Can I eat fried okra on keto?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can eat fried okra on a keto diet. Fried okra has a moderate amount of net carbs and can fit into your daily carb limit on keto. A 1/2 cup serving of fried okra contains about 5g of net carbs. When eating fried okra, be mindful of breaded coatings which can add more carbs. Opt for fried okra coated in almond or coconut flour instead of traditional breadcrumbs to keep carbs low. Fried okra makes a tasty side dish or snack that can be enjoyed in moderation on a keto diet.

What is Fried Okra?

Okra is a green vegetable pod that is a popular ingredient in Southern cooking. Okra can be prepared in many ways including baking, grilling, boiling, and frying. Fried okra consists of okra pods that have been sliced, coated in batter or breading, and then deep fried resulting in a crispy exterior and tender interior.

Some key nutrition facts about fried okra:

  • High in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and magnesium.
  • Contains antioxidants including glutathione and quercetin.
  • Has 2-3g of fiber per 1/2 cup serving.
  • Most calories come from fat due to the frying method.

When buying okra for frying, look for firm, brightly colored pods that are no longer than 4 inches long. Larger pods can become too tough and fibrous when fried.

Net Carbs in Fried Okra

The total carbohydrate content of fried okra is around 8-10g carbs per 1/2 cup serving.

However, around half of those carbs come from fiber. To get the net carbs, you subtract the fiber grams from the total carbs.

So the net carbs in 1/2 cup of fried okra is roughly:

Total Carbs: 8-10g
Fiber: 3-5g
Net Carbs: 5g

5g of net carbs per serving is a moderate carb amount that can likely fit into a daily low carb keto diet.

The exact carb count will vary slightly depending on factors like:

  • Breading – some coatings like cornmeal or flour can add more carbs vs almond flour or coconut flour breading.
  • Frying Oil – using high polyunsaturated oils like peanut or vegetable oil may slightly alter the nutrition profile.
  • Serving Size – carb counts are for a 1/2 cup portion. Consuming larger portions will increase net carbs.

To keep net carbs lowest, opt for fried okra coated in almond flour or coconut flour rather than traditional breadcrumbs. And stick to a 1/2 cup portion or less per serving.

Keto Diet Overview

The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that puts the body in a state of ketosis.

Here’s an overview of how keto works:

  • Restrict carb intake to 20-50g net carbs per day.
  • Replace carbs with higher amounts of fat and moderate protein.
  • Body switches to using fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs.
  • Boosts fat burning and provides metabolic benefits.

Some of the top benefits of keto include weight loss, lower blood sugar and insulin levels, improvement in biomarkers like triglycerides and HDL cholesterol, and reduced appetite and cravings.

Foods to eat on keto include:

  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs
  • Non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, etc.
  • Full-fat dairy like butter, heavy cream, hard cheeses
  • Nuts, seeds, avocados
  • Berries in moderation
  • Low carb sweeteners like stevia and erythritol

Foods to avoid include:

  • Grains like bread, pasta, rice, cereal
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas
  • Beans and legumes
  • Fruit except for berries
  • Added sugars
  • Low fat or diet products

With carb counts around 5g net carbs per serving, fried okra can be incorporated into a keto diet in moderation along with other low carb veggies, fats, proteins and dairy.

Benefits of Fried Okra on Keto

Here are some of the benefits of occasionally enjoying fried okra on a keto diet:

Provides Fiber

The total fiber in fried okra is around 2-3g per 1/2 cup. Getting adequate fiber on keto promotes digestive health, keeps you feeling full, and feeds the healthy gut bacteria.

Contains Nutrients

Fried okra contains vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, magnesium and more. Choosing some nutritious low carb veggies like okra boosts your vitamin and mineral intake on keto.

Adds Variety

The keto diet can become repetitive and boring for some people. Enjoying different low carb foods like fried okra adds more variety to keto and makes the diet interesting and sustainable.

Satisfies Cravings

Fried and crunchy foods like fried okra can satisfy cravings for carb-heavy comfort foods like french fries. Eating keto-friendly alternatives may help with sticking to the diet.

Easy to Make

Fried okra requires just a few simple ingredients like okra, egg, almond flour, and oil. It’s relatively easy to prepare at home with minimal time and kitchen skills required.


In addition to adults, fried okra makes a tasty keto-friendly food for kids. It provides nutrients and satisfies kid-friendly food preferences for crunchy and savory flavors.

Downsides of Eating Fried Okra on Keto

While fried okra can fit into keto diets, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

Higher in Calories

The frying process significantly increases the calorie content. 1/2 cup of fried okra contains around 140-170 calories. Consuming large portions may lead to excess calorie intake which could hinder weight loss.

High in Omega-6

Frying in vegetable oils adds more omega-6 fatty acids which can promote inflammation when consumed in excess. Limit portion sizes and pair with omega-3 foods.

Contains Lectins

Raw okra contains antinutrients called lectins. While frying may deactivate some lectins, over-consumption could potentially irritate the digestive tract in sensitive people.

Breading Could Add Carbs

If using high carb breading made with flour or breadcrumbs, the net carbs will increase compared to lower carb almond or coconut flour options.

Easy to Overeat

The crispy, fried coating and savory flavor makes okra easy to over-consume in one sitting, potentially leading to carb overload or excess calorie intake.

Healthier Frying Tips

Here are some tips for making fried okra healthier while keeping it low carb:

  • Use refined coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil for frying instead of vegetable or soybean oil.
  • Opt for unsweetened almond flour, coconut flour, or ground pork rinds instead of traditional breadcrumbs.
  • After frying, drain on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
  • Serve with a dipping sauce made with Greek yogurt and seasonings to cut the richness.
  • Bake instead of frying to significantly reduce calories while still getting crunch from the breading.
  • Pair with a healthy salad instead of starchy side dishes to help balance the meal.

Implementing some of these simple adjustments makes fried okra a bit healthier so you can feel better about enjoying it on the keto diet.

Keto Fried Okra Recipes

Here are 3 delicious keto-friendly fried okra recipes:

Air Fryer Keto Fried Okra


  • Okra, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Toss okra in egg, then dredge in almond flour mixture until coated.
  2. Place in air fryer basket sprayed with avocado oil spray. Air fry at 375F for 10-12 minutes, shaking halfway.
  3. Sprinkle with additional salt and eat warm.

Coconut Fried Okra


  • Fresh okra, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Coconut oil for frying


  1. Dip okra in egg, then coconut flour to coat.
  2. In skillet over medium heat, heat 1/4 inch coconut oil.
  3. Fry okra in batches 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
  4. Drain on paper towel lined plate.

Baked Fried Okra


  • 1 lb fresh okra, sliced
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In bowl, whisk egg. Place almond flour and seasonings in separate bowl.
  3. Dip okra in egg, then dredge through almond flour mixture to coat.
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake 20 minutes until crispy, flipping halfway.

Tips for Low Carb Side Dishes

When serving fried okra, pair it with other fresh low carb side dishes to help keep carbs in check and provide balanced nutrition:

  • Non-starchy roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc.
  • Fresh green salad topped with olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds
  • Zucchini noodles or spiralized sweet potato “noodles”
  • Cauliflower mash in place of potatoes
  • Sautéed greens like spinach, kale or collards

Avoid pairing with starchy sides like mac and cheese, beans, rice, cornbread, biscuits or thick dipping sauces that could overload your carb intake.

Serving Size Recommendations

When incorporating fried okra into a keto diet, recommended serving sizes are:

Strict Keto (under 25g net carbs): 1/4 – 1/3 cup max

Moderate Keto (25-50g net carbs): Up to 1/2 cup

High Activity Keto (more than 50g net carbs): 3/4 – 1 cup

Sticking within these serving sizes allows you to enjoy the flavor and crunch of fried okra while keeping net carbs moderate and fitting it into your daily carb limit.

The Bottom Line

Fried okra can be included on a keto diet in moderate portions as it contains around 5g net carbs per 1/2 cup serving. Opt for versions with almond flour or coconut flour breading to keep carbs lowest. Pair it with fresh vegetables and greens, and limit portion size based on your specific carb needs. Enjoying the occasional keto-friendly fried food like okra adds flavorful variety that makes the diet more enjoyable and sustainable.

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