- Root vegetables are allowed on a keto diet. The ones that should be used when doing a strict keto diet (20-30 grams of total or net carbs per day) include some of the following:
- carrots (in limited portions).
- Opt to do the higher-carb root vegetables when you are doing keto-carb cycling (after doing at least 30 days of a strict keto diet of 20-30 net or total carbs per day). Included in this list are root vegetables such as sweet potatoes or beetroots.
Can I have any root vegetables on a keto diet?
If you ask yourself, ” Which root vegetables are keto-friendly?” then that is a legit question. Let’s face it; keto comes with a lot of questions and uncertainties. I’m here to tell you that root vegetables are allowed on the keto diet! However, the higher-carb root vegetables should only be done when you are not doing a strict keto diet. In this post, I will go through which root vegetables you should eat when doing a strict keto diet. I will also go through the ones that you should save for when you are done with a strict keto diet( 20-30 grams of net or total carbs) and save for keto-carb cycling.
Include root vegetables for Root Chakra Balance
The perks of root vegetables are limitless. I can’t imagine our world without any root vegetables, and you need them in your diet for certain nutrients. One of the biggest reasons it is essential to incorporate root vegetables is for Root Chakra balance. A root vegetable can help with grounding and help you to feel connected in life, thus balancing your Root Chakra. I recommend that you include them in your keto diet to feel balanced. However, that being said, certain root vegetables do matter!
Are sweet potatoes okay?
I love sweet potatoes; however, the carb count can add up fast if you are strict keto. For this reason, I usually recommend that you only eat sweet potatoes when you are doing keto-carb cycling. For example, let’s say that you are doing a strict keto for 30 days, and after that time, you would like to add in more carbs. Then, you would cycle in at least one day, if not two days, where you incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.
You could eat sweet potatoes doing a strict keto; however, you would have to limit them to like 1-2 tbsp (which would be anywhere from 1.5-3 net carbs in Cronometer). Eating this amount of sweet potato is difficult! That is why I recommend waiting on sweet potatoes until you can incorporate more carbs into your life.
Can I have a beetroot?
Beetroot is another root vegetable that you have to be careful with when doing a strict keto diet. In other words, I would recommend you include beetroot once you are doing keto-carb cycling! Like sweet potatoes, beetroots have many nutrients in them, but it can be not easy to eat these if you are trying to keep your total or net carbs between 20-30 grams per day. In Cronometer, a beetroot is about 9.6 net carbs for a 1/2 cup. Again, if you think you can get by eating 1-2 tbsp of beetroot ( about 0.6-1.1 net carbs), then go for it.
How about carrots?
You can include carrots in reasonable portions in a strict keto diet. In Cronometer, for a medium carrot (about 6 to 7 inches long), you will allot about 4.1 net carbs into your count. Maybe if you’re doing strict keto, you would want to opt for the baby carrots( 1.5 ounces is about three net carbs in Cronometer). Again, when you are doing a strict keto, this may add up fast. However, if you crave a carrot and want to save some carbs for this, then I say go for it.
Which root vegetables are permissible on a strict keto?
Okay, so now that we have talked about several root vegetables to watch on a strict keto, let me go over which root vegetables are keto-friendly ( referring to keto-friendly as keeping net or total carbs between 20-30 grams). As I go through each of the keto-friendly, root vegetable, I will also describe the nutrient for each of them.
Onions are great for a strict keto and can be used to jazz up any keto dish. I love cooking onion in the kitchen; the aromatic smells are lovely. When you cook onion in the kitchen, you will surely get someone to fall in love with you! For one-half of a small onion, you can allot around 2.8 net carbs in Cronometer. Not too shabby! I like to cut onions up thin and throw them in a salad or saute them with cauliflower rice. I also have a good recipe for an onion juice remedy which is good if you are sick. This onion juice remedy contains quercetin, which will help your immune system.
Benefits of onions
Besides quercetin, onions have various other benefits. Onions are rich in two chemical groups that have perceived benefits to human health. These are the flavonoids and the alk(en)yl cysteine sulphoxides (ACSOs). Two flavonoid subgroups are found in onions. The anthocyanins, which impart a red/purple color to some varieties, and flavonols such as quercetin and its derivatives are responsible for the yellow and brown skin of other varieties1.
Compounds from onions have been reported to have a range of health benefits, including properties to fight cancer, defeat asthma, and antibiotic activities.2 When I first learned about all the benefits of onion, I couldn’t believe it. It goes to show that you probably would want to include onions in a lot of your meals.
I love garlic! It also can make a dish taste superb with its distinct taste! Another perk is you don’t have to worry about the carbs ( 1 clove of garlic = 0.9 net carbs in Cronometer). Whether I chop it up or I use garlic powder, I like to use a lot of this antioxidant herb in my dishes.
Whether you are looking to help lower your cholesterol, fight or prevent cancer, garlic has a special place in your home. Of the numerous health benefits of garlic, the anticancer effect is probably the most noticeable. Observations over the past years have shown that the consumption of garlic in the diet provides strong protection against cancer risk 3.
Also, garlic has been found to reduce your total cholesterol levels, in addition to lowering your LDLs (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. This example is a direct indicator of its anti-hyperlipidemic properties 4.If you have trouble with your cholesterol (and you have permission from your healthcare provider), I would consider adding a garlic supplement to your regimen. You can’t go wrong with a garlic supplement because it will also help reduce your cancer risk.
Radishes are great additions to salads and have a distinct, crisp taste. They are also suitable for a strict keto diet regimen! In Cronometer, two small rashes are only like 0.1 net carbs! Did you know that radishes have an antidiabetic effect? Yes! I will explain more below.
Benefits of radishes
In summary, radishes have been identified as having antidiabetic effects, making them favorable for diabetic conditions. Radishes can help enhance antioxidant defense mechanisms, reduce free radicals, promote glucose uptake and energy metabolism. They also can reduce glucose absorption in the intestine5.
Even if you don’t have diabetes, a radish would be great for you to eat. When you eat a radish, you are helping your immune system by giving it an antioxidant! Since radishes are so low in carbs, they are excellent if you need something to help fill you up.
I like to roast turnips! I usually want to do this in the oven with coconut oil for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. The crunchiness helps to satisfy your cravings for things like chips when doing a keto diet. The carb count for 1 ounce of a turnip is about 1.3 net carbs in Cronometer. Not too bad at all.
Benefits of turnips
Did you know that a turnip can be very medicinal in various disorders? Besides being an important vegetable and source of oil, turnip is also used as a traditional medicine to treat headaches, chest complaints, rheumatisms, oedemas, gonorrhea, syphilis, and rabies6. A turnip contains flavonoids and other antioxidant effects, which help it fight cancer tumors, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and reduce inflammation. They also have antioxidants effects and can protect the liver and kidneys 7. Again, another keto-friendly vegetable that is superb for your health!
I am not as familiar with jicamas, but I know that they are considered keto-friendly root vegetables. Even though it is not on an ordinary food list, jicama has been a staple in Central America for years. Jicama is an excellent source of fiber and full of antioxidants. In Cronometer, it is approximately 1.1 net carbs. These prized root vegetables are generally found in grocery stores in the spring or fall time frames in the Northern Hemispheres8.
Benefits of jicamas
Jicamas contain folate, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and small amounts of omega-3 and -6 unsaturated fatty acids. They also have appreciable amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, and E and zinc, copper, calcium, and phosphorus. Like some of the other tubers we mentioned, they also properties which can help to fight cancer. They also can help to reverse diabetes and are excellent for your bone health 9.
Rutabagas are also great root vegetables that are keto-friendly! Rutabagas are a delicious treat to roast. Like some of the other tubers, they also have a lot of health benefits. Rutabagas taste like a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. They almost somewhat resemble that taste of a potato in a way( without all the carbs). About 1 ounce of rutabaga will run you about 1.8 net carbs in Cronometer.
Benefits of rutabagas
According to a study done in 2013, rutabagas have properties that can help prevent cancer. The study’s findings also show that rutabagas can help to decrease tumor size and destroy tumor cells.10 So, not only do rutabagas help to prevent cancer, but they also will help to kill cancer cells.
Celeriac( aka celery root)
Yes, I am referring to celeriac and not celery( even though celery is keto-friendly). Celeriac is the root of the celery stalk. It is said to have a nutty overtone. You can try it as a mash, in big-flavored, slow-cook dishes, or in its classic form, as they do in France, as a remoulade 11.
I have never had celeriac, but I would love to try it! If you have and like the taste, feel free to comment below. According to Cronometer, 1 ounce of this tuber is about 2.1 net carbs.
Benefits of celeriac
The benefits of celeriac include anything from providing antioxidants to helping with solid bones. It also has been found to have a lot of vitamin C and potassium. Due to its high potassium levels, any individuals with blood clotting disorders should be careful when consuming this tuber. Also, if you are on a blood thinner, you need to tell your healthcare provider. Any pregnant woman or if you have some renal disease should also heed precautions with this root vegetable 12.
Doing a strict keto diet with root vegetables.
I certainly think it is possible and feasible to do a strict keto diet with the above root vegetables. Again, as long as you keep your total or net carbs to around 20-30 grams per day, then you should stay in good ketosis. Remember, if you want to eat beets, sweet potatoes, or carrots, they are best done when you are not doing a rigorous keto program, and you have integrated more carbs into your life. As mentioned before, please refer to my keto-carb cycling article for more information. I also talk about monitoring your keto diet in my Keto Biometrics 1 and Keto Biometrics 2 posts.
I am so glad you found me here at HKG and have learned about which root vegetables are keto-friendly. I want to help you on your journey towards wellness. Please sign up for my email list, and you will get weekly updates from me. My whole goal here is to guide you through a wellness journey through the keto diet and chakra balance. I believe combining these two concepts will help give you the tools to improve your health.
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Griffiths G, Trueman L, Crowther T, Thomas B, Smith B. Onions–a global benefit to health. Phytother Res. 2002 Nov;16(7):603-15. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1222. PMID: 124105391,2
Zhang Y, Liu X, Ruan J, Zhuang X, Zhang X, Li Z. Phytochemicals of garlic: Promising candidates for cancer therapy. Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Mar;123:109730. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109730. Epub 2019 Dec 23. PMID: 31877551 3.Sun YE, Wang W, Qin J. Anti-hyperlipidemia of garlic by reducing the level of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein: A meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 May;97(18):e0255. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000010255. PMID: 29718835; PMCID: PMC63926294Banihani SA. Radish (Raphanus sativus) and Diabetes. Nutrients. 2017 Sep 14;9(9):1014. doi: 10.3390/nu9091014. PMID: 28906451; PMCID: PMC56227745.
Paul S, Geng CA, Yang TH, Yang YP, Chen JJ. Phytochemical and Health-Beneficial Progress of Turnip (Brassica rapa). J Food Sci. 2019 Jan;84(1):19-30. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.14417. Epub 2018 Dec 18. PMID: 305610356,7.