How many carbs in an onion?

Onions are one of the older foods humans have been eating, dating back thousands of years and thought to have originated from Asia.

When it comes to the carb count of onions, onions are pretty sweet.  1 medium sized yellow onion has 10 grams of carbs, and about 2 grams of fiber which makes the net carb count of an onion about 8 grams of usable carbs.

Scallions are very low carb and only have about 1/2 gram of carbs for one medium scallion.

Shallots, often called for in recipes, contain about 1.5 grams of carbs per Tablespoon.

The deal with onions and eating low carb is simply all about portion size and type.  Many of the onions in the grocery store are huge and sweet.  For example, a large sweet onion (Vidalia, Maui or Walla Walla) is loaded with carbs and has 22 grams of net carbs per onion.  And most of that is in the form of sugar.  So that’s when carbs & the types of onions begin to matter.

Because of their higher carb count, when eating low carb for weight loss, it’s a good idea to moderate your onion intake.  Avoid sweet onions, and choose yellow, red or white onions.  Go for the smaller sized onions versus the mammoth sized.  Chives and scallions are negligible in their carb count.  And a couple tablespoons of shallots only has about 3 grams of carbs.

You don’t have to not eat onions on low carb, you could simply limit your portion size.  And just be aware that they do have carbs which you’ll need to account for.  The good news is that a little onion can go a long way.

I’ll often add 1/4 – 1/2 of a yellow onion (2 – 4 grams of carbs) to kick up a meal. A tablespoon of shallot with mushrooms, chopped bacon and spinach in an omelet is not a problem carb-wise.

You can add grated onion to burgers before cooking to add flavor.  Or 1 onion slice from a medium sized onion to top your burger only has about 1 gram of net carbs.

Onions have phytochemicals and contain a little Vitamin C, iron, calcium.

If you’re into seasonal eating, onions are more of a spring and summertime crop with the growing season being between April and September.  But onions can last weeks stored at room temperature and are usually available year round in grocery stores.

Onions offer great flavor and when used in moderation are perfectly fine on a low carb diet.

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