Are onions high in carbs & sugar?

Onions have a medium carbohydrate and sugar content. People who want to lose weight, people with diabetes, and people on keto can eat onions, as they help control blood sugar levels.

What’s the carbohydrate content of onions?

Onions are mainly carbs. They have negligible amounts of fat, while containing less than 1 g of protein per 100g. In contrast, onions have between 7 g and10 g of carbs per 100g, depending on the variety.

White onions have the lowest carbohydrate content. They have 7.68 g of carbs per 100g. A medium white onion has about 11 g carbs.[1]

Yellow onions contain 8.6 g of carbs per 100g, or 12.3 g of carbs per onion.

Red onions have the highest carbohydrate content. They have almost 10 g of carbs per 100g. A medium red onion contains more than 14 g of carbs.

In addition, onion greens are poor in calories and carbs. They have only 32 calories and 7.3 g of carbs per 100g.[2]

What type of carbs are in onions?

The carbohydrate content of onions consists mainly of fiber and sugars. Actually, all onion varieties are excellent dietary sources of fiber.

In contrast, onions contain negligible amounts of starch.

What’s the sugar content of onions?

Most calories of onions come from sugars. White, yellow, and red onions varieties have approximately 5.76 g of sugars per 100g. A medium onion has about 8.2 g of sugars.

Onion greens have the least amount of sugar, though. They contain only 2.3 g of sugars per 100g.

What’s the types of sugars in onions?

The main types of sugars in onions are sucrose, glucose, and fructose.

Onions contain negligible amounts of lactose and maltose.

Are onions keto-friendly?

People who follow a ketogenic diet shouldn’t consume more than 20-50 g of carbs a day.[3]

As onions have fewer than 10 g of carbs per 100g, people who follow a ketogenic diet can consume them in moderation.

Can people with diabetes eat onions?

People with diabetes can eat onions as well as other non-starchy vegetables, like tomatoes, squash, carrots, beets, broccoli, eggplant, asparagus, kale, as well as collard, mustard, and turnip greens.[4]

Actually, onions may help people with diabetes lower their blood glucose and cholesterol levels.[5,6,7]

Can the sugar content of onions make us gain weight?

Onions won’t make you fat. Actually, they can help us lose weight.

Certainly, too much sugar can make us gain weight. Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Also, it may lead to fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased uric acid and high cholesterol.[8]

The maximum daily safe amount of added sugar is 25 g.

But, we can safely consume fruits, vegetables, and  beans, which naturally contain sugar. Despite their high sugar content, fruits, vegetables, and beans are packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidant compounds which control blood glucose levels and support good health.

Just avoid the extra added sugar in sweets, and processed products to maintain a normal body weight and to be healthy. But, people who follow the standard American diet probably consume more sugar than the upper recommended intake.[9,10]

Health benefits of onions

Onions have many health benefits, due to their superior antioxidant content. For instance, they’re particularly high in flavonoids, quercetin, and phenolic compounds.[11,12]

The outer layers of onions have the highest antioxidant content, though. Don’t discard them.[13]

Onions have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, anticancer, anti-diabetic, and antihypertensive properties. In fact, onions may reduce elevated LDL-cholesterol, boost the immune system and protect the heart.[14,15,16]

Last, but not least, onions (and garlic) help absorb the nutrients of other foods! For instance, onion consumption enhances the bioavailability of minerals, like iron and zinc. Onions are particularly high in sulfur-containing amino acids, which seem to promote mineral absorption.[17]

Furthermore, onions contain small amounts of many minerals, such as iron, potassium, zinc and manganese.