Is jicama good for a low-carb diet?

Jicama is a nutritious root vegetable that may be a good option for those following a low-carb diet. With only 6 grams of net carbs per cup, jicama is lower in carbs than many other starchy vegetables like potatoes or yams. It also contains a good amount of fiber and is rich in vitamin C, making it a healthy addition to a low-carb eating pattern.

What is Jicama?

Jicama (pronounced HEE-kah-ma) is a bulbous root vegetable that originated in Mexico. It’s sometimes referred to as Mexican yam or Mexican turnip. Though it looks like a turnip or potato, jicama has a thinner, brown outer skin and crispy white flesh inside. When eaten raw, it has a sweet, nutty flavor reminiscent of apples or water chestnuts. Jicama can be eaten raw or cooked and adds crunchy texture to dishes like slaws, salads, tacos and stir fries.

Nutrition Facts

One cup (120 grams) of raw jicama contains:

  • Calories: 46
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Vitamin C: 20% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin B6: 5% of the DV
  • Folate: 5% of the DV
  • Calcium: 3% of the DV
  • Iron: 4% of the DV
  • Potassium: 6% of the DV

With only 6 grams of net carbs per serving, jicama is one of the lowest carb root vegetables. It’s also high in fiber, providing 5 grams per cup chopped. The fiber content makes jicama a low glycemic food that will not cause significant spikes in blood sugar.

Benefits of Jicama on a Low-Carb Diet

Here are some of the key benefits that make jicama a good choice on a low-carb diet:

Low in Carbs and Calories

Jicama is one of the lowest carb and lowest calorie options among starchy vegetables. With only 6 grams of net carbs and 46 calories per cup, it can fit well into a low-carb eating plan that limits carbs to 50-150 grams per day.

High in Fiber

Jicama provides 5 grams of fiber per serving, accounting for about 20% of the recommended daily intake. Fiber slows digestion and promotes feelings of fullness. Getting enough fiber can prevent constipation and stabilize blood sugar on a low-carb diet.

Has a Low Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) measures how much a food spikes blood sugar. Jicama scores very low on the glycemic index, with a GI of 15. Low glycemic foods may provide better blood sugar control.

Provides Prebiotic Fiber

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed the good bacteria in the gut. Jicama contains the prebiotic fiber inulin, which supports digestive health and immune function.

Rich in Antioxidants

Jicama is an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 20% of the recommended intake in just one cup. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

Contains Other Key Nutrients

This vegetable provides small amounts of several other nutrients like vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron and potassium.

Downsides of Jicama

Jicama has several benefits, but there are a few downsides to consider as well:

  • Since it’s eaten raw, jicama may pose a risk of foodborne illness if not handled properly.
  • It contains small amounts of antinutrients like oxalates and lectins that can interfere with nutrient absorption.
  • Jicama has a slightly sweet taste and crunchy texture. Those following a low-carb or keto diet still need to be mindful of portion sizes.
  • This vegetable has a short shelf life and can spoil quickly if not stored properly.

How to Buy and Store Jicama

Here are some tips for buying and storing jicama:

  • Look for jicama roots that are firm, smooth and free of blemishes.
  • Avoid jicama that has cracked, dried or mushy skin.
  • Store uncut jicama in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.
  • Wrap cut jicama tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Jicama can be frozen for longer storage. Simply chop it up and store in an airtight container.

How to Prepare and Eat Jicama

Here are some simple ways to enjoy jicama:

  • Raw – Peel and slice it into sticks or cubes for dipping or add it to veggie platters.
  • Salads – Chop jicama and add to green, potato, pasta or fruit-based salads.
  • Slaws – Shred it and mix with shredded cabbage and carrots for a fiber-rich slaw.
  • Sides – Dice and roast jicama wedges with olive oil, cumin and chili powder.
  • Snacks – Sprinkle jicama fries with sea salt or spices and bake until crispy.
  • Drinks – Blend it into smoothies or juice it with orange and carrot juice.

How Jicama Fits Into a Low-Carb Diet

A low-carb diet typically limits carbs to 50-150 grams per day, although some go as low as 20-50 grams per day for nutritional ketosis. Here is how jicama can be incorporated:

  • Keto diet (less than 50 grams of carbs per day): Stick to about 1/2 cup serving per day.
  • Moderate low-carb diet (50-100 grams of carbs per day): 1-1 1/2 cups is a reasonable serving.
  • Less restrictive low-carb diet (100-150 grams of carbs per day): Can have up to 2 cups per day as part of meals and snacks.

No matter what your carb target is, be sure to track your servings if you are keeping your carbs strictly limited.

Sample Low-Carb Meal Plan with Jicama

Here is a one-day low-carb meal plan with jicama:


  • 3 eggs scrambled with 1 cup spinach, 1 oz cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup jicama, sliced
  • 1/4 avocado


  • 4 oz roasted chicken breast
  • Romaine lettuce salad with 1/2 cup jicama, 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil & vinegar dressing


  • 4 oz grilled salmon
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup roasted jicama


  • 1 oz pecans
  • 1 stick mozzarella string cheese

Healthier Jicama Substitutes

If you don’t have access to fresh jicama, here are some suggestions for lower-carb veggie substitutes:

Vegetable Serving Net Carbs
Jicama 1 cup chopped 6 grams
Daikon radish 1 cup sliced 5 grams
Celeriac 1 cup sliced 5 grams
Cucumbers 1 cup sliced 3 grams
Broccoli 1 cup chopped 6 grams
Zucchini 1 cup sliced 4 grams

Is Jicama Keto-Friendly?

Jicama can be part of a well-formulated ketogenic diet. However, it’s higher in carbs than most keto vegetables so portions need to be controlled. Around 1/2 cup per day would be a reasonable serving size.

Some options for staying keto with jicama include:

  • Using it to dip in guacamole or homemade salad dressings
  • Adding a few cubes to a leafy green salad
  • Mixing a small amount into slaws and vegetable salads
  • Grating a bit into keto-friendly stir fries

It’s best to weigh servings on a keto diet to ensure carb counts stay low enough to maintain ketosis.

Low-Carb Jicama Recipe Ideas

Here are a few tasty low-carb recipes featuring jicama:

Jicama Shrimp Tacos

Serve shrimp sautéed with chili powder on baked jicama shells for a low-carb taco alternative.

Jicama Fries

Cut jicama into fry shapes, toss with avocado oil and bake until crispy for a nutrient-packed French fry substitute.

Jicama Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Combine sliced jicama with orange segments, cilantro and an orange olive oil dressing for a refreshing salad.

Jicama Stir Fry

Stir fry jicama sticks in coconut oil with shredded chicken, snap peas, ginger and coconut aminos for an Asian-inspired dish.

Should You Eat Jicama on a Low-Carb Diet?

Jicama can be a good addition to a low-carb diet for several reasons:

  • It’s very low in net carbs and calories for a starchy vegetable.
  • It’s packed with fiber, which promotes fullness and gut health.
  • As a raw vegetable, it provides a nice crunch in salads, tacos and stir fries.
  • It contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights inflammation.

The main potential downside is that it does contain slightly more carbs than most low-carb veggies. Providing you stick to reasonable portion sizes, jicama can be a beneficial part of low-carb, keto and paleo diets.

The Bottom Line

Jicama is one of the lowest carb starchy vegetables available. With only 6 grams of net carbs per cup, it can be enjoyed in moderation on low-carb and keto diets. Its high fiber content, antioxidant vitamin C and beneficial prebiotic fibers support gut and immune health as well. Keep servings in the 1/2-1 cup range and use jicama to add crunch and nutrition to low-carb salads, tacos and veggie dishes.

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