Home » Friendly » Plants » Roots and Tubers » Yams » Is Greater Yam Keto-Friendly?

Is Greater Yam Keto-Friendly?

Greater Yam on a kitchen counter

Embarking on a ketogenic diet involves meticulous food choices to ensure low-carb and high-fat consumption.

One such quandary might leave you wondering: 'Is Greater Yam Keto-Friendly?' Despite its dense nutritional profile and health benefits, Greater Yam, with its high net carb content, sails a bit far from the safe harbor of a conventional ketogenic diet.

This article will escort you through an insightful journey exploring why Greater Yam isn't typically a part of a keto diet, its impacts on ketosis, the challenge to abstain from it in keto meal plans, and finally, introduce you to some keto-compatible alternatives.


  • Greater Yam is not considered keto-friendly due to its high net carb content.
  • Despite its health benefits and rich nutrition profile, consuming Greater Yam can potentially knock you out of ketosis.
  • We explore suitable keto-compatible alternatives that allow culinary creativity without risking your ketogenic state.

Is Greater Yam Keto-Friendly?

Now, onto the burning question: Is Greater Yam Keto-friendly? While it would be fantastic to declare all nutrient-rich food keto-friendly, the nutritional facts lay down a different reality.

Greater Yam, a root vegetable known for its nutritional properties, contains a substantial amount of carbohydrates - more specifically, net carbs, which are a nemesis in strict adherence to a keto diet. To put it into perspective, a 100g serving of Greater Yam provides an estimated 23.78g of net carbs. Now that’s a significant carb count, especially when considering the stringent standards of a keto diet!

Our ketosis journey requires us to limit the number of dietary carbs and concentrate on fats and moderate proteins. Generally, we aim to keep net carb intake around 20-50g per day on a typical keto diet. With the high net carb content in Greater Yam, one small serving could account for, or even exceed, the daily carb limit for many of us. Consequently, the body would be getting excess energy from carbs, instead of deriving it from fats, which is contradictory to the keto objective of burning fats for fuel.

In light of these nutritional facts, it becomes clear that Greater Yam's compatibility with a keto diet is less than ideal. This isn't to undermine the nutritional benefits of Greater Yam—rather, to put into perspective the high carb cost that comes with it, which is inadvisable for a food plan working with a restricted net carb limit.

Can Greater Yam be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

The question "Can Greater Yam find a place within the confines of a strict keto diet?" is contentious, primarily due to its high net carb content. A keto diet, by design, is low in carbs. Our body, in this low-carb state, transitions into a metabolic state called ketosis, where it's burning fats for fuel, rather than carbs.

Going by this logic, considering the hefty amount of net carbs in Greater Yam—around 23.78g per 100g serving—it becomes inherently problematic to incorporate it into a strict ketogenic diet. To maintain ketosis, the aim is typically to limit your about net carb intake to around 20-50g per day. With Greater Yam's carb content, even a small portion could take up, if not exceed, your total daily carb allowance, making it challenging to remain in ketosis.

Now, you might think, "What about just eating a tiny fraction of Greater Yam?" While reasonable at first glance, this approach might still pose a risk. The chances of overconsumption are high given the human tendency to underestimate serving sizes. Eating even just a little too much can potentially knock you out of ketosis.

Given the complexity of juggling Greater Yam's nutritional balance with a strict keto diet, we suggest making your life simpler by using reliable methods for tracking your carb intake. Carb tracking applications are an excellent tool in this context, helping you accurately measure your daily net carbohydrate intake and avoid unexpected diet pitfalls, such as unwittingly consuming too many carbs via Greater Yam.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Greater Yam

Understanding the carbohydrate content of Greater Yam requires us to delve into the details, particularly the concept of net carbs. For those new to the ketogenic lifestyle, here’s a crash course: net carbs are the total carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber content. For those adhering to a keto diet, it’s the net carbs that count since dietary fiber doesn't get broken down and used for energy like other carbs.

Now let’s look at Greater Yam. In a 100g serving of Greater Yam, there are around 23.78g of net carbs. This statistic can be challenging to interpret without some real-world context. So, let's consider this: imagine you're cooking a delicious Greater Yam stew. The recipe you're using calls for about 200 grams of Greater Yam. This would mean you're adding approximately 47.56 grams of net carbs to your stew just from the Greater Yam!

If your daily carb limit is 50 grams, this means a single serving of Greater Yam stew could nearly max out your carbohydrate budget for the day—and that's excluding the carbs from the other ingredients in your stew!

This high net carb count stems from the fact that Greater Yam is a starchy vegetable. While it's a great source of energy in higher-carb diets, these attributes become obstacles on a keto diet. Understanding the high net carb content of Greater Yam underscores why deciding if it fits into a strict ketogenic diet isn’t straightforward: while it's nutrient-rich, the cost in carbs is high.

Nutritional Snapshot of Greater Yam

The Greater Yam, for its size, packs a surprising amount of nutrients. Each 100g serving provides a considerable 118 kcal, sourced primarily from carbohydrates. Taking a deeper dive, we can see these carbohydrates are principally made up of 23.78g of net carbs and 4.1g of dietary fiber. The food contributes a low amount of fats (0.17g total) and a slightly more substantial protein content (1.53g).

Beyond basic macronutrients, four essential electrolytes also make their presence known. A standout figure is the significant potassium content emphasized at 816.0mg per 100g, followed by smaller amounts of magnesium (21.0mg), calcium (17.0mg), and a minimal offering of sodium (9.0mg). These are crucial for maintaining fluid balance and nerve transmissions throughout the body.

In the mineral department, the Greater Yam offers a decent variety including, but not limited to, iron (0.54mg), phosphorus (55.0mg), and zinc (0.24mg). Of note is the beneficial 0.18mg of copper, essential to many vital functions, from red blood cell creation to nerve health.

Vitamins also appear in healthy quantities, notably Vitamin C (17.1mg) supporting immune health and Vitamin A (7.0ug) assisting with vision and skin health. Other contributors include Vitamins B-6, E, and K1, along with beneficial riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid.

Greater Yam also offers various amino acids including leucine, lysine, and arginine which are essential for protein synthesis, growth and tissue repair.

To top it off, the tuber provides a wealth of beneficial fatty acids, primarily found in the form of polyunsaturated fats (0.08g).

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 23.78g
Carbohydrate, by difference 27.88g
Fiber, total dietary 4.1g
Total fats 0.17g
Protein 1.53g
Sodium, Na 9.0mg
Potassium, K 816.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 21.0mg
Calcium, Ca 17.0mg
Vitamin A 7.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.29mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 17.1mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.35mg
Vitamin K1 2.3ug
Copper, Cu 0.18mg
Iron, Fe 0.54mg
Phosphorus, P 55.0mg
Selenium, Se 0.7ug
Zinc, Zn 0.24mg
Beta-carotene 83.0ug
Manganese, Mn 0.4mg
Thiamin 0.11mg
Riboflavin 0.03mg
Niacin 0.55mg
Pantothenic acid 0.31mg
Folate, total 23.0ug
Choline, total 16.5mg
Calories 118.0kcal
Water 69.6g
Tryptophan 0.01g
Threonine 0.05g
Isoleucine 0.05g
Leucine 0.1g
Lysine 0.06g
Methionine 0.02g
Cystine 0.02g
Phenylalanine 0.07g
Tyrosine 0.04g
Valine 0.06g
Arginine 0.13g
Histidine 0.03g
Alanine 0.06g
Aspartic acid 0.16g
Glutamic acid 0.18g
Glycine 0.05g
Proline 0.05g
Serine 0.08g
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.04g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.01g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.08g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Greater Yam' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Yam, raw' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Greater Yam on a Keto Diet

Staying in ketosis is a balancing act, and adding Greater Yam to your keto diet can certainly tip the balance due to its high net carb content. As we've mentioned, consuming too many net carbs—especially from a high-carb source like Greater Yam—can quickly push you out of ketosis. Once knocked out of this metabolic state, your body starts to burn glucose from carbs for energy again, rather than fats.

The transition back to fat-burning mode, or re-entering ketosis, can take time and effort. Frequent shifts in and out of ketosis could lead to the so-called 'keto flu', which brings with it symptoms like fatigue, hunger, sleep problems, nausea, and irritability. Thus, it’s essential to think critically about your daily carb intake, especially if considering Greater Yam.

However, the dilemma of placing the Greater Yam in a keto diet doesn't negate its overall health and wellness attributes. Greater Yam is packed with impressive ranges of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B5, and manganese-- micronutrients that offer plenty of benefits for general health and well-being.

Its beneficial attributes extend to its high fiber content, which is great for digestive health. But remember, while these qualities make Greater Yam a good choice in general nutrition, the high net carb content overshadows these benefits in the context of a ketogenic diet. This issue arises because, while dietary fiber is subtracted when calculating net carbs, the remaining carbohydrate content still poses a formidable challenge to maintaining ketosis.

Avoiding Greater Yam in Your Keto Meal Plan

The challenge for anyone on a ketogenic diet is to maintain an eating regimen that primarily includes high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb foods, and in this quest, avoiding Greater Yam is an important consideration due to its high net carb content.

To keep you guided on your keto journey, here are some practical methods to avoid Greater Yam:

One way is to gain awareness of meals where Greater Yam is typically used and find low-carb alternatives. For instance, if you spot Greater Yam in a salad, stew, or soup recipe or if it's offered as a side dish at your favorite eatery, politely decline or substitute it with a known keto-friendly option.

Overcoming cravings is a part that requires willpower. If you find yourself craving the unique flavor or texture of Greater Yam, try to identify what exactly you're missing. Is it the starchy flavor, the feeling of satiety, or the sweet aftertaste? Once you have that figured out, it could be easier to find other low-carb foods that can provide the same satisfaction but without the high net carb content.

Remember that having practical knowledge of your go-to food list is paramount. Always carry a list of safe, keto-friendly foods on your phone or in your wallet. This way, when grocery shopping or eating out, you can quickly check if what you're about to eat is compatible with your keto regimen.

Keeping low-carb food alternatives at hand is another strategy that will significantly help you avoid Greater Yam. If you have an assortment of delicious, fulfilling, keto-compliant foods readily available, chances are you won't yearn for Greater Yam as much.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Greater Yam

Let's consider a few keto-friendly alternatives for Greater Yam, which can provide similar texture or taste without overloading your diet with the net carbs that Greater Yam carries.

Firstly, cauliflowers are a fantastic substitute that's famously versatile. They can be used in a myriad of keto recipes, effectively replacing the starchy texture of Greater Yam. Cauliflower can be riced, mashed, or roasted to imitate the creaminess of yams in soups or stews. A 100g serving of cauliflower has only about 2.97g of net carbs, presenting a massive contrast to the same amount of Greater Yam, making it a considerably low-carb option for keto dieters.

Our second substitute is zucchini. It possesses a light, almost neutral flavor and versatile textural properties, making it another popular alternative. In terms of its use, a chopped or spiralized zucchini can work wonders in salads, soups, or stir-fries. At approximately 2.11g of net carbs per 100g, it's another low-carb crop that can help keep you in the keto zone.

Another wonderful alternative is the cucumber. Underneath their crisp and hydrating exterior, cucumbers are deceptively lower in carbs, standing at about 1.5g of net carbs in a 50g serving. They are perfect for a quick salad, a refreshing addition to a smoothie, or even consumed raw as a crunchy keto snack.

Lastly, spaghetti squash is another substitute to consider. Though slightly higher in net carbs than the previous options—around 5.5g net carbs per 100g—it's still a viable choice for those looking for an alternative. Its stringy flesh, once cooked, can serve as a tasty, low-carb replacement for Greater Yam in stews and soups.

Each of these alternatives presents a different facet of versatility and a comparative advantage vis-a-vis the net carb content compared to Greater Yam. They offer a viable way to enjoy the same satiety, the fullness, and much of the texture that Greater Yam could offer, but without risking your state of ketosis.

Concluding Thoughts on Greater Yam and Keto

Our exploration into the complex relationship between Greater Yam and a keto diet has unveiled some intriguing insights. Greater Yam, despite its nutritional richness and health benefits, predominantly falls short of being a keto-friendly food mainly because of its high net carb content.

Its starchy composition ramps up the net carbs, and consuming it can potentially knock dieters out of their prized ketosis, shifting their metabolism back from burning fats to burning glucose. Coupling this information with the fact that re-entering ketosis can be challenging and may even cause 'keto flu' symptoms underscores the difficulty in incorporating Greater Yam into a strict ketogenic diet.

However, this is not to diminish the dietary value of Greater Yam outside the keto world. Packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a rather splendid starchiness, it assures benefits for general health and well-being, making it a worthy addition to many non-keto diets.

For our ambitious keto dieters, however, saying 'no' to Greater Yam does not mean saying 'no' to taste or the joy of eating. The keto diet thrives on creativity and diversity, and the multitude of keto-friendly alternatives to Greater Yam - cauliflower, zucchini, cucumbers, and spaghetti squash, to name a few - ensure the lack of Greater Yam does not equate to a compromise on culinary delight. These substitutes open up a world of keto-friendly dishes, allowing you to customise to your palatal preferences while staying within your diet's confines.

And here's a thought to bear: while it's essential to know the nutritional contents of your food, it's equally crucial to listen to your body. Food is an integrated part of our lifestyle, and every individual's diet should reflect their unique dietary requirements, lifestyle, and personal taste.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Is White Yam Keto-Friendly
Is Chinese Yam Keto-Friendly
Is Air Potato Yam Keto-Friendly
Are Yams Keto Friendly

Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Greater Yam, for every 100g serving, contains around 27g net carbs, an amount that could interfere with maintaining ketosis.

Yes, due to the high net carb content, consumption of Greater Yam can potentially take you out of ketosis.

Yes, there are keto-friendly alternatives like cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, and spaghetti squash that can provide similar texture or taste without overloading your diet with net carbs.