Even though tomatoes are commonly considered to be a vegetable, the fact is they’re botanically a fruit. This can lead to confusion for some keto dieters who are left wondering, “Are tomatoes keto?”
After all, there are many types of fruit that won’t work on the keto diet due to their high sugar content. So what about tomatoes? Let’s take an in-depth look in order to find out.
What Makes Tomatoes a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
Tomatoes are a rather popular food choice for people following low carb diets for quite a few reasons. Here are some of the more common ones:
- Tomatoes are a low calorie fruit that contains up to 10 times fewer net carbs than your average fruit.
- They have a low net carb total since tomatoes contain dietary fiber and have a high water content.
- Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, particularly the antioxidant lycopene.
- They’re also rich in other essential vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.
- It’s very easy to incorporate tomatoes into a wide variety of tasty low carb recipes, especially low carb pasta meals.
Are Tomatoes Keto?
Tomatoes are indeed 100% keto-friendly thanks to their low net carb content. With only about 2 grams of net carbs per typical serving size, tomatoes are actually one of the best low carb fruits in existence.
On top of that, tomatoes are also incredibly nutrient-dense, offering up an abundance of essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and disease fighting antioxidants; they really can be considered a genuine superfood.
However, it’s important to point out that this mostly only applies to raw tomatoes. There are many tomato-based sauces, pastes, and even beverages that are decidedly not keto-friendly.
If you’re looking for keto-friendly versions of these products, you’re going to want to be doubly sure that you’re checking the nutrition labels, or better yet, make your own keto versions from scratch.
Tomato Nutrition Facts
A typical 100 gram serving size of raw red tomatoes will have the following nutritional breakdown:
- 18 calories
- 0.2 grams fat
- 0.9 grams protein
- 3.9 grams carbs
- 1.2 grams dietary fiber
- 2.6 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 5 mg sodium
- 237 mg potassium
Good Keto Tomato Recipes
Tomato Health Benefits
We mentioned earlier how tomatoes are a genuine superfood. Here are just a few of the best health benefits that you can gain by including tomatoes in your diet:
- Keeps your heart healthy and strong. The main antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red coloring, lycopene, has also been found to potentially reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies have found that lycopene can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels, while also increasing the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol in your bloodstream. (1)
- Improved vision. Lycopene can also provide you with some pretty impressive benefits for your vision, including delaying or possibly even preventing age-related vision loss. Tomatoes also contain lutein and beta-carotene, two other antioxidants that studies have found to be beneficial for helping to prevent visual disorders. (2)
- Protects against diseases like cancer. On top of keeping your heart and your eyes healthy, there is even evidence that many of the antioxidants found in tomatoes may play a key role in helping to protect against diseases like cancer. Once again, studies have found that it’s the antioxidant lycopene that’s particularly beneficial when it comes to providing these anti-cancer benefits. (3)
Keto Tomato Alternatives
Here are some of our favorite foods that you can use as a keto-friendly tomato substitute; most of these options should work perfectly fine in any keto recipe that calls for tomatoes. Also, keep in mind that sometimes it may even be possible to just omit tomatoes entirely instead of replacing them.