If You're On the Keto Diet, Here's What You Need to Know About Eating Sweet Potatoes

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POPSUGAR Photography | Cera Hensley
POPSUGAR Photography | Cera Hensley

Sweet potatoes are generally considered the healthier alternative to russet potatoes: they have more fiber, more vitamins A and C, and more calcium. But calorie- and carb-wise, they are almost identical to russet potatoes (plus russets offer more protein, vitamin B6, and iron). So while sweet potatoes may not be "healthier" than white potatoes, can you still have them on the keto diet? Registered dietitian Sarah Koenck, member of the clinical team at Virta Health, said to be cautious about root vegetables on the keto diet.

"Root vegetables and potatoes are higher in carbohydrates than other veggies that are typically recommended on a ketogenic diet," she told POPSUGAR. "One medium baked sweet potato has about 25 grams of carbs, which is about half of the total daily carbs recommended to stay in ketosis."

So while sweet potatoes and other root vegetables are in season in the Fall, you don't need to miss out on seasonal produce entirely. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and onions are all in season through Fall and Winter. Sarah also recommends generally sticking to lower-carb veggies that grow above the ground, including leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, and peppers.

To stay in ketosis, most people need to stick to 50 grams of carbs or fewer a day. The macro breakdown is typically 70 to 80 percent fat, 15 to 20 percent protein, and five to 10 percent carbs. If you are dying for a sweet potato, stick to half of a medium or small baked sweet potato and make sure it fits in with your macros for the rest of the day. You can also have a spoonful of mashed sweet potato as long as you don't go over your daily carbs.