Is Rutabaga Keto-Friendly? (& Alternatives)

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Root vegetables are often a popular choice for low-carbers. Find out whether rutabaga is low-carb enough to be keto-friendly.

100 grams of cooked rutabaga contains about 6.6 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber).

You may be able to fit in small portions but it is fair to say that rutabaga is generally not that keto-friendly.

If you want to stay in ketosis you would preferably go for one of the lower-carb rutabaga alternatives.

Even something like turnip is generally more keto-friendly (but not ideal either).

How many net carbs are in rutabaga?

To figure out whether rutabaga is keto-friendly or not, you need to know how many total and net carbs it has.

100 grams of cooked rutabaga contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 9 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 6.6 grams

The 6.6 grams net carbs in cooked rutabaga is not necessarily high but it is at the point where it is fair to say this vegetable can kick you out of ketosis.

One cup of cooked rutabaga is about 175 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 15.7 grams
  • Of which fiber: 4.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 11.5 grams

As you can expect, bigger portions of rutabaga will also contain more carbohydrates which makes it harder to stay in ketosis.

Later in the article, I will talk about how to get an idea of what your rutabaga portion sizes should be if you want to stay in ketosis.

Other nutrition information rutabaga

People on the keto diet tend to focus a lot on carbohydrates but you want to keep in mind that other nutrients still matter.

Things like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals sometimes influence ketosis and more importantly your health too.

100 grams of cooked rutabaga contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 63
  • Protein: 1.13 grams
  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 2.9 grams
  • Vitamin C: 37% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Potassium: 9% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 6% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
  • Sodium: 6% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

These nutrients are welcome but at the same time, rutabaga is not that impressive in terms of vitamins and minerals.

This is not one of those higher-carb foods where you really want to implement smaller amounts anyway for the nutrients.

Do rutabagas have fewer carbs than potatoes?

Root vegetables like rutabaga are sometimes used as a low-carb potato alternative. You may wonder if the difference is big enough to change up your keto diet.

100 grams of boiled potatoes contain around 20.1 grams of carbohydrates which include 1.8 grams of fiber (2).

That means rutabagas do indeed have fewer carbs than potatoes which also makes them more keto-friendly.

Carbs in rutabaga vs turnip

Turnip is another popular alternative to rutabaga so you may wonder how these root vegetables compare.

Cooked turnip contains about 6.7 grams of carbs (including 1.9 grams of fiber) whereas rutabaga contains about 9 grams of carbs (2.4 grams of fiber) (1, 3).

As you can see, rutabaga is higher in total and net carbs than turnip. In turn, turnips will be more keto-friendly.

Why rutabaga is sometimes keto-friendly

Especially with foods like rutabaga that are somewhat higher in carbs, it is often possible to fit in small amounts on a ketogenic diet.

To understand why this is, quickly going over the keto fundamentals can help.

Keto diets are basically ways of eating where you get and stay in ketosis. Ketosis is a state where your body mainly gets its energy from fat.

To get into this state, you need to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough so that your body has no other choice but burn fat.

How low your carbohydrate intake has to be for this depends on details like your weight, muscle mass, genetics, etc.

To give you at least some rough idea, there are general keto statistics about what your diet should look like.

An example is that people who want to get into ketosis generally want to get 55%-60% of their calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

For many diets, this will come down to around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.

You don’t include the fiber in rutabaga in this since your body processes this category of carbs in a more keto-friendly way.

How much rutabaga can you eat on keto?

With the details above it should be clear that how much rutabaga you can eat keto depends on a variety of personal details.

However, even though there is not a single right answer, knowing the methods to figure this out for your personal situation is helpful.

First of all, you want to get an idea of more or less how many net carbs you can eat a day before getting kicked out of ketosis.

If you don’t have a way to measure this, you can use the principles above.

Let’s say you conclude that you can eat 25 grams of net carbs a day and that you already ate 21.7 grams of these.

In that case, you can estimate that you can eat another 50 grams (less to play it safer) of rutabaga before getting out of ketosis.

Alternatives to rutabaga on keto

You may find the number of carbs in rutabaga a bit too high to be able to stick to a sustainable keto diet.

Luckily, there are lower-carb vegetables too.

These make it easier to keep your diet keto-friendly and can add some variety to the things you eat.

You can find the amounts of net carbs per 100 grams next to these more keto-friendly rutabaga alternatives (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

While these alternatives are not quite all you can eat on keto, they are clearly a lot lower in carbs than rutabaga.

Why do you want to stay in ketosis?

Rutabaga is generally not ideal for people who want to stay in ketosis.

How much of an issue this is depends on why you want to follow a ketogenic diet in the first place.

For example, some people really need/want to stay in ketosis every minute of the day.

These individuals likely want to turn to one of the lower-carb rutabaga alternatives.

On the other hand, rutabaga can still be good for losing weight and general health. You typically don’t necessarily need a keto diet to achieve these health goals.

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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.