Are Tomatoes Keto Friendly?
thumbnail courtesy of delish.com
There's an interesting question in keto, and that is, do tomatoes count as a keto-friendly food? The folks from Delish have decided to tackle this question, and they have some colorful commentary on this issue:
There are some basic rules when it comes to following the keto diet. Fat and protein are good, while carbs and sugars are enemy No.1. And while fruit is generally considered a healthy food, it’s severely limited on keto thanks to its typical carb and sugar content.
That raises a huge question: What’s the deal with tomatoes? Technically, they’re a fruit, but pretty much everyone treats them like a vegetable. So, are tomatoes keto-friendly or not?
So, are tomatoes keto?
Yup. “Tomatoes, which are technically a fruit, are keto-friendly,” Keatley says. Your standard tomatoes have four grams of carbs and two grams of sugar per half cup serving, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, the counts vary a little depending on the type of tomato you go for. Grape tomatoes contain three grams of carbs per half cup serving, while cherry tomatoes have six grams of carbs and four grams of sugar. Still, it shouldn’t be a biggie if this fits into your overall carb counts.
“If you're on keto, you should not be on a zero carbohydrate diet,” Keatley points out. “Tomatoes, which have carbohydrates, are low in sugar, have fiber, and, more importantly, have phytonutrients that you may be lacking on a strict keto diet.”
When it comes to eating tomatoes on the keto diet, Keatley recommends opting for whole tomatoes and skipping store-bought sauce (they can be loaded with added sugar, which is definitely not keto-friendly).
For the record, you don’t need to worry that you’ll completely screw up your ketosis if you have a tomato (or two) on any given day. “You'd likely need to eat five to six medium tomatoes to upset the balance of carbohydrates,” Keatley says.
While they say the US FDA claim just a small amount of carbs, you should fit this into the bigger picture, and look into your total carb intake per day.
While some guidelines say you might go up to 50 grams of carbs per day and still be in ketosis, the best thing to do is get some of those ketone strips and see for yourself when you go pee. That includes any dessert including ice cream.
Don't forget, if you feel indigestion or discomfort after eating tomatoes, you might have a food sensitivity.