5

votes

Why is pumpkin not considered low-carb?

Commented on October 31, 2014
Created November 06, 2011 at 6:25 PM

I've read many times on here that pumpkin isn't low-carb. With 5g of carbs for every 100g of pumpkin, I find that hard to believe. So, am I thinking wrong?

Nutrition data for pumpkin : data.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 22, 2013
at 02:19 PM

Cooked pumpkin, onion, or carrots all have a moderate amount of sugar right off the bat. Pumpkin and carrots have a lot of starch as well, which will raise blood sugar, too (as it breaks down to sugar over time). Adding lentils or peas isn't really a paleo option, but if you add those, you're going to raise the carbohydrate and sugar levels as much as the protein levels.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 09, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Toni, its easier to moderate if you eat fresh real squash you cook yourself. So easy this time of year, since it is all on sale. I eat a bit of it every day, just not a cup at a time. It's kind of my go-to thickener/sweetener in any dish that used to have tomatoes.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 08, 2011
at 03:16 AM

@ Loon. Thanks so much. This must be true of canned sweet potato puree and canned butternut squash puree, two other favorites of mine. I guess I need to eat them in moderation.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 07, 2011
at 08:05 PM

@toni, canned food is mostly overcooked. It doesn't get overcooked if it is chunked and steamed.

27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on November 07, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Bernstein mentions eating 1/4 cup canned pumpkin mixed with spices and sugar-free sweetener and then warmed up. I think the small portion is probably key to avoiding blood sugar spike.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 07, 2011
at 06:26 AM

1 cup of canned pumpkin, which i what most people eat, is 20g carbs FYI. Raw and cooked pumpkin, canned or fresh, all make a difference. I think people don't realize this.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 07, 2011
at 06:25 AM

1 cup of canned pumpkin, which i what most people eat, is 20g carbs FYI.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 07, 2011
at 06:24 AM

thhg I guess I failed to make my point well. Sorry. Pumpkin is not now and will never be considered low carb as a potato or rice or any starch really. You can certainly choose to eat them if you can work them into your daily carb counts (if you count) as some "low carbers" do but these are not considered "low carb" foods in the way other vegetables are. Comparing pumpkin to broccoli does not lead to a productive discussion IMO.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 07, 2011
at 06:18 AM

thhg I guess I failed to make my point well. Sorry.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 07, 2011
at 05:42 AM

I'm wondering why canned pumpkin would have a higher glycemic index than non-canned. I buy organic canned pumpkin—that's why I'm now concerned.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 07, 2011
at 04:06 AM

Pumpkin fills me up @nourishedgirl. It doesn't trigger full out binging the way a processed carb snack food does.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 07, 2011
at 04:02 AM

LOL. We are not a cow. Maybe someone is nostalgic for those prepaleo days before we lost our ability to eat trees.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 07, 2011
at 03:45 AM

@shari 200 grams of pumpkin is a cupful. That's a lot of pumpkin for me, and at 10g of carbs it's neither high carb or high calorie. But it's filling.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 07, 2011
at 03:40 AM

@korion which source says it's high carb? Dr Oz? Oprah? Please let us know so as to avoid more stupid "expert" advice. Like you I know vegetables by heart, and while pumpkin pie is high carb, pumpkin by itself is not. I eat my squashes with S&P, and some fat for topping.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on November 07, 2011
at 03:05 AM

Hell, now that Melissa has basically informed me there is no Santa Clause, I'm wondering if I even know what a real pumpkin actually tastes like. Looks like I have a new cooking project this week.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on November 07, 2011
at 03:01 AM

I tend to agree with ben. VLC might be a good way to drop some pounds if one needs to, but for folks who don't need to lose weight and are generally active, carbs are just fine. I personally eat a ton of pumpkin and like it when the fall comes around and more is available.

3654b5b893e312b69f8db05e4e5175b5

on November 07, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Hmmm in my opinion I think calories are important, but carbs are the primary thing to watch bc carbs can trigger an over consumption of calories

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 07, 2011
at 01:02 AM

Fun fact: most canned pumpkin is really hubbard squash

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 06, 2011
at 08:47 PM

You can't really compare the two by weight. That's not a fair comparison at all. No one is going to only eat 100g pumpkin. That is like one bite! 100g of broccoli is a bowl full. Bottom line pumpkin is a squash and no squash is classified as low carb period. Doesn't mean you can't eat it on a low carb diet. Plenty low carbers do especially this time of year.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 06, 2011
at 07:46 PM

Well yeah, squash might be high-carb, but pumpkins is lower carb than broccoli...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 06, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Thanks! Looking at calorieking right now :). Because of a freaky vegan diet last year I know all the nutritional data for most vegetables by heart :D.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 06, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Yeah, I love my pumpkin fries :D. They're such a good replacement for regular fries. I also try to eat more and more seasonal/local, and pumpkin is great for that ATM.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on November 06, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Why is it important what people call it? Low-carb is an arbitrary label. Pumpkin isn't low-carb or high-carb or moderate-carb. It is pumpkin. If you count your macros and 5% carbohydrate by volume helps you get where you want to go, eat that pumpkin.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on November 06, 2011
at 06:41 PM

I am also confused about where pumpkin falls in the carb spectrum. Is it low carb? Yes, no?

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11 Answers

4
627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

on November 07, 2011
at 03:54 AM

People say pumpkin is not low carb because they are fooling themselves.

Pumpkin is only bad if you chow down 100 lbs in one sitting. I don't think you'll be doing that anytime soon, right?

Enjoy pumpkin. It's one of the best plant foods in the world. Add it to a smoothie with coconut milk, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice along with frozen banana or berries. Yum!

Or, roast it and enjoy it with some butter.

DON'T NOT EAT PUMPKIN IF YOU LIKE IT!

62f7cc89b11e0ba6e4659d1f33e83bc9

on October 12, 2014
at 07:21 AM

I am not a smoothie fan but here is some suggested tips:

Simply steamed the pumpkins (becareful not to overcooked) then add just a bit of butter and sprinkle tiny bit of salt--then enjoy!

You can finely chopped some blanched kale to this to get the beautiful hint of green and see how much more beautiful this new dish will be:)

1
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 07, 2011
at 01:27 AM

I think it's because they are mostly cellulose.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 07, 2011
at 04:02 AM

LOL. We are not a cow. Maybe someone is nostalgic for those prepaleo days before we lost our ability to eat trees.

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on November 07, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Pumpkin is the lowest carb squash, which is why it doesn't taste as yummy as other squash, imho. Some people find any squash, even the humble little pumpkin to be too carb rich, but unless you're going for vlc or zc, pumpkin should be just fine for you.

1
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on November 06, 2011
at 06:31 PM

I would have to say it is because most squash in general is more carbohydrate dense than say broccoli or other types of veggies.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 06, 2011
at 07:46 PM

Well yeah, squash might be high-carb, but pumpkins is lower carb than broccoli...

0
E84019295f7d9e94caf0c5d812cac8c1

on July 20, 2013
at 03:26 PM

To plan a diebetic diet it is not sufficient to calculate only the carb content of a food. Another important criterion is the glycemic index and pumpkin has 75 - which is considered high.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 12, 2014
at 09:33 AM

Slather the pumpkin with butter, and it's glycemic index goes down to 35.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on July 19, 2013
at 03:23 AM

If you go to the nutritiondata website, and use Nutrient Tools to find calories per 100 grams in vegetables, pumpkin shows up first on page 5 or 6. Half the calories of sweet potato, and both excellent foods. About 500 calories per kilo, comparable to cabbage or kale. Potato is about 700.

0
255a7261b67f0c08302e280ea50938fd

(25)

on July 18, 2013
at 09:09 PM

I found this string while trying to demonstrate a point to a client of mine. I'm surprised by the number of people with similar misconceptions. Pumpkin is low carb and you do arrive at that measurement by comparing the carbs to the weight of the food. Of course this is how one determines if an item is high carb with any kind of accuracy. It's a relative label and a useful one.

The mistaken perception, I believe, comes from the way we generally eat pumpkin and other winter squash: in pies, covered in butter and brown sugar, etc. We think of it being sweet and therefore sugary... and therefore high carb. However, the pumpkin isn't the culprit in those high carb dishes.

I make a LOT of paleo-ish pumpkin bread for my clients (added protein powders aren't paleo). Per piece each slice ends up at about 6g carbs and 1g sugar. Like I said - I found this while trying to show a client the ratios in pumpkin.

0
B4c0e43b9ad86495eb40747ac779719e

on May 22, 2013
at 04:38 AM

I googled pumpkin carbs because I made a batch of pumpkin soup with celery, carrot and onion and it sent my blood sugar up to 9.5. I'm diabetic and I was wondering why VEGETABLE SOUP would do this? I thought vegetable soup would be a safe option. Maybe I need to add protein like lentils or split peas to balance out the carbs.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 22, 2013
at 02:19 PM

Cooked pumpkin, onion, or carrots all have a moderate amount of sugar right off the bat. Pumpkin and carrots have a lot of starch as well, which will raise blood sugar, too (as it breaks down to sugar over time). Adding lentils or peas isn't really a paleo option, but if you add those, you're going to raise the carbohydrate and sugar levels as much as the protein levels.

068dc00569d131d36ac9b9da92cecb6c

on October 31, 2014
at 10:18 AM

Pumpkin isn't very high but you pared it with carrots which depending on variety will send your sugar soring.

 

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 07, 2011
at 04:40 AM

Pumpkin is fine for diets with a straight carb count, but not on the ultra low carb plans like Bernstein and Rosedale. Canned pumpkin also has a very high glycemic index. I have not found pumpkin to be a problem as these docs indicate. Then again, I would never eat the canned stuff, and my own home-cooked version is probably underdone by comparison.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 08, 2011
at 03:16 AM

@ Loon. Thanks so much. This must be true of canned sweet potato puree and canned butternut squash puree, two other favorites of mine. I guess I need to eat them in moderation.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 07, 2011
at 05:42 AM

I'm wondering why canned pumpkin would have a higher glycemic index than non-canned. I buy organic canned pumpkin—that's why I'm now concerned.

27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on November 07, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Bernstein mentions eating 1/4 cup canned pumpkin mixed with spices and sugar-free sweetener and then warmed up. I think the small portion is probably key to avoiding blood sugar spike.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 07, 2011
at 08:05 PM

@toni, canned food is mostly overcooked. It doesn't get overcooked if it is chunked and steamed.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 09, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Toni, its easier to moderate if you eat fresh real squash you cook yourself. So easy this time of year, since it is all on sale. I eat a bit of it every day, just not a cup at a time. It's kind of my go-to thickener/sweetener in any dish that used to have tomatoes.

62f7cc89b11e0ba6e4659d1f33e83bc9

on October 12, 2014
at 07:24 AM

I agree with The_Loon. NEVER eat canned food if you have other options. Always compare canned food to fresh and the fresh food and GENERALLY FRESH will come out much better and very much lower in carb.

Also CANNED food have added preservatives which is not healthy--always choose FRESH!

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 06, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Probably because a lot of LCers keep daily carbs in a vey low range like 10-20 grams. So for those people if they were to have a few big scoops of pumpkin they'd be maxing out.

I'm not advocating LC, overall calories matter more in my view, but I'd say that's why LC folk don't go in for the mighty pumpkin. I love the stuff.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 07, 2011
at 04:06 AM

Pumpkin fills me up @nourishedgirl. It doesn't trigger full out binging the way a processed carb snack food does.

3654b5b893e312b69f8db05e4e5175b5

on November 07, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Hmmm in my opinion I think calories are important, but carbs are the primary thing to watch bc carbs can trigger an over consumption of calories

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 06, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Yeah, I love my pumpkin fries :D. They're such a good replacement for regular fries. I also try to eat more and more seasonal/local, and pumpkin is great for that ATM.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on November 07, 2011
at 03:01 AM

I tend to agree with ben. VLC might be a good way to drop some pounds if one needs to, but for folks who don't need to lose weight and are generally active, carbs are just fine. I personally eat a ton of pumpkin and like it when the fall comes around and more is available.

0
3654b5b893e312b69f8db05e4e5175b5

on November 06, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Hmmm I think it depends on the portion size and what you eat it with. I follow a moderate carb diet based on the book The Insulin Resistance Diet (but with more fat), which states that each meal can consist with a maximum of 30 grams of carbs, and HAS to be balanced by a minimum of 14 grams of protein.

A cup of pumpkin is only 12 grams of carbs. Just be careful with other possible sources of carbs that might be added depending on how you cook it.

In my opinion you get more bang for your buck with pumpkin bc the grams of carb in a cup of pumpkin is much lower than that in a cup of rice.

So I say enjoy it. Btw I also want to recommend the site calorieking.com for nutrition info. I like them :D

Sorry for any typos, wrote this via my android

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 06, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Thanks! Looking at calorieking right now :). Because of a freaky vegan diet last year I know all the nutritional data for most vegetables by heart :D.

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