Is Papaya Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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To get and stay in ketosis you have to pay attention to what you eat. Find out whether papaya is keto-friendly and how much you can eat.

Papaya is known for its orange color and black sees. You can eat this fruit on its own or as an ingredient in dishes like salads and other recipes.

100 grams of papaya contains around 8 grams of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber).

There are worse food options but it is fair to say that papaya is generally that very keto-friendly.

You may be able to fit this food into your keto diet in small amounts. However, it is likely not worth consuming so many of your daily carbohydrates in such a small amount of food.

If you really want to eat something sweeter on keto, you likely want to choose one of the more low-carb fruit options.

Carbs in papaya

How many carbohydrates papaya contains plays a big role in how many grams of this fruit you can eat on keto.

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

  • Total carbs: 9.8 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 8 grams

With the rough general keto recommendations from above, it should become clear that the 8 grams of carbs in 100 grams of papaya could definitely be enough to kick someone out of ketosis.

There are definitely fruits and other foods that are higher-carb than papaya. However, there are definitely more low-carb options too.

One cup of papaya is about 165 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 16.2 grams
  • Of which fiber: 3 grams
  • Net carbs: 13.2 grams

As you can tell from the number of carbohydrates in one cup of papaya, making your portions bigger makes it harder to fit this food into a ketogenic diet.

You can also use this principle in the other direction. By eating smaller amounts of papaya, you make it easier for yourself to stay in ketosis.

Whether papaya is ultimately keto-friendly for you depends on details like the other foods in your diet, your personal situation, and your genes.

Other nutrition facts about papaya

So far, carbohydrates got most of the attention.

However, you want to keep in mind that other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals still play a role in whether you stay in ketosis and in other goals like losing weight and having good general health.

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

  • Calories: 39
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Carbs: 9.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 1.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin C: 103% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin A: 22% of the DV
  • Folate: 10% of the DV
  • Potassium: 7% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 4% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Papaya contains a nice amount of vitamin C and a few other nutrients in some amounts.

However, it is relatively easy to find more low-carb foods that also contain these amounts of nutrients. You don’t necessarily have to force papaya into your keto diet.

Why you can sometimes have papaya on keto

Quickly going over the keto fundamentals can help you understand why papaya can fit in some keto diets in certain amounts. This will also help you approach the ketogenic diet in a smarter way.

You can describe basically any way of eating where your body gets into ketosis as a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a state where your body mainly burns fat as fuel (2).

To get into this state, you need to keep the number of carbohydrates you eat low enough. Exactly how low depends on details like your weight, body composition, activity levels, etc.

A rough general recommendation is that you want to get 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

This will typically come down to eating around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.

That means you could be able to fit certain amounts of papaya into your diet while staying in ketosis.

Something important to note about the amounts of carbohydrates above is that you typically don’t include fiber in this amount.

Fiber is a category of carbohydrates but your body processes them in a way that is more keto-friendly.

How to avoid eating too much papaya on keto

By now you likely understand that papaya will only be keto-friendly in relatively small amounts.

Preparing a big bowl of papaya and just eating as much as you feel like will typically not be an effective strategy for staying in ketosis.

Luckily, there are a few tips that can help you implement papaya in smarter ways:

  • Estimate how many of your daily carbohydrates you want to use for papaya
  • Prepare the number of grams that resembles this amount of carbs and put the rest of the papaya somewhere else
  • Don’t eat unlimited amounts of papaya while you are doing other things
  • If you really crave papaya too much you may have to consider buying smaller or no amounts

It is possible to go out of ketosis even when following these tips. In that case, you may need to reconsider how many carbohydrates (and grams of papaya) you can eat.

Substitutes for papaya on keto

Papaya actually has a nice place on the list of low-carb fruits. At the same time, there are lower-carb options too.

If you like these substitutes just as much as papaya, they could be smarter options on a ketogenic diet.

The values next to the fruits are the amounts of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) per 100 grams (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8):

  • Blackberries: 4.9 grams of net carbs
  • Raspberries: 5.4 grams of net carbs
  • Strawberries: 5.7 grams of net carbs
  • Watermelon: 7.1 grams of net carbs
  • Cranberries: 7.6 grams of net carbs
  • Cantaloupe: 7.9 grams of net carbs

Even though these alternatives contain fewer grams of carbohydrates than papaya, you may still need to implement the portion control tips from above.

What is your goal with staying in ketosis?

Even a tiny amount of papaya could kick you out of ketosis if you already ate a lot of carbohydrates. Whether or not this is a problem and to what extent depends on why you want to follow a ketogenic diet.

Some people really need/want to stay in ketosis every minute of the day. These individuals want to be really careful about their carb intake and likely want to avoid papaya.

On the flip side, papaya can be good for weight loss and decent for general health even if you don’t stay in ketosis. The keto diet is not the only way to achieve these health goals.

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Is papaya high in carbs?

Papaya contains about 9.8 grams of carbohydrates (including 1.8 grams of fiber). There are foods with smaller amounts of this nutrient too but it is fair to say papaya is not that high in carbs.

Is papaya good for low-carb diets?

100 grams of raw papaya contain around 8 grams of net carbohydrates. That means papaya is not that good for low-carb diets.

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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.