Garlic powder is a popular spice used in many cuisines around the world.
But is it a good option if you're following a ketogenic (keto) diet?
Is Garlic Powder Low in Carbs?
When following a keto diet, monitoring your daily net carb intake is crucial for reaching and maintaining a state of ketosis. So when considering whether garlic powder is keto-friendly or not, we need to analyze its carb content.
Garlic powder contains around 63.7 grams of net carbs per 100 gram serving. While this looks high at first glance, the key thing to realize is garlic powder is used in very small quantities as a seasoning. You would rarely consume 100 grams of it!
Let's take a common serving size of 1/2 teaspoon (around 2 grams) of garlic powder. This provides about 1.27 grams of net carbs. When used moderately like this to add flavor, garlic powder can comfortably fit into a daily keto carb budget.
To stay in ketosis, keto diet guidelines recommend limiting net carbs to 50 grams per day or fewer. With judicious use as a flavor enhancer, garlic powder contributes very little to your overall carb load.
Key Takeaway: Despite having high carbs by weight, garlic powder adds minimal net carbs when used as a seasoning. Monitor your serving size, but it can be included on keto.
Nutritional Profile of Garlic Powder
Beyond its carb content, garlic powder packs some nutritional bonuses too. Let's analyze some of the main nutrients found in a 100 gram serving:
- Calories: 331 kcal
- Net carbs: 63.7 grams
- Protein: 16.6 grams
- Fiber: 9 grams
- Fat: 0.73 grams
- Vitamin C: 52% Daily Value
- Manganese: 84% DV
- Vitamin B6: 59% DV
Garlic powder provides a concentrated source of key antioxidants like vitamin C and manganese. This is because the drying process preserves and concentrates the natural nutrients found in raw garlic.
Vitamin C boosts your immune system while manganese supports bone health and metabolism. The protein content is also decent for a seasoning.
Choosing the Best Garlic Powder Brands
When selecting a garlic powder for keto cooking, check the ingredient label carefully rather than just grabbing the first jar you see. The best keto-friendly garlic powders contain just one ingredient: garlic.
Avoid additives like anti-caking agents, preservatives, salt, sugars, or vegetable oils. These extra ingredients introduce carbs and undermine the natural flavor. Brands like Spice Supreme and Burma Spice are good options, containing 100% garlic powder.
Also, steer clear of garlic salt blends. While convenient, these seasonings make it harder to control your sodium intake which is important on keto. Choose plain garlic powder instead and add your own salt to taste. This allows you to better regulate your electrolytes.
Opt for garlic powder rather than granulated garlic. Granulated garlic has a courser texture and doesn't dissolve as easily during cooking. Garlic powder delivers better flavor release because of its fine consistency that quickly incorporates into food.
Key Takeaway: When buying garlic powder for keto, check labels and choose brands consisting of 100% dehydrated garlic with no additives or anti-caking agents. Avoid garlic salt blends.
Using Garlic Powder in Keto Recipes
Garlic powder is a versatile way to add big flavor with minimal carbs. It brings a potent garlicky kick to various keto staples like eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, soups, sauces, dressings, and more.
Since the powder form contains concentrated flavor oils from dehydrated garlic, you only need a small amount to impart taste. As an estimate, use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder per 4 servings of a savory recipe.
Start with less, taste, and add more if needed. You can always add extra but you can't take it away!
Here are some tasty ways to use garlic powder in keto cooking:
- Roasted vegetables - Toss cauliflower florets, broccoli, green beans etc in olive oil and garlic powder before roasting
- Salad dressings - Whisk garlic powder into vinaigrettes or creamy dressings
- Fathead dough - Add to pizza crust or breadsticks for garlicky flavor
- Compound butter - Mix with grass-fed butter to top meats or vegetables
- Aioli - Blend into homemade mayo-based aioli dipping sauce
- Soup seasoning - Stir into broth-based soups like chicken or tomato
The rich flavor of garlic powder allows you to cut back on higher-carb ingredients like onions. A little goes a long way towards giving low-carb dishes tons of flavor!
Key Takeaway: Use garlic powder sparingly as a seasoning in keto recipes - about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per 4 servings. It adds big garlicky flavor with minimal carbs.
|Light garlic flavor
|Moderate garlic flavor
|Strong garlic flavor
Potential Alternatives to Garlic Powder on Keto
While garlic powder makes a tasty keto-friendly seasoning if used judiciously, some people prefer avoiding garlic altogether or need suitable substitutions if they run out.
Potential alternatives provide similar flavors and belong on the approved keto foods list. Here are some options:
- Onion powder - Provides pungent, savory notes similar to garlic
- Chives - Offer a mild garlicky and onion flavor
- Asafoetida powder - Imparts a strong garlicky/onion taste
- Ginger - Has a peppery, slightly sweet kick
- Cumin or mustard powder - Give a warm, earthy flavor
Experiment with these alternatives in different combinations to create depth of flavor in low-carb dishes. Pay attention to the net carbs if consuming larger amounts. But when used as a seasoning, they make great garlic stand-ins.
If following a fat-focused keto diet like carnivore, flavor meats by browning in beef tallow, lard or duck fat instead of using garlic or spices. The fat absorbs and carries concentrated meaty flavors.
For ultimate convenience, keto seasoning blends like Chosen Foods Garlic Infused Avocado Oil provide garlic taste without powder or chopping. The flavor compounds infuse into the oil which can then drizzle over recipes.
Should you avoid garlic on keto?
No, you don't need to completely avoid garlic when following keto. Small amounts of garlic powder used as a seasoning provide lots of flavor without significant carb impact. Avoid overdoing portion sizes, or try garlic-infused oil or low-carb alternatives.
Is garlic powder healthier than fresh garlic?
While fresh garlic has health benefits, the drying process actually helps preserve and concentrate antioxidants like vitamin C in garlic powder. So despite some enzyme loss, garlic powder offers a very healthy nutritional profile in a convenient concentrated form. Use both for maximum benefit!
What's the difference between garlic powder and garlic salt?
Garlic powder consists of 100% dried and ground garlic. Garlic salt is a spice blend of garlic powder plus extra salt like table salt or sea salt. Choose plain garlic powder without added salt on keto, so you can better control sodium intake and avoid over-salting food.
Garlic powder is a nutritional powerhouse providing antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
By choosing products consisting of 100% dried garlic, it can be a healthy part of a ketogenic lifestyle when used moderately as a seasoning.