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Are Corn Tortillas Keto-Friendly?

Corn Tortilla on a kitchen counter

If you love Mexican food, you probably know all about corn tortillas. They're seen as a healthier pick over flour tortillas since they don't have gluten and usually come with fewer carbs. But, if you're sticking to a keto diet, where keeping carbs really low is key, you might wonder if corn tortillas are okay to eat. The truth is, when you're on keto, you usually have to skip breads. So, let's get into it: Are corn tortillas keto-friendly? This guide will break down what corn tortillas are, how many carbs they've got, and offer some better options for your keto meals.


  • Corn tortillas are not keto-friendly due to their high net carbohydrate content.
  • Consuming corn tortillas could limit your ability to include other nutrient-rich foods in your keto diet due to their hefty carb count.
  • There are effective, keto-compatible alternatives to corn tortillas that can keep your meals diverse and exciting.

Are Corn Tortillas Keto-Friendly?

As your trusted culinary and nutritional guide, we always say: the numbers don't lie. Let's start off by getting to the kernel - pun intended - of our conversation: the carbohydrate content of corn tortillas. For every 100 grams, corn tortillas contain around 41.4 grams of net carbohydrates. That's a sizable portion, a fact that might surprise many of our health-conscious readers who associate tortillas with a lean, balanced meal.

Adhering to a ketogenic diet involves maintaining a daily carb limit that typically stays between 20 to 50 grams, depending on individual factors. These macros are strategically designed to drive the body into the state of ketosis where the body, deprived of carbs, starts burning fat for energy, a pivotal state which could offer various health benefits. Now, these 41.4 grams present in corn tortillas - they pose quite a dilemma for an individual trying to maintain ketosis, don't they?

As you'd agree, those grams can quickly add up when integrated into a full meal and might potentially add enough carbs to knock you from your carefully maintained ketosis. Despite its global widespread consumption and versatility in multiple culinary scenarios, from a strictly keto viewpoint, corn tortillas are not an ideal fit.

Can You Have Corn Tortilla on a Strict Keto Diet?

On a strict keto diet, where keeping your daily carb intake very low is essential, corn tortillas usually don't make the cut. Keto aims for high fat, moderate protein, and minimal carbs, typically around 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. Given that a single corn tortilla can contain about 10-20 grams of net carbs, having even just one or two could easily eat up most of your carb allowance for the day. So, while corn tortillas are a favorite in many dishes, they're not the best choice if you're following a strict keto plan. Instead, looking for low-carb alternatives that satisfy that tortilla craving without the carb load is key to staying on track with your keto goals.

To keep the carbs in check, the first and most crucial step is being conscious of your daily intake. But don't worry! There's no need for intricate mathematical equations or guesswork. Carb tracking apps are your digital kitchen companion in this journey. By inputting your meals, these tools can help you keep a watchful eye on those daily macros, ensuring that you stay within the sweet (or should we say, savoury) spot of your keto diet.

In addition, labels are your friends! Always check the nutritional information on food you buy, and when dining out, don’t be shy to ask questions about the carb content of the food served.

Carbs in Corn Tortillas

Digging deep into corn tortillas, every 100 grams pack approximately 41.4 grams of net carbs. That's a significant count, almost hitting the upper daily limit of carbohydrate intake on a strict keto diet.

To paint a more tangible picture, let's consider a typical serving size. A standard corn tortilla weighs around 26 grams. Even at this smaller portion, we are looking at about 11 grams of net carbs per tortilla. Extrapolate that to a couple of tacos for a meal, and you're very close, if not over, your daily carb limits on a keto diet.

Nutritional Snapshot of Corn Tortilla

When you look at what's inside a corn tortilla, weighing 100 grams, it's pretty interesting. They're mainly made of carbs, about 46.6 grams, which is a lot. But they also have 5.2 grams of fiber, which is good for your stomach. Plus, they're not too fatty, with only 2.5 grams of fat.

They also have a bit of protein, 5.7 grams, which helps your muscles and cells stay healthy. There are some minerals too, like sodium and potassium, which are important for your muscles and nerves to work right. There's also magnesium, which your body needs for lots of things, and calcium for strong bones, with 65.0 mg and 175.0 mg respectively.

Corn tortillas even have vitamins and minerals that keep you feeling good. Vitamins like B-6, thiamin, and niacin help turn your food into energy. Folate in the tortillas is important for making DNA. They've also got iron, zinc, copper, and manganese, all minerals your body uses in different ways.

They're packed with essential amino acids too, like leucine and lysine, which are important for fixing and building tissues in your body. There are some fatty acids, not a lot, but they're important for your brain and keeping inflammation down.

And, corn tortillas have about 222 calories each and a lot of water, which helps give you energy and keeps you hydrated.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs41.4g
Carbohydrate, by difference46.6g
Fiber, total dietary5.2g
Total fats2.5g
Sodium, Na11.0mg
Potassium, K154.0mg
Magnesium, Mg65.0mg
Calcium, Ca175.0mg
Vitamin B-60.22mg
Copper, Cu0.15mg
Iron, Fe1.4mg
Phosphorus, P314.0mg
Zinc, Zn0.94mg
Manganese, Mn0.4mg
Pantothenic acid0.19mg
Folate, total114.0ug
Folic acid99.0ug
Aspartic acid0.4g
Glutamic acid1.09g
Fatty acids, total saturated0.33g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.65g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated1.12g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Corn Tortilla' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Tortillas, ready-to-bake or -fry, corn, without added salt' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Corn Tortilla on a Keto Diet

Eating corn tortillas can offer several health benefits, thanks to their nutritional content. Here's a breakdown of the health aspects of incorporating corn tortillas into your diet:

Dietary Fiber: Corn tortillas are a good source of dietary fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion. Fiber helps to prevent constipation and supports a healthy gut microbiome.

Low in Fat: They're relatively low in fat, making them a suitable option if you're looking to reduce your fat intake for weight management or heart health.

Gluten-Free: For individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, corn tortillas are a gluten-free alternative to flour tortillas and other bread products that contain gluten.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Corn Tortilla

Stepping away from corn tortillas on a keto diet doesn't have to mean an end to your favorite dishes. There are several low-carb alternatives that can work well within your keto meal plan while satisfying your culinary creativity. If you're looking for replacements, it's best you get into keto baking!

Keto baking is a creative way to enjoy your favorite treats without breaking your carb budget, and the secret lies in using the right keto flours. Traditional wheat flour is off-limits on a keto diet due to its high carb content, but fortunately, there are several low-carb alternatives that make delicious baking possible. Almond flour and coconut flour are the stars in the keto baking world, known for their low carb counts and versatility in recipes.

Almond and Coconut Flour Tortillas

Let’s start our exploration with almond flour and coconut flour tortillas. Almond flour, for instance, has only about 10.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, a significant drop compared to 41.4 grams in corn tortillas. Coconut flour fares even better with just 8.9 grams of net carbs for the same quantity! Given this drastic reduction in carb content, tortillas made from these flours can be an excellent substitute for corn tortillas in your enchiladas, tacos, or quesadillas.

Lettuce Wraps

Another substitute worth considering is lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves. Feel free to fill these crunchy, fresh alternatives with your favorite taco mix for a light, flavorful wrap. This is an almost zero-carb alternative that not only keeps your meal fun but also helps you maintain your daily carb limit.

Flaxseed Tortillas

Finally, for those who like to challenge their culinary prowess, flaxseed tortillas are an interesting option to consider. Just 1.5 grams of net carb per 100 grams, these tortillas are not only low-carb but they're also fiber-rich and a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, adding an additional nutritional punch to your meals.

Concluding Thoughts on Corn Tortilla and Keto

In conclusion, while corn tortillas bring a bunch of health benefits like fiber, essential minerals, and being low in fat, they're a bit too high in carbs for a strict keto diet. If you're aiming to stay under a tight daily carb limit, corn tortillas might not be the best choice. However, they can still fit into a more flexible low-carb plan if you watch your portions. For those strictly following keto, there are plenty of alternative wraps and tortillas made with keto-friendly ingredients. Remember, balance and moderation are key, even in a keto diet, so it's all about finding what works best for your dietary needs and goals.

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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

A typical corn tortilla contains around 12g of carbohydrates per serving size (one medium-sized tortilla). However, this can vary depending on the brand and size of the tortilla.

The keto diet puts a strict limit on daily carbohydrate intake, usually between 20 to 50 grams per day. Considering a single corn tortilla contains around 12g of carbs, they take up a significant portion of your carb limit, thereby making it hard to stay in ketosis.