sriracha sauce

Sriracha Sauce On The Keto Diet: What You Need to Know

Sometimes when you are on a certain diet or food regime- such as the keto diet for some time, eating your meals can become a sort of a habit, and things can get pretty boring pretty fast.

If you are constantly eating the same dishes over and over again, it is understandable that you would want to enhance the flavor a little bit. An easy way to add a little kick to your dishes is by adding a sauce such as sriracha.


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Keep reading to get all the information on sriracha you need!

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What Is Sriracha?

Sriracha is a perfect way to spice up, literally, any meal! It is a very popular hot sauce that nowadays is used on everything, from cocktails to lollipops to eggs and burgers. Some people even completely substitute ketchup for sriracha. 

Sriracha is used among different cuisines across the globe such as Thai cuisine, where it is used as a dipping sauce mainly for seafood dishes, also in the Vietnamese cuisine it appears as a condiment for pho and their fried noodles, it is used as a topping sauce on Vietnamese spring rolls and as an ingredient in sauces.

sriracha in pho
Sriracha sauce in Pho

If you are on the keto diet and you like some spicy sriracha hot sauce along with your meals, you are probably concerned if it is keto-friendly and if you can still enjoy it even on the keto diet.

Chances are, you have probably checked the label of your favorite sriracha brand and you’ve seen sugar listed in the ingredient list and that has risen even more concern.

How Is It Made?

Sriracha is a type of chili sauce or hot sauce usually made from chili peppers, garlic, distilled vinegar, sugar, and salt, although some variations do exist.

The famous hot sauce we all know and love is thought to have a Thai origin, specifically the town of Sri Racha and over time it contagiously made its way from the Thai cuisine to many cuisines around the world and nowadays it is used and made intensively in many countries. 

While the term sriracha might be the same, there are some differences in the Thai sriracha and the US sriracha. Thailand sriracha is most often called sot Sriracha and less often it is called nam prik Sriracha. The traditional Thai sriracha is runnier in texture, and it tends to be tanglier in taste in comparison with the US and other non-Thai versions of it. 

In the US most often sriracha hot sauce is associated with the sriracha sauce made by the Californian manufacturer Huy Fong Food. This brand of sriracha is widely recognized because of its unique packaging with a rooster on it, which is the reason why sriracha is called “rooster sauce” or “cock sauce”.

The sriracha hot sauce is seen to have some variables in the ingredients depending on the brand. Even though traditional sriracha is made from chili peppers, some US brands have used jalapeno peppers like the Huy Fong Food brand in some of their, while others seem to stay with the traditional red chili papers. 

There have been some variables in the sriracha sauce between brands like the addition of maple syrup and tomatoes which of course increases the carb content of sriracha, along with the sugar it contains.

There are also some brands, for example, Bangthai Original Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce, where they use cornstarch to increase the viscosity of the sauce, while other brands use xanthan gum, that is keto-friendly, for that same reason.

sriracha sauce
Photo by Steven Depolo | Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Is Sriracha Healthy?

Along with it’s contagious and irreplaceable taste, sriracha hot sauce has quite a few health benefits. The red chili peppers, which are the main component in traditional sriracha, have a compound called capsaicin. 

Capsaicin is a chemical that is common in spicy food. When consumed, it can boost your metabolism up to an astonishing 8%. There has also been evidence that capsaicin helps with suppressing appetite and minimizing the number of fat cells in the body, which makes weight loss easier and faster. (*

The chili peppers in sriracha also have a lot of vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins are known to play a role in the production of white blood cells, which leads to a healthier immune system. The combination of vitamin A, vitamin C and capsaicin has shown results in treating symptoms of rhinitis. (*

Sriracha is not sriracha without the strong notes of garlic. Garlic serves as an ingredient that connects all the flavors, but it also has a purpose health-wise. Garlic is known for lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and it stimulates immunity. (*)

That being said, sriracha hot sauce is not recommended for people who have or have had digestive issues such as ulcers, gastritis and other conditions that ask for lighter diets, as well as those who can’t tolerate spicy food.

Nutritional Facts

Sriracha was originally used in Thai and Vietnamese dishes like noodles, pho, and seafood, but today we put it on everything! From burgers to fries to pasta and meat. It’s safe to say that sriracha has taken over many years, but is it healthy, and is it keto-friendly?

Here is the nutritional value of sriracha hot sauce per 100 grams (*):

NutritionPer 100 gramsPer 1 tsp (6.5g)
Calories93 kcal6.04 kcal
Fat0.93 grams0.06 gram
Protein1.93 grams 0.125 gram
Total Carbs19.16 grams1.24 gram
Fiber2.2 grams 0.143 gram
Net Carbs16.96 grams 1.097 gram

Ingredients

A typical bottle of Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce consists of chili, salt, sugar, garlic, potassium sorbate, distilled vinegar, sodium sulfite and xanthan gum.

Can You Eat Sriracha Hot Sauce On The Keto Diet?

You are probably trying your hardest to follow the keto diet, but you also love the spiciness of sriracha hot sauce. So, is there a middle ground where you get to enjoy both? Well, first that depends on the type of sriracha hot sauce. From the type of pepper used to the amount of sugar, and the type of thickener that they used.

For example, one jalapeno pepper has only 0.5 grams of net carbs per pepper, in comparison to a ghost pepper which measures 3.3 grams of net carbs per pepper and a bell pepper with 2.3 grams of net carbs per pepper.

Most of the manufacturers of sriracha use an additive called xanthan gum as a thickener to increase the viscosity of the hot sauce, and that is what you should be looking for in the ingredient list. That is because xanthan gum is a very common food additive that is completely keto-friendly.

But, some manufacturers may use xanthan gum along with cornstarch which is not as keto-friendly, because just one tablespoon of cornstarch has 7 grams of net carbs. 

Because of these variations between brands, it is advisable that you check the ingredient list and the nutritional value before purchasing the sriracha hot sauce. Or you can also make your own keto-friendly sriracha at home.

That being said, according to the nutritional facts table provided by USDA, the total net carbs of sriracha is 16.96 grams per 100 grams. Sriracha hot sauce is the kind of food that you can easily lose sight of just how much you are eating.

This means that if you aren’t careful and if you don’t control the amount you consume, things can get out of hand pretty fast. But, if you measure how much you want to use, you can easily incorporate sriracha hot sauce in your keto lifestyle. 

To put things into perspective, a teaspoon of hot chili sriracha (6.5 grams) has a total of 1.24 grams of carbohydrates out of which 1.1 grams are net carbs. So, you can comfortably have a few teaspoons of sriracha with your dish and have a few net carbs left of your 20 grams you can use throughout other meals in the day.

Where to Buy:

You can buy sriracha hot sauce in almost every grocery store. You can also find sriracha hot sauce on online stores such as Amazon.com

Bottom line:

Is sriracha keto-friendly?

Sriracha hot sauce is considered a low-carb food and it can be incorporated into a low-carb diet as long as it is consumed in moderation and with caution. For strict ketogenic dieters, store-bought sriracha might not be an ideal food because of the added sugar in the ingredient.

How many net carbs are in sriracha?

A 100 grams of sriracha chili sauce has 16.96 grams of net carbs. A teaspoon (6.5g) of sriracha has approximately 1 gram of net carbs.


Conclusion

Whether you want to spice up your boring dishes, or you simply love spicy foods, sriracha hot sauce is a great addition to any meal. It has a minimal amount of carbohydrates per serving which means you can enjoy it in moderation without it affecting your ketosis. 

Make sure to read the labels of any brand you want to buy to make sure that they don’t include ingredients that you are trying to avoid. If you want a good option that allows you to have control over the ingredients, then making your own sriracha hot sauce is the way to go.

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