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Are Radishes Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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

Radishes are edible root vegetables that come in many shapes and colors in different parts of the world. These vegetables are great to eat on their own but radishes also make an amazing addition to a wide variety of recipes.

The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in raw radishes is around 1.9 grams per 100 grams.

While it depends on the rest of your diet, for most people raw radishes are very keto-friendly. That being said you do not have to force yourself to eat radishes.

If you are not the biggest fan of this food there are substitutes that are even better than radishes or about as good 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 radishes

100 grams of raw radishes contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 3.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.9 grams

While possible depending on the other foods in your diet, it is unlikely that the 1.9 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of raw radishes are enough to kick you out of ketosis.

One ounce of radishes is about 28 grams, and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 1 gram
  • Of which fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.6 grams

The number of net carbs in 1 ounce of radishes, 0.6 grams, is even easier to fit into a keto diet. Whether or not radishes are keto for you ultimately depends on what portion you have in mind, your individual situation, and the rest of your diet.

Other nutrients in radishes

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

100 grams of raw radishes contains the following nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 16
  • Protein: 0.7 grams
  • Carbs: 3.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin C: 25% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Potassium: 7% of the DV
  • Folate: 6% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 4% of the DV
  • Copper: 3% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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

How to avoid eating too many radishes

You generally should be able to fit radishes in your keto diet. Even so, in some situations you may have to exercise some portion control. Preparing a big bowl of radishes and hoping that you don’t eat too many is not the ideal way to do this.

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

  • Plan ahead, how many radishes will you eat?
  • Put the planned amount in a bowl and leave the rest of the radishes out of sight
  • Don’t eat during other activities like watching TV
  • Consider not buying radishes if you crave them too much

If you notice you get out of ketosis you may need to reduce the number of radishes you eat.

Substitutes for radishes on keto

Radishes are not the only option when you want to eat vegetables on the ketogenic diet. Radishes are relatively low in net carbs but there are a few vegetables that are even more keto-friendly.

Besides that, there are also a few vegetables that contain slightly higher but similar amounts of net carbs. Some of the following substitutes may be better or a nice alternative to radishes on the keto diet. These are the net carb values per 100 grams (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8):

  • 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
  • Asparagus: 2.1 grams of net carbs
  • Zucchini: 2.5 grams of net carbs

If you have trouble staying in ketosis but still want to eat vegetables it may be smart to choose some of these substitutes over radishes. Others can just be a nice alternative to switch up the vegetables in your keto diet.

Keep in mind that even with these examples you may have to exercise portion control to stay in ketosis.

That being said, radishes are still relatively low in net carbs.

What is your goal with keto?

Even a small portion of radishes added to certain daily diets could 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, radishes can be a good food option even if they potentially put you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level.