Going keto can be tough. (Goodbye, bread 🥖💔.) But thankfully, we can still count on tomatoes. This fabulous fruit is low carb and easy on the calories.

Here’s how you can add tomato to your #KetoLife.

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Good news! Raw tomatoes are a low carb food. In fact, they’re up there with the most keto-friendly fruits you can find.

Despite being low in calories, tomatoes are packed with nutritional perks. (More on that in a minute 😉.)

What about other tomato-based products?

Not all tomato products make the keto cut.

Some tomatoey items often have added sugar, including:

The goal of a keto diet is to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis. This happens when your body converts fat into ketones. Your adaptable body then uses these molecules as your main energy source when glucose levels are limited.

The time it takes to reach ketosis varies from person to person — sometimes it takes days, sometimes weeks. Most folks aim for 20 to 50 g carbs a day.

Here’s everything you need to know about the nutritional benefits of tomatoes and how they measure up carb-wise.

Net carbs of different tomato varieties

Carb count can vary slightly from tomato to tomato. Here’s a breakdown of some tomato fan favorites:

Type of tomato, 100 gTotal carbs (g)Fiber (g)Net carbs (g)
Roma tomato4.730.74.03
grape tomato5.512.13.41
green tomato 5.11.14
cherry tomato4.961.73.26
San Marzano tomato4.350.93.45
Italiana (aka plum) tomato4.130.83.33

Other nutrients

Tomatoes are a top-notch source of vitamins, minerals, and other health-improving compounds. This includes:

Tomatoes have been linked to loads of health benefits. Here are the deets.

Immune system

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one medium raw tomato provides about 19 percent of your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. This antioxidant helps protect your cells from free radical damage and can help boost the immune system.

A research review also showed that naringenin — a healthful flavonoid that hangs out in tomato skin — can promote healthy immune function.

Digestion

Tomatoes are a decent source of fiber. That means they might help prevent poop probs like constipation 💩 (as long as you’re getting your 25 to 31 g a day from other sources, too).

Heart health

Tomatoes are packed with potassium. An adequate intake of this mineral (2,600 to 3,400 milligrams) for adults above 18 years, depending on your age/sex) may help decrease your risk of stroke by bringing down your blood pressure.

A research review also found that the humble tomato’s lycopene bounty — the same lycopene that gives their skin the trademark red color — can reduce a person’s risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Cancer risk reduction

A 2010 research review suggested that the lycopene in tomatoes can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer.

Cooked tomatoes are the best source of lycopene, as the cooking process helps release the lycopene from its fleshy prison. And “cooked” has a wide scope — roasting, grilling, steaming, and sauteing are all fair game. Anything that breaks down the cell membranes and lets that lycopene run wild can boost your tomato’s benefits.

A research review also highlighted that your helpful, juicy red pals can also reduce the spread of colorectal cancer cells.

Pregnancy

Your body needs folate to create DNA and helps your cells divide. But it’s extra important for pregnant peeps, who are manufacturing a whole person from DNA.

Getting enough folate may prevent some developmental issues for a fetus like anencephaly spina bifida, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And guess what tomatoes provide? Yep, we’ll wait…

Eye health

Tomatoes are a solid source of lutein, beta-carotene, and lycopene. These antioxidants may help reduce your risk of light-induced damage, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and cataracts 👀.

Tomatoes are a delicious addition to any balanced diet. But it’s still super important to get a variety of fresh fruits and veggies in ya on the reg. Here are some other keto-friendly options to pack your plate with.

Fruit

These fabulous fruits can fit into most low carb diets. Here’s how many net carbs are in a 100 g serving.

Fruit, 100 gTotal carbs (g)Fiber (g)Net carbs (g)
blackberries9.615.34.58
cantaloupe8.160.97.26
cherries16.012.114
clementine121.710.3
peach9.541.58.04
plum11.421.410.02
raspberries11.96.55.4
strawberries7.6825.68

Vegetables

Veggies are a great way to feel full while on a low carb diet. Here are some of the best picks from the garden.

Vegetable, 1 cup servingCarbs (g)Fiber (g)Net carbs (g)
kale4.424.10.32
spinach3.632.21.43
broccoli6.642.64.04
zucchini4.211.13.11
avocado8.536.71.83
cabbage5.82.53.3
asparagus3.882.11.78
cauliflower4.9722.97

Here are four killer keto tomato recipes. And don’t worry — they’re great for chefs of all skill levels.

1. Keto stuffed tomatoes

Here’s one to trigger your creativity. The recipe notes you can use shirataki rice mixed with minced beef or chopped veggies with cheese in lieu of the traditional Bolognese sauce. But no matter what you stuff them with, these top tomatoes will keep you feeling full and satisfied.

2. Keto low carb roasted tomato soup

This recipe is so tasty and easy to make, you may never want to crack open a can of tomato soup again. Just don’t forget to add your fave toppings to the mix! Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, or thinly sliced bell peppers are all yummy, keto-friendly options.

3. Cucumber tomato feta salad

Enjoy a taste of summer all year round with this fun, fresh salad. It’s a crunchy blend of garden favorites with a pop of tangy feta cheese. Enjoy it as a side dish on a busy weeknight, or bring it to your next family gathering.

4. Keto caprese

An Italian classic. This beautiful blend of buffalo mozzarella, raw tomatoes, and fresh basil will please just about any crowd. Bonus: The pine nuts add a nice touch of “we’re fancy, but still keto.” Delish.

You can totally eat tomatoes while on a keto diet. In addition to being low carb, they’re full of vital vitamins, nutrients, and healthy plant compounds. Just be sure to keep your carb count in check, since they aren’t a zero-carb food.