Are cherry tomatoes OK on keto?

The ketogenic or “keto” diet has become one of the most popular diets for weight loss and overall health in recent years. This very low-carb, high-fat diet aims to get the body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.

Many people wonder if they can still enjoy fruits like cherry tomatoes on keto. This article will examine if and how you can incorporate these sweet, petite tomatoes into a ketogenic lifestyle. We’ll go over cherry tomato nutrition facts, their carb content, and how they may impact ketosis. Tips for enjoying cherry tomatoes on keto will also be provided.

What is the keto diet?

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat, moderate protein eating plan. It typically limits carbs to 20-50 grams per day. This is drastically lower than the standard American diet, which often provides 50% or more of calories from carbs.[1]

On keto, the lack of dietary carbs leads to lowered blood sugar and insulin levels. The body adapts by shifting from using glucose as its main fuel source to relying on fat-derived ketones instead. This metabolic state is known as ketosis.[2]

In addition to weight loss, keto is associated with several health benefits. These may include lower blood sugar, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, and better heart health markers.[3]

However, transitioning into ketosis can take some adjustment. As carbs are reduced, people may experience symptoms like fatigue, headaches, nausea, constipation, and brain fog. This is sometimes referred to as the “keto flu” and usually resolves within a few weeks as the body adapts.[4]

Keto guidelines for fruits and vegetables

The keto diet emphasizes protein, fat, and non-starchy vegetables. It strictly limits sugar, grains, legumes, and high-carb fruits and vegetables.

Keto vegetable choices tend to be low in natural carbs. These include options like leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, etc. High carb veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, parsnips, corn, and squash are typically avoided.

For fruits, the focus is on picking very low sugar varieties. Most fruits are too high in carbs to fit into a ketogenic diet. The exceptions are fruits like berries, avocados, olives, and tomatoes.

When incorporating tomatoes and other fruits onto keto, portion control is key. Even lower sugar fruits can add up fast, quickly maxing out your daily carb allowance.

Are cherry tomatoes keto-friendly?

Cherry tomatoes can be incorporated into a well-formulated ketogenic diet. However, it’s important to account for their sugar and carb content.

Here are some key nutrition facts on cherry tomatoes:[5]

Serving Size: 1 cup raw, halves (150g)

Calories: 27

Fat: 0.3 g

Carbs: 5.8 g

– Fiber: 1.5 g

– Sugar: 3.8 g

Protein: 1.1 g

A 1-cup serving of cherry tomatoes has just under 6 grams of carbs. After subtracting fiber, the net digestible carb content comes out to about 4.3 grams.

This carb count can fit into a keto diet, but portion sizes still need to be monitored. Some people may be able to fit in up to 1 cup cherries per day. Others will prefer to stick with a smaller serving like 1⁄2 cup.

It’s also important to account for carbs from other foods. Heavy cream in your coffee, nuts for a snack, veggies at meals, etc. The carbs in cherry tomatoes will add up fast.

Impact on ketosis

A typical keto carb threshold for ketosis is around 50 grams daily. However, many people need to stay under 20-30 grams per day to see the best results for weight loss or therapeutic keto.[6]

At under 5 grams net carbs per serving, cherry tomatoes are considered keto-friendly. However, ketosis depends on your carb limit. Going over that threshold can kick you out of ketosis.

Focus on keeping total carbs, not just cherry tomatoes, within your personal keto limits. Testing urine ketones and monitoring symptoms can help confirm you stay in ketosis.

Benefits of cherry tomatoes on keto

Cherry tomatoes offer several key nutrients and benefits that can complement a ketogenic diet:

Vitamin C – One cup of cherry tomatoes provides 18% of the RDI for vitamin C, an important antioxidant and immune booster.[7]

Potassium – They’re high in potassium, supplying 12% of the RDI per serving. This mineral is important for heart health and fluid balance.[8]

Lycopene – Cherry tomatoes provide a rich source of the antioxidant lycopene. This carotenoid may lower inflammation, improve heart health, and benefit skin and eye health.[9]

Weight loss – Their high water and fiber content can promote fullness while providing few digestible carbs and calories.[10]

Low glycemic impact – Despite their sweet taste, cherry tomatoes have a very low effect on blood sugar levels.[11] This makes them unlikely to disrupt ketosis.

Thanks to their nutrition, portion of cherry tomatoes can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, well-rounded ketogenic diet.

Tips for eating cherry tomatoes on keto

Here are some suggestions to incorporate cherry tomatoes into your keto meal plan:

– Enjoy tomatoes in moderation. Stick to a servings of around 1⁄2 – 1 cup, and count the carbs toward your daily limit.

– Add tomatoes to salads and lettuce wrap sandwiches for crunch and juicy sweetness.

– Skewer cherry tomatoes with chunks of mozzarella and fresh basil for an easy appetizer.

– Mix halved cherry tomatoes into egg, chicken, or tuna salad recipes.

– Roast tomatoes in the oven with garlic, olive oil, and herbs for a flavor boost.

– Blend tomatoes into homemade keto pasta sauce, gazpacho soup, or salsa.

– Garnish finished dishes with a few halved cherry tomatoes for a pop of color.

– Be mindful of extra carbs in store-bought salad dressing, salsa, sauces, etc. when pairing with tomatoes. Check labels and measure carefully.

Recipes with cherry tomatoes

Here are some keto-friendly recipes that creatively use cherry tomatoes:

Keto Caprese Chicken – Chicken breasts topped with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.[12]

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette – Baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, bacon, red onion, hard-boiled eggs.[13]

Zucchini Lasagna – Thin sliced zucchini replaces noodles in this bake of meat sauce, ricotta, and tomatoes.[14]

Tomato and Sausage Risotto – Cauliflower rice stands in for arborio in this low-carb risotto.[15]

Simple Cherry Tomato Galette – Tomato slices baked into a flaky low-carb crust.[16]

BLT Salad – Cherry tomatoes, bacon crumbles, lettuce, and homemade mayo dressing.[17]

Mediterranean Tuna Salad – Albacore tuna salad with tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta cheese.[18]

Potential concerns with tomatoes on keto

While perfectly keto-friendly in moderation, here are a couple things to keep in mind:

Carb creep – It’s easy to overdo it on any fruit, veggies, condiments, etc. Track your macros and portions to prevent excess carbs.

Nitrates – Tomatoes can be higher in nitrates, which some blame for stalling weight loss. However, more research is needed to confirm any metabolic effects from dietary nitrates.[19]

Pesticide residue – If choosing conventional tomatoes, washing well and removing the skins can help minimize pesticide exposure.[20] Opting for organic is another solution.

Nightshades – Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants. A small percentage of people report digestive or inflammatory issues from nightshades.[21]

As with any food, pay attention to how your body reacts. Avoid any ingredients that seem to cause negative or stalling effects on keto.

The bottom line

Cherry tomatoes can be part of a keto diet when eaten in moderation. About 1⁄2 – 1 cup provides less than 5 grams of digestible carbs. Their juicy, sweet flavor and abundant nutrients make them a nice addition to keto meals and snacks.

Stick to sensible portions, be mindful of carb totals, and enjoy cherry tomatoes as part of your personalized keto eating plan. Monitor your progress and adjust intake levels to optimize your health and ketosis.


1. Foster, G. D., Wyatt, H. R., Hill, J. O., McGuckin, B. G., Brill, C., Mohammed, B. S., … & Klein, S. (2003). A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(21), 2082-2090.

2. Paoli, A., Rubini, A., Volek, J. S., & Grimaldi, K. A. (2013). Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets. European journal of clinical nutrition, 67(8), 789.

3. Westman, E. C., Feinman, R. D., Mavropoulos, J. C., Vernon, M. C., Volek, J. S., Wortman, J. A., … & Phinney, S. D. (2007). Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 86(2), 276-284.

4. Gibson, A. A., Seimon, R. V., Lee, C. M., Ayre, J., Franklin, J., Markovic, T. P., … & Sainsbury, A. (2015). Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Obesity reviews, 16(1), 64-76.

5. “Cherry Tomatoes.” U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central.

6. Volek, J. S., & Phinney, S. D. (2011). The art and science of low carbohydrate living: an expert guide to making the life-saving benefits of carbohydrate restriction sustainable and enjoyable. Beyond Obesity.

7. Naidu, K. A. (2003). Vitamin C in human health and disease is still a mystery? An overview. Nutrition journal, 2(1), 1-10.

8. Stone, M. S., Martyn, L., & Weaver, C. M. (2016). Potassium intake, bioavailability, hypertension, and glucose control. Nutrients, 8(7), 444.

9. Rao, A. V., & Rao, L. G. (2007). Carotenoids and human health. Pharmacological research, 55(3), 207-216.

10. Rolls, B. J., Ello-Martin, J. A., & Tohill, B. C. (2004). What can intervention studies tell us about the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and weight management?. Nutrition reviews, 62(1), 1-17.

11. Bahadoran, Z., Mirmiran, P., & Azizi, F. (2013). Dietary nitrate: biological effects and dietary sources. Food Science and Human Wellness, 2(1), 22-27.








19. Kapil, V., Haydar, S. M., Pearl, V., Lundberg, J. O., Weitzberg, E., & Ahluwalia, A. (2013). Physiological role for nitrate-reducing oral bacteria in blood pressure control. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 55, 93-100.

20. Lu, C., Barr, D. B., Pearson, M., & Waller, L. (2008). Dietary intake and its contribution to longitudinal organophosphorus pesticide exposure in urban/suburban children. Environmental health perspectives, 116(4), 537-542.

21. Mansueto, P., Seidita, A., D’Alcamo, A., & Carroccio, A. (2015). Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: literature review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34(1), 39-54.

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