Can you eat rutabagas on keto?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can eat rutabagas on a keto diet. Rutabagas are a low carb, keto-friendly vegetable that can be a nutritious addition to a well-formulated ketogenic diet.

What are Rutabagas?

Rutabagas, also known as Swedish turnips or yellow turnips, are a root vegetable that is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They have a mild, sweet flavor that is similar to turnips but slightly sweeter.

Some key facts about rutabagas:

– Rutabagas are the size of a small potato and have yellow and purple skin with yellow flesh on the inside.

– They are thought to have originated as a cross between wild cabbage and turnips.

– Rutabagas are a cool weather vegetable and are in season from October through April.

– They can be eaten raw or cooked by boiling, roasting, mashing or adding to soups and stews.

– Rutabaga leaves are also edible and can be cooked similar to other green leafy vegetables.

Nutrition Facts of Rutabagas

Rutabagas are packed with nutrients:

Nutrient Amount per 1 Cup Chopped
Calories 51
Net Carbs 11.7g
Fiber 3.1g
Protein 1.2g

As you can see, rutabagas are low in calories and net carbs compared to many other starchy vegetables. The majority of the carbohydrates come from fiber, which does not count toward net carbs on a keto diet.

Rutabagas also contain a good amount of vitamin C, potassium, manganese and other important micronutrients.

Are Rutabagas Keto-Friendly?

Rutabagas can definitely fit into a ketogenic diet plan. Here are some reasons why:

– Low in net carbs – One cup of chopped rutabaga contains only 11.7g total carbohydrates and 8.6g of net carbs once you subtract fiber. This is a very low amount compared to high carb foods like bread, pasta and potatoes.

– High in fiber – With 3.1g of fiber per cup, rutabagas can help meet your daily fiber needs on keto. Fiber is important for gut health and also helps you feel fuller for longer.

– Nutrient dense – In addition to being low carb, rutabagas provide a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like vitamin C, potassium, manganese and carotenoids.

– Versatile veggie – Rutabagas work great roasted, mashed, in stews, soups or even sliced raw for dipping. Their mild flavor pairs well with bold seasonings.

As long as you watch your portions and fit them into your daily carb limit, rutabagas can be a nutrient boost to your keto diet. A 1/2 cup serving of rutabagas contains about 5g net carbs.

Benefits of Adding Rutabagas to a Keto Diet

Here are some of the top benefits of incorporating rutabagas into your ketogenic eating plan:

– Provides fiber – Getting adequate fiber helps prevent constipation and promotes satiety on keto. The 3g of fiber in a cup of rutabagas can help.

– Adds variety – Having a diverse array of low carb veggies can help make keto more sustainable and enjoyable. Rutabagas offer a nice change from the usual keto standbys.

– Delivers key nutrients – Rutabagas serve up important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like vitamin C, potassium, manganese and carotenoids that support health.

– Anti-inflammatory effects – Compounds in rutabagas may help reduce inflammation, a key benefit as keto diets can sometimes trigger increased inflammation in the body.

– Source of antioxidants – Carotenoids like beta-carotene found in rutabagas have antioxidant properties that help combat oxidative stress and protect cells.

-Satisfying crunch – The firm, crunchy texture of rutabagas can provide satisfaction when you crave something to sink your teeth into.

Rutabagas are a smart addition to a well-formulated ketogenic diet to enhance nutrition, increase variety and boost satisfaction from the foods you eat.

Ways to Eat Rutabagas on Keto

Rutabagas are so versatile – here are some delicious ways to enjoy them on keto:

– Mashed – Peel, dice, boil until tender then mash with butter, cream and seasonings for a low carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

– Roasted – Cut into wedges, toss with avocado oil, season and roast at 425°F until caramelized and tender.

– “Fries” – Slice into fry shapes, coat in oil and your favorite seasonings and bake in oven until crisp.

– Added to soups and stews – Dice and add to bone broth soups, chili, beef stew and more for extra nutrition.

– Sautéed – Cook diced rutabaga in skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil or butter until browned.

– Raw sticks and slices – Cut into sticks or slices to enjoy with keto-friendly dips like guacamole, ranch dressing etc.

– Chips – Thinly slice rutabagas and bake with oil and seasonings until crunchy, then enjoy like potato chips.

– Grated into salads – Grate raw rutabaga over salads for added crunch and nutrients. Pairs well with creamy dressings.

– In veggie pastas and zoodles – Add diced or spiralized rutabaga to zucchini noodles or konjac pasta dishes.

Rutabagas work with both savory and sweet flavor profiles, so get creative with how you incorporate them into keto meals and snacks!

Potential Downsides of Rutabagas

Rutabagas can fit into a well-formulated keto diet for most people when eaten in moderation, but there are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

– Carb content – While low in net carbs, rutabagas do contain more carbs than things like leafy greens and broccoli, so portions still need to be monitored.

– High fiber content – The fiber in rutabagas may cause digestive issues like gas or bloating in sensitive individuals, especially in excess amounts.

– Goitrogen content – Rutabagas contain goitrogens, compounds that may affect thyroid function by interfering with iodine absorption in very high amounts. This is usually only a concern for people with existing thyroid issues.

– Allergies – Rutabagas belong to the brassica family so people with known allergies to turnips, cabbage and other brassicas may need to avoid. Reactions are uncommon though.

– Antinutrients – Small amounts of antinutrients like tannins are found in rutabagas which could potentially block nutrient absorption. Typically not a major concern.

The majority of people can enjoy rutabagas on keto without issue. However, it’s best to start with small portions to see how your body responds and discontinue use if you experience any food sensitivity.

Tips for Adding Rutabagas to Your Keto Diet

Here are some tips to incorporate rutabagas into your ketogenic eating plan:

– Start small – Add just 1/2 cup diced rutabaga to a soup or stew to begin with and see how you tolerate it.

– Control portions – Stick to 1/2 – 1 cup rutabaga per meal and be mindful of the total carbs. Measure before cooking.

– Pick young, firm rutabagas – Opt for smaller, firmer rutabagas as they tend to be more mild in flavor and less stringy. Larger ones may be woodier.

– Peel thickly – Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the tough outer skin which also contains more carbs.

– Cook well – Rutabagas need thorough cooking to become tender. Roast, sauté or boil them until very soft.

– Season them – Complement the sweet, mellow flavor or rutabagas with herbs, spices, butter and plenty of salt and pepper.

– Pair with fats – Sauté in butter or olive oil or serve mashed rutabagas with heavy cream to balance the carb content.

– Store properly – Store unwashed rutabagas in a plastic bag in the fridge for 3-5 weeks. Wash just before using.

Adding rutabagas to your keto diet takes some planning but can be worth it for the delicious flavor, nutrition and variety they provide!

Rutabaga Recipe Ideas for Keto

Here are some delicious keto-friendly recipe ideas featuring rutabagas:

– Mashed rutabaga with bacon and sour cream
– Rutabaga hash with sausage and fried eggs
– Rutabaga noodle bolognese sauce
– Roasted rutabaga wedges with rosemary and parmesan
– Creamy rutabaga soup
– Rutabaga shepherd’s pie
– Cheesy rutabaga gratin
– Rutabaga stew with mushrooms
– Rutabaga fries with spicy mayo
– Rutabaga and spinach gratin
– Rutabaga latkes
– Rutabaga cranberry salad
– Rutabaga and turnip mash
– Rutabaga chips with guacamole

The mild flavor and hearty texture of rutabagas pair so well with bold seasonings and ingredients like cheese, cream, bacon and butter. Get creative with combining rutabagas with your favorite keto ingredients!

Common Questions about Rutabagas on Keto

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about eating rutabagas on the keto diet:

Are rutabagas keto?
Yes, rutabagas can be part of a keto diet. They are lower in net carbs than many other starchy vegetables. Stick to 1/2 – 1 cup portion sizes.

Can you substitute rutabagas for potatoes on keto?
Absolutely! Rutabagas make a great lower carb substitute for potatoes in recipes for mashing, soups, stews and more.

Do rutabagas spike insulin?
Rutabagas have a low glycemic index of 35 so they should not cause a major spike in insulin or blood sugar levels.

Can you eat rutabaga skin?
Yes, the skin is edible after peeling though some people prefer to peel it thicker to remove more fiber.

What is the carb count of rutabagas?
One cup of chopped raw rutabaga contains 11.7g total carbs and 8.6g net carbs (Total carbs – Fiber = Net carbs).

Are rutabagas high in oxalates?
Rutabagas contain moderate levels of oxalates. This could be a concern for those prone to kidney stones.

What vitamins are in rutabagas?
Rutabagas are high in vitamin C, providing 53% DV per cup. They also contain B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, manganese and antioxidants.


Rutabagas can be a nutritious, low carb addition to a ketogenic diet for most people. Enjoy them roasted, mashed, or in soups and stews for their unique flavor and health benefits. Monitor your portions and be aware of any potential digestive or thyroid issues. When prepared right and eaten in moderation, rutabagas offer a tasty new way to get more variety from low carb vegetables on keto!

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