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Is Polenta Keto?

Most beginners to keto fall prey to the information relayed on the internet; one moment, you’re biting into a dish that you think is keto friendly, and the next, you find out your body weight has shifted in a direction you were avoiding. One of these dishes is polenta.

Is polenta keto friendly? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

If you’re on a keto diet, you know the struggle of staying away from carbs. But you’ve made a glorious commitment, and it’s very important for you to stay true to your intention.

Now, most people on a keto diet or those who want to start a keto diet will look up the internet to see if they can eat a particular dish when on a diet.

Questions about whether a particular food is keto friendly frequently pops up on google search, but with most search results, you’re not getting authentic information.

Polenta is high in carbs, which is a sure way to get you back where you started. No matter what you’ve heard, polenta is not keto friendly, and you should avoid it as much as possible.

What is Polenta?

Is polenta keto friendly? No.

Why is that?

Polenta is made of cornmeal, a no-no for a keto diet. Cornmeal itself has 30 net carbs in the ¼th cup, so imagine how many carbs would be in a bowl of polenta.

How is Polenta Made?

Polenta is made from coarse grains of cornmeal. The cornmeal is boiled in water. Salt, cheese, and butter are then added to the boiled cornmeal and cooked until it thickens and reduces to a porridge-like consistency. This is the simplest recipe for polenta.

From Where Did Polenta Originate?

Did you know that polenta was a dish made for peasants? Surprising, isn’t it? You’ll find polenta served almost everywhere in Italy, but a few decades back, northern Italy saw polenta served as food for peasants.

Since this Italian dish was meant for peasants, it does not use fancy ingredients. The original recipe of polenta relies on basic ingredients which you’d find anywhere in Italy: butter, cheese, and cornmeal

Are There Varieties of Polenta?

Yes. Polenta may be a simple dish, but there are different varieties. If you use coarse ground cornmeal, you’re making coarse polenta. Finely ground cornmeal makes fine polenta.

White polenta is made from fine grains of white cornmeal.

Is Polenta Keto Friendly?

While polenta sounds like a delicious dish, it isn’t keto friendly. You’ll find many keto-friendly dishes, but polenta is not one of them.

But why isn’t polenta keto friendly? Aside from the high concentration of carbs, polenta has a very low concentration of fats. As most people on a keto diet know, any dish or food high in carbs and low in fat is the opposite of a keto diet.

How many calories are in a serving of Polenta?

Keto does not have a hard or fast rule regarding calories, but most nutritionists recommend not counting your calories for keto. Counting calories while on a keto diet won’t do much other than worry you, but you can still keep track if it helps you.

Nutritional Value of Polenta

Polenta is not keto friendly, and if you need to know why take a look at its nutritional value:

Nutritional ComponentsWeightage per 100 grams
Protein8.5 grams
Carbohydrates77 grams
Dietary Fiber6 grams

Based on the information above, an estimated number of calories in 100 grams of polentas is 370-371.

What are the Benefits of Polenta?

Yes, polenta is not keto-friendly, but it has many health benefits, including:


People who cannot eat gluten can easily eat polenta because this Italian dish is completely gluten-free.

Rich in Antioxidants

Polenta has a high concentration of antioxidants, which improve immunity and reduce the risk of diseases.

Keto Friendly Polenta Recipe 

When Can You Include Polenta in a Keto Diet?

Ideally, people on a keto diet will look toward food that is high in fat and low in carbs, like chicken. This does not mean that there aren’t people who eat non-keto food on a keto diet.

While the rule is to avoid non-keto food, some dishes benefit the human body otherwise, so keto doers try to incorporate those dishes in minute quantities.

While this is not recommended, you may include polenta in very minute and controlled quantities.

It would be best if you didn’t eat polenta on a keto diet every day or even more than once a month, so try your best not to succumb to the temptation.

Is there a Keto Friendly Polenta Recipe?

If you love polenta but are on a keto diet, you may consider alternative dishes. However, if you want to eat authentic polenta, you’ll have to wait until your keto diet is over.

There is a keto friendly version of polenta, but it technically won’t be authentic Italian polenta. You can still give this recipe a try, though:


  • 2-3 Yellow squash: medium,
  • 1 Cauliflower: medium
  • 4-5 tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup of Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chicken stock or ½ cup water
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (full fat only)


  1. Chop the squash and place it in a food processor. Give the food processor a run until the squash is finely chopped.
  2. Follow step 1 for the cauliflower.
  3. Add the broth or water into a pan on a low boil. Add the cream cheese and butter and increase the flame to medium heat.
  4. Mix and simmer for a few minutes. Add the squash into the broth and lower the heat.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes and stir continuously until the mixture becomes very soft.
  6. Add the salt and pepper.
  7. Take out the mixture and cool it.
  8. After it cools down, run the mixture in the food processor until it purees.
  9. Pour the puree back into the pan and add the cauliflower and the Parmesan.
  10. Cook on a low flame until you get a porridge-like consistency.

Wrapping Up

Is Polenta keto friendly?

No. Polenta isn’t keto friendly and must not be eaten while you’re on a keto diet. You can eat polenta on a diet cheat day or after your keto is done, but try to avoid it as much as possible.

Polenta is high in carbohydrates and has little to no fat, so we don’t suggest it for a keto diet. If you want to incorporate polenta into a keto diet, you can make polenta from keto friendly ingredients, although the taste won’t be the same.

Click on the links below to learn more about keto-friendly foods:

Are Peaches Keto?

Is Rutabaga Keto Friendly?

Are Mangoes Keto?

Is Bok Choy Keto Friendly?


Founder of The Art Of Keto.

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