Are sweet potatoes keto friendly?
Well, it’s a bit complicated. You can eat an entire sweet potato without interfering with ketosis. However, I still wouldn’t indulge in sweet potatoes too much because overeating can quickly knock you out of ketosis.
So if you’re interested in eating sweet potatoes on keto or you’re looking for keto alternatives, read on. This post will talk about the nutritional value of sweet potatoes while showing you how you can emulate the taste of sweet potatoes and stay in ketosis.
Nutritional Content of Sweet Potatoes
One medium-sized sweet potato that weighs around 130 grams contains:
- 26 grams of carbs
- 4 grams of fiber
- 22 grams of net carbs
- 112 calories
- 2 grams of protein
- 0.1 grams of fat
Sweet potatoes also have a good amount of potassium, offering 12 percent of your daily requirements, alongside trace amounts of vitamins B6, C and magnesium.
Are Sweet Potatoes Keto Friendly?
KetoConnect verdict: We give sweet potatoes a keto-friendly rating of ⭐(out of 5)
One serving or 130 grams of sweet potatoes contains 26 grams of carbs. And since you want to limit your carb intake to 50 grams daily on keto, sweet potatoes are allowed on a keto diet, but in small amounts.
For example, if you typically eat around 20 grams of carbs per day, you can just about fit one sweet potato into your diet while staying under your daily carb limit. However, if you want to be on the safe side and you aren’t a big fan of sweet potatoes, you can avoid them altogether.
How Many Carbs in a Sweet Potato?
One sweet potato has 26 grams of carbs, making it keto-friendly in moderation.
But you still want to be careful when introducing sweet potato into your diet because if you overeat by a few grams, you’ll be hampering ketosis.
So if you like sweet potatoes and want to enjoy them safely, I recommend weighing them on a scale. This way, you can be sure you’re eating the correct amount and aren’t going overboard.
Nutrition Fact for Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with nutritions. They are rich in vitamins like A, C, and B6, providing immune support and skin health.
They’re also high in fiber, which helps digestion and makes you feel full.
Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes, helping stabilize blood sugar levels. Their potassium content supports heart health, and the antioxidants they contain combat oxidative stress.
Are Sweet Potato Chips Keto Friendly?
Most companies add sugar, syrups, preservatives and other additives to their chips to enhance the flavor. These additives will kick you out of ketosis and trigger inflammation, so you should avoid it on a ketogenic diet at all costs.
Even if you can find a brand that uses no harmful additives, the carbs inside sweet potato chips can quickly interfere with ketosis.
How to Make Healthy Sweet Potatoes on a Low-Carb Diet
If you’re looking to recreate the taste of sweet potatoes, then try these yummy yet keto friendly recipes:
- Healthy keto sweet potato casserole
- Crock pot ham cauliflower “potato” stew
- Keto cauliflower hash browns
- Roasted jicama with green beans
- Keto loaded cauliflower casserole
- Mashed turnips (mashed potato substitute)
1. Healthy Keto Sweet Potato Casserole
This fantastic sweet potato casserole-style recipe is a good option if you want to emulate the taste of sweet potato. You’ll need:
- One large head of cauliflower
- One cup of pumpkin puree
- Two large eggs
- Four tablespoons of melted butter
- Six tablespoons of erythritol
- One teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt
- A half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
2. Mashed Turnips (Mashed Potato Substitute)
When I started doing keto, I played around with different mashed potato alternatives.
I’m currently using turnips as a potato substitute, and I find it’s the closest thing to regular mashed potatoes. A cup of turnips has a carb count of eight grams, so it’s safe to eat.
For this recipe, all you need is:
- Heavy whipping cream
- Salt and pepper
You prepare this just like regular mashed potatoes; the only difference is you swap out your potatoes for turnips.
First, cut your turnips into small cubes and boil them in salt water until they are soft.
Next, drain the water and add as much butter and heavy cream as you like. Mash until this mixture is smooth and creamy, and enjoy!
3. Crock Pot Ham Cauliflower “Potato” Stew
Crock pot ham cauliflower “potato” stew is another popular dish amongst keto and low-carb dieters.
One serving only contains five grams of carbs, so you can eat a couple of servings without harming ketosis.
To make this recipe, gather the following ingredients:
- Three cups of diced ham
- ¼ cup of whipping cream
- 14.5 ounces of chicken bone broth
- Four cloves of garlic
- Eight ounces of grated cheese
- A half a teaspoon of garlic powder
- A half a teaspoon of onion powder
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- 16 ounces of cauliflower florets
Simply put all these ingredients except the cauliflower into a crockpot or airfryer for around four hours. After these four hours are over, add your cauliflower for another 30 minutes, and serve!
4. Keto Cauliflower Hash Browns
If you’re a hash brown fan, you must try this keto cauliflower hash brown recipe. All you need is three ingredients:
- Three cups of riced cauliflower
- 3 ¼ of a cup cheddar cheese
- One egg
5. Roasted Jicama with Green Beans
This roasted jicama and green beans recipe is a tasty option if you want to whip up something quick. You only need six ingredients:
- Green beans
- Thyme and rosemary
- Olive oil
Start by peeling your jicama and cutting it into small cubes. You can also cut them into strips if you plan on making fries.
Next, place your green beans, garlic, thyme and rosemary alongside your jicama on a tray, sprinkle on some olive oil and salt, and put it in the oven until golden brown. Open your oven every 15 minutes or so to give your vegetables a nice stir.
6. Keto Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
This loaded cauliflower casserole is the perfect keto-friendly holiday side dish. Feel free to make it ahead of time, and when your family comes over, you can place it in the oven and heat it up.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
A large head of cauliflower
- Fresh chives
- Green onions
- Fresh parsley
- Six strips of bacon
- Two ounces of cream cheese
- ¾ cup of sour cream
- Garlic powder
- Two teaspoons of brown mustard
- Sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (however, any cheese will work)
Keto Sweet Potato Alternatives
If you’re a big fan of roasted sweet potatoes, don’t worry. Some foods taste very similar but have a lower carb count. These foods include:
- Butternut squash
- Daikon radish
- Red radishes
I like using these sweet potato alternatives because it’s super easy to emulate good old sweet potato fries. You can also cut your turnips or carrots into blocks and toss them on top of a salad.
How Many Carbs Are in Sweet Potato Fries?
A typical batch of sweet potato fries (85 grams) you’ll find at a restaurant contains 24 grams of carbs, similar to regular french fries.
Chef’s Tips for Perfect Keto Sweet Potatoes
Here are some quick-fire tips for making the perfect sweet potatoes:
- Bake your sweet potatoes instead of frying them since it keeps the carb count low
- For extra flavor and fat, add butter, bacon and cinnamon
- Wrap your sweet potato in foil when baking as it helps trap the heat
- Poke holes in your sweet potato to speed up the cooking process
How Many Carbs in a Baked Sweet Potato?
When you cook sweet potatoes, you significantly increase the amount of carbs.
Around 130g of raw sweet potatoes contain 26 grams of carbs, but when you boil or fry them, this number jumps to 41 grams.
So if you’re considering eating sweet potatoes on a ketogenic diet, I recommend eating them raw. Add them to a salad or eat them with your favorite meals. If you don’t like raw sweet potatoes, sear it in some butter, but avoid cooking them for long periods.
Can I Eat Sweet Potato Chips on a Keto Diet?
Avoid eating high-carb, processed foods like sweet potato chips on a keto diet. The carbs, additives and sugar in sweet potato chips will knock you out of ketosis and trigger inflammation.
How Can I Eat Sweet Potatoes on a Standard Keto Diet?
You can eat sweet potatoes on keto but you must significantly limit your intake. A 130-gram serving has 26 grams of carbs, so if you limit your carbs during the day, you can get away with eating one serving.
Are Sweet Potatoes Good Carbs?
Sweet potato carbs are considered “healthy.” This is because sweet potatoes have a low GI (Glycemic Index) score, only clocking in at about 46. This means the carbs are released slowly into your bloodstream; you avoid the rapid spike and drop you get with high-GI foods.
Other Healthy Foods You Cannot Eat on the Keto Diet
If you’re new to keto, you’ll be surprised at the sheer amount of “healthy” foods loaded with carbs and sugar. Here are some of the most common “healthy” foods you should avoid on keto:
- Starchy vegetables
- Pasta, bread and rice
Final Word on Are Sweet Potatoes Keto Friendly
You need to limit your carb intake to 50 grams on keto, so you can get away with eating a sweet potato now and then since it contains 26 grams of carbs.
However, if you want to be on the safe side, I recommend avoiding sweet potatoes altogether and instead swapping it out for lower carb alternatives like mashed turnips, cauliflower hash browns or loaded cauliflower casserole.
Matt is a former college basketball player turned computer engineer who discovered his passion for health and nutrition after cutting sugar from his diet in 2016. That year he founded KetoConnect with Megha in order to share their ketogenic lifestyle through recipes, videos, and educational content. Matt is always seeking to grow and try new things, a passion he shares with his wife and two amazing sons.
Expert Fact Checker
Marina is a licensed nutritionist with a keen specialization in food laws and dedication to shaping healthier lives. Beyond her professional journey, she finds joy in crafting culinary creations, embracing an active lifestyle, and cherishing quality moments with friends. In both food and life, she believes that balance is the key to nurturing well-being.