Onions are by far one of the most popular vegetables in the world. In fact, I find it very hard to find a dinner recipe that does not call for onions. Onions bring a lot of flavor and texture to recipes. Not to mention, they are packed with nutrition. But what about onions on a keto diet? Are onions keto-friendly?
Simply put, as long as you keep count of your carbs you can have a small amount of onion on the keto diet. That said, onions are not the best choice for keto since they do contain more carbs than many other vegetables. Thankfully, however, there are a few things you can do to help you enjoy onions while staying on the keto diet.
If you are going to have onions on the keto diet you just need to make sure you are counting carbs and keeping them to your daily limit. On a keto diet, I would suggest you keep your total carbs to 50 or less per day or your net carbs to around 20 per day. In addition, you will need to get the majority of your calories from dietary fats and keep your protein to about 20% of your total calories.
In order to do this, you may need to modify the amount of onion in your recipes to ensure that it does not contain too many carbs. After all the carbs in onions can add up quickly if you are not careful. Of course, to know how much onion we can have on a keto diet we first need to figure out how many carbs are in onions. So let’s take a look at the most popular types of onions and how many carbs each contain.
How Many Carbs Are In Onions?
One cup of chopped white onion contains 64 calories and 15 grams of carbs. Of those carbs, 2.7 of them are in the form of fiber. To get the net carbs we need to subtract the fiber from the total carbs. This would give one cup of chopped onions 12.3 net carbs. If we were to break this down into 100 grams of white onion it would contain about 8.5 net carbs.
Of course, not all onions contain the exact same number of carbs. The best onions to use on a keto diet, in my opinion, are yellow onions. One hundred grams of yellow onion contains just over 6 net carbs. This is about 2 fewer carbs per 1oo grams than white onions and about half as many net carbs as shallots.
That said, shallots are the worst of the onion variety to eat on a ketogenic diet. The other two popular onions varieties are the red onion and the sweet onion. These two onions fall somewhere in between the yellow and white onion in carbs. That is about between 7 and 7.5 net carbs per 100 grams.
So as you can see adding onions to your recipes can quickly add up the carbs. This does not mean you cannot eat onions on a keto diet, just that you need to be careful. Thankfully, there are some tricks you can implement to get away with eating some amount of onion on a keto diet.
How To Eat Onions Without Getting Kicked Out Of Ketosis
As previously stated, it can be really hard to find many recipes that do not require the use of onions. Onions provide a ton a flavor to many popular dishes all around the world. That said, what can we do to get the flavor of onion in our recipes without all the extra carbs. Here are four simple tricks you can use today to help you enjoy onions on the keto diet!
#1 You Can Use Onion Powder Instead Of Whole Onions
One tablespoon of onion powder equates to roughly one medium onion in flavor. A medium onion weighs about 150 or so grams. As we stated early there are just over 6 net carbs in 100 grams of yellow onion. So one medium yellow onion contains roughly 9 or so net carbs.
One tablespoon of onion powder, on the other hand, contains roughly 4 net carbs. So if the flavor is all that you are looking for this could be an easy fix. As you can see you can save yourself 5 net carbs simply by using onion powder instead of fresh onion.
That said, I understand that texture may be something you are looking to get out of onions. With that in mind, you could reduce the amount of fresh onion and do a mix of fresh onion and onion powder.
#2 Reduce The Amount Of Onion In Your Recipes
This might seem like a no-brainer but one thing you could always do is simply reduce the amount of onion in your recipes. By using only half of the amount called for in many recipes you could easily save yourself 5-10 net carbs easily.
Onions are mostly used in recipes for taste and texture. That said, you can still have some of the flavor and texture of the onion even if you reduce the amount of onion in your recipes. In addition, as you get used to using less onion, your taste buds will soon get used to the new amount of flavor in your recipes. Soon you will not notice a difference at all.
#3 Save Some Room In Your Diet For A Few Extra Carbs
Remember as long as you are keeping your total carbs under 50 or your net carbs around 20 a day you are well within the parameters of a keto diet. That said if you wanted a dish with a few extra carbs from onions you just need to make room for it.
Let’s say you want to have this meal for dinner. All you need to do is keep your breakfast and lunch carbs to a very low amount. Then you can save all of the remaining carbs for your dinner time meal. Just make sure that you are keeping good track of your carbs throughout the day and you will be fine.
#4 Add Extra Fats To Your Recipes
Another thing you can do is add extra fats to your recipes. After all, keto is a high-fat and low-carb diet, not simply a low carb diet. That said, you want to get roughly 70% or so of your daily calories in the form of dietary fats.
So by adding extra fats to your recipes, you are reducing the percentage of calories in each dish that is coming in the form of protein and carbs. So even though you might not be reducing the total number of carbs from a recipe, you can still reduce the carb percentages in the recipes.
By adding extra fats you will be increasing the number of calories in the recipe. This way you can get more energy out of a smaller portion of the total recipe. This, in turn, can reduce the serving size needed to keep you full and add more total serving to the recipe. By adding more serving you reduce the number of carbs per serving in the recipe.
You can enjoy a small amount of onion when you are on the keto diet. That said, you will want to use some caution on just how much onion you consume on a daily basis. By using onion variates that are on the lower end and using some of these tricks, you can find a way to enjoy some onion on your keto diet!