So you’re on the keto diet, and you’re asking yourself, “why am I not losing weight?”. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. You're not actually in Ketosis

The basic principle of ketosis is simple: eat low amounts of carbs (about 5%), moderate amounts of protein (about 20%), and high amounts of fat ( about 75%). With this plan, the idea is to starve the body of its preferred fuel, sugar, and instead force it to burn fat. While this is simple enough to follow, the proportions have to be followed to achieve ketosis. Furthermore, ketosis does not happen immediately. Instead, it takes some time and varies from person to person. Use MTC oil to kick start ketosis and keep it going.

2. You’re not eating Enough

While it seems that restricting your calorie intake by eating less would result in weight loss, the opposite is, in fact, true. Severely limiting your body of necessary calories results in it going into starvation mode, where metabolism slows down, preventing weight loss. However, intermittent fasting is a useful tool that can help you stay in ketosis and achieve better results.

3. You're eating Too Much

Overeating is just as bad as eating too little. Under normal conditions, your body burns as much fuel as it needs to function correctly. Any excess fuel gets stored as fat. While it is okay to eat snacks in between meals, it’s essential to not eat out of boredom and only eat when actually hungry. Fat bombs are an excellent way to satiate cravings preventing overeating. Also remember it is the quality of the calories, not the number of calories that matter. 

4. You're not eating enough Fat

The whole point of the Ketogenic diet is to use fat as an alternative fuel source to carbs. If you are not consuming enough fat, your body cannot continue to use it as a fuel source and will drop out of ketosis. MTC oil is an easy way to ensure that you are getting enough fat in your diet. Alternatively and/or additionally, foods that are naturally high in fat such as avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, dairy products (cream, butter, etc.), nuts high in fat, to name a few, are essential for maintaining a healthy keto diet.

5. You're eating too much Protein

Eating the right amount of protein is essential to say in ketosis (about 20% of your diet). By eating more protein than your body needs, the protein is broken down into sugars. Anytime sugar is present, the body will use it as a primary fuel source, essentially stopping ketosis. Furthermore, eating protein isn’t only about quantity, but also about the type of protein consumed. Complete proteins—those that contain significant amounts of 8 essential amino acids—such as fish, meat and eggs are preferred over incomplete protein sources such as nuts, vegetables, and starches. That is not to say that they should not be eaten, just that they cannot replace complete proteins. Eating the correct amount of protein is vital, as too little will result in muscle loss.

6. You're eating too many Carbs

It is important to keep the carb count at the appropriate level to stay in ketosis. While the carb count varies from person to person, a general rule of thumb is 20-50 grams of carbs a day. The lower, the better to fully stay in ketosis. However, each person is unique and has their own carn limit. Once ketosis has been achieved, it is possible to find this carb limit, and even raise it by staying in ketosis for long periods. You are, in essence, able to train your body to handle larger quantities of carbs and remain in ketosis. Keeping within the carb limit can be tricky, as there are often carbs hidden in foods that you would not expect. For example, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli contain carbs that can be easily overlooked. Furthermore, many alcoholic beverages, such as beer and mixed drinks, contain sugar. Sticking to dry wines and low carb liquor will help you manage your diet.

7. You're not eating Nutritious Food

While eating the appropriate proportions of carbs, protein, and fat is essential to stay in ketosis and lose weight, it is equally important that these foods come from wholesome, nutritious foods. While it is acceptable to eat fast food and prepackaged foods, they should make up a small portion of your diet. It is essential in any diet to consume foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, not just empty calories. To maximize benefits derived from the keto diet, limit the amounts of processed foods in your diet, maximizing foods that contain whole, fresh ingredients. 

8. You're Allergic or Intolerant to something

While there are many common allergies including peanut, milk, egg, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish which affect many people in the world today, many other people are intolerant to foods. While allergies can be life-threatening, food intolerance can also have a significant impact on the health of an individual. Both food allergies and intolerances cause inflammation, inhibiting the normal functions of the body. This can result in weight gain independent of proper adherence to a ketogenic diet. If you suspect that you may have a food allergy or intolerance, see a doctor. Through testing, they will be able to help you identify and eliminate the offending foods.  

9. You have an undiagnosed Medical Condition

If you are following the keto diet completely and are still unable to lose weight, it may be due to an underlying medical condition. Hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s syndrome, depression, and hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels) are medical issues that cause weight gain and make it hard to lose weight. These conditions can be diagnosed by a doctor who can prescribe the best approach to deal with these ailments. There is evidence to support claims that the ketogenic diet can, in fact, aid in alleviating symptoms and managing these illnesses. 

10. You're not following Best Keto Practices.

One of the main reasons that people do not lose weight on the ketogenic diet, or any other diet for that matter, is that they are not applying additional lifestyle changes in addition to dieting. While the keto diet itself is the focus, lack of exercise, stress, and lack of sleep have dramatic effects on the body, limiting the efficacy of dieting. 

It has been shown through research that lack of sleep and stress have a profound impact on weight gain. Stress causes the body to produce the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol signal to your body to store fat often accumulating around the midriff. Chronic stress also affects the quality of sleep, further exacerbating weight gain. It has been well documented that sleep deprivation increases the appetite-related hormones such as leptin and ghrelin, resulting in increased appetite. 

Getting enough exercise is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as losing weight. Besides the obvious benefit of burning calories, regular exercise causes the body to release hormones that fight stress, stabilize mood, and create an overall sense of well being. Exercise has a direct influence on the ketogenic diet, enabling you to dive deeper into the ketogenic state and maintain it effectively. There are many additional benefits of regular exercise, one of which is increasing the ketogenic carb limit.

Vegetables are essential in any diet. They provide necessary vitamins, minerals and fiber for a healthy digestive system and body. This is true for a keto diet as well.

But on a keto diet it can become confusing which vegetables are allowed and which ones aren’t. In general you want to look for vegetables that have less starch and carbs and eat vegetables with more fiber…

But Be Careful!

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A common misconception on keto is that you just need to keep an eye on net carbs, and that you can discount fibre from your total carbs per day. This isn’t exactly true. Fiber still gives you 2 calories per gram and the metabolism of fiber can lead to glucose production in the form of sugar alcohols. It’s much safer to calculate the total carbohydrate calories for each vegetable.

How Much Carb-Calories Should You Eat To Maintain Ketosis?

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The general consensus is that you should eat between 20g and 50g of “net carbs” per day, depending on your carb sensitivity. 1g of net carbs yields 4 calories. So your total daily carb-calorie consumption should be 80-200 carb-calories to maintain ketosis.

 

But which vegetables fall into this category?!

Keto Friendly Veggie Choice

Per 100g of raw vegetable here are the values for each

VegetableTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiber For a TotalCarb Calories
Watercress 1.3 g0.8 g 0.5 g4.2
Alfalfa Sprouts2.1 g0.2 g1.8 g4.4
Bok Choy2.2 g1.2 g1 g 6.8
New Zealand Spinach2.5 g1.g 1.5 g7
Endive 3.4 g0.3 g3.1 g7.4
Tatsoi 3.3 g0.6 g2.7 g7.8
Celery 3 g1.5 g1.5 g9
Lettuce 2.9 g1.6 g1.3 g9
Spinach 3.6 g1.4 g2.2 g10
Zucchini (Marrows)3.1 g2.1 g1 g10.4
Mushrooms 3.3 g2.3 g1 g11.2
Chard 3.7 g2.1 g1.6 g11.6
Arugula (Rocket)3.7 g2.1 g1.6 g11.6
Asparagus 4 g1.9 g2.1 g11.8
Collard Greens5 g1 g4 g12
Mustard Greens 4.7 g1.5 g3.2 g12.4
Korean Konjac3.1 g2.9 g0.2 g12.4
Chives 4.4 g1.9 g2.5 g12.6
Patty Pan3.8 g2.6 g1.2 g12. 8
White Radish (Daikon) 4.1 g2.5 g1.6 g13.2
Cherry Tomatoes3.9 g2.7 g1.2 g13.2
Red Tomatoes 3.9 g2.7 g1.2 g13.2
Cucumber 3.6 g 3.1 g0.5 g13.4
Gem Squash3.6 g3.3 g0.3 g13.8
Rhubarb 4.5 g2.7 g1.8 g14.4
Green Bell Pepper4.6 g2.9 g1.7 g15
Cauliflower 5 g3 g 2 g 16
Nettles7.5 g0.6 g6.9 g16.2
Radicchio4.5 g3.6 g0.9 g16.2
Frisee 4.7 g 3.5 g 1.2 g16.4
Kohlrabi6g2.4 g3.6 g16.8
Broccoflower6g2.8 g3.2 g17.6
Green Tomatoes5.1 g4g 1.1 g18,2
Cabbage6g3.5 g2.5 g19
Runner Beans6.7 g3 g3.7 g19.4
Bean Sprouts5.8 g3.9 g1.9 g19.4

High Carb Veggies to Avoid

Per 100g of raw vegetable here are the values for each

VegetablesTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiber for a TotalCarbs Calories
Leek14 g12.2 g 1.8 g52.4
Black Beans16.6 g 9.7 g6.9 g52.6
Broad/ Fava Beans18 g10 g 8 g 56
Delicata (Peanut) Squash 15.9 g13.3 g 2.6 g 58.4
Shallot17 g13.8 g3.2 g61.6
Parsnip18 g13.1 g4.9 g62.2
Potato17 g14.8 g 2,2 g63.6
Lentils20 g12 g8 g64
Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchokes)17 g15.4 g1.6 g64.8
Salsify (Oyster Plant)18.6 g15.3 g3.3 g67.8
Black-Eyed Peas21 g14 g7 g70
Lima Beans21 g14 g7 g70
Sweet Yellow Corn19 g16.3 g2.7 g70.6
Banana Squash21.5 g16.6 g6.6 g72.8
Sweet Potato20 g17 g3 g74
Chickpeas (Sprouted)24 g21 g3 g90
Taro 26.5 g22.4 g4.1 g97.4
Soy Beans30 g21 g9 g102
Yam28 g23.9 g4.1 g103.8
Eddoe28 g24 g4 g104
Split Peas 60 g34 g26 g188
Borlotti/ Cranberry Beans 60 g35 g25 g190
Kidney Beans60 g35 g25 g190
Navy Beans61 g37 g24 g196
Adzuki Beans 62.9 g50.2 g12.7 g216.4
Mung Beans 63 g47 g16 g220
Pinto Beans 63 g47 g16 g220

Handy Keto Veggie Table

Here we’ve put together a handy table you can use to see which veggies are keto friendly and how keto friendly they are. Amounts are grams per 100g of the vegetable. 

The Green Section: Completely keto friendly. Stil monitor portion sizes, in general the rules are much less strict here.

The Yellow Section: You can consume these relatively regularly, portion sizes are very important.

The Orange Section: You can consume these in small quantities every now and again. Portion sizes are VERY important here.

The Red Section: Avoid as far as possible, but do take a look at the actual vegetable. 

For example a sprinkling of sprouted lentils will be about 5g, which amounts to about 4,5 total carb calories, which won’t necessarily put you out of ketosis. While a pinch of Cayenne pepper is less than a gram, which is less than 2 total carb calories. Do however take the total carb calories from herbs and spices into consideration when cooking, they can be the culprits kicking you out of ketosis!

VegetablesTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiber Total Carbs
Watercress1.3 0.8 0.54.2
Alfalfa Sprouts2.10.21.84.4
Bok Choy2.22.116.8
New Zealand Spinach2.511.57
Endive3.40.33.17.4
Tatsoi3.30.62.77.8
Celery31.51.59
Lettuce2.91.61.39
Spinach3.61.42.210
Zucchini (Marrows)3.12.1110.4
Mushrooms3.32.3111.2
Chard3.72.11.611.6
Arugula (Rocket)3.72.11.611.6
Asparagus41.92.111.8
Collard Greens51412
Mustard Greens4.71.53.212.4
Korean Konjac3.12.90.212.4
Chives4.41.92.512.6
Patty Pan3.82.61.212.8
White Radish (Daikon)4.12.51.613.2
Cherry Tomatoes3.92.71.213.2
Red Tomatoes3.92.71.23.2
Cucumber3.63.10.513.4
Gem Squash3.63.30.313.8
Rhubarb4.52.71.814.4
Green Bell Pepper4.62.91.71.5
Cauliflower53216
Nettles7.50.66.916.2
Radicchio4.53.60.916.2
Frisee4.73.51.216.4
Kohlrabi62.43.616.8
Broccoflower62.83.217.6
Green Tomatoes5.141.118.2
Cabbage6.3.52.519
Runner Beans6.733.719.4
Bean Sprouts5.83.91.919.4
Aubergine/ Eggplant6.5g3.5g3g20
Mung Beans (sprouted)5.94.11.820
Soy Beans (sprouted)5.94.11.820
Turnip64.21.820.4
Green Beans73.63.421.2
Okra73.83.221.6
Fennel Bulbs73.93.121.8
Fiddleheads5.522
Jalapeno74.22.822.4
Fennel7.24.13.122.6
Scallion (Green/ Spring Onion)
74.42.622.8
Broccoli74.42.622.8
Yellow Bell Pepper6.35.40.923.4
Bitter Melon75.11.924.2
Spaghetti Squash75.51.525
Snap Peas7.652.625.2
Jicama (Mexican Turnip)94.14.926.2
Kale8.85.23.628
Brussel Sprouts95.23.828.4
Hubbard Squash8.66.91.731
Rutabaga96.72.331.4
White Onion97.31.732.6
Red Bell Pepper97.51.533
Celeriac (Celery Root)9.27.41.833.2
Artichoke116534
Beetroot107.22.834.4
Carrot107.22.834.4
Acorn Squash108.51.537
Red Onion10.18.71.437.6
Butternut Squash1210244
Water Chestnut12.39.82.544.2
Peas159546
Pinto Beans (Sprouted)121248
Leek1412.21.852.4
Black Beans
16.69.76.952.6
Navy Beans (Sprouted)13.613.654.4
Broad/ Fava Beans1810856
Delicata (Peanut) Squash15.913.32.658.4
Shallot1713.83.261.6
Parsnip1813.14.962.2
Potato1714.82.263.6
Lentils2012864
Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchokes)1715.41.664.8
Salsify (Oyster Plant)18.615.33.367.8
Black-Eyed Peas
2114770
Lima Beans2114770
Sweet Yellow Corn1916.32.770.6
Banana Squash21.514.96.672.8
Sweet Potato2017374
Lentils (Sprouted)222288
Chickpeas (Sprouted)2421390
Taro26.522.44.197.4
Soy Beans30219102
Yam2823.94.1103.8
Eddoe28244104
Split Peas603426188
Borlotti/ Cranberry Beans603525190
Kidney Beans603525190
Navy Beans613724196
Chickpeas614417210
Adzuki Beans62.950.212.7216.4
Mung Beans634716220
Pinto Beans634716220

Note: Nutritional information is for raw vegetables. Legumes are dried unless otherwise specified. Italicised total calorie carbs are a maximum estimate as the full nutritional information for the vegetable is not yet known.

Herbs and SpicesTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiberTotal Carb Cal
Basil2.71.11.67.6
Coriander/Cilantro Leaves3.70.92.89.4
Parsley62.73.317.4
Habanero97.41.632.8
Horseradish11.383.338.6
Rosemary20.76.614.154.6
Thyme24101468
Ginger1816268
Wasabi22.615.17.575.4
Lemon Grass25.3101.2
Caraway49.911.938123.6
Garlic3330.92.1127.8
Fennel Seeds52.312.535129.6
Paprika541935146
Marjoram (dried)60.520.240.3161.4
Sage (dried)60.720.440.3162.2
Anise5035.414.6170.8
Oregano (dried)64.421.642.8172
Cayenne573027174
Thyme (dried)642737182
Dill553431205

Note: Dried herbs and spices weigh much less than fresh ones, so the volume per 100g is quite large.

Are Lentils Keto Friendly? 

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NO. . . While lentils are known to be a great meat substitute, when it comes to following a keto diet, they don’t make the menu. Each 100g or half a cup of dry lentils has 20g carbs, with 12g net carbs and 8g fiber for a total of 64 carb calories. For a single serving this is way too many carbs, despite the high protein and fiber count. So, while lentils have been called a weight-loss superfood, they will kick you out of ketosis and stop you from benefiting from this lifestyle.

Are Legumes Keto Friendly?

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SOME . . . In general legumes are packed with complex carbs, which makes them a good simple carb substitute, but most legumes are too high in carbs to form part of a well-balanced keto diet. That being said, if the rest of the meal is very low in carbs and you cut the portion size of the legumes down it may be possible to add them to a keto meal:

Are Pinto and Mung Beans Keto Friendly?

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NO . . . Pinto and Mung Beans have the highest carb calories out of all the vegetables, making them the least suitable for a keto diet. Per 100g they have 63g total carbs, 47g net carbs and 16g fiber for a whopping 220 total carb calories. A full day’s worth of carb calories (80) can come from only 3 ½ tablespoons (37g) of cooked Pinto or Mung Beans!

Which Other Beans Aren’t Keto Friendly?

From worst to slightly better, these are the beans you want to avoid on a keto diet (and how many tablespoons cooked and drained gives you your total carb calories per day):

Type of BeanTablespoonGramsCarb Calories
Adzuki Beans2 ½ 36 g77.8
Chickpeas 441 g86.1
Navy Beans 3 ½ 39.7 g77.8
Split Peas 3 ½ 37.25 g70
Borlotti/ Cranberry and Kidney Beans444 g84
Soy Beans 875.2 g76.7
Black-Eyed Peas7 ½112.5 g78.8
Lima Beans 11116.8 g81.8
Black Beans 14151.2 g79.5
Broad/ Fava Beans9146.25 g81.9

Are Peas Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation . . . Peas are slightly more keto friendly than the beans already listed, with 46 total carb calories per 100g. Do make a point to check portion sizes. As a general rule, don’t have more than ¼ cup (40g, 18,4 carb calories) of peas in one meal.

Which Beans Are Keto Friendly?

From most to least keto friendly the following beans are good to add to your keto diet:

The nutritional values are per 100g.

BeansTotal Carbs Net CarbsFiberCarb Calories
Alfalfa Sprouts2.1 g0.2 g1.8 g4.4
Runner Beans 6.7 g3 g3.7 g19.4
Bean Sprouts5.8 g3.9 g1.9 g19.4

These Beans Are Relatively Keto Friendly:

The following beans can be added to a keto diet in moderation, provided you keep a strict eye on portion size and don’t make them a regular part of your diet:

Per 100g:

BeansTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiberCarb Calories
Mung Bean Sprouts 5.9 g4.1 g1.8 g20
Soy Bean Sprouts5.9 g4.1 g1.8 g20
Green Beans7 g5 g2.6 g25.5
Snap Peas 7.6 g5 g2.6 g25.2

Are All Sprouts Keto Friendly?

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Difficult to Say…  In general, sprouts have less carb calories than the original bean, but the sprouts that have not yet been mentioned here have incomplete nutritional information. While the total carb count is stated, they do not have a breakdown of net carbs and fiber.

All the total carb calories on the table are calculated with the total carbs counting as net carbs. This is safest to assume, because even though they may have less carb calories than indicated, you will be sure to check your portion sizes if you are tempted to have these sprouts.

Luckily you don’t have to add a lot of sprouts to a meal to reap the benefits. As long as you keep a strict eye on portion sizes it should be okay to add a couple of sprouts to your favorite salad.

Are Onions Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation… Onions are a flavor enhancer in a lot of meals. They add a little extra. Unfortunately they add quite a couple of extra carb calories as well. One medium white onion weighs approximately 8 ounces. That’s 20,4g total carbs with 16,5g net carbs and 3,8g fiber for a total of 73,7 carb calories. 

That being said, adding small amounts of onion, between 1 and two tablespoons to a meal will still add flavour, without adding on too many carb calories. One tablespoon of chopped onion is about 8 grams, which is only 0,5g total carbs and amounts to 2,6 carb calories. 

Be careful of “healthier” red onions though. They may have less calories, but they have quite a bit more carbs, with 10,1g total carbs, 8,7g net carbs and 1,4g fiber they add up to 37,6 carb calories per 100g, which is 5 more carb calories per 100g than regular white onions.

Other Medium Carb Vegetables

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 Per 100 g

VegetablesTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiber Carb Calories
Red Bell Pepper9 g7.5 g1.5 g33
Artichoke11 g6 g5 g34

Are All Types of Onion Medium Carb?

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No, some types of onion are more keto friendly than others. Here is a list of the types of onion ranked from most to least keto friendly per 100g:

Types of OnionsTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiberCarb Calories
Chives4.4 g1.9 g2.6 g12.6
Scallion (green/ spring onion) 7 g4.4 g2.6 g20.8
White Onion 9 g7.3 g1.7 g32.6
Red Onion10.1 g8.7 g1.4 g37.6
Leek14 g12.2 g1.8 g52.4
Shallot17 g13.8 g3.2 g61.6
Garlic33 g30.9 g2.1 g127.8

Note: While Garlic is taxed as an onion it is used as a flavoring agent and the small amounts used in keto recipes will not kick you out of ketosis.

Are Squash Keto Friendly?

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Some… Squash includes a wide variety of vegetables of varying shapes and sizes. So it’s difficult to say whether, as a group, squash are keto friendly or not. Some have quite a lot of carb calories, while others are completely keto friendly:.

Is Butternut Squash Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation… Butternut Squash has quite a low fiber count, with only 2g of the total 12g of carbs per 100g. This gives a total carb calorie count of 44 per 100g. This makes it one of those vegetables that are better to avoid most of the time and when you do decide to have some make sure the portion is only about ⅓ cup of cubed Butternut.

Is Acorn Squash Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation… Acorn Squash is only slightly better than Butternut Squash with 10g total carbs of which 8,5g are net carbs and only 1,5g fiber for a total of 37 carb calories. As with Butternut Squash it’s better to keep this Squash to a moderate consumption, only indulging in ⅓ cup of cubed Acorn Squash every once in a while.

Is Delicata (Peanut) Squash Keto Friendly?

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NO… This Squash, which looks like a hybrid between an overgrown peanut and a Butternut Squash, has a total carb calorie count of 58,4 per 100g. With only 2,6g fiber, the remaining 13,3g net carbs is enough to kick you out of ketosis straight away. It’s better to steer clear of this squash altogether. 

Is Hubbard Squash Keto Friendly?

In Moderation… While Hubbard Squash falls in the bottom range of moderately starchy vegetables, with 8,6g total carbs of which 6,9g is net carbs it has only 1,7g fiber per 100g. Therefore most of the 31 carb calories will be absorbed quickly, and if you eat too much it will stop your ketosis in its tracks. So, it’s best to limit portion sizes to ⅓ cup of cubed Hubbard Squash and only indulge every now and again.

Is Spaghetti Squash Keto Friendly?

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Relatively… Spaghetti Squash has a mere 7g total carbs, but with 5,5g net carbs and only 1,5g fiber per 100g the 25 carb calories are absorbed relatively quickly, so it’s best to limit portion size to about ½ cup of cubed Spaghetti Squash. This Squash can however be consumed more regularly than the other squash mentioned so far.

Is Banana Squash Keto Friendly?

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NO… Banana Squash is in fact the Squash with the most carbs per 100g. With 21,5g total carbs of which 14,9g are net carbs and a relatively high amount, 6,6g, is fiber, the total carb calories is an astounding 72,8. In other words it’s better to avoid this Squash altogether and replace it with Spaghetti or Gem Squash if possible.

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Is Gem Squash Keto Friendly?

YES… Gem Squash has surprisingly little carbs for a squash. With only 3,6g total carbs, of which 3,3g are net carbs, this squash’s only downfall is the low fiber count of 0,3g. But, with only 13,8 total carb calories you can enjoy half a Gem Squash slathered with butter as part of your keto diet on a regular basis.

Is Zucchini Keto Friendly?

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YES… Zucchini and other Marrows  are actually part of the squash family. With only 3,1g total carbs per 100g of which about a third is fiber this is a healthy keto choice of vegetable. It is also a very versatile veggie that can be used as a pasta substitute. Just be careful to leave some of the dark green skin on all the strands and don’t overcook it, otherwise the “pasta” will turn to mash.

Is Patty Pan Keto Friendly?

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YES… Patty Pans have 3,8g total carbs with 2,6g net carbs, 1,2g fiber and only 12,8 total carb calories. This makes them almost as keto friendly as Zucchini. They are a great carb addition to stews and curries and substitute well for potatoes. As with Zucchini, be careful not to overcook them or they will lose their texture and become rather unappealing.

Is Bitter Melon Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation…While bitter melon is technically a fruit, like other squash, it’s still taxed as a vegetable.Bitter Melon has 7g total carbs per 100g. Of this 5,1g is net carbs and 1,9g is fiber, giving you a total of 24,2 carb calories. As such it’s best to keep an eye on portion size, having no more than ½ a cup if you decide to add Bitter Melon to your keto diet.

Is Cucumber Keto Friendly?

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YES… With only 3,6g total carbs per 100g, Cucumber is a keto friendly vegetable you can add to your regular keto diet. It makes a great substitute for zucchini on a hot day, although the relatively low fiber count (0,5g), gives Cucumber a sightly higher total carb calorie count of 13,4, but luckily this is still well within keto limits.

Are Root Vegetables Keto Friendly?

Some… Contrary to popular belief, not all root vegetables are bad on a keto diet. While some root vegetables, especially certain tubers like potatoes, should be avoided, there are others that are others, like Korean Konjac that are completely keto friendly. Here are the carb counts for the different types of root vegetables.

Are Fennel Bulbs Keto Friendly?

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Relatively… Per 100g Fennel Bulbs have a total of 7g total carbs, with 3,9g net carbs and 3,1g fiber for a total carb calorie count of 21,8. As such they are relatively keto friendly, especially with the high fiber count, but it’s still best to keep an eye on portion sizes. So, you can add half a fennel bulb to a meal for a total of about 25 carb calories. 

Are Beetroot and Carrots Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation… Beetroot and Carrots have the same carb counts. Per 100g they have 10g total carbs, with 7,2g net carbs and 2,8g fiber for a total of 34,4 carb calories. In general it’s a good idea to steer clear of these vegetables, but they can be added occasionally as long as you keep a strict eye on portion size. About 80g is the maximum portion size per meal if there are less than 10 other carb calories in the meal. That’s a maximum of one small beetroot, skinned and cooked or one large carrot.

Are Turnips Keto Friendly?

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Yes, Relatively… Per 100g Turnips have 6g total carbs with 4,2g net carbs and 1,8g fiber for a total of 20,4 carb calories. This isn’t very high, but it’s still best to keep portion sizes in check. Have no more than 125g, or one medium turnip at a time. 

Are Jicama Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation… Jicama or Mexican Turnips)are actually a tuber, like potatoes, but they are much more keto friendly. Per 100g Jicama has 9g total carbs with 4,1g net carbs and a high fiber count of 4,9g for a total of 26,2 carb calories. Despite being better than potato, it’s still best to keep an eye on portion sizes, never have more than 100g per serving.

Are Rutabaga Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation… Rutabaga has a moderate carb count with 9g total carbs, 6,7g net carbs and 2,3g fiber, for a total of 31,4 carb calories per 100g. While portion sizes need to be less than 60g per serving and Rutabaga can’t be a regular part of a keto diet, it can be added on occasion.

Is Celeriac Keto Friendly?

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In Moderation… Celeriac, or Celery Root, has quite a high carb count, with 9,2g total carbs amounting to 33,2 carb calories per 100g. Because of this it falls into the medium carb category and can only be consumed on occasion, with a strict eye on portion size, which should never be more than 75g. 

Is Korean Konjac Keto Friendly?

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YES…With 3,1g total carbs, 2,9g net carbs and 0,2g fiber and only 12,4 carb calories per 100g Korean Konjac is the most keto friendly root vegetable available. It is similar to a potato and makes a great substitute. The low fiber count does however mean that it’s best to keep portions below 150g, to avoid an insulin spike.

Is White Radish Keto Friendly?

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 YES… White Radish are another keto friendly root vegetable. Per 100g they have 4,1g total carbs of which 2,5 is net carbs and 1,6g is fiber for a total of 13,2 carb calories. Because they have a higher fiber count than Korean Konjac the carbs in White Radis is released slower, making the risk of an insulin spike less, so portions can be up to 175g per meal.

Is Water Chestnut Keto Friendly?

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Not Really… Water Chestnut has quite a high carb count. With 12,3g carbs, 9,8g net carbs, 2,5g fiber and 44,2 total carb calories per 100g they fall quite high on the list of medium carb vegetables. As such it’s better to avoid them altogether. IF a situation arises where you can’t, eat no more than 40g.

Is Sweet Potato Keto Friendly?

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NO… Sweet Potato might be a good “low GI” substitute for potatoes according to some, but when looking at the nutritional information it becomes clear that this is definitely NOT suitable for a keto diet. Sweet Potato has 20g total carbs, with 17g net carbs and 3g fiber for a whopping 74 carb calories per 100g. That means one medium sized Sweet Potato has the total carb calories for an entire day. Eating this in one sitting is sure to kick you out of ketosis. Not only this, but the high net carbs means that, even though it’s considered low-GI, it can still raise insulin levels quite a bit when consumed in smaller amounts. Be very careful to avoid root vegetables like these.

Other High Carb Root Vegetables to Avoid

Per 100g:

VegetablesTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiberCarb Calories
Parsnip 18 g13.1 g4.9 g62.2
Potato17 g14.8 g2.2 g63.3
Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchokes) 17 g15.4 g1.6 g64.8
Salsify (Oyster Plant)18.6 g15.3 g3.3 g67.8
Taro26.5 g22.4 g4.1 g97.4
Yams28 g23.9 g4.1 g103.8
Eddoe28 g24 g4 g104

Why Are Leafy Vegetables Keto Friendly?

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Generally speaking leafy greens have more water and fiber and less net carbs than other types of vegetables. That makes them one of the best sources of vitamins and fiber for your keto diet. That being said, some leafy greens are more keto friendly than others…

Leafy Vegetables Ranked from Most to Least Keto Friendly:

Per 100g:

Leafy VegetablesTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiberCarb Calories
Watercress1.3 g0.8 g0.5 g4.2
New Zealand Spinach 2.5 g1 g1.5 g7
Endive3.4 g0.3 g3.1 g7.4
Tatsoi 3.3 g0.6 g2.7 g7.8
Lettuce 2.9 g1.6 g1.3 g9
Spinach 3.6 g1.4 g2.2 g10
Arugula (Rocket) 3.7 g2.1 g1.6 g11.6
Collard Greens5 g1 g4 g12
Mustard Greens4.7 g1.5 g3.2 g12.4
Nettles7.5 g0.6 g6.9 g16.2
Radicchio4.5 g3.6 g0.9 g16.2
Frisee 4.7 g3.5 g1.2 g16.4
Fiddleheads 5.5 g22
Kale 8.8 g5.2 g3.6 g28

While Fiddle Heads probably have less carb calories than stated above, Kale does fall in the yellow zone, where you should keep an eye on portion size. Never have more than 90g of Kale in one sitting.

Why Are Cruciferous Vegetables Keto Friendly?

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Cruciferous Vegetables, like Leafy Vegetables, have a lot of fiber. Even though they have less water than leafy vegetables and as a result they have a bit more carb calories per 100g, they are still very good for a keto diet in general. Just like leafy vegetables, there are a couple that fall in the yellow zone. Look out for portion sizes with Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts, limiting portions to 100g and 90g respectively.

Cruciferous Vegetables Ranked from Most to Least Keto Friendly:

Vegetables Total CarbsNet CarbsFiberCarb Calories
Bok Choy2.2 g1.2 g1 g6.8
Cauliflower 5 g3 g2 g16
Kohlrabi 6 g2.4 g3.6 g16.8
Broccoflower 6 g2.8 g3.2 g17.6
Cabbage 6 g3.5 g2.5 g19
Broccoli 7 g4.4 g2.6 g22.8
Brussel Sprouts9 g5.2 g3.8 28.4

Why Is Asparagus Keto Friendly?

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Asparagus is the “stalk” of the plant and therefore it has a lot of fiber in it. It’s not a energy store for the plant like tubers and root vegetables, or an energy source for the seeds to sprout in, like Squash. As a result they have comparatively little net carbs (1,9g) and quite a lot of fiber (2,1g) for a total carb calorie count of 11,8 per 100g.

Other Stalk-Vegetables:

Per 100g

VegetablesTotal CarbsNet CarbsFiberCarb Calories
Celery3 g1.5 g1.5 g9
Rhubarb4.5 g2.7 g1.8 g14.4
Fennel7.2 g4.1 g7.1 g100

Why Are Tomatoes Keto Friendly?

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Are they a fruit or a vegetable…? Scientifically they are a fruit, but usually they are taxed as a vegetable. Each 100g of cherry or red tomatoes contain 3,9g total carbs with 2,7g net carbs and 1,2g fiber for a total carb calorie count of 13,2. Well within respectable keto limits. Do however look out for green tomatoes…

Green Tomatoes are still in the green section of keto vegetables, BUT they have 1,2g more carbs per 100g, with less fiber than ripe tomatoes. As a result their total carb calories add up to 18,2, a whole 5 calories more per 100g than ripe tomatoes.

Why Are Green Bell Peppers Keto Friendly?

And Why Are Yellow and Red Bell Peppers Not Really Keto Friendly?

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While Bell Peppers are also technically a fruit they don’t adhere to the normal color rules. Usually green fruits have more carbs than ripe fruits, but here the opposite is the case.

In fact Green Bell Pepper is completely keto friendly, with only 4,6g total carbs and 15 carb calories per 100g. They have the most fiber (1,7g) and the least net carbs (2,9g).

On the other hand Yellow Bell Peppers have 6,3g total carbs with the least fiber (0.9g) of the bell peppers and a medium amount of net carbs (5,4g) for a total of 23,4 carb calories per 100g. This puts them in the yellow keto zone, where portion sizes should be restricted to no more than about 80g per serving. Because of the low fiber count they may raise blood sugar levels quite quickly and can kick you out of ketosis.

Red Bell Peppers have the most carbs. Per 100g they have 7,5g net carbs and 1,5g fiber for a total of 33 carb calories. This puts them in the orange keto zone, where they are allowed in moderation. Portions should be limited to 60g per serving. While the higher fiber count means they release glucose slower than yellow bell peppers, they still have more carbs to release, so it’s best to avoid Red Bell Peppers wherever possible.

Why Are Mushrooms Keto Friendly?

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Mushrooms aren’t technically a vegetable, but seeing as they’re usually taxed as vegetables we thought we’d throw them in here. Per 100g mushrooms have a total  of 3,3g carbs (2,3g net and 1g fiber) for a total of 11,2 carb calories. That makes them delicious and keto friendly. Another fun thing about mushrooms is that they absorb quite a bit of oil when frying, which is perfect for keto cooking.

Why Is Aubergine/ Eggplant Keto Friendly?

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Aubergine/ Eggplant actually falls in the yellow section of the keto veg table, BUT they deserve an honorable mention because, like mushrooms, they absorb a lot of fat when you fry them. So while they may have  6,5 g total carbs, with 20 carb calories per 100g, they are the perfect addition to your regular keto diet. Just make sure you don’t have more than about 110g in one serving.

Remember

Count the meal not each veg

The key to staying in the optimal ketosis zone is to make sure you don’t eat too many carbs in a certain meal. You also need to make sure that most of your calories in the total meal comes from fat. So even if you have a salad for lunch, which sounds pretty healthy and you might not be “overdoing” your carb allowance, you won’t be getting in any fats. Which means that when it comes to digesting that meal, you won’t be in ketosis. You need to match the carbs in the meal with the appropriate amount of fat in that same meal in order to stay in ketosis.

To do this you need to count the total carbs of the entire meal, of which each vegetable is just a part. Your total calories from carbs should be no more than 15%-20%, with more than 65%, but up to 85%, of your calories coming from fats. 

When counting carb calories remember that your daily total of 80 carb calories should be split across your meals, trying your best to have no more than 40 carb calories in a single sitting.

If you’re new to keto, get some recipes

The fact that calories from carbs, especially vegetables, look more than those from fats may be confusing at first. If you use a couple of keto recipes to help you get to grips with how much of what you should be eating, and what that looks like, you will soon be able to come up with some of your own recipes and meal plans.

Once you understand the sizes of portions, do still make sure you have the right values. But when you get into the swing of things you’ll quickly figure out how to create amazing and tasty meals with just the right calorie ratio from carbs, proteins and fats.