How many carbs in a tomato?
One large tomato has about 5 grams of net carbs. So you could easily add half a tomato to any meal/serving. One tomato slice only adds about 1 gram of carbs. Even a cherry tomato is only about 1/2 to 1 gram of carbs each. Add 3 or 4 to a salad, no problem.
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, like potassium, niacin, lycopene, and lutein. Try to buy organic heirloom vine ripened tomatoes if possible. Or at the very least, vine ripened, otherwise most of the commercial tomatoes in the grocery store won’t have the best flavor, because they are often picked green.
Good ways to eat tomatoes low carb style?
Try salsa. Most tomato based salsas only have about 1-2 grams of carbs per tablespoon. You can use store bought or make the salsa yourself.
Tomato slices with a splash of balsamic vinegar and salt - I like to kick up the tomato slice this way and add to a hamburger patty instead of ketchup.
And with regards to ketchup, most regular ketchup is extremely high in sugar. There are low carb ketchup brands out there, although I haven’t tried them. I have used the ‘no corn syrup’ one which has about 6 grams of sugar per tablespoon. So a teaspoon of ketchup would be about 2 grams of additional carbs. I’d rather just eat a tomato slice instead.
Chop up a tomato or two for a big batch of homemade chili. Ground beef, turkey or chicken with garlic, tomatoes, peppers and spices makes for an easy and quick low carb chili. Top with shredded Cheddar and a dollop of sour cream and you’re all set.
For salads, a few cherry tomatoes are just fine to add. You could add some steak or chicken, some bacon, cheese, parmesan or ranch dressing, broccoli, spinach, a few onion slices, etc. Just skip the croutons. An oil and vinegar dressing has practically no carbs.
A caprese salad is an Italian salad that simply uses tomato slices, a slice of mozzarella, topped with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. About 1 gram of carbs for each slice.
So, yes, tomatoes are not only just fine for eating on a low carb diet, they are recommended. And with summer quickly approaching, you could always try growing your own as a hobby, if you’re not already. Just a thought…