Garlic isn’t just a vegetable, it’s an all-time favorite flavor enhancer! In fact, most people call it a spice instead of a veggie! But is garlic keto approved?
I’m so much used to its taste that garlic is now as important as salt in my keto recipes!
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In this article, we’ll find out how various forms of garlic fit into the keto diet. You’ll also explore some of the major health benefits they bring to the table!
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Is Garlic Keto Friendly?
Garlic is a keto-friendly vegetable because a single clove has just 1g net carbs. Since it is majorly used as a spice, a few cloves are all you need in any recipe!
An average-sized head of garlic yields about 11 cloves. So using up a full head will add up to 11g net carbs to your keto recipes.
Another reason it ranks well on the keto-meter is that you won’t ever overeat garlic!
You are probably never going to eat garlic cloves as an appetizer or a side dish. Even imagining that grosses me out, lol!
Some recipes require you to roast the garlic beforehand but keep in mind that it does nothing to the carb content! Even the roasted or black garlic still has 1g net carbs per clove.
Aside from being a low-carb flavor enhancer, garlic provides you with countless health benefits!
In fact, some people chew on raw garlic first thing in the morning for health purposes!
Caution: Your colleagues won’t be really happy with the garlic aroma oozing out from your mouth!
Here’s a quick keto tip: If you really want to use less garlic, try something like garlic-infused olive oil! It’s very easy to spread the flavor uniformly throughout the dish.
All you need to is press a few cloves of garlic and mix it with some extra virgin olive oil. You can also add a bit of salt.
So how much garlic can you eat on keto?
Most keto diet plans recommend 20-40g of carbs per day depending on your personal factors.
That means adding garlic to your keto recipes isn’t a problem at all!
But then there might be times when garlic has to be tossed out of the recipe. Imagine that you took a de-tour from your daily diet plan and indulged in a low carb cookie.
Now you need to squeeze out all the carbs possible to stay within your daily carb limit!
That’s when you start making adjustments like giving up garlic, saying no to that additional dressing, etc.
Think of your carb limit like a salary that gets credited to you every month.
If you spent a major portion on exotic trips or extravagant shopping, you’ll be much more cautious during the month-end!
Heck, sometimes I even have to skip dinner if I exhausted my carb quota within the day!
Is Minced Garlic Keto-Friendly?
Minced garlic is also keto-friendly as most brands have 1g of net carbs per teaspoon.
But some brands have other flavors and additives which can inflate the net carbs! Always look for the nutrition label while buying such stuff.
Minced garlic is supposed to last years sitting on your fridge shelf. And it’s way easier than having to chop up the fresh garlic cloves every time (the fragrance can really cling to your hands!)
Companies add oils and other liquids to increase the shelf-life of minced garlic. Be careful as they may have hidden carbs.
While in a grocery store, I once casually picked up a jar of minced garlic. I was shocked to see that it had SUGAR inside!
Who on earth would want to pair garlic with sugar?
But I later did some digging and found out that sugar also works as a preserative!
That’s why its used in packaged snacks like Beef Jerky, so that they can stay edible for longer periods of time.
You do have a better store-bought option for flavoring your keto meals: Garlic Powder.
Is Garlic Powder Keto Friendly?
Think of your top 10 lunch recipes. I can bet 8 of them use garlic in some form!
Since minced garlic is often filled with sugar and other syrups, garlic powder is a much better option on the keto diet.
Dried or granulated garlic is keto-friendly as it has just 2g net carbs per teaspoon. (Source: USDA)
You’ll probably use less than a single teaspoon in the majority of your recipes.
Even though it may taste slightly different than the fresh garlic, but it is much easier to use and store.
You can easily find 100% garlic powder in your local stores. Or you can also order online via Iherb or Amazon.
Out of all the versions we discussed, raw garlic is the purest form!
It is 100% pure garlic with no adulterations and additives. For best taste and aroma, look out for the purple and white colored garlic heads.
You can also buy bulk packs of pre-peeled garlic that would really simplify your life!
Is Garlic Sauce Keto?
Garlic sauce is an amazing Labanese condiment that goes well with any keto meal!
It makes for an excellent side dip because of its creamy and pungent flavor.
There are only two ingredients required for making garlic sauce: Garlic and a “suspender”.
Suspender is any ingredient that blends with the garlic to generate a smooth and creamy texture. It could be oil, butter, mayonnaise, or full-fat Greek yogurt and sour cream (in case of a keto-friendly garlic sauce).
Garlic sauce is moderately keto because 1 tbsp contains 1g net carbs.
When using it as a side dip, you are likely to consume as much as 3-4 tbsp of this spicy condiment. The carbs can easily add up if you aren’t careful!
The exact number of carbs may differ depending on the ingredients used. For example, the more dairy you use, the higher will be the carbs.
Store-bought garlic sauce can have tons of unwanted preservatives!
That’s why I have brought you my all-time favorite Keto garlic sauce recipe! It is a very beginner-friendly recipe requiring less than 20 minutes of kitchen time.
- 5 ounces Full-fat Greek Yogurt
- 2 ounces Sour Cream
- 3 cloves of Garlic (chopped)
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp finely chopped Mint leaves
- Half tsp salt
- 1/4th tsp White Pepper
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Keep the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes so that the mixture can infuse properly.
- Your scrumptious Lebanese keto garlic sauce is ready!
Each serving of the keto carb garlic sauce has 20 calories, 1g net carbs, 1g protein, and 2g fat.
It yields 15 servings and one serving is 1 Tbsp (15g).
This lip-smacking keto garlic sauce can easily last 5 days in your fridge. I highly recommend against freezing it!
I usually enjoy it with some grilled meats or roasted veggies.
In fact, you can make a terrific taco using low carb tortillas, keto garlic sauce and some high-fat meats and veggies.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic is similar in nature to onions and shallots. They all are bulb-shaped vegetables with a strong and distinctive taste.
Ancient books have always talked about various health benefits of this magical herb-turned-vegetable!
Today health experts recommend having garlic every day in some form or other.
Here are some of the major health benefits it brings to the table:
Rich in Healthy Sulfur Compounds
What we now use for taste, has been extensively used by our ancestors for its medicinal properties!
Whenever you chop or crush a garlic clove, they form sulfur compounds such as allicin, which are highly valuable to the human body.
However, these compounds only survive for a short period after the clove is cut or crushed. So you can’t find all these benefits in a garlic powder or a garlic sauce.
Another reason to stick to raw and freshly picked garlic!
Diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine are other compounds that add medicinal properties to this highly versatile vegetable.
Garlic is Nutritionally Dense
Garlic is one of the rare foods that are packing some serious nutrients with minimal calories!
It’s an excellent find for fitness enthusiasts struggling to keep up their mineral and vitamin intake.
A single clove of raw garlic contains good amounts of
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
Garlic has a little bit of each and every nutrient we can think of. It’s a complete gift from mother nature to humans!
You should always include it in your broths while tackling the keto-flu.
Garlic is Super Rich in Antioxidants
Free radicals are the unstable particles in our body that can cause havoc within our systems.
You need to fight off these particles with antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. In fact, there are some keto drinks like Bai Drinks that are loaded with antioxidants.
Garlic happens to be abundant in antioxidants that can help you combat oxidative damage. It can also slow down aging significantly.
Sufficient amounts of garlic have proven to increase antioxidants in humans and also lower oxidative stress in people with high blood pressure.
In fact, some studies also found that garlic can lower the risk for brain diseases like dementia.
Garlic is well known for its immunity boosting properties.
And I don’t speak anything without backing up real facts!
This study surveyed participants for a period of 12 weeks.
They found out that daily consumption of garlic reduced the number of the common cold by a whopping 63% as against the placebo group.
And even those who caught a cold, their symptoms were shortened to just 1.5 days as against 5 days from the placebo group!
I used to catch a cold very frequently throughout the winters. But I’ve seen a significant boost in my immunity ever since I started adding garlic to more meals.
Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common cause of various heart diseases like heart attacks and strokes.
Some human studies have linked eating garlic with a lowered blood pressure.
In one particular study, garlic was as successful as a drug (Atenolol) in lowering blood pressure over a span of 6 months.
However, these studies experiment with good amounts of garlic (equivalent to 3-4 cloves per day).
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Other than managing blood pressure, Garlic also looks out for your heart by lowering your LDL, the unhealthy cholesterol.
See, not all cholesterol is bad for you. HDL and LDL are the two types of cholesterol that we humans have.
Too much LDL can be an issue as starts accumulating in the walls of our blood vessels or arteries.
This can sometimes disturb the free flow of blood within your body, leading to issues like stroke or heart attack.
People supplementing with garlic saw a reduction in bad cholesterol by as much as 15%. Though it makes no changes to your HDL (good cholesterol).
Is Garlic Keto Friendly?
Almost all forms of garlic are keto-friendly if you use it as a spice. A single clove of fresh garlic has just 1g net carbs.
A few cloves are all you need in most of the recipes. While being low carb, garlic also has a ton of health benefits that make it a worthy contender on the keto diet.