Can I Use Herbs and Tubers When I’m On A Ketogenic Diet?

If you’ve discovered that herbs make you feel remarkably better, you may never want to go a day without them. But what do you do if you decide to go on a ketogenic diet? Don’t herbs have carbs in them? Do you count the carbs in the herbs you’re taking? Or should you just forget about the possibility and then go on counting carbohydrates in the primary foods you’re eating, expecting that would be enough to do?

What You Should Know About Herbs and Some Not So Well Known Tubers

  1. Herbs are plants. Thus, they will most likely be low in carbohydrates, as lettuce, spinach, kale, and onions are. However, there are some herbs that are more like sweet potatoes, potatoes, and corn – and these are the herbs that you will be most concerned about on a ketogenic diet.
  1. Here’s a list of some herbs that do contain appreciable amounts of carbohydrates:
  • Maca, 2 tablespoons, 100 calories, 20 grams carbohydrates
  • Slippery elm, 2 tablespoons, 30 calories, 6 grams carbohydrates
  • Garlic, 1 tablespoon, 12 calories, 3 grams carbohydrates
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, 19 calories, 3.8 grams carbohydrates
  • Adding a few tablespoons of maca to your protein shake in the morning to help you heal your thyroid and adrenal glands can be enough to get you out of ketosis.
  1. Tubers are sometimes used in herbal formulas and/or in a diet. Be careful of them because they generally will contain carbohydrates. Here’s a list of some of them:
  • Taro root, ½ cup raw, 55 calories, 14 grams carbohydrates
  • Cassava, 1 tablespoon, 115 calories, 23.5 grams carbohydrates
  • Sweet potato, ½ cup, 55 calories, 13 grams carbohydrates
  • Jerusalem artichokes, raw, ½ cup, 54 calories, 13 grams carbohydrates
  • Yam, ½ cup cooked, 79 calories, 18.7 grams carbohydrates
  • Arrowroot, 1 tablespoon, 29 calories, 7.1 grams carbohydrates
  • Kudzu, 1tablespoon, 30 calories, 8 grams carbohydrates
  • Lotus root, ½ cup, 40 calories, 9.6 grams carbohydrates
  • Any one of these ingredients in the right amounts will be enough to get you out of ketosis.

What you add to your meals as flavors or ingredients in batch mixes that are baked will potentially add carbohydrates to the day’s intake. When you work so hard to try to initiate a ketotic state from a ketogenic diet, the last thing you will want to do is to add some carbohydrates that will negate all your good efforts.

Every time your carbohydrate level exceeds the 10-20 grams or even 40 grams carbohydrate level for the day (Ask your doctor for your recommended level.), then your body metabolism will shift from fat-burning to carbohydrate burning. To shift back to fat-burning, it could take a few weeks. Thus you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth it to use any extra foods that do contain carbohydrate.

Make smart choices on your diet, whatever you do!