When we are cooking any type of dish, we can usually add many spices to give the food character and a unique flavor. However, many people think that being on a keto or a low-carb diet means that you will eat tasteless, bland food. However, that is very far from the truth.
Ginger is one of the most popular spices that many people like to include in their dishes. However, if you are on a keto or low-carb diet, you still need to be mindful of your carb consumption, even with spices and root vegetables.
So, if you love the spiciness and fragrance of this flavorful spice, you probably want to use it in your meals.
Ginger is okay to have on a low-carb and keto diet. However, you need to check the amounts that you are using. Below you will find more in depth details.
Ginger Nutrition Facts
|Macros||Raw Fresh Ginger||Dry, Ground Ginger Powder||Pickled Ginger|
|Total Carbs (grams)||17.8||71.6||4.83|
|Net Carbs (grams)||15.8||57.5||2.23|
That might seem like a lot, but when it comes to using ginger in cooking, we only need a very small amount, usually 1 teaspoon or so. Plus, some people might use ginger in cooking for the flavor only, not actually consume it.
|Food||Serving Size||Calories||Fat (g)||Carbohydrates (g)||Protein (g)||Fiber (g)||Net Carbs (g)|
|Raw Fresh Minced Ginger||1 tsp (2 g)||1.6||0.0||0.356||0.036||0.04||0.316|
|Ground Ginger Powder||1 tsp (1.8 g)||6||0.1||1.3||0.16||0.25||1.05|
How Many Carbs Are in Ginger?
A 1-teaspoon serving of freshly minced ginger has 0.3 grams of net carbohydrates while one teaspoon of ground ginger has 1 gram of net carbs.
Powdered ginger has more carbs because it is dried compared to fresh ginger with high water content.
Is Ginger Keto-friendly?
Yes, ginger is ketogenic even though it’s a root vegetable, we only use so little of it that the carbs are in traces.
Is pickled ginger keto-friendly?
Yes, it has very few net carbs.
Can You Eat Ginger On Keto Diet?
When you look at the table of nutritional information, you can see that raw ginger has a lot of carbs. Actually, it mainly consists of carbs. It consists of 15 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. However, dry ginger has 57.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, and the fermented ginger has just 2 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
It might seem like both the raw and dry types have too many carbs to be included in a keto or a low-carb diet. However, you don’t actually use 100 grams of either.
The dry, powdered form is also more concentrated, so ¼ of a teaspoon of it equals 1 tablespoon of raw ginger. So, logically you would need much less to get the flavor you want.
For reference, 1 teaspoon of the powdered type contains 1 net carb, while in the raw form there are about 0.3 grams of net carbs in a teaspoon. Additionally, this flavourful root is usually minimally processed, and it offers many health benefits!
You may be wondering, why does the fermented type have so few carbs, when the raw form is mainly carbs?
That is because of the process of fermentation or pickling. During this process, you need to add certain bacteria to the ginger. Then the bacteria consume the sugars in the root itself for energy and ferment it. That’s how you get the sour, tangy pickled ginger root, which is also extremely low in carbs!
So, let’s answer the question! Can you have ginger on the keto diet and low carb diet? The answer is YES.
Ginger is low carb. And, it is the perfect ingredient for your tea, meat, veggies, or even sauces and gravies. You can enjoy this spicy, flavourful root in all its forms without worrying if it will kick you out of ketosis!
How to substitute fresh ginger for dry, powdered ginger?
If you want to use dry, powdered ginger instead of fresh, you need to use ¼ teaspoon of powdered spice for every tablespoon of freshly cut spice.
Ginger Alternative for Keto
Depending on the purpose of your dish or beverage, the spice substitutes for ginger could be mint, nutmeg, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, or mace. Even though these spices don’t taste like ginger, they can be a direct replacement for many recipes.
Ginger Health Benefits
Historically, and even today, people use ginger in many forms of alternative and folk medicine. They use it in its raw, dried, powdered, oil, and even fermented form.
People use it for numerous medical problems such as treating the common cold, upset stomach, nausea, aid digestion, and more. And in recent years, scientists may have discovered why this spice is beneficial to our health through numerous studies.
This root contains a group of phenolic, bioactive compounds called gingerols. They are its natural oils and are responsible for its strong fragrance. They are also responsible for many of the health benefits this root has.
These substances are antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful compounds that help combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals. They do that by binding the free radicals and enabling them. Gingerols show a major pharmacological activity and have anticancer, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory responses. (*), (*)
Researchers also did a few smaller studies on the effects of this fragrant root on different cases of nausea. They tested it on preoperative patients to see if it will help postoperative nausea and vomiting. The results showed lower intensity nausea and vomiting post-surgery in the group who consumed ginger preop. Another study showed similar results with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients. (*), (*), (*)
Another way people use ginger is for weight loss. A systematic review of study trials concluded that it does help with weight loss. Specifically, supplementing ginger showed significant results with reduction of body weight, waist-hip ratio, and hip ratio in people who are overweight or obese. Another animal study showed that it can help increase expenditure and reduce body weight. (*), (*)
Other studies link the consumption of this root to better management of diabetes type 2, by affecting fasting blood sugar. And, also to lower major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, it can help the stomach to empty faster and aid digestion. (*), (*), (*)
The plant originates from Southeast Asia. It was domesticated by the Austronesian people. Then it spread from Asia to Europe at the very beginning of the spice trade. Today, it has spread globally and the root of this plant is one of the most commonly used spices.
In the kitchen, it has endless uses. Some are in teas, soups, meats, veggies, and seafood. People use the dry, powdered form to make gingerbread, ginger ale, cookies, crackers, and even beer.
Apart from the use as a spice, people are using this root for traditional, folk, and alternative medicine. And now, scientists are researching it and have seen promising results. This root offers numerous health benefits such as alleviating nausea and vomiting, helping with weight loss, and fighting oxidative stress with powerful antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidative properties.
Regarding the keto diet, this spice is a perfect way to add flavor, spiciness, and fragrance to your dishes. Even though it is mainly made of carbs, you would only use a small amount, as it is very strong. That is why it will not affect your blood sugar or kick you out of ketosis. So, you can go ahead and make your favorite keto recipe with a touch of ginger!
More Interesting Facts about The Ginger Plant
The ginger plant, scientifically named Zingiber Officinale, is a flowering plant with pale yellow petals with purple edges. Its root or rhizome is traditionally used in folk medicine and as a spice. This plant belongs to the Zingiberaceae family along with galangal, turmeric, and cardamom.
The origin of this plant is in Maritime Southeast Asia. And, the Austronesian peoples
were most likely the first to domesticate it. It then spread throughout the Indo-Pacific, as far as Hawaii. It is one of the first spices to be exported from Asia to Europe with the spice trade. In Europe, the Roman and Greek people used it.
Today people use it all around the globe in many different forms and many different ways. Indian people use the sliced or grated version of this root to make their everyday tea. Other ways people use it are with vegetables, pickles, candy, soda, and alcoholic beverages.
Young ginger roots are usually fleshy and juicy, so they are fermented and made into pickled ginger. It is then used as an appetizer, snack, or to go along with main dishes. The mature roots are used in many South Asian recipes as a seasoning for meat, vegetables, or seafood. The powder, dry type of this root is commonly used in crackers and cakes, ginger ale, gingerbread, cookies, and ginger beer.