The Ketogenic diet is a diet that is high in fat and restricts the intake of carbohydrates to just fifty grams per day. The Keto diet requires you to either cut carbs from your diet or consume it in small quantities to achieve ketosis.
Foods such as fruit, grains, legumes, starchy, and vegetables are rich in carbohydrates, so they cannot be part of the Ketogenic diet. However, in this article, we will discuss one particular fruit, tomato, and we will discuss whether tomatoes are allowed on a Ketogenic diet or not.
Can you eat Tomatoes on Keto?
Despite its appearance and characteristics similar to other vegetables, tomatoes are a type of fruit, and they are considered Keto-friendly. The reason being that tomatoes can have a small content of carbs, only two to three grams of carbohydrates per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
The carbohydrate content in tomatoes is ten times less than other fruits. However, other low-carb vegetables are allowed on the keto diet:
Not all Tomato-Based Foods are Keto Friendly
Raw tomatoes are allowed on the Keto diet, but several tomato dishes are prohibited. Tomatoes products that are bought from stores such as:
- Tomato paste
- Canned tomato
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato juice
Contain added sugar, which is not allowed on the Keto diet. Therefore, it is important to check the ingredients of tomato products before buying them and avoid products with extra sugar. Sundried tomatoes are also less likely to be part of the Ketogenic diet than normal tomatoes.
The reason sundried tomatoes are not considered part of the Ketogenic diet is that they have a low content of water, which pushes their content of net carbs to 23 grams, which is more than the carb content in normal tomatoes.
Nutrients in different Varieties of Tomatoes
|Type of Tomato (100 grams)||Total carbs (grams)||Fiber (grams)||Net Carbs (grams)|
|San Marzano Tomato||4.35||0.9||3.45|
|Italiana (aka plum) Tomato||4.13||0.8||3.33|
Other Essential Nutrients in Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a source of minerals, vitamins, and other health-improving compounds. Other nutrients are:
- Vitamin C
- Chlorogenic acid
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes have been linked to several types of health benefits:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have stated that a medium-sized raw tomato provides 19 % of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a type of antioxidant; it helps protect the cells in the body from damaging and boosts the immune system.
A study conducted on Naringenin, a flavonoid in the tomato skin, concluded that Naringenin could promote the healthy functioning of the immune system.
Tomatoes contain a high fiber content, which can help eradicate constipation as long as you consume fiber from other sources (25 to 31 grams).
Reduction in Cancer Risk
A study in 2010 concluded that lycopene in tomatoes could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Cooked tomatoes are even richer in lycopene, as the cooking procedure releases more lycopene from within the tomato skin. There are different cooking methods that you can use to cook tomatoes:
Research also concluded that tomatoes could also reduce the risk of the spread of colorectal cancer cells.
Tomatoes also contain essential antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene, and they help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and light-induced damage to the eyes.
Other Fruits and Vegetables Allowed on the Ketogenic Diet
While tomatoes are a nutritious variety of fruit, consuming a nice blend of vegetables and fruit is essential. Below are two tables that show the net carb content in keto-friendly fruits and vegetables.
|Fruit (100 grams)||Total Carbs (grams)||Fiber (grams)||Net carbs (grams)|
|Vegetables (1 cup serving)||Total Carbs (grams)||Fiber (grams)||Net carbs (grams)|
Delicious Keto-Friendly Tomato Recipes
Here are four delicious tomato recipes that you can try at home:
Keto Stuffed Tomato
This recipe is for the creative ones, and it contains shirataki rice mixed with vegetables, cheese, minced beef, and Bolognese sauce. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and stuff them inside the tomatoes.
Keto Low Carb Roasted Tomato Soup
This is a tasty recipe and is extremely easy to make and will keep you away from those unhealthy varieties of canned soup. Add your favorite toppings to the mixture (shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced bell peppers), and you are good to go.
Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
Enjoy a yummy blend of tomatoes and cucumber, along with a fresh salad. This salad also contains feta cheese. This salad can be eaten as a side dish.
This is an Italian classic; it is a blend of raw tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil. You can also add a nice touch of pine nuts.
Instructions and Ingredients for Recipes
- Four to five medium-sized tomatoes, cut into thin slices
- One pound fresh Mozzarella, cut into thin slices
- Half cup of basil leaves
- One tablespoon of Balsamic glaze
- Freshly grounded pepper
- Sea salt
- Arrange the mozzarella and tomato slices on a tray
- Sprinkle the basil leaves on the tomatoes
- Drizzle the balsamic glaze and olive oil
- Sprinkle salt and pepper
- Eight to ten medium-sized tomatoes
- One pound ground meat
- One tablespoon of extra virgin oil
- Finely chop two cloves of garlic
- One teaspoon of dried oregano
- One teaspoon of a sea salt
- One teaspoon of grounded black pepper
- Half cup of shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Slice the top of the tomatoes
- Spread the tomatoes on a tray and glaze them
- Cooking the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil
- Add vegan mince of ground meat
- Drain the fat
- Add a topping of cheese
- Bake for eight to twelve minutes
Low Carb Bruschetta
- Five diced large-sized tomatoes
- Two finely chopped garlic cloves
- Six tablespoons of olive oil
- ¼ cup of fresh basil leaves
- One tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- One teaspoon of salt
- One freshly grounded pepper
- Cook the garlic in olive oil
- Let it cool down
- In a large-sized bowl, add all the ingredients along with garlic and olive oil.
- Marinate in the fridge for an hour
- Serve immediately
Five Easy Ways to make your Ketogenic Diet Healthy
Thorough planning goes a long way, and here are five ways you can make your Keto diet healthier:
Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut
A good diet contains much variety, which means you need various food items daily, rather than eating the same bland meal every day. On a restricted diet like Keto, adding variety can be challenging, but there are several keto blogs online that contain hundreds of keto-friendly recipes, so go check them out.
Make the Carbs Count
Keto is a diet that is low on carbs and discourages their intake. However, that does not mean that you take carbs totally out of your diet. It is all about maximizing the carbohydrates you consume daily and ensuring that your carbs are nutrient-rich. Some sources of carbs that are allowed on the Ketogenic diet are:
Emphasis should be on Quality
The focus is consuming meat and healthy fat in the Keto diet, so you should focus on the best available meat, and your fat sources should also be reliable. Try these food items:
- Grass-fed butter
- Wild seafood
- Organic eggs
Switch up the Fat
There are no restrict rules or recommendations for fat, and the keto diet does not suggest its users cap the fat intake to eat different types of healthy fats such as coconut oil and butter. However, it is nice to mix up your fat sources and make sure your diet contains a nice blend of saturated and unsaturated fat.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (USDA), you should get less than 10 % of the total calories from unsaturated fat. Try the following:
- Drizzle avocado oil (unsaturated fat) on roasted vegetables
- Add a spoon of coconut oil to your smoothie
- Eat a small portion of grass-fed rib eye
- Eat organic chicken along with
Measure the Food you eat
When people begin a restrictive diet like Keto, it is recommended to measure the food intake. You can also use a scale as it will allow you to measure the ingredients you consume accurately. Remember to keep the quantity of protein in check, as a high protein content can kick you off ketosis.
Measuring spoons can also be used as they will help you dole out the fat. Once you are done with the measuring, check everything once more and then prepare your meal.
So now we can comfortably answer this question: Are tomatoes keto diet-friendly? And the answer to that question is yes, they are. Tomatoes contain several health benefits and can also reduce the risk of several types of cancers. So try the recipes we have mentioned above and make them a part of your Keto diet.