Are Sweet Potatoes ok on a Keto Diet?

  • Date: May 13, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Many people are pursuing the keto diet. If you are one of them, you might be wondering about the various foods that you can enjoy on it. A question that I always get asked is, “Are Sweet Potatoes ok on a Keto Diet?”, along with 101 other foods! For years sweet potatoes have been touted as the latest health food – so read on and find out if they are healthy on a keto diet!

The whole focus of a keto diet is to keep your macros to 70% Fat, 25% Protein and 5% Carbohydrates (Carbs). This 5% of Carbs should not exceed 20 grams for a traditional keto diet. Depending on whether you are doing Lazy, Dirty or Strict Keto, will depend on how you track these macros.

In order to keep your carb content under 20 grams, you need to be conscious of what you are eating and stick to low carbs foods, that are also low on the glycemic index, so as not to spike your blood sugar and knock you out of ketosis.

If keto is new to you, why not check out our Keto Starters Guide.

Now, let’s get into the detail of the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to decide whether they are appropriate for a keto lifestyle.

What are the nutritional values of Sweet Potatoes?

The nutritional values of sweet potatoes per 100 grams are; 

  • Carbs: 20 grams.
  • Protein: 1.6 grams.
  • Fat: 0.1 grams.
  • Fibre: 1.5 grams.
  • Sugar: 4 grams.
  • Calories: 86 cal

As you can see, sweet potatoes are high in carbs and very low in fat and protein. Perfect if you are eating a low-calorie and low-fat diet.

How many Net Carbs are there in Sweet Potatoes?

Net carbs are calculated by deducting the amount of fibre from the total number of carbs.

There are 18.5 grams of net carbs in sweet potatoes; (20 grams of carbs – 1.5 grams of fibre = 18.5 grams of net carbs).

As discussed above, if you are eating a traditional keto diet, your aim is to stay below 20 grams of carbs in a day. If you eat one whole sweet potato (an average sweet potato weighs 113 grams) you will be eating approximately 22 grams of carbs, meaning that you will have exceeded your daily carb allowance, without eating anything else. ?Shocking, I know!

Are Sweet Potatoes Keto-Friendly?

Potatoes have a high glycemic index, they are high in carbohydrates and are low in fat, meaning that sweet potatoes are, unfortunately, not suitable for a keto diet. This is disappointing, I know, however, there are some keto-friendly alternatives that I will take you through below.

Is it ok to eat Sweet Potatoes on a Low Carb diet?

We’ve established that sweet potatoes are not suitable for the keto diet, but are they ok to eat on a low carb diet?

Sweet potatoes are delicious, nutritious and filling. If you are eating a low carb diet, you are likely trying to keep the total grams of carbs you eat in a day anywhere between 100-150 grams, opposed to 20 grams on a keto diet. If you have 100 grams of carbs to eat in a day a sweet potato may be the perfect option for you.

Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients including vitamin C, potassium and beta carotene, which your body processed into vitamin A.

So yes, if you are eating a low carb diet, enjoy sweet potatoes in moderation.

What are the Alternatives to Sweet Potato for a Keto Diet?

If you have decided that sweet potatoes are too high in carbs for you, why not check out some of these more, keto-friendly vegetables?

  • Asparagus: 2.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Broccoli: contains 4 grams of net carbs per cup per 100 grams
  • Brussels Sprouts: 5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Cabbage: 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Carrots: 7 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Cauliflower: contains 3 grams of net carbs per cup 100 grams
  • Celery: contains 1.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Courgette: 3.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Green Beans: 5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams

If you are looking for a keto-friendly potato substitute, why not try Jicama, Swede (Rutabaga) or Celeriac? Both can be turned into chips, roasts, hash-browns or mashed, just like white or sweet potato.

❓Have you got your own favourite keto-friendly sweet potato alternative? Share it with us all in the comments below!  ???

Other Surprising ‘Healthy’ Foods that you cannot eat on the Keto Diet! 

Before I ‘went keto’, I had what I thought was a very healthy diet, eating a lot of low fat, low calorie, ‘healthy’ foods. Looking back, these were all low-fat, low-calorie, but they are all surprisingly high in carbs.

I was constantly hungry, had very little energy and struggled to sleep and concentrate. Now I don’t worry about any of these! Check out the Top 10 Benefits of Keto here.

Looking back, there was no wonder that I exercised constantly, ate relatively little, and never lost weight!

Foods that you should not eat on the keto diet

  • Low-fat Yoghurt
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Quinoa
  • Granola
  • Black Beans
  • Polenta
  • Chickpeas
  • Wholegrain Rice

For years, I had been eating all of the above, thinking that I was being healthy and feeding my body all of the ‘good’ stuff, all whole foods, how wrong was I?

Conclusion: Are Sweet Potatoes ok on a Keto Diet?

There are many options to include while on a keto diet to make it enjoyable, however, sweet potatoes are not one of them! If you are eating a low-carb diet, eating a small amount of sweet potato is fine. Why not try out one of the keto-friednly sweet potato alternatives that we have recommended above to see what you think?

Happy Keto-ing!

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