Are Tomatoes Keto-Friendly?
The keto diet isn't that complicated to understand. The basic rule is to eat a good amount of fat and protein and shun carbs and sugars.
While fruits, in general, are considered healthy food, most of them are forbidden due to excessive sugar and carb content.
And so, many are asking: how about tomatoes?
Technically (and botanically speaking), tomatoes are fruits, but mostly everyone treats them like a veggie.
But let's face it. Debating whether tomatoes are a fruit or a vegetable isn't going to make you lose weight, but knowing if they're keto-approved or not absolutely will.
So, are tomatoes keto-friendly?
Are Tomatoes Keto-Friendly?
Maintaining a high-fat low-carb diet is vital in a keto diet to get your body into ketosis, a state in which the body burns fat for energy.
Keto-ers should limit their carb intake to no more than 50 g a day, although some keto junkies try to consume less than 20 g of carbs a day.
So, are tomatoes keto? If so, how much tomatoes can you eat in a day?
Yes. Tomatoes are keto-friendly.
In fact, according to USDA, a large tomato that weighs about 182 g has only 7.08 g of carbs. Subtract the 2.18 g of dietary fiber, and you'll only get 4.9 g of net carbs.
Meanwhile, a cup of chopped or sliced tomato will only give you 4.8 g of net carbs.
But of course, the carb content of a tomato depends on its type.
Half a cup serving of grape tomatoes yields 3 g of carbs, while cherry tomatoes of the same serving size contain 6 g of carbs and 4 g of sugar.
They shouldn't be much of a concern if they fit into your daily carb limit.
Store-bought tomato products (like ketchup) are definitely not keto-approved because of the added sugar.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Regardless of what kind of diet you follow, adding tomatoes as part of your program is a must.
They pack a punch of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients our body needs to function well.
Here are a few of the many health benefits that tomatoes offer:
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins C and K
Vitamin C, as we all know it, plays a vital role in fortifying our immune system. It's an antioxidant that fights free-radicals.
Eating one medium tomato can actually provide our body with 28% of vitamin C based on the recommended daily intake.
Vitamin K, on the other hand, is the reason why we don't bleed much when we cut ourselves. Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K is vital for blood clotting. Studies show that this nutrient also helps strengthen the bones.
Tomatoes help prevent cancer
Cancer has caused the death of many. And while science and technology are still on the move to find a cure for cancer, nature has actually given us magic fruits and veggies to dodge cancer.
Tomatoes are one of nature's greatest gifts! Studies suggest that the high lycopene content of tomatoes has the potential to prevent prostate cancer.
Another study revealed that high concentrations of carotenoids in tomatoes can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Tomatoes nourish the skin.
Carotenoids and flavonoids (both can be found in tomatoes) can help protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV.
A study has confirmed that consuming carotenoids can contribute to long-term skin protection against harmful UV radiation.
Lycopene, along with other nutrients, is found to have protective effects on the skin, according to research.
Improves heart health
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality. In a study, lycopene was found to decrease the risk of stroke in men.
Research also tells us that lycopene fights oxidative stress. For those who are unfamiliar, oxidative stress is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in the body.
Best Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes
Tomatoes are pretty versatile. You can add them to your keto-friendly salad. You can also cook keto tomato soup to warm you up at night.
If you need a tomato sauce, we suggest making your own instead of buying in the grocery as most brands have added sugar that can mess up your ketosis.
As a recap, tomatoes are keto-friendly as long as you use the right kind.
Some tomatoes contain carbs (but not too much). Consuming them should be okay as long as you don't exceed your daily carb intake.