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Are Cherry Tomatoes Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

Are Cherry Tomatoes Keto-Friendly (& Substitutes)

On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about cherry tomatoes, are they keto-friendly?

Cherry tomatoes are a type of small tomato. They are typically red but there are also yellow, green, and black cherry tomatoes.

The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in raw cherry tomatoes is around 2.7 grams per 100 grams. This comes down to about 7 whole cherry tomatoes.

While it depends on the rest of your diet, for most people cherry tomatoes are keto-friendly. Even if you are not the biggest fan of cherry tomatoes there are substitutes that are even better for staying in ketosis.

When is a food keto-friendly

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into ketosis, a state where it starts mainly burning fat as a fuel (1). This comes down to more or less getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

For most people this comes down to eating around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates a day.

In reality, this number is different depending on a lot of factors. For example, people who exercise a lot may be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.

That being said that daily amount can be a good general guideline.

It is also common to exclude fiber from this amount since it doesn’t get absorbed into your body the same way as regular carbohydrates.

Carbs in cherry tomatoes

100 grams of cherry tomatoes is about 7 whole cherry tomatoes and contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 3.9 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.7 grams

While possible depending on the other foods in your diet, it is unlikely that the 2.7 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of cherry tomatoes are enough to kick you out of ketosis.

Most people can at least eat about 7 cherry tomatoes (2.7 net carbs) on keto.

One ounce of cherry tomatoes is about 28 grams, about 2 whole cherry tomatoes, and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 1.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.3 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.8 grams

The number of net carbs in 1 ounce of cherry tomatoes, 0.8 grams, is even easier to fit into a keto diet. Whether or not cherry tomatoes are keto for you ultimately depends on your individual situation and the rest of your diet.

Other nutrients in cherry tomatoes

Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still matter on the ketogenic diet.

100 graws of raw cherry tomatoes contains the following nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 18
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 3.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 22% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin A: 17% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 10% of the DV
  • Potassium: 7% of the DV
  • Manganese: 5% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Besides being low in net carbs, cherry tomatoes can also provide you with a few valuable nutrients. A great combination for a ketogenic diet.

How to avoid eating too many cherry tomatoes

While in reasonable portions salsa dip can fit in your keto diet, some people may have to exercise some portion control. Having a big bowl of cherry tomatoes near you and hoping that you don’t eat too much is not the ideal way to do this.

You can avoid eating too many cherry tomatoes with some of the following tips:

  • Plan ahead, how many cherry tomatoes will you eat?
  • Put the planned amount in a bowl and leave the rest of the cherry tomatoes out of sight
  • Don’t eat during other activities like watching TV
  • Consider not buying it if you can’t control yourself

If you notice you get out of ketosis you may need to reduce the quantity of cherry tomatoes you eat.

Substitutes for cherry tomatoes on keto

Botanically speaking tomatoes are fruits but they are generally used as vegetables. That’s why these substitutes will be vegetables instead of fruits. Cherry tomatoes are not the highest in net carbs but there are vegetables that are more keto-friendly.

Some of the following substitutes may be better on the keto diet. These are the net carb values per 100 grams (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9):

  • Chicory: 0.9 grams of net carbs
  • Spinach: 1.4 grams of net carbs
  • Green leaf lettuce: 1.5 grams of net carbs
  • Celery: 1.8 grams of net carbs
  • Radishes: 1.9 grams of net carbs
  • Asparagus: 2.1 grams of net carbs

If you have trouble staying in ketosis but still have cravings for vegetables it may be smart to choose some of these substitutes over cherry tomatoes. That being said cherry tomatoes are still relatively low in net carbs.

What is your goal with keto?

Even a small portion of cherry tomatoes added to certain daily diets can potentially put you just over the net carbs border, out of ketosis. Depending on the goal you have with keto this may or may not be a problem.

If your goal is to stay strictly in ketosis 24/7 you want to be careful about your carbohydrate intake.

If your goal is to lose weight and become healthier, cherry tomatoes can be a good food option even if they potentially put you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level.