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Have you ever wondered which vegetables are healthiest for the keto diet? In this article, we will take a look at tomato vs. carrot for keto, and determine which one is better for you on the ketogenic diet.
I will walk you through the process of how to look at the nutritional content of your vegetables, and how to figure out which are best for keto and staying in ketosis.
I will cover:
- How not all veggies are created equal.
- The basics of carbohydrates and the keto diet.
- Tomato vs. carrot on the ketogenic diet: which is better?
Vegetables vary in terms of nutrient content
But it turns out that not all veggies are created equal. There are certain ones that are more keto-friendly than others. Some are better for staying in ketosis and reaping the benefits of the keto diet like weight loss.
In the end, it all comes down to carbohydrates on the ketogenic diet.
The goal with the ketogenic diet is to stay in ketosis, use ketones as fuel, and get healthier as a result. To do well on keto, you want to eat a diet that is as low carb as possible. Carbs and sugar both spike insulin and blood sugars, kicking you right out of ketosis.
Vegetables vary in terms of how many and what types of carbs they contain. Some have more carbs, more sugar, and less fiber than others.
Celery, for example, has tons of fiber, and very little carbs or sugar. This makes it a great low-carb keto food. Potatoes, on the other hand, are very high in carbs and starch. They are not a healthy option for the ketogenic diet.
When choosing foods on the keto diet, we need to understand the carb, fiber, and sugar levels, and what these numbers mean for staying in ketosis on this diet.
The basics of carbohydrates
If you are familiar with the keto diet, then you know that some carbohydrates are allowed on keto.
In fact, I recommend 20-50 g of carbohydrates per day while doing the ketogenic diet. These carbs should come from veggies, but you have to choose wisely.
Carbohydrates can be further divided into different categories like sugars, fiber, and starch.
Let's define the important terms:
- Total carbs. This is a marker of the total carbohydrate content of a food. This number will include the grams of sugar, starch, and fiber (the three main categories of carbs).
- Fiber. This is a specific form of carb that is actually good for the body. On the keto diet, we want to stay away from most carbohydrates. But we don't need to limit fiber the same as other carbs on keto. It has no influence over insulin, will not spike your blood sugars, and will not take you out of ketosis. So you don't want to include fiber in your daily keto diet carb calculations.
- Net carbs. Net carbs is a calculation of the total carbohydrate amount minus the fiber. This is the number I recommend focusing on for the keto approach to a low-carb diet.
- Sugar. As you already know, sugar should be completely avoided on the ketogenic diet. You want very little sugar, if any, on your ketodiet eating plan.
In the end, I recommend counting net carbs (which doesn't include fiber) instead of total carbs when doing keto. That's because we don't need to limit fiber like we do other carb sources.
So how can we use this information to make healthier vegetable choices on this diet?
Let's use tomatoes and carrots as an example to learn more.
Tomato vs. carrot: which is better on keto?
When you look at the nutrition facts of tomatoes and carrots, this is what you'll get:
|4.8 g total carbs||11 g total carbs|
|1.5 g fiber||3 g fiber|
|3.3 g net carbs||8 g net carbs|
|3 g sugar||5 g sugar|
You can see that carrots have higher total carbs. However, they do have more fiber, which is a good thing.
But in the end, what is important to pay attention to is the net carbs. Tomatoes have lower net carbs (3.3 g) compared to carrots (8 g). They also have lower sugars. So overall, tomatoes win the contest.
However, both of these veggies still fall well within the acceptable range of 20-50 g of net carbs per day on the ketogenic diet. You don't need to restrict either one of them. That is, unless you have a very slow metabolism or are needing to bring your carbs lower for some other reason.
Both tomatoes and carrots are good low-carb veggies for the ketogenic diet. And they are both rich in vitamins and are nutrient dense.
Let's look at one more example, to show you how to spot what not to include on your low-carb keto diet.
|37 g total carb|
|4.7 g fiber|
|32.3 net carbs|
|1.7 g sugar|
When you look at these numbers, you'll see that the net carbs are much higher than either carrots or tomatoes. This high number makes potatoes very bad for the keto diet. Even though they have very little sugar, they still have too many net carbs.
With such low sugars, why do potatoes still have so many carbs? Potatoes are very high in starch. Starch is a type of carb that really affects our blood sugars when the food is cooked. So, when we eat baked potatoes, french fries, mashed potatoes, etc., we will spike our blood sugars a lot. And that is bad for the ketogenic diet and weight loss.
Because they are high in net carbs and starches, potatoes are not a good low-carb veggie choice for the keto diet.
The keto diet can help with weight loss, energy levels, and so much more. But in order to have success on the ketogenic diet, we need to learn how to differentiate between our food choices.
We need to learn that not all veggies are healthy options for this low-carb diet, and we need to learn how to pick the best choices for keto.
When it comes to vegetables, look at the net carbs. This means subtracting the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbs. And watch out for sugars, too. Carbs, sugar, and starch are all bad for keto, while fiber is absolutely fine.
Choose non-starchy, fibrous vegetables that will keep you within the 20-50 g of carb range per day. That will allow you to stay in ketosis, experiencing weight loss and other benefits of the ketogenic diet.
Do you follow the keto diet? What are your favorite low-carb, nutritious veggie options?Do you follow the keto diet? What are your favorite low-carb, nutritious veggie options?