Is Okra Low Carb? The Answer and Benefits Explained

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“Is okra low carb?” is a common question that arises in discussions about the nutritional value of this versatile and often misunderstood green vegetable. With the growing popularity of low-carb and ketogenic diets, it’s important to understand how different foods fit into these dietary patterns. In this article, we’ll dive into the nutritional composition of okra to determine whether it can be considered a low-carb option.

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Understanding Okra: A Brief Overview

Okra, scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus, is a flowering plant valued for its edible green pods. It has a rich history in various cuisines around the world, including Southern and Mediterranean dishes. Okra is recognized for its distinct mucilaginous (slimy) texture, which can add a unique element to recipes. It is also known for its high water content. 

Nutritional Profile of Okra

Let’s take a closer look at okra’s nutritional profile. A typical 100-gram serving of raw okra contains:

  • Calories: 33
  • Carbohydrates: 7.5 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.2 grams
  • Sugars: 1.5 grams
  • Protein: 1.9 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

From this breakdown, it’s evident that okra contains carbohydrates, including dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is a crucial component of low-carb diets, as it doesn’t significantly impact blood sugar levels and can contribute to a feeling of fullness.

Mentionable Benefits of Okra

Here are a few nutritious benefits of why including okra in your diet is an excellent choice:

  • Rich in Nutrients: Okra is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate. These essential vitamins play important roles in immune function, blood clotting, vision, and cell division.
  • High in Dietary Fiber: Okra is an excellent source of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Fiber promotes healthy digestion by preventing constipation, supporting regular bowel movements, and maintaining gut health. It can also contribute to a feeling of fullness and assist in weight loss and management. The high fiber content in okra is notably high, with 3.2 grams of carbs per 1 cup of okra. 
  • Supports Heart Health: The fiber content in okra can help lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the digestive tract and aiding its excretion. Additionally, the antioxidants found in okra, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, may help reduce the risk of heart disease by combating oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Helps Promote Blood Sugar Control: Okra has a low glycemic index and contains soluble fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. This may be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.
Person performing a blood sugar check on themselves.
  • Provides Antioxidant Benefits: Okra is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and various phytonutrients. These antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals, which can contribute to chronic diseases and aging.
  • Supports Bone Health: Okra contains vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in bone health by aiding in the regulation of calcium absorption and bone mineralization. Adequate vitamin K intake is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
  • Skin Health: The vitamins and antioxidants in okra contribute to healthy skin. Vitamin C, in particular, is important for collagen synthesis, which is vital for maintaining skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Weight Management: The high fiber content in okra can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce overeating, making it a suitable addition to weight management and portion control strategies.
  • Digestive Health:The soluble fiber in okra helps nourish beneficial gut bacteria and supports a healthy gut environment. A balanced gut microbiome is associated with improved digestion and overall well-being.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Certain compounds in okra, such as quercetin and catechins, have been studied for their potential anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds may help reduce inflammation in the body and contribute to overall health.
  • Eye Health: Okra contains carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein, which are associated with eye health. These antioxidants may help protect the eyes from oxidative stress and age-related macular degeneration.
  • Pregnancy Nutrition: Okra is a source of folate, an essential nutrient during pregnancy. Folate plays a crucial role in fetal development, helping to prevent neural tube defects and support proper growth.

Incorporating okra into your diet can be a delicious and nutritious way to reap these benefits. Whether you enjoy it in soups, stews, stir-fries, or roasted as a snack, this versatile vegetable can contribute to your overall well-being.

As with any dietary changes, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian, especially if you have specific health concerns or dietary goals.

Is okra low carb?

Impact on Net Carbs

When considering whether a food is low carb, it’s common to focus on grams of net carbs. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the dietary fiber content from the total carbohydrates. In the case of okra, the low net carb content is relatively low due to its significant fiber content.

For example, in a 100-gram serving of okra:Total Carbohydrates (7.5g) – Dietary Fiber (3.2g) = Net Carbs (4.3g)

This net carb value places okra in the category of foods that can be incorporated into a low-carb diet, particularly when portion sizes are controlled.

Glycemic Index and Load

Another consideration when evaluating the carb content of foods is the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL). The GI measures how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels, while the GL takes into account both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates in a food.

Okra has a low glycemic index, meaning it has a mild impact on blood sugar levels. Additionally, its glycemic load is relatively low due to the combination of fiber and carbohydrates. This makes okra a favorable option for those aiming to manage their carb intake.

Cooking Methods and Carb Content

The way you prepare okra in keto meals can also influence its total carbs. While 100 g serving of okra (serving size) contains 7.5 grams of carbohydrates, the carb content may change when okra is cooked depending on what ingredients you add. Adding things like dairy, such as parmesan cheese will add a very minimal amount of carbs. 

Note: roasting or grilling okra can slightly reduce its water content and concentrate its flavors, potentially leading to a perception of increased sweetness.

Incorporating Okra into a Low-Carb Diet

With its relatively low carbohydrate content and favorable impact on blood sugar levels, okra can be a nutritious addition to a low-carb diet. Here are some various ways to incorporate okra into your meals:

  • Roasted Okra: Toss okra with healthy fats like olive oil and your favorite spices, then roast until tender. The roasting process is a great way to enhance the flavor and texture of okra.
  • Okra Stir-Fry: Include okra in vegetable stir-fries along with other low-carb vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and zucchini. It’s the perfect keto side dish!
  • Grilled Okra Skewers: Thread okra onto skewers, brush with olive oil, and grill for a smoky and delicious side dish.
  • Okra Soup: Create a comforting okra soup using broth, tomatoes, onions, and spices. The sliminess of okra can actually contribute to the soup’s thickness and texture.
  • Keto Fried Okra: Slice okra into half inch pieces, toss with a bit of coconut oil, then into a mixture of almond flour, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Fry them in a pan or an air fryer. To make okra chips, thinly slice the fresh okra, toss in the oil and that same mixture. Bake or air fry until crispy for a crunchy snack. This okra keto-friendly recipe is a great alternative to French fries!
Frying okra in a pan.

Shopping for Okra

You can typically find okra at the grocery store in the produce section. You can find the frozen version in the freezers with the other bags of veggies.


When asking, “Is okra low carb?” the answer is yes. With its modest net carb content, a good source of fiber, and positive impact on blood sugar levels, okra can also be a great addition to a ketogenic diet.

As with any food, portion control and mindful preparation are key. Whether roasted, grilled, or incorporated into soups and stir-fries, okra offers a range of culinary possibilities that align well with a low-carb and ketogenic lifestyle.

Top tip

To minimize the sliminess when preparing okra, make sure it is completely dry before cooking. Wash and pat it dry thoroughly, as any residual moisture can contribute to the slimy texture. Additionally, consider using cooking methods that help reduce the sliminess, such as roasting, grilling, or sautéing on high heat. These methods can help retain the vegetable’s flavor and texture while minimizing the mucilaginous quality that some people find off-putting.


What is okra’s carb content?

About 4 grams of net carbs per 100-gram serving of okra. This is the amount after subtracting dietary fiber from the total carbohydrates.

As fall is approaching, I encourage you to check out our posts on these helpful tips: like selecting the best champagne for Thanksgiving or maybe you’ve wondered, can you freeze dressing that is uncooked?

DISCLAIMER: The content on this website is not endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration. It’s not meant for diagnosis, treatment, cure, or disease prevention. You’re responsible for interpreting and using this information. Prior to any dietary or lifestyle adjustments, consult with a healthcare professional. 


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