Keto Substitute for Sweet Potatoes: 8 Healthy Substitutes


Sweet potatoes are a healthy choice but if you’re thinking about a Ketogenic diet, sweet potatoes are carbohydrate heavy. Therefore, you may be wondering, what can I substitute for sweet potatoes in the Keto diet?

Here are Keto substitutes for sweet potatoes:

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Butternut squash
  3. Acorn squash
  4. Kabocha
  5. Turnips
  6. Rutabaga
  7. Carrot
  8. Jicama

This article will include a side-by-side comparison of each foods carbohydrate and net carbs compared to sweet potatoes. In addition, I’ll discuss their textures, tastes and how you may want to cook them for your meals.

Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes

1. Pumpkin

  • Pumpkin has 6.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 9.2 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Pumpkin has 6.5 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 10.6 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Pumpkin, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 26
Protein 1.57 g 1.00 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 6.5 g
Fiber 3.0 g 0.05 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 6.5 g

Nutrient Resources 1 2

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, pumpkin is a good choice because it contains 164% less net carbs than sweet potatoes.

Pumpkins are 90% water but have a little more iron than sweet potatoes. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin A.

Pumpkins are typically used for:

  • Soups
  • Pies
  • Bread
  • Pumpkins taste great mashed also.

Mashed pumpkins are more like sweet potatoes for taste and texture. For better results use small sugar pumpkins instead of the large ones.

In addition to mashed, they can be cooked for the following:

  • Fries
  • Tots
  • Roasting
  • Baking

2. Butternut Squash

  • Butternut squash has 11.7 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 8.4 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Butternut squash has 9.7 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 7.4 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Butternut Squash, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 45
Protein 1.57 g 1.00 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 11.7 g
Fiber 3.0 g 2.0 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 9.7 g

Nutrient Resources 3

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, butternut squash is a good choice because it contains 76% less net carbs than sweet potatoes.

Butternut squash is lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Iron

When substituting it can be used for the following:

  • Mash
  • Roast
  • Air fry
  • Soups
  • Fries
  • Tots

Similarities between butternut squash and sweet potato:

  • Cooking time
  • Texture
  • Flavor profile

It has a very similar flavor to pumpkin, but is slightly sweeter. In the stores, butternut squash can be found pre-cut for various different foods.

mashed butternut squash
Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes – Mashed butternut squash

3. Acorn Squash

  • Acorn squash has 10.4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 9.7 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Acorn squash has 8.9 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 8.2 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Acorn Squash, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 40
Protein 1.57 g 0.80 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 10.4 g
Fiber 3.0 g 1.5 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 8.9 g

Nutrient Resources 4

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, acorn squash is a good choice because it contains 92% less net carbs than sweet potatoes.

Acorn squash is lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
  • Iron

Lower carb acorn squash can be substituted for sweet potatoes for the following:

  • Mash
  • Roast
  • Bake
  • Air fryer
  • Fries
  • Tots

Acorn squash has a similar cooking time, flavor and texture. They have a sweet, nutty taste like sweet potatoes although not as sweet. Remove the seeds from the center before cooking.

acorn squash
Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes – Acorn Squash

4. Kabocha

  • Kabocha has 8.2 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 11.9 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Kabocha has 7.0 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 10.1 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Kabocha, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 35
Protein 1.57 g 1.18 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.0 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 8.2 g
Fiber 3.0 g 1.2 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 7.0 g

Nutrient Resources 5

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, kabocha is a good choice because it contains 145% less net carbs than sweet potatoes.

In addition, the lower-carb kabocha is lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Folate

Kabocha makes a good substitute because it tastes like carrot and sweet potato mixed together. It’s sweet but not as much as a sweet potato.

It can be prepared the same way as sweet potatoes although they are typically unused for pies. Kabocha can be used in casseroles or cut into fries or strips.

They can be:

  • Baked
  • Steamed
  • Roasted
  • Stewed
Kabocha
Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes – Kabocha with lentils

5. Turnips

  • Turnips have 6.4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 13.7 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Turnips have 4.6 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 12.5 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Turnips, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 28
Protein 1.57 g 0.90 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 6.4 g
Fiber 3.0 g 1.8 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 4.6 g

Nutrient Resources 6

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, turnips are a good choice because it contains 270% less net carbs than sweet potatoes.

In addition, the lower-carb turnips are lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

You can use the turnips to do almost anything a cooked sweet potato can do including the following:

  • Bake them
  • Mash them
  • Fry them
  • Blend them into soups
  • Tots
  • Fries 

Turnips can easily replace sweet potatoes in meals like stew because of their hearty nature. Like sweet potatoes, they easily absorb flavor and help balance out dishes too salty or strong. 

Make sure to boil the turnips beforehand, so they end up with a potato consistency.

mashed turnips
Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes – Mashed Turnips

6. Rutabaga

  • Rutabaga has 8.6 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 11.5 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Rutabaga has 6.3 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 10.8 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Rutabaga, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 37
Protein 1.57 g 1.08 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.16 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 8.6 g
Fiber 3.0 g 2.3 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 6.3 g

Nutrient Resources 7

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, rutabaga is a good choice because it contains 172% less net carbs than sweet potatoes.

In addition, the lower-carb rutabagas are lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

Rutabagas taste like a combination between a turnip and cabbage. They can be used in any of the following dishes:

  • Stews
  • Soups
  • Casseroles

Use them any way you would use a sweet potato. Rutabagas can be diced, baked, roasted or mashed.

Some low-carb potato substitutes differ from sweet potatoes. Check out more substitutes for regular potatoes in my article, Low Carb Potato Substitutes: The 13 Best Alternatives.

rutabagas
Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes – Diced Rutabagas

7. Carrots

  • Carrots have 10.3 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 9.8 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Carrots have 9.4 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 7.7 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Carrots, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 45
Protein 1.57 g 0.94 g
Fat 0.05 g 3.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 10.3 g
Fiber 3.0 g 0.9 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 9.4 g

Nutrient Resources 8

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, carrots are a good choice because it contains 82% less net carbs than sweet potatoes.

In addition, carrots contain approximately half the calories and more of the following:

  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Riboflavin

Carrots are sweet making their flavor similar to sweet potatoes. Mashed carrots is a great substitute for mashed sweet potatoes. Carrots can also be roasted, sautéed, grilled and baked.

They’re great in stews and soups.

Some substitutes are different for Yukon Gold potatoes. Find out how in my article, Yukon Gold Potatoes Substitute: The 13 Best Alternatives.

mashed carrots
Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes – Mashed carrots

8. Jicama 

  • Jicama has grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 11.3 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Jicama has 3.9 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 13.2 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Jicama, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 38
Protein 1.57 g 0.72 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.09 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 8.8 g
Fiber 3.0 g 4.9 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 3.9 g

Nutrient Resources 9

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, jicama is a good choice because it contains 338% less net carbs than sweet potatoes.

Jicama is lower in calories and better than sweet potatoes for weight loss.

What is jicama? Jicama is a tuberous root in the bean family. It’s not a root vegetable but many treat it as one due to the similarities. Some nicknames include yam bean, Mexican turnip and Mexican potato. 

It has a thick brown skin with a white flesh inside. Jicama tastes like an apple but it’s not as sweet.

Jicama is often sliced into strips and eaten raw. As a sweet potato substitute it can be roasted or pan fried. The cooking process will soften up the flesh, so the texture becomes less crunchy and more towards a sweet potato.

Jicama can be added to soups or stews.

If you’re having a difficult time finding it in your local supermarket, visit a specialty market selling foreign foods.

For storage, jicama can be stored in the refrigerator up to two weeks or on the counter away from sunlight or heat for one week.

Find out the best russet potato substitutes in my article, Russet Potatoes Substitute: 13 Healthy Alternatives.

jicama
Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes – Jicama

FAQs

Are sweet potatoes keto friendly?

Sweet potatoes are typically unrecommended for keto diet plans due to their high carbohydrates per serving. The higher number of carbohydrates makes it difficult for most people to maintain ketosis, which is a primary goal of a ketogenic diet.

In regular diets, most people’s body relies on energy produced from carbohydrates. In ketosis, the body relies on energy produced from fat.

The body’s ability to maintain ketosis is dependent upon a lack of carbohydrates from a diet. When carbohydrates are unavailable, the body makes energy from fat.

For this reason, many high carb foods, like sweet potatoes are unrecommended on a keto diet. Most people following a keto diet limits their carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams per day.

One medium size sweet potato provides almost half of that, 21 net carbs, in just one meal.

Have you ever wanted an alternative to Gatorade? If so, find out the best ones in my article, 17 Best Gatorade Substitutes.

Additional Resources 10 11 12 1314 15 16 17

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Mashed Potato Substitutes: 15 Healthy Alternatives

 

Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. USDA: Pumpkin, raw[]
  2. USDA: Sweet potato, raw, unprepared[]
  3. USDA: Squash, winter, butternut, raw[]
  4. USDA: Squash, winter, acorn, raw[]
  5. USDA: Kabocha Squash[]
  6. USDA: Turnips, raw[]
  7. USDA: Rutabagas, raw[]
  8. USDA: Carrots, mature, raw[]
  9. USDA:Yambean (jicama), raw[]
  10. University of Illinois Extension: Winter Squash[]
  11. Wikipedia: Kabocha[]
  12. University of Illinois Extension: Pumpkins and More[]
  13. Wikipedia: Pachyrhizus erosus[]
  14. Wikipedia: Rutabaga[]
  15. Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing and Preserving Carrots[]
  16. Harvard Health Publishing: The pros and cons of root vegetables[]
  17. Library of Congress: What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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