Carbs in Tortillas: How to Choose the Right One for Keto?

The keto diet is full of delicious and hearty foods. However, even with a variety of keto meals, we sometimes experience cravings for certain foods because of our habits or body features. And many of us love Mexican food. Tacos, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, nachos…. I bet you are now hungry! 

The main ingredient in these magical dishes is tortillas. But are they right for your low-carb diet? Are tortillas keto?

No. Unfortunately, these delicious tortillas are not suitable for the keto diet as they contain too many carbohydrates. While tortillas are not keto, some options and recipes will allow you to enjoy tasty Mexican food without threatening your ketosis.

What types of tortillas are there? How many carbs are in tortillas? Are there any recipes for low-carb tortillas? I’ll show you how to add tortillas to your keto meal plan without endangering healthy ketosis. Read on and enjoy!

What are Tortillas?

Tortilla is a thin Mexican flatbread that has gained popularity all over the world. In Mexico, tortilla is one of the national dishes and is found in many different recipes. In general, tortillas come in two options – made from corn flour and wheat flour, both white flour and whole-grain option.

Wheat tortillas are softer and more tender, while corn tortillas are more elastic and easier to use for wrapping the filling. Corn tortillas are delicious, crunchy, and make yummy chips.

Are Tortillas Keto?

Let’s discuss both options in detail.

Are Corn Tortillas Keto?

As I have said above, tortillas are not keto. However, I think you want more details. Naturally, the composition of various tortillas differs depending on size, manufacturer, and ingredients. However, I will give you general data that roughly correspond to different kinds.

So, one medium-sized corn tortilla contains about:

  • 62 calories
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 14 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 12 grams of net carbs.

Alas, corn tortillas are not keto. While this may seem like the average amount of carbs that will fit into your 20 grams daily norm, you need to avoid these carbs. The point is that these are carbohydrates from corn grains. They are all starchy, raising blood insulin levels, disrupting ketosis, and leading to hunger spikes.

Are Wheat Tortillas Keto?

One medium-sized wheat tortilla contains about:

  • 88 calories
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of fat
  • 16 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 15 grams of net carbs.

As you can see, wheat tortillas are not keto as they are also high in starchy carbs and disrupts your ketosis. Your body processes wheat flour just like white sugar – instantly causing insulin spikes due to the high glycemic index. Therefore, you should avoid these foods even in small quantities if you want your keto diet to continue.

Keto Tortillas Options

So, you should avoid both types of tortillas if you want to stay in healthy ketosis. However, you can find low-carb options or make your own. And while you may find some tortillas that have the word “keto” on their labels, this is not always true. You need to look at the composition.

If so, such words can be hidden on the labels of low-carb tortillas:

  • modified wheat/corn starch
  • wheat or corn protein
  • wheat or cornflour
  • soybean flour/soy fiber
  • oat flour/oat fiber
  • canola oil.

Alas, this is not suitable for keto. Yes, these tortillas are low in carbohydrates, but they have the same effect on your body as regular tortillas. They raise your insulin levels, which is inappropriate for healthy ketosis and even dangerous for people with insulin resistance. Our keto flour guide will help you figure out the right ingredients to stay within your allowed carbohydrates.

There are several keto options that will not harm your diet. Here are my favorite tortillas, which are keto, paleo, soy-free, gluten-free, and corn-free:

Keto Tortillas Recipes

Choosing the Right Flour

I’ve already told you how to choose the right flour for your keto diet. But there are a few details you need to know when cooking tortillas.

The simplest recipe consists of a mixture of almond and coconut flour, a pinch of psyllium or xanthan gum, and baking powder. However, not everyone may like coconut flour because it tastes a bit sweet. If so, you can replace it with sesame flour, sunflower seed, or any other keto-friendly option.

Xanthan gum and psyllium powder are interchangeable and have similar properties, so use what you have or like. They act as an adhesive, replacing gluten in baked goods, so they are essential for delicious tortillas.

Cooking Tortillas

It is a very simple process that usually takes me five minutes to prepare the dough. Take a small amount of flour (about 50 grams for two tortillas), a pinch of baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, or psyllium powder. Mix well. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, one egg, and knead to a firm dough. Add some warm water if necessary. You can skip using the egg by adding a little more water. Then you get a completely vegan keto meal.

The exact amount you choose depends on the flour because each type acts differently in the dough. Season to taste. I like to use onion and garlic powder, sometimes just a pinch of pepper or dry herbs.

As a result, you should get dense dough that does not stick to your hands. You can add a couple of drops of any keto oil for better consistency. Then cool the dough for a couple of hours. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment and roll it out thinly with a rolling pin. You can use the tortilla press if you are cooking for the whole family.

Place the tortilla on a pan and cook for less than 1 minute on each side. Remember that coconut flour can burn quickly, so avoid cooking over high heat. However, there are small details about tortillas. If you cook it over medium heat, it will most likely be hard and not elastic. Preheat the pan well and make sure that the dough does not burn.

How to Enjoy Keto Tortillas?

Mexican cuisine has an endless variety of delicious recipes. On a keto diet, we can use most of them, excluding corn, beans, and other foods high in carbohydrates. I cook my favorite meals using tortillas.

Tortilla chips. Everything is simple here – cut the finished tortillas into triangles, dry in the oven until crisp, and enjoy with guacamole or any keto tomato sauce.

Wraps with various fillings. I can wrap everything in tortillas – chicken, minced meat, bacon with tomatoes, several types of cheese and scrambled eggs, tuna and arugula, shrimp with cucumber, in general, any keto food. It’s always delicious. You can eat the wraps without frying, or you can lightly cook them in the pan, cut them diagonally, and enjoy the keto burrito. Or place the filling between two tortillas, fry, and cut into slices for a keto quesadilla.

In general, you can combine these keto tortillas with any low-carb meal. The most important thing is to keep track of your daily carbohydrate intake to not disrupt ketosis.

You can store cooked tortillas in the refrigerator by placing them in a paper bag, as this will keep them soft and flexible. You can also freeze them using a zip bag and then defrost them in the refrigerator or at room temperature. However, if your tortillas get dry and lose elasticity, you can microwave them for 20-30 seconds. Enjoy!

Conclusion

If you want delicious Mexican food, you can afford it even on keto. However, you need to avoid corn and wheat tortillas, even if they are supposedly low in carbs. Find your favorite keto option or make your homemade tortillas. It’s that easy.

Remember that while on a keto diet, your daily carbohydrate limit should not exceed 20 grams. There are always hidden carbohydrates in your diet, even if you don’t know about them. So opt for green leafy vegetables and keto-friendly foods that are low in carbs.

 

About

Ana R. is a certified nutritionist and healthy eating lover. Over the past 10 years, she has used various methods to deal with obesity and eating disorders. Ana shares her experiences to help readers use healthy eating habits for better health and harmony with the body. She is convinced that this can be achieved by understanding how your body functions and responds to different foods.