A ketogenic or keto diet is a diet high in moderate or minimal amounts of lipids and carbohydrates that are often prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions. The very important carbohydrate restriction often affects the use of sweet potatoes because they are very high in carbohydrates. This article explains whether to include sweet potatoes in the ketogenic diet menu.
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The main goal of the ketogenic diet is to achieve ketosis, a metabolic disorder in which energy from fat, not carbohydrates, is used to carry out basic bodily functions. A varied diet allows our bodies to use glucose as its main energy source. When carbohydrates are not available, energy is produced from fat-derived compounds called ketones.
Our body’s ability to maintain ketosis depends on a lack of carbohydrates. Consuming large amounts of carbohydrates allows the body to use glucose again for energy purposes, thereby eliminating the ketosis state. This is why many foods high in carbohydrates, including starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, avoid ketogenic diets. However, levels of total carbohydrate intake for maintaining ketosis in humans can vary.
The ketogenic diet involves consuming carbohydrates that are 5-10% of your daily calorie requirement or less than 50 grams per day. The exact amount of sugar that will help maintain ketosis depends on the speed at which the process is regulated by the body and the time it takes to reuse glucose as its main energy source.
Sweet Potatoes Are Relatively High in Carbohydrates
The sweet potato is a starchy root, often for this reason it is excluded from the ketogenic diet, but proper diet planning will allow you to incorporate small portions into your diet. A medium sweet potato (150 grams) has 26 grams of total carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber. After removing fiber from total carbohydrates, the total carbohydrates are approximately 21 grams per potato.
Therefore, on the keto diet, sweet potatoes need to be consumed in small portions to maintain the carbohydrate limit set in the diet plan and stay within the daily carbohydrate quota set at the next meal. Whether or not to include sweet potatoes on the ketogenic menu depends on personal goals, the carbohydrates set, and the ability to consistently adhere to the limits needed to maintain ketosis.
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If you are looking to add sweet potatoes to your ketogenic diet, consider the most appropriate preparation method for this type of diet. Some recipes can affect carbohydrate absorption. Sweet potatoes made from high-carbohydrate ingredients such as brown sugar, maple syrup, and fruit juice are not suitable for the keto diet. For example, cooking methods that work best include whole roasted sweet potatoes, served with butter, coconut oil and melted cheese, or sliced and fried.
The ketogenic diet is characterized by good lipid absorption and a moderate to low carbohydrate content. Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates and can make it difficult to maintain ketosis, which is often not included in the keto diet. Intake of small portions in moderation allows the sweet potato to be included in the keto menu without increasing daily carbohydrate consumption. Preparations based on sweet potatoes and high carbohydrate ingredients such as cane sugar and maple syrup should be avoided. Recipes to include on the ketogenic diet should be higher in fat, no carbs other than sweet potatoes. You can bake them whole, serve them in butter or coconut oil, or fry them.