Potatoes are one of the most eaten side dishes throughout the world. People love to take them in different forms such as French fries, potato salad, and mash potatoes, etc. Every variation of tomatoes is popular among people. Due to the high versatility of potatoes, it is almost impossible to get bored with this high starch food. However, if you are a potato-lover and planning to start Ketogenic (Keto Diet), you are probably wondering “are potatoes keto diet friendly?”.
Well, if you want to get an answer to this question in short words, it will be No! Potatoes are not keto diet friendly and you cannot consume them while on a Ketogenic diet. According to nutritionists and keto diet experts, you cannot eat even 1 potato per day while on Keto Diet. Why potatoes are not keto-friendly? Below, you will learn all about it in detail.
Why potatoes are not keto-friendly?
Potatoes are not a keto-friendly food because they are high in carbohydrates (sugars). Because of high carbohydrates concentration, potatoes are not a low-carb food and for this reason, cannot be used in a Ketogenic diet. Potatoes rank very high in the glycemic index (a tool for the measurement of food's impact on overall blood sugar level). The scale of the glycemic index is from 0 to 100. A single boiled potato has a glycemic index of 78 which is too high to use in a Ketogenic diet. According to the keto diet experts, the spike of your blood sugar after eating a single potato is more than eating bread. From this fact, you can easily learn that why potatoes are not keto-friendly.
How many carbs in potatoes?
Potatoes are a high-carb food. Even a medium-sized potato has 37 grams of total carbohydrates which is higher than the daily allotment for the intake of carbohydrates in the Ketogenic Diet (30 grams). It contains just 4.5 grams of dietary fibers; it means you are taking a net carb intake of about 33 grams. This high concentration of carbohydrates makes potatoes an unsuitable food for the keto diet. Apart from high carbohydrates, potatoes have a low amount of fats as well. A medium-sized potato contains only 1 gram of fat and 4 grams of protein which are not sufficient to take potato as keto-friendly food.
So, if you eat potatoes in the keto diet, your body will not be able to achieve the state of ketosis quickly due to which you can't get the desired benefits. For this reason, experts don’t encourage eating potatoes while on Keto Diet.
Can you take sweet potatoes as a replacement for white potatoes?
If we talk in the botanical sense, potatoes are tubers and a starchy vegetable. They grow below the ground and high in carbohydrates. There are different kinds of potatoes such as red, russet, and sweet; all of these kinds are different in the concentration of macronutrients and micronutrients. Our main focus is on sweet potatoes in this section. Sweet potatoes can be used as a replacement for white potatoes. You are probably wondering why is it so? Well, it is due to many reasons, such as:
There are fewer carbs in sweet potatoes than white potatoes
The main issue with white potatoes, due to which they are not suitable for the keto diet, is a high concentration of carbohydrates. However, you can use sweet potatoes as a replacement for white potatoes because they contain fewer carbs in comparison with white potatoes. According to the nutritional profile of white potatoes, one medium-sized white potato contains roughly 23.6 grams of carbohydrates with 3.8 grams of fibers. It means you will get 20 grams of net carbs from one medium-sized sweet potato which is almost 12.5 grams less than white potatoes. For this reason, sweet potatoes can be used as a replacement for white potatoes.
The statement is also supported by the glycemic index of sweet potatoes which is 63 (15 points less than white potatoes).
The concentration of Vitamins is high in Sweet Potatoes than in White Potatoes
This is another fact about sweet potatoes which is helpful in using them as a replacement for white potatoes. Sweet Potatoes have significantly more vitamins. According to the nutritional profile of sweet potatoes, they contain over 400% of Vitamin A's daily value, 16% of Vitamin B6, and 37% of Vitamin C. On the other hand, white potatoes contain 0% of Vitamin A, 27% of Vitamin B6, and 28% of Vitamin C.
Sweet Potatoes have low resistant starch than white potatoes
Resistant Starch is a starch that is not easy to digest for the body. It is not completely digested by the normal metabolic processes of the body. Resistant starch directly enters into the small or large intestine without digestion and causes complications. White potatoes have more resistant starts than sweet potatoes which makes them not suitable to eat in the keto diet.
Sweet Potatoes have many health benefits
Apart from their low-carb nature, sweet potatoes have some important health benefits as well. For example, sweet potatoes are involved in the improvement of bone health by providing iron, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc to the body. Sweet potatoes are helpful in increasing overall bone strength and structure. They improve blood pressure as well because of their ability to widen blood vessels. One whole sweet potato contains 1600 mg of potassium. Potassium has a very key role in blood vessels' widening.
Sweet Potatoes are very helpful in fighting inflammation in all parts of the body. They are a strong source of choline (a medium-sized sweet potato contains 57 mg of choline). Choline helps in fighting inflammation and maintaining the structure of the cell membrane.
Some more Keto friendly substitutes of Potatoes
As we have mentioned earlier, you can use sweet potatoes as a replacement for white potatoes. However, if you are looking for more keto-friendly substitutes for potatoes than sweet potatoes, you can use the following foods:
- Celery root
- Daikon Radish