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How many potatoes can I eat on keto?

The ketogenic or “keto” diet has become incredibly popular in recent years as a way to lose weight and improve health. This very low-carb, high-fat diet puts your body into a state of ketosis, during which you burn fat for fuel instead of carbs.

On keto, you must severely restrict carb intake, often limiting to just 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. This means that high-carb foods like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes are off the table. However, some people wonder if you can incorporate small amounts of potatoes into a keto diet. This article reviews how many potatoes you can eat on keto.

What are Net Carbs?

When counting carbs on keto, you have to pay attention to net carbs, not total carbs.

Net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber from total carbs, as fiber does not impact blood sugar levels. Sugar alcohols should also be subtracted.

For example, a medium baked potato with skin contains 26 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of fiber. Therefore, it has 24 grams of net carbs (26 – 2 = 24).

On a standard keto diet of 50 grams of net carbs per day, one medium potato would use up nearly half of your daily carb allowance.

Potatoes and Keto

Plain potatoes are considered a high-carb food not suitable for keto diets.

Here’s why:

  • Potatoes are high in carbs. One medium potato with skin contains 26 grams of total carbs and 24 grams of net carbs.
  • They offer minimal fat and protein. Potatoes are predominantly carbohydrates.
  • They lack nutrients important for keto. Potatoes have some vitamin C and potassium but not much else.
  • They cause blood sugar spikes. The carbs in potatoes are quickly digested and absorbed, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.

For these reasons, plain potatoes do not fit into a keto eating pattern and should be avoided altogether or eaten very sparingly.

Ways to Include Potatoes on Keto

While plain potatoes don’t fit into keto, there are some modified ways you can incorporate small amounts of potatoes into a keto diet.

Here are a few options:

Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes

Combining mashed cauliflower and potatoes is a way to enjoy the flavor and texture of mashed potatoes while reducing carb content.

By replacing half the potatoes with cauliflower, you can cut the carbs in half.

For example, 1 cup (156 grams) of mashed potatoes contains about 30 grams of net carbs (1). Meanwhile, 1 cup (124 grams) of mashed cauliflower contains just 5 grams of net carbs (2).

A 1:1 ratio of mashed cauliflower and potatoes provides 17.5 grams of net carbs per cup, allowing you to fit a reasonable portion into a keto diet.

Don’t add milk, cream, or butter to the mixture, as these can quickly increase the carb count. Opt for healthy fats like olive oil or avocado instead.

Loaded Cauliflower Bake

Replacing starchy potatoes with low-carb vegetables is another way to incorporate potato flavors into keto recipes.

For instance, this loaded cauliflower bake uses cauliflower instead of potatoes but is loaded with cheese, bacon, ranch dressing, and green onions similar to a loaded baked potato.

1 cup (100 grams) of this veggie bake provides just 6 grams of net carbs (3).

Making dishes like this satisfy potato cravings on keto. You get the experience of a stuffed baked potato without knocking your body out of ketosis.

Hasselback Radishes

Radishes can also be an excellent potato substitute, as they take on a similar texture when cooked.

Hasselback radishes mimic Hasselback potatoes, as they are baked with shallow slices that allow flavors to soak in.

Topping them as you would baked potatoes results in a flavorful, low-carb side dish.

Because 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of radishes contain just 1.8 grams of net carbs, you can enjoy Hasselback radishes more freely than potatoes on keto (4).

Potato Crust Pizza

Using thin slices of potato to create a pizza crust is one unique way to enjoy potatoes on keto, as it keeps servings sizes small.

The potatoes should be sliced paper-thin, cooked until crisp, then topped like a pizza. Most of the carbs come from the toppings instead of the crust.

Limit your slices and load up on keto-friendly meats, veggies, and cheeses for the rest of the pizza. This allows you to enjoy the potato texture in a keto diet.

Healthiest Potato Choices for Keto

While regular potatoes should be limited, some types are lower in carbs than others and can more easily fit into a keto eating pattern.

The best potato choices for keto are:

  • Baby potatoes. Whole baby potatoes contain about 8–10 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, compared to 18–21 grams in bigger potatoes (5, 6).
  • Fingerling potatoes. These small, slender potatoes contain around 19 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (7).
  • Red potatoes. A 100-gram serving of small, red potatoes has about 14 grams of net carbs (8).
  • Sweet potatoes. Oddly enough, sweet potatoes are lower in carbs than regular potatoes, with 13 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (9).

Though higher in carbs than foods like non-starchy veggies, these potato varieties can fit into keto diets more easily than normal white or Russet potatoes.

Still, portion sizes should be watched closely to keep carb counts low.

Example Meals with Potatoes

To give you an idea of how to incorporate small amounts of potatoes into keto, here are some sample meals and snacks:


  • Fried eggs with 1/2 cup (35 grams) diced sweet potato or baby potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs with 1/4 cup (30 grams) diced fingerling or red potatoes
  • Smoked salmon and avocado with 6 small red potatoes


  • Tuna salad stuffed in 2 baby potatoes
  • Chicken salad with 1/4 cup (35 grams) diced red potatoes
  • Stuffed sweet potatoes with chicken, cheese, and spinach (using 1/2 medium sweet potato)


  • Meatballs served over 10–15 baked baby potatoes
  • Steak with side salad and 6 small fingerling potatoes
  • Zoodles tossed with shrimp and 1/4 cup (35 grams) diced red potatoes


  • 2 small red potatoes topped with salsa, avocado, and Greek yogurt
  • Cubes of feta cheese and 10 baby potatoes
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) sweet potato chips

As you can see, enjoying up to 1/2 cup (75 grams) diced or 15 baby potatoes per meal or snack can work for keto diets.

Just be sure to count the net carbs and adjust your other meals and snacks accordingly to keep your daily totals in check.

Are Potatoes Keto-Friendly?

Plain potatoes of any kind are not considered keto-friendly foods due to their high carb counts.

However, incorporating small amounts of low-carb potato varieties like fingerlings, reds, or sweet potatoes can fit into a well-formulated keto diet.

Creative recipes using small amounts of potatoes or low-carb replacements like cauliflower also provide ways to enjoy “potato” flavors and textures on keto.

Yet, potatoes should be limited to less than 10–15 grams of net carbs per meal. Watch your portions and enjoy them alongside nutritious, low-carb foods to help you reach your goals on keto.

The Bottom Line

Most types of potatoes contain too many carbs to fit into a ketogenic diet.

However, consuming dinners of low-carb potatoes like fingerlings or reds 2–3 times per week can work for some people. You may also be able to incorporate small amounts of potatoes into side dishes or mixed recipes.

To make potatoes work on keto diets, be mindful of portion sizes, enjoy potato substitutes when possible, and balance them out with other low-carb foods during your meals and snacks.

While potatoes can technically fit into keto diets in moderation, you should limit higher carb potatoes and opt for low-carb veggies like leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, peppers, etc. whenever possible to stay on track.