Is Cucumber Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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To stay in ketosis you have to pay enough attention to what you eat. Find out whether cucumbers are keto-friendly and how you can eat them.

First of all, 100 grams of cucumber contain around 3.1 grams of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber).

Since this is relatively low, you can definitely say that cucumber is keto-friendly.

You can make them into low-carb snacks with some cream cheese or use cucumbers as an ingredient in more standard dishes like soups, salads, etc.

One thing to note is that even though they are low-carb, cucumbers could be the thing that kicks you out of ketosis if you already ate a lot of carbs.

That does not make cucumbers less keto-friendly but it does mean you want to keep an eye on the other things you eat too.

In any case, you don’t necessarily have to eat cucumber either. There are other keto-friendly substitutes that you could like too.

Carbs in cucumber with peel

Carbohydrates are not the only nutrient that matters on keto but they are definitely.

By knowing how many carbs there are in cucumbers you can start to figure out how many grams would fit into your diet.

100 grams or around one cup of cucumber with peel contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 3.6 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.5 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.1 grams

Cucumbers are relatively low in carbs compared to many other foods. In turn, it is fair to call them keto-friendly.

Even if you can’t eat them in unlimited amounts while staying in ketosis, you should have no problem fitting in cucumber in this type of diet.

One ounce of cucumber with peel is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 1 gram
  • Of which fiber: 0.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.9 grams

As you can expect, making your portions of cucumber smaller will make it even easier to stay in ketosis.

In the end, whether cucumber is keto-friendly in your specific situation depends on details like your portions, genes, the rest of your diet, etc.

Carbs in cucumber slices

Interestingly enough, there are people who wonder whether cucumber slices have the same effect on a ketogenic diet.

The answer to that is yes. 100 grams of cucumber slices will also contain more or less 3.1 grams of net carbohydrates (1).

Carbs in cucumber without peel

A less straightforward question is whether cucumbers without peel contain the same amounts of carbs. 100 grams of this preparation method contain the following amounts of carbohydrates (2):

  • Total carbs: 2.2 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.7 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.5 grams

So the nutrition data implies cucumbers without peel are lower in net carbs and in turn, more keto-friendly than cucumbers with peel.

One thing you do want to keep in mind is that peeled cucumbers also tend to contain fewer vitamins and minerals.

Other nutrients in cucumber with peel

It can be easy to fall into the trap of only paying attention to your carb intake when following a ketogenic diet.

Even so, other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals still influence whether you stay in ketosis and how healthy you will be.

100 grams of raw cucumber contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 15
  • Protein: 0.7 grams
  • Carbs: 3.6 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin K: 21% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin C: 5% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV
  • Manganese: 4% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 3% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

The extra amounts are welcome but cucumbers are not that impressive when it comes to vitamins and minerals.

If you want to follow a healthy version of the ketogenic diet you definitely want to consider eating more nutritious foods too.

Why cucumber can sometimes kick you out of ketosis

There are situations where even keto-friendly foods like cucumber can kick you out of ketosis. To avoid this it can be helpful to go over the keto basics.

The main goal of a ketogenic diet is to get and stay in ketosis. This is a state where you mainly use fat as fuel (3).

If you want to do this, you will have to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. Just how low can vary from person to person.

Details like your body weight, muscle mass, activity levels, etc. influence how many cucumber slices and other foods you can actually eat.

That being said, there are general estimations to give you an idea of what it can take to follow a keto diet. These are not perfect but can be a good start.

To get and stay in ketosis you typically want to get 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

If you put these numbers into practice, you will likely eat around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.

Keep in mind that you typically don’t include fiber in these grams. Fiber is a category of carbohydrates but your body deals with it in different ways.

How many cucumbers can you have on keto?

With these keto fundamentals, you can look at the amounts of carbohydrates in the other foods you eat and estimate how many grams of cucumbers would still keep you in ketosis.

As you can expect, this amount of grams will vary a lot from person to person and even day to day.

While it is not a realistic situation, you could theoretically eat at least 500 grams of cucumber on keto (if you don’t eat anything else).

Are mini cucumbers keto-friendly?

Similar to other vegetables, you also have the option to eat the mini version of cucumbers. These contain the following amounts of carbs per 100 grams (4):

  • Total carbs: 2.4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.2 grams

This nutrition data suggests that mini cucumbers are even more keto-friendly than the regular version.

Substitutes for cucumber on keto

Cucumbers may botanically be a fruit but you typically use them as a vegetable in the kitchen. Within this category of foods, there are other keto-friendly options too.

You may prefer these other vegetables just as much or more as cucumbers. Additionally, they can make your ketogenic diet just a bit easier to follow.

The values next to the substitutes are the amounts of net carbs per 100 grams (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10):

  • 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

Even these cucumber substitutes do contain some carbohydrates. That means some situations still require you to pay attention to portion sizes to stay in ketosis.

What is your goal with the ketogenic?

By now it should be clear that even keto-friendly foods like cucumber can sometimes kick you out of ketosis. Whether this is an issue or not depends on your health goals.

For example, there are people who need/want to stay in ketosis every minute of the day. These individuals could still be able to eat cucumber but want to be careful about their portions.

On the other hand, people who are following the ketogenic diet to lose weight and get healthier will likely find cucumber helpful even if it kicks them out of ketosis.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.