.
There are a lot of ways to eat jalapenos. An easy thing to do is to substitute jalapenos for bell peppers in recipes, one jalapeno for one bell pepper. You can add sliced or diced jalapenos to the tops of salads, use them to infuse olive oils, add them into an omelet, or stuff them with meat and cheese.
Jalapeno popper recipes are one of the most popular ways to enjoy jalapenos, but they are usually breaded and deep-fried, adding too many unnecessary carbs. Air fryer jalapeno poppers are great spicy food and a good alternative to the deep-fried option. Just cut the jalapeno in half, stuff it with cream cheese and crumbled bacon and green onion, bread it with an almond flour and cheddar cheese mixture, and air fry. You can also place them on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven.