Are Turnips Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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To stay in ketosis you have to pay attention to what you eat. Root vegetables are not always ideal but are turnips an exception that is keto-friendly?

100 grams of boiled turnips contain around 3.1 grams of net carbohydrates which comes down to total carbs minus fiber.

Because this is relatively low compared to many foods, you can say that turnips are relatively keto-friendly.

You can eat this vegetable raw on its own but also as an ingredient in salads, soups, gratins, etc.

Something you do want to keep in mind is that low-carb foods like turnips can still kick you out of ketosis in certain situations. More specifically, if you already ate a lot of carbohydrates.

Additionally, there are other low-carb vegetables too. You may enjoy some options more than turnips.

Carbs in turnips

To figure out whether turnips are keto-friendly in your situation and in what amounts you need to know how many carbs they contain.

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

  • Total carbs: 5.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.1 grams

3.1 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams is a relatively low amount. In turn, it is fair to say that turnips are keto-friendly.

You do want to keep in mind that this does not just mean you can eat unlimited amounts. There are situations where a few extra net carbs are too much.

One raw medium turnip is about 122 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 7.8 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 5.6 grams

As you can expect, by eating bigger portions of turnip you would also increase how many carbs you eat.

That being said, you will likely still be able to fit the number of carbohydrates of one medium turnip in your ketogenic diet.

Carbs in mashed turnips

A popular way to prepare turnips on low-carb diets is to boil and then mash them. You may wonder if and how this influences the number of carbs.

The mashing does not influence the number of carbs so the boiled turnips still contain about 3.1 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (1).

On the other side, you have raw turnips which contain around 4.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (2).

That means boiled and mashed turnips are slightly more keto-friendly than the raw version.

Carbs in turnip greens

It is also possible to eat the green leaves of turnips. As you can expect, their nutritional details are different from the fleshy taproot.

More specifically, 100 grams of raw turnip greens contain the following amounts of carbs (3):

  • Total carbs: 7.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 3.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.9 grams

This means the boiled turnip roots are lower in carbs and in turn, more keto-friendly than turnip greens.

At the same time, both of these parts are still relatively low in carbs. If you want, you should be able to fit in both on keto.

Other nutrients in turnips

The number of carbohydrates in turnips is important on ketogenic diets but you don’t want to forget about other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

These other nutrients still influence whether you will stay in ketosis and your general health.

100 grams of boiled turnips contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 22
  • Protein: 0.7 grams
  • Carbs: 5.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin C: 19% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Potassium: 5% of the DV
  • Manganese: 4% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 3% of the DV
  • Calcium: 3% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Turnips are not that impressive in nutrients besides fiber. While they are still keto-friendly, you want to make sure you eat other nutritious foods as well.

Why turnips are not always keto-friendly

In some situations, even the small number of net carbs in turnips could be enough to kick you out of ketosis.

Quickly going over the keto fundamentals can help you understand why this is and how to avoid it.

You can consider any way of eating where you get and stay in ketosis to be a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a state where your body mainly burns fat as fuel (4).

To get into this state, you need to keep your carb intake low enough. Exactly how low depends on details like your weight, muscle mass, activity levels, etc.

A typical recommendation is that you want to get about 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates to get and stay in ketosis.

These ketogenic diet ratios are not perfect for every individual but they can be a helpful place to start.

If you combine these percentages with your daily calories you will likely conclude that you can eat somewhere around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.

With this, the number of carbs in turnips, and the rest of your diet, you can start to estimate how many grams of this food you can eat while staying in ketosis.

Are turnip fries keto?

Turnip fries are a popular way to consume this vegetable on keto.

To get this food you slice up the turnip, sprinkle it with oil, herbs, spices, and cheese, and bake the fries in the oven.

The exact nutrition details will vary from recipe to recipe but baking the turnip typically removes some of the water content and in turn, increases the concentration of carbs.

That being said, turnip fries should still be relatively keto-friendly.

When in doubt, you want to weigh out how many grams of turnips you use and how many carbohydrates this contains.

In any case, turnip fries will be a lot more keto-friendly than potato fries.

Turnip recipes to try out on keto

Turnips are a popular keto vegetable because of their relatively low carb count and many uses in the kitchen. Some keto-friendly types of turnip recipes you can try out include:

  • Mashed turnips
  • Sliced turnips in salads
  • Pickled turnips
  • Turnip fries
  • Roasted turnips
  • Turnip gratin

Enjoying the foods you eat on your ketogenic diet can help you stay consistent. The turnip recipes above may have this effect.

Why do you follow a ketogenic diet?

Turnips are relatively keto-friendly but that does not mean you can unlimited amounts. In some situations, even the few extra net carbs could be too much.

Why you are following a ketogenic diet influences whether this is an issue and to what extent.

There are people who really need/want to stay in ketosis every minute of the day. If you are in a situation like that, you want to be careful with your portion sizes of turnips and other foods.

On the other hand, turnips can help weight loss and benefit health even if they would kick you out of ketosis.

The keto diet can be helpful but it is typically not the only way to achieve these health goals.

Is turnip high in carbs?

100 grams of turnips contains around 3.1 grams of net carbohydrates. In turn, you can say that turnip is low in carbs, not high.

Are turnips lower in carbs than potatoes?

Boiled turnips contain around 3.1 grams of net carbs per 100 grams whereas the same weight of potatoes contains 18.3 grams of net carbs. That means turnips are a lot lower in carbs than potatoes.

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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.