Are Bamboo Shoots Keto Friendly?

Are Bamboo Shoots Keto Friendly?

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In order to be successful with the keto diet, you need to choose vegetables that are low in net carbs – not all vegetables are suitable for keto.

Are bamboo shoots keto diet friendly? Yes, they are.

A 100 gram serving of boiled bamboo shoots has 12 calories, 0.9 g net carbs (1.9 g carbohydrates out of which 1 g is fiber), 0.2 g of fat, and 1.5 grams of protein.

What is keto diet?

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has become very popular over the last couple of years.

There are many different types of foods that should be avoided in the keto diet plan. Most importantly, people need to avoid foods that contain a high amount of carbohydrates.

When following a keto diet a rule of thumb is to keep carb intake under 50 grams per day (some sources advise even lower carb intake – 30 grams). The fewer carbohydrates consumed, the more effective the diet.

While it can seem like a lot of math at first, it does not have to be complicated. There are a lot of simple and delicious keto friendly recipes to try out.

Now, if you are interested in bamboo shoots I am sure you love Asian food (don`t we all?). How to combine keto with Asian food? A great place to look for inspiration – The Asian Keto & Low-Carb Cookbook: A Healthy Guide to Authentic Asian Cuisine.

What is a bamboo shoot?

Bamboo shoots are the young stems of bamboo that are harvested before they turn two weeks old.

The edible bamboo shoots come in two varieties – winter and spring.

Spring shoots are larger and tougher compared to the winter shoots, though both are available in fresh and canned forms.

Bamboo shoots are widely used in Asian countries where bamboo is native. They add texture and bulk to dishes without much extra calories.

A bamboo shoot is a vegetable that has several layers of a sturdy casing of leaves on the outside, firmly wrapped around its central cream-white heart (meat). This meat is the edible part of the bamboo shoot. It is crunchy in texture and has a mild yet distinctive flavor. However, when boiled and cured, it acquires almost a neutral taste.

The bamboo species that are harvested for shoots include Phyllostachys edulis, Phyllostachys bambusoides, Dendrocalamus latiflorus, Bambusa vulgaris, Bambusa oldhamii, and Bambusa odashimae.

Micronutrients in bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots are rich in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are good for health.

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Pantothenic acid

Minerals:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Iron

Health benefits of bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots make a great nutritious addition to any meal.

As mentioned before they are rich in vitamins and minerals and have many health benefits, such as lowering LDL cholesterol level, helping prevent heart disease, strengthening the immune system, ensuring healthy bowel movements, lowering blood pressure and many other benefits.

Selection and storage

Fresh bamboo shoots are a seasonal delicacy. However, vacuum packed or canned bamboo shoots can be bought all year round.

Fresh shoots are white and hairless but the canned ones are light yellow as they are slightly boiled beforehand.

Buying bamboo shoots

If you are buying fresh bamboo shoots, look for the ones that are harvested recently. Fresh shoots are firm and heavy with a wide base. Avoid soft, dry shoots.

Short and firm bamboo shoots are ideal. Long bamboo shoots are woodier which is not the most pleasant texture.

To check for freshness, look out for the color, they should be white or creamy yellow.

Take a close look at the base of the shoot and check if it is turning green. Green discoloration can mean that the shoots have been exposed to sunlight for a long time, or are over-mature. In that case, they can be bitter in taste.

Storing bamboo shoots

You can easily keep bamboo shoots in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To keep the shoots fresh, keep them whole and unpeeled and place inside the refrigerator, preferably in the crisper drawer.

Alternatively, you can place the bamboo shoots in a jar with water and keep in the refrigerator. Change the water daily, until consumed.

Make sure to not store them for longer than 2 weeks and be especially careful to not expose the shoots to sunlight. That will likely give them an unpleasant bitter taste.

If you have bought canned bamboo shoots, it is a good idea to open the can and rinse the shoots in hot water to remove any unpleasant smell and taste.

Are bamboo shoots safe to eat

Some people are suspicious of bamboo shoots and it`s understandable.

Fresh bamboo shoots contain taxiphyllin, a type of cyanide. They are unlikely to kill you, but they could make you uncomfortable. So, people should not eat fresh bamboo shoots without cooking them first.

To remove toxicity from bamboo shoots, boil the shoots in salted water for about 20-25 minutes. Discard this water and boil again in fresh water for another 5-10 minutes to ensure complete safety.

Boiled bamboo shoots are safe to eat, and allergic reactions are quite rare to occur.

Commercially prepared products have already been detoxed, and are usually labeled “poached” or “boiled”.