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Can Certain Vegetables Affect Ketone Levels in Urine?

By Aglaee Jacob

If you are following a ketogenic diet to lose weight, you can check your urine ketone levels to ensure your body stays in a ketosis state, which means that your body is primarily utilizing fat. To be in ketosis and have detectable urine levels of ketones, which makes your ketone strips turn pink or purple, you need to keep your daily carb intake below 50 g a day. Count your carbs to ensure your carb intake stays within that narrow range. Some vegetables, especially starch vegetables, may affect your ketone levels. Consult your doctor to ensure a ketogenic diet is safe for you.


A potato is relatively high in carbohydrate and may not be a good vegetable option if you want to lose fat by inducing a state of ketosis. For example, even a very small potato has about 30 g of carbohydrates and 1 cup of mashed potatoes contains 35 g of carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes contain similar amounts of carbohydrates, with about 27 g of carbohydrates for a medium one or 58 g of carbohydrates for 1 cup of mashed sweet potato. If by eating potatoes, you consume over 50 g of carbohydrates a day, you won't be able to detect any ketones in your urine because you won't be in ketosis anymore.

Corn and Peas

A cup of canned, sweet corn provides about 46 g of carbohydrates, while a large cob contains about 30 g of carbohydrates. Avoid corn if you wish to stay in ketosis. A 1-cup serving of green peas contains 21 g of carbohydrates and 1 cup of canned peas and carrots provide about 16 g of carbohydrates, which is significantly more than nonstarchy vegetables. Choose vegetables with a lower carb content for your ketogenic diet.

Winter Squash

A cup of cooked spaghetti squash contains about 10 g of carbohydrates, which is not that high. However, most dieters would eat at least 2 cups, which would correspond to at least 20 g of carbohydrates. For some, it can be enough to put them out of ketosis.


A whole medium, fresh tomato contains less than 5 g of carbohydrates per serving, but tomato sauces, because they are concentrated and often contain added sugar, can contain significant amounts of carbohydrates. For example, 1 cup of canned tomato sauce contains 24 g of carbohydrates. An 8-oz.glass of tomato juice contains about 10 g of carbohydrates. When buying tomato-based products, look at the carb content on the labels to help you stay in ketosis and lose weight.

Beets and Parsnips

A 1-cup serving of sliced beets provides about 17 g of carbohydrates, which can easily make you go overboard with your daily carb intake and put you out of ketosis. One cup of sliced, cooked parsnip contains approximately 27 g of carbohydrates. Avoid this high-carb vegetables if you want to maintain some detectable levels of ketones in your urine.

Nonstarchy Vegetables

Most nonstarchy vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, onions, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and eggplant, contain very small amounts of carbohydrates. However, if you eat large servings at each meal, your carb intake may reach a level that is high enough to stop ketosis. Track your carb intake, even from nonstarchy vegetables, to help maintain your ketogenic diet.

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