What Root Vegetables Are Keto Friendly? [+Top Substitutes]

  • Author: Kara
  • Date: April 17, 2023
  • Time to Read: 7 min.

In this article, we will have a look at what root vegetables are keto-friendly, and what root vegetables you should avoid on a keto diet. Where root vegetables are not keto friendly, we’ll go through what our favorite, keto approved alternative is. You don’t have to miss out on root veg on keto.

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Root vegetables are vegetables that largely grow underground. They are often referred to as “vegetable roots“. Because they grow underground, these vegetables tend to be higher in sugar. Due to this a lot of people will avoid them on a keto diet.

This does not have to be the case, as we will take you through here.

So, what are some common examples of root vegetables? What root vegetables are keto friendly?

Which Root Veg To Avoid On Keto

Let’s find out.

Can I Eat Root Vegetables On Keto?

“Eating root vegetables is difficult for those following a ketogenic diet. They’re loaded with nutrients like fiber and potassium but are also full of carbohydrates (sugars) which is not great for a keto diet. 

Yes, I know these are natural sugars, but they will still raise your blood sugar levels.”

I see variations of the above all over keto websites (yes, I check out other people’s keto advice too!). Not all root vegetables are ‘full of carbs’.

It is true that some are high in carbs and should be avoided.

BUT, there are plenty of root vegetables that can be consumed on a keto diet. They are often full of amazing nutrients, which you do not want to miss out on.

Why Do I Need To Be Careful With Root Veg?

If you want to remain in ketosis and burn fat for fuel, you will need to stay within your keto macros (aka macronutrients).

Not all root vegetables are full of carbs, plenty can be enjoyed on the keto diet

If you are new to keto and need to find out more, check out our keto getting started guide, which will take you through everything that you need to know.

What Root Vegetables Are Keto Friendly

For a lot of people eating a SAD (Standard American Diet), root vegetables are one of their biggest sources of fiber.

If not getting enough fiber on a keto diet is something that is concerning you, check out our article where we cover some of the best keto friendly sources of fiber.

If you get confused by some of the terminologies, check out our keto terms and keto abbreviations guide.

But, let’s have a look at what root vegetables are keto friendly, which root vegetables have too many carbs, and which you should avoid.

How many carbohydrates do root vegetables have?

Root vegetables can vary vastly in the number of carbs they contain.

Below we will have a look at some of the most popular root vegetables, and look at how many carbohydrates they have per 100 grams.

As you will see, root vegetables can range anywhere from 5 grams per 100 grams, to over 35 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.

Their carb count can vary greatly.

That is why we have done the work for you in working out what root vegetables are keto friendly, and which you should stay away from.

List of Root Vegetables: Low Carb to High Carb

Below we have listed root vegetables from low carb to high carb, however, please remember that this is per 100 grams.

For some of these vegetables, 100 grams will be an exceptionally large serving.

Best Root Veggies For Keto [keto root vegetables]

To help you out, we’ve added a grading net to each

  • Keto – these are keto friendly and can be factored into your keto diet
  • Moderate Keto – these are root vegetables that can be eaten on a keto diet, but you will need to consider your serving size, and make sure that you are factoring this into your other macros.
  • Keto – no surprise that these root vegetables are not keto friendly and should be avoided on a keto diet.

Radishes [3.4g/100g] *Keto*

Radishes can be amazing thinly sliced in a salad, to give it a lovely peppery taste, texture, and color. Recently, I’ve been enjoying a few of these roasted (in the oven or the air fryer), as a roast potato substitute

Daikon [4.3g/100g] *Keto*

Daikon is a white radish, again, low in carbs and great on a keto diet.

Turnips [5.1g/100g] *Moderate Keto*

Turnips are slightly higher in carbs, and should be measured out so you can track your macros. They can be great turned into keto fries, or cubed.

They do have a slightly sweet taste. I like this roasted and tossed on top of a salad.

Kohlrabi [6.2g/100g] *Moderate Keto*

Kohlrabi is another great versatile keto friendly root vegetable. It is can be shredded and eaten raw, or cooked in a number of different ways.

Carrots [6.8g/100g raw]

Carrots are rich in vitamin A, however, they can be contentious on a keto diet due to their relatively high carb count.

For me, I will occasionally add them to meals in really small amounts, such as in a stir-fry to add a bit of color. But I wouldn’t eat a whole raw carrot, like I would pre keto.

Onion [6.8g/100g] *Moderate Keto*

I like some shredded onion raw in a salad, and as the base for soups, sauces, and stews. It is moderately high in carbs, which means that you should be cautious about how much you consume.

Celeriac [Celery Root] [7.7g/100g] *Moderate Keto*

Celeriac is high in fiber, as well as moderately high in carbohydrates. I like it as a potato substitute.

I will often incorporate these into my keto meals.

Rutabaga [Swede] [8.1g/100g] *Moderate Keto*

Rutabaga is a decadent root veg, which is very versatile. It can be cubed and roasted, or turned into yummy keto fries.

Jicama [8.9g/100g] *Moderate Keto*

Jicama not only makes a good fries substitute but also can be a good substitute for roast potatoes.

Artichokes [9.2g/100g] *Moderate Keto*

Artichokes can be great on a keto diet, one of my favorite ways of cooking this root veg is by roasting it with some parmesan cheese. It can make a meal in its own right, or the perfect side for meat dished.

Beets [9.6g/100g] *Moderate Keto*

Beets can only be eaten on keto in very moderate amounts, due to their carb content. But then, you don’t need a lot of them. They go great sliced into a salad, or baked to make chips.

Horseradish [11.3g/100g] *Keto*

Horseradish is high in carbs per 100 grams, however, the reality of it is that a serving size is very small, so unless you are eating it by the bucket full, horseradish sauce will not kick you out of ketosis.

White Potatoes [15.7g/100g] *Not Keto*

Unfortunately, white potatoes are too high in carbs to eat on a keto diet, with an average-sized potato weighing around 250 grams, there is no way you can enjoy white potatoes on keto.

That doesn’t mean that you have to miss out, there are plenty of keto white potato alternatives out there.

Root Ginger [17.8g/100g] *Keto*

Although higher in carbs than white potatoes, the reality is that you will never eat more than a few grams of root ginger. This means that despite the high carb count, root ginger is actually keto friendly.

Yams [Sweet Potatoes] [17.5g/100g] *Not Keto*

Yams, aka sweet potatoes, are starchy roots that grow underground. Yams are native to Africa and Asia. They are sometimes called African or Asian potatoes.

They have been promoted as a healthy food in place of white potatoes. However, they are too high in carbs to be considered a keto friendly food.

Parsnips [20.0g/100g] *Not Keto*

Parsnips are great on a cooked dinner but are very sweet.

They are too high in carbs to be considered a keto friendly food.

Garlic [33.1g/100g] *Keto*

Remember, that a serving of garlic is only a few grams. If you ate 100g of garlic, you would definitely be keeping the vampires at bay!

Yuca [Cassava] [37.5g/100g] *Not Keto*

I think that carb count alone tells you everything you need to know, as delicious as yuca can be, unfortunately, it is not suitable for a keto diet? 

Missing Your Roasted Vegetables?

If you are missing your roasted vegetables on keto, you don’t have to. You just have to be clever with your substitutions.

Instead of roasting potatoes, why not try roasting a few radishes, or roasting some celeriac as a substitute.
Also, why not look at roasting veg that you would have normally? I love French beans roasted – they have a lovely crisp texture to them. Even broccoli in the air fryer is amazing.

Check out our article on eating too much veg on a keto diet, before you start piling your plate high.

Or even switch things up and check out the best raw veg you can eat on keto.

What are your favorite keto friendly root vegetables? How do you like to eat them? Let us know in the comments below.

Prefer your vegetables pickled – check out our article on the best keto pickled veg.

Wrapping Up: What Root Vegetables Are Keto Friendly

Here, we have busted the myth that you cannot eat root vegetables on a keto diet. Hopefully, now you are confident in what root vegetables are keto friendly, and which ones you need to find substitutions for.

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