What the!? Onions



I’m a bit of a beginner, did about 6m Keto a few years back but was never too fussed about doing it right. I ate meat, eggs, cheese and veg plus added oil or fat. I assumed veg was veg. I obviously avoided the starchy seeming root veg like carrot and potato and sweet potato plus peas and corn as sweet but ate the rest. I felt great and lost like 15kg (I’m not huge to start with but I’m not a thin thing either).

Now after my mess ups with not realising milk is full of sugar and not being able to work out a net carb I thought I better be a bit more mindful.

Well the shock when I looked up carbs in onions. I seriously thought it would just be water and like cellulose haha. so wrong. I will have to get used to food without onion pretty quick.

It’s so annoying as onion is on all those lists of like ‘your Keto shopping list’ on Pinterest which I thought was a good simple place to start but how can all of those lists have it so wrong? An onion is like 8g carbs right? That’s not feasible to eat.

Any other red herrings and common foods hailed as Keto when they simply aren’t?


I always ate onions on keto (along with carrots and peas, there were essential in my soups), it was among the 2 vegs I didn’t stop to eat when I went to carnivore-ish :slight_smile: No problem with the carb content at all. Of course, I don’t eat it like in my childhood but almost no one uses onions in that big amount :smiley: My scrambled eggs were more like eggy fried onions :slight_smile:

Onion is very, very flavorful, a tiny bit goes a long way! It’s very, very sweet too, for me and now so I almost never touch it as I dislike sugar in my savory dishes.

Did you look up garlic? That’s even carbier. And people use even less of it so no problem.

I drink as much milk as I wish too as I don’t care about animal carbs, they don’t seem to matter to me, just like the not net carbs :wink:

It’s very easy to live without vegs if you ask me NOW. 5 years ago I would have said I can give up everything, even my darling eggs and adorable fruits if I must - but not vegs. How wrong I was :smiley:
Of course, we all have our limits and we need to be ready for certain jumps but it’s amazing how much we can change when it is about our food, among others!

What is “keto item”? You can eat ANYTHING on keto, there are no keto items and non-keto items, strictly… It’s not so advisable to eat very sugary food but I had plenty of them on keto as I could squeeze them in and considered them very important.
Meanwhile I had to ban cauliflower as it was way too carby even for my 40g net carb allowance. It’s about amounts… I could eat 10g frozen banana and considering it a perfect portion but I couldn’t eat little cauliflower (like 500g) at once. And the carbier items are usually WAY more flavorful so I got significantly less carbs if I used them instead of bland low-carb ones. Of course, it’s individual and some low-carb vegs are flavorful but it’s usually the sugary ones that made my soups tasty… I liked soups for various reasons, it’s very basic for us Hungarians, I grew up eating lots of soup every day but I liked them on keto because it was the only type of vegetable dishes that I could afford with my tiny, 40g net carb limit (without trying to eat just a bit, I can’t do that with vegs)… Vegetables are carby, I had to be very careful with them.

If I want to go below 20g carbs? (I don’t, it’s no special number for me but I do want to be very low most of the time.) Carnivore base, maybe with a tiny extra. IDK how people eat vegs below 20g carbs, honestly, I can’t. I need 3-20, sometimes 40g for the carni part of my diet alone… But yes, I could squeeze in some vegs if I wanted, I just don’t see the point anymore.


Unless you are eating 1-2 whole onions a day, I wouldn’t worry too much about onions.


I am Carnivore and I ate ‘some fresh minced onion’ fried on some of my meat choices for my meals.

Key being how much ya eating? Or are you using it more as a ‘flavor enhancer’ you enjoy.

I gotta say do not micro manage your ‘flavor’ intake from a bit of minced onion or a few slices in a meal. They won’t do you harm unless you get physical issues, like heartburn or ? that is very personal to you when ya eat them. That happens, dump them :slight_smile: I think maybe you are cool in your eating if you are getting results and feeling fine.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #5

How much onion are you eating, that you need to worry? Surely the onion is just a garnish, and you are not eating entire onions in one go?

One food database says that a raw white onion contains 7.68 g/100 g. From that, it should be easy to weigh the amount of onion you intend to use and figure out how much carbohydrate is 7.68% of that. Granted, if you intend to eat an entire onion, that’s a large chunk of your carb limit, but perhaps it might be possible to scale back a little?


yikes :scream_cat::scream_cat:
I can find tons of Keto foods that would suit one better, hey feel ya on that, but darn if one wants to scarf down a few whole onions in a meal…again, :scream_cat::crazy_face::100: too funny.


Ok so it seems like maybe it’s not a worry. I made some baked cheese and aubergine, 4 portions and it had 3 onions in it. So I thought like 6-7g carb just from the onion but maybe I’m off in the calculation. I was just really shocked it was so much, I though it was basically nothing. I usually eat it in salads too, about half an onion a time. I’m happy to swap that for spring onions tho which seem way better.

I can’t seem to work out how you do all the quote replies but thanks for flagging garlic, I eat so much of it, I will look it up and make sure I pay a bit of attention to how much I include.

Thanks for the reassurance :slight_smile:



You did keto for 6mo before, were onions a problem then, assuming you were eating them? If not, who cares? Yes, onions can be carby in larger amounts, but I’ve never limited them and never had an issue, haven’t had fat loss screwed up because of them. The 20g thing is made up, it’s not some magic limit that makes you enter ketosis, it’s the safe starting point for most people, nothing more.

8g wouldn’t do any noticeable damage, plus, that’d be for like a whole onion. How much you eating?

Not all carbs act the same, sugary carbs and starchy carbs don’t act the same. Fiber is a carb and we don’t even digest that. Fructose doesn’t act like Sucrose since it’s the liver that metabolizes that so the blood sugar impact is very different and much slower. You gotta see what works for you. No need to make Keto some cookie cutter WOE. Experiment!

Depends who you ask, again, can’t make it a cookie cutter thing. How many “vegetarians” eat eggs? How many Carnivores eat avacado’s and now with Paul Saladino doing it fruits, but still using the word Carnivore. Just do you! As long as your carbs are around where they should be, you’ll be fine.


Yes they weren’t a problem before. I’m definitely overthinking this!
I mean it’s not unheard of for me to eat 1-2 onions in a meal so I’ll just be a bit more conscious and use a touch less.

I think I’ve just made some rookie errors with other things that has made me second guess everything I’m doing. :woman_facepalming:t2:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #10

Just weigh your onions and figure 7.68% of that, and you have how much carbohydrate you’re actually going to get. So if your two onions together weigh 154 g, then you are getting 11.87 g of carbs.

(Alex ) #11

Just trying to imagine how much my breath would stink eating 2 whole onions… on top of already rank keto breath!


Most the time I cook them so no stink. If they’re raw I make sure my husband eats it too so we can stink together.

(Alex ) #13

Lol! And they say romance is dead….


Or less or more as this is the thing with living things, they just can’t follow the data :wink: You can’t even say they will have 10-13g carbs, maybe it’s more or less… IDK how accurate onions are, I actually think they are better than, say, apples (they surely are all over the place) or like, pumpkin (I’ve read an unripe one has 1/7th carb content of the ripe one)…
It doesn’t matter much but I just can’t forget we can’t be accurate…


So you are an onion lover :smiley: Yeah, it’s probably good to scale it back a little.
Indeed, cooked onions usually aren’t particularly smelly. They can be, it happened to me once after an onion soup but usually not. Anyway, who cares, surely not most of the people here, onion is a very, very, very basic item in the kitchen…
I just learned to use less of it that originally… And then it just lost its importance and charm eventually…


Yes, 9 grams of onions per 100 grams. But, 100 grams is almost 2 cups of onions. How much onion are you eating?
You were successful in the past. Why not follow the same route? I doubt that it was just the milk/onions or net carbs.
Some would say I am excessive about numbers, as I measure my blood work on a regular basis and do a DEXA scan 1x per year. I know empirically how my body reacts to every protocol I choose to do. However, I will not go down the road of measuring every bit of food that enters my mouth. Eating is supposed to be easy. After 12 years of Keto and LCH, the only thing I really take notice of is my protein.

(Bob M) #17

Onions are one of those things I don’t get concerned about. If I have onions on my burger, I don’t want to eat more onions.

I tend to look at things that cause me to overeat. Things like bacon and nuts, I don’t eat because I overeat them. Onions aren’t one of those.


Adding up is still a problem even if we get to, like 50g net carbs by 2-3 at a time… And it’s very easy to get 10-15 from onions, at least for some people…


Wow 12 years of Keto is impressive!

I hope it becomes a lifestyle for me. My husband seems to struggle so much with it tho and just craves pizza and chips and chocolate constantly. For ease in the past I’ve just eaten what he wants but I’m already feeling quite good after only about 10days or so, I don’t want to compromise on it and go back to old ways.


That’s a good point, no binge eating onions over here either. I like that take on it.