We all know that bananas and other high-carb fruits can easily kick you out of ketosis.
But are plantains keto?
In this guide, I’ll answer all your questions about eating plantains on a keto diet. I’ll also look at lower-carb alternatives and answer some frequently asked questions.
Can You Eat Plantains On A Ketogenic Diet?
One serving of plantains contains 57 grams of carbs. You want to limit carbs to between 20 grams and 50 grams daily on a keto diet, making plantains an impractical option.
Eating just one plantain will knock you out of ketosis.
But if you’re a big fan of sweet plantains and want to introduce them into your diet, cut it into four and only eat one piece.
You’ll reduce your carb intake to 14 grams, which is still a lot but won’t interfere with ketosis.
Pro tip: Always factor other carbs into your daily limit before eating small amounts of plantains and other high-carb foods. Most people consume 20 to 30 grams of carbs daily, even on a strict keto diet. This is because keto foods have small quantities of carbs, and these carbs quickly add up.
Plantains Nutritional Information
Here are the micro and macronutrients in one medium-sized plantain:
- 57 grams of carbs
- 215 calories
- Three grams of fiber
- 0.22 grams of fat
- 663 mg of potassium
- 23 mg of vitamin C
Plantains have almost no proteins and fats. So if you’re consuming tiny amounts on keto, supplement it with eggs, bacon or coconut oil.
Are Tostones Keto?
Tostones are cooked plantains popular in the Caribbean and Latin America. You might think fried green bananas are a sweet dish, but it’s a savory meal that goes perfectly with chicken, beef and seafood.
Unfortunately, fried plantains aren’t keto friendly. Although tasty, it’s actually worse than raw plantains.
Green plantains contain something called resistant starch. As a keto dieter, the word starch probably sounded alarm bells, but resistant starch is good.
It’s like fiber, aiding in digestion and hunger while buffering the carb response. Resistant starch also lowers the glycemic index of an unripe plantain down to 40.
However, when you cook plantains, you destroy all this resistant starch, increasing the glycemic index to 130, which is on the same level as bread, potatoes and cookies.
So if you’re thinking of eating small quantities of plantains, eat them raw.
Is Plantain Chips Keto?
You might’ve seen plantain chips at your local health shop. It’s marketed as a healthy alternative to regular potato fries, but is it any good?
Depending on the brand, a serving of plantain chips can contain between 17 and 25 grams of net carbs. So you can’t enjoy it on a low-carb diet.
Manufacturers add vegetable oils and sugar to increase the shelf life and enhance the flavor. When plantains are cooked at high temperatures, it also produces a dangerous chemical called acrylamide, which is linked to cancer.
So stay away from plantain chips. If you’re battling cravings, opt for keto-friendly chips that use tortillas and no added sugars.
Keto-Friendly Plantain Alternatives
Want to enjoy sweet fruits and vegetables without hampering ketosis? Consider these five low-carb options:
- Celery root
Blackberries only have six grams of net carbs per cup, so you can enjoy it on a ketogenic diet.
Blackberries are also loaded with phytonutrients and pigments like anthocyanin. Medical papers show that these compounds lower blood sugar and inflammation while improving digestion.
Quick side note: Avoid dried berries since it has a whopping 132 grams of carbs and 80 grams of sugar per cup, quickly kicking you out of ketosis.
Opt for olives if you looking for an alternative to mashed plantains to spice up your keto recipes. One cup has eight grams of net carbs, and the mild yet salty flavor can liven up salads and soups.
You’ll also find plenty of healthy fats which reduce your chances of heart disease and fights chronic inflammation.
I like to think of cauliflower as a keto dieter’s potato. It goes well with almost anything, and you can use it to emulate carby meals. Feel free to do whatever you want with it; fry, bake, or boil it.
A single-cup serving of cauliflower has:
- Five grams of carbs
- Three grams of fiber
- Two grams of net carbs
- Two grams of protein
And since cauliflower tastes like nothing, it adapts to the flavor of spices and other foods in your meal.
For example, I’m a big fan of mashing cauliflower and eating it as a side dish with steak or seafood. So if you’re used to adding plantains to your meals, consider cauliflower as an alternative.
A serving of celery root has 5.9 grams of carbs. Although it looks ugly, it’s a delicious and easy-to-prepare vegetable with a crisp texture. This makes it a healthy alternative to plantain chips on keto.
To prepare celery root chips, simply peel the skin off, cut it into thin slices, coat it in olive oil, salt, pepper and butter, and pop it in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
Daikon is a low-carb radish with only 4.1 grams of carbs per serving. It’s surprisingly high in vitamin C, with one serving containing 25 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.
Research shows that daikon also has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immune-boosting properties. So it’s a must if you’re new to keto, as it’ll help your body recover from the inflammation caused by junk food.
Final Thoughts On Are Plantains Keto-Friendly
Plantains are not keto. One serving of yellow plantains has 57 grams of carbs with little fiber.
Tostones and ripe plantains aren’t good alternatives as the glycaemic index is on the high end of the scale, spiking blood insulin and glucose levels.
So if you’re looking for keto-friendly alternatives to plantains, try blackberries, olives, cauliflower, celery root and daikon. These alternatives have under eight grams of net carbs per cup, so you can enjoy them in moderation.
Looking for more articles on foods that people have questions about on a ketogenic diet? Check out our “is it keto” guides on blueberries, cherries, edamame, carrots, beets, honey, radishes, popcorn, quinoa and chickpeas.