Are tomatoes keto-friendly?—Yes! Here's why you should eat tomatoes on a low carb diet and the best low carb and keto tomato recipes!
Tomatoes are keto-friendly because they're relatively low in net carbs compared to other fruit. You'll need to watch for canned varieties containing extra sugar and additives.
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The Keto Diet
If you don’t know what a ketogenic diet is, it is a high-fat and very low-carb diet. Going on a ketogenic diet means laying off carbs almost entirely while increasing your fat intake. It's known for a wide range of benefits, including weight loss.
In fact, on a ketogenic diet, you'll only be consuming around 20 to 30 grams of carbs per day! Instead of consuming legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables, you eat more nuts, greens, and low-carb veggies.
Tomatoes and Keto
Now that you know you need to lay off starchy vegetables on a keto diet, can you have tomatoes on keto?
Tomatoes are technically a fruit! Generally, fruits contain 20 to 25 grams of sugar per serving. This amount of sugar would be your entire daily carb allowance which is why we avoid most fruits on a ketogenic diet.
This might make you think that tomatoes aren't going to work in your keto diet, but there is more to tomatoes than meets the eye!
What Makes Tomatoes Keto-Friendly?
Although they are fruits that are generally high in sugar, tomatoes are keto-friendly. Unlike regular fruits, tomatoes are quite low in carbohydrates.
Each medium tomato contains 4.8 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of dietary fiber. So, a medium tomato will only have around 3.3 grams of net carbs, which is very keto-friendly! If you do the math, you will discover that this is up to 10 times fewer carbs than regular fruits.
Now you know tomatoes will fit your keto diet because they have a much lower carb content than regular fruits. There are other fruits, which most people will classify as vegetables similar to tomatoes, that will also comfortably fit your keto diet.
My tomato cabbage soup is a great way to incorporate tomatoes into your keto diet. It's very low in calories and carbs, making it a fantastic meal for weight loss.
Tomato Nutritional Information
This is the nutritional information for one medium (4.5oz/128g) Roma tomato. USDA FoodData Central provides this information.
Tomatoes have a high fiber content
Fiber is helpful when it comes to digestion and the processing of food in the body. Being on a strict keto diet could omit the fiber from your body, which could cause a few complications during digestion. Such a benefit should be enough to include tomatoes in your keto diet.
You get essential nutrients from tomatoes
There is one fact that you cannot deny. Foods with high-fat content will miss some compounds considered vital for the body's functioning. Health specialists are ever adamant about the valuableness of consuming foods that have all the essential nutrients.
Vegetables, or fruits like tomatoes, have phytonutrients often missing in a keto diet. The last thing you want is for your body to experience imbalances while on a diet, so you should consider consuming tomatoes.
Tips for Tomatoes on Keto
Now we know tomatoes are an excellent option for your keto diet; we must be careful to eat the right types. There are a lot of processed tomatoes that often contain hidden carbs and other nasty ingredients we want to avoid.
The best way to consume tomatoes is to eat them fresh and prepare them yourself. This way, you know exactly what you're eating and don't worry about nasty additives or chemicals.
Avoid Canned, Bagged, and Bottled Tomatoes
You will find many tomato products in paste form, sauces, juices, or salsas. These are often in cans, bags, or bottles and should be avoided. Most of these products have added sugars and will mess up your keto diet. If you want to eat canned tomatoes or other processed varieties, check the nutritional information and ingredients carefully.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Sun-Dried Tomatoes Keto?
One other kind of tomato that you should avoid is sun-dried tomatoes. It might seem strange, but there's a good reason for this—and it's all about how they're prepared. Sun-dried tomatoes have much lower water content than raw tomatoes, and because of this, they contain much higher carbs.
It's far too easy to consume a lot more sun-dried tomatoes, and because of this, they should be avoided. They're fine if you can control yourself and eat one or two, but you're much better off consuming other variants.
Are Cherry Tomatoes Keto?
Different types of tomatoes have varying amounts of carbs. Grape tomatoes, for example, have 3 grams of carbs with 1 gram of dietary fiber per 100-gram serving—a total of 2 grams of net carbs.
On the other hand, cherry tomatoes contain 3.9 grams of carbs with 1.2 grams of dietary fiber per 100-gram serving—a total of 2.7 grams of net carbs.
So, yes, cherry tomatoes are perfectly fine to eat on keto. Some tomatoes contain fewer net carbs than others, but they are all relatively low and keto-friendly. Knowing this should help you select the variety you want to include in your keto diet meal plan.
The Best Keto Tomato Recipes
There are so many delicious ways to incorporate tomatoes into your keto diet. Below are some of our favorite recipes, and you can check out all of our keto recipes with tomatoes here.