Is Sweet Potato Good for the Keto Diet?

Sweet potato is a starchy root vegetable that is rich in fiber and packed with health benefits. But is sweet potato keto?

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potato keto diet: is it ideal? For many followers of the ketogenic diet, there are several allowable and prohibited foods to keep to mind consistently. Strict maintenance of the keto diet means low carbohydrate intake so your body can successfully convert fat into ketone and create energy. The keto diet is found to diminish hunger pangs over other diet plans. With potatoes, it has been a concern because it is loaded in carbohydrates. On the other hand, this root vegetable carries many micronutrients such as vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and they come in various types from purple, red, yellow, russet, fingerling, to sweet potatoes. 

So, the question is, where does the sweet potato keto diet stand in the ketogenic approved list? The average potato size has about 3g of protein, 25g of carbs, 2g of dietary fiber, and 0 fat. A medium-sized sweet potato contains about 20 net carbs and weighs 115g. The medium size is 5 inches in height and 2 inches in diameter. When baked, the sweet potato will have about 24g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, and 8g sugar. Eating sweet potatoes on a ketogenic diet is not an escape from a low carbohydrate diet. Fortunately, there are several substitutes available to satiate the appetite instead of the starchy and carby vegetable. Learn more about potatoes for the ketogenic diet below.

Sweet Potato Keto: Good or Bad

Is sweet potato keto diet good or bad for your diet in the long run? Let’s review the nutritional contents it provides. 

Beta caroteneFiber
Vitamin AManganese
Vitamin B5 and B6Iron
Vitamin CCalcium 
Vitamin ENiacin
Vitamin KSodium
PotassiumMagnesium
FolatePhosphorus
WaterThiamin
ProteinRiboflavin
LipidZinc
Carbohydrate 

That is chock full of nutrients, don’t you think? Beta carotene is a strong antioxidant that fights free radicals which damages your body’s system. More so, sweet potatoes also help with cognitive function, blood sugar levels, and overall immunity with the help of vitamin A.

Health professionals advise to keep away from root vegetables when on a ketogenic diet as blood sugar increases and impede ketosis from occurring. It is especially true when you have little fats in your stomach or have not eaten much during the day. Keto-friendly vegetables are those that usually grow above the ground. Below is a good list to follow and stock in your cupboard instead:

ArtichokeKale
CabbageLeek
AsparagusOnion
CarrotsShallot
CeleryRadish
CauliflowerSpinach
CucumberWatercress
Eggplant 

You have probably now hinted that sweet potato as part of the ketogenic diet is not the best choice because the diet requests only 20 – 50 g of carbohydrate intake daily that medium size of this vegetable could already work up the carbohydrate limit. Additionally, 103 calories of that potato is a carb. Meaning, consuming sweet potatoes will hinder your body from ketosis action, the process where the lack of carbohydrates enables your blood sugar levels to decrease, and your body using the remaining fats to make energy instead. 

Sweet Potato Keto Substitutes 

No, sweet potatoes are not ideal for a ketogenic diet however, nutritious it is due to its starchiness and carbohydrates. As ideal replacements, there are several tasty and nutrition-packed alternatives you can make for yourself that are low in carbohydrates and still contain plenty of macronutrients. 

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a root vegetable that many vegetarians love to use as an alternative to carbs. You can make a lot of good things with crushed cauliflower from the dough, macaroni, to potato substitutes. Cauliflower has a load of antioxidants that help with oxidative stress reduction, battle inflammation, and even cancer prevention.

To prepare, cauliflower is usually mashed or boiled. First, buy a fresh cauliflower and cut its head into smaller pieces. Boil in water until tenderness. Once tender, use a blender or food processor to create a mashed version. Adding sour cream or full-fat milk will add flavor to this. You can even make use of cauliflower to create latkes and fritters that are very low in carbohydrates. 

Turnips

Turnips, also known as white turnips, are a root vegetable grown in milder temperatures. They are not related to the potato vegetable family but are categorized alongside cabbage, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Did you know? Do turnips only contain 4g net carbohydrates with every 400g? Like cauliflower, they are also abundant in antioxidants as well as iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. To make it a tasty alternative, you can either boil, bake, steam, or roast turnips. To start, peel the turnips and slice them into smaller chunks. Prepare a big container of boiling water, place the contents inside, and let simmer for 30 minutes until you notice the turnips tenderize. 

Finally, drain the water out and mash the tenderized turnips. Mix them with butter and salt to taste.

Rutabaga

Rutabaga is a breed between a cabbage and a turnip. They look like round onions, are purple, and are also known as neep or swede intercontinentally. Their leaves are also popular to eat. In terms of nutrition, rutabaga carries plenty: manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, calcium to fiber, rutabaga has very little carbohydrates at 5g net for every 100g.

Because they are thicker, you will need to slice the outer skin which can be a challenge. Using a bigger knife as a peeler will not help. Once peeled, slice the root vegetable at two-inch pieces and boil in water until tenderized. Wait for up to 30 minutes. 

Finally, drain the water and mash the vegetable like you would with potatoes. It will be a best-tasting sweet potato alternative mixed with full-fat sour cream. You may also make rutabaga fries or roast rutabaga pieces. 

Know what is good for you and your ketogenic diet. Celery roots, kohlrabi, and mooli are also other alternatives to sweet potato keto that you’ll love to create, again and again, so be creative and have fun in the kitchen as you cook your way to a healthy life.

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