Packed full to the brim with antioxidants, and as a powerful anti-inflammatory food, ginger is a powerhouse full of health benefits. But Is Ginger Keto Friendly? Take a deep dive with me into the world of ginger – let’s find out!
Facts about ginger
- Gingerol: Ginger contains something called gingerol. This is responsible for ginger’s well-known medicinal and healing properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Check out my list below to learn about the healthy benefits of ginger.
- History: Ginger originated in Maritime Southeast Asia which includes countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The earliest record of ginger dates back to 475-221 BC, in the Analects of Confucius, it’s said that he ate ginger with every meal. According to the monk, Faxian (406AD) ginger was grown in pots and carried on Chinese ships to prevent scurvy. It continued to reach all corners of the world and is a staple in many countries today.
Ginger Health Benefits
- Nausea: I can attest to this one! Ginger can help an upset stomach and also reduce nausea. It’s particularly helpful for morning sickness during pregnancy. I ate ginger drops nearly every day for the first trimester!
- Indigestion: Along with nausea, ginger can benefit the stomach by speeding up the emptying of the stomach in people with chronic indigestion.
- Weight loss: Ginger may increase weight loss results by speeding up metabolism and also reducing inflammation.
- Lower blood sugar: One small study conducted was conducted where 41 participants with type 2 diabetes consumed 2g of ginger powder every day. The results showed that their fasting blood sugar was reduced by 12%. This is a great find but is still being researched.
- Lower blood pressure: Ginger may protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and helping to prevent heart attacks. It also can relieve heartburn.
- Relieve pain: Ginger is anti-inflammatory and naturally helps with pain. It’s said to be equally or even more effective that over-the-counter pain relievers when it comes to things like period pains or osteoarthritis.
- Lower cholesterol: There have been several studies which show a reduction in LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad cholesterol) when people have been given high doses of ginger to eat every day.
- Prevent Cancer: Again, gingerol is a great contributor to ginger’s anti-cancer properties and it may be a remedy for quite a few forms of cancer such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.
- Improve brain function: As ginger may reduce oxidative stress, it may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease where oxidative stress is one of the key contributors to Alzheimer’s, along with inflammation which ginger also helps.
Which forms of ginger can you eat on the keto diet?
In this section, we’ll look at different forms of ginger, check the grams of net carbs in each, and see if it works with keto. These are the most common ginger ingredients I could find. Let me know if you think of any more!
Fresh Ginger Root
Perhaps the most common way to find ginger, ginger root is the root vegetable that comes from the ginger plant. It can be sliced, minced, grated, finely chopped, juiced, and then added to savoury dishes, desserts, and drinks.
- Carb count: The carb count is 18g per 100g, however, it is very unlikely that you would want to or could eat 100g of ginger in one go. For a more realistic look, 2 slices of raw ginger root with a 1″ diameter have 0.8g of carbs and just 0.7 grams of net carbohydrates. At less than 1g carbs, this is easy to fit into the keto diet!
- Is it keto-friendly? Yes!
Ginger powder is the next most common way to find ginger. It is sometimes preferred over the fresh ginger root as the shelf life is longer, however, it usually doesn’t have a strong taste like fresh ginger.
- Carb count: 1tbsp of powdered ginger has 4g of carbs total and 3g net carbs. It’s perfect for cooking keto recipes as most recipes won’t call for even a tablespoon between 4 servings.
- Is it keto-friendly? Yes!
Dried ginger is less common but can be used instead of ginger root, or ground into a powder to make ground ginger.
- Carb count: Dried ginger has 36 grams of carbohydrates total, and 35g of net carbs per 40g, however, it is unlikely that you would use that much ginger in cooking. It would probably be closer to 4 grams of ginger which would just be 3.5g net carbs in a whole recipe.
- Is it keto-friendly? Yes, provided that you use just a small amount of ginger.
The number one condiment at sushi restaurants other than soy sauce, is pickled ginger keto-friendly?
- Carb count: Pickled ginger has 4g of carbs and net carbs per table spoon.
- Is it keto-friendly? This one will be a little more difficult to fit into your diet but it can be done! Try sticking to 1 tablespoon of pickled ginger at the most and keep all of your other food low carb. See below for a Keto Sushi recipe to try with pickled ginger!
Ginger juice is just juiced fresh ginger root. It’s spicy and great for adding to keto meals, drinks, or tea. It is more difficult to find at the grocery store, however, you can make your own at home in a juicer.
- Carb count: per 30ml (1 ounce), ginger juice has 5g of carbs and net carbs.
- Is it keto-friendly? Like pickled ginger, it’s a little trickier to add this one into your daily diet without being conscious of all of the other food you’re eating. At 5g net carbs per 30ml, I may use it occasionally as a treat, but for cooking, I would opt for fresh ginger instead.
Either made by steeping ginger tea bags or simmering sliced fresh ginger root, ginger tea is a warm, spicy, and soothing herbal drink, perfect hot or cold.
- Carb count: Plain ginger tea with nothing added to it has negligible carbs per cup. That’s practically zero!
- Is it keto-friendly? Yes, ginger tea is perfect for a low carb diet! To sweeten, add your favourite keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol brown sugar, or simmer the ginger in warm keto compliant milk like unsweetened almond milk.
Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale
To make ginger beer or ginger ale keto friendly, they must be sugar-free of course, and made with a keto sweetener! Regular ginger beer and ginger ale are loaded with sugar making them very high in carbohydrates.
- Carb count: Regular ginger beer has 39g net carbs, and ginger ale has 33g net carbs.
- Is it keto-friendly? Sugar-free versions are great for the keto diet (0g net carbs), regular versions are full of sugar and will knock you out of ketosis.
Ginger oil is an essential oil that can boost your immune system by fighting colds and alleviating migraines, nausea, arthritis, and upset stomachs.
- Carb count: Ginger essential oils are not edible and instead can be inhaled through a diffuser or spray, or used topically as a lotion with a carrier oil.
- Is it keto-friendly? Yes! Be sure not to eat this one as it’s inedible, but use it as aromatherapy instead.
Keto-friendly ginger recipes
Here are a few healthy recipes to help you add ginger to your keto kitchen:
- Keto Ginger Cookie Recipe – This low-carb version of the holiday season favourite is made with almond flour, Keto ginger snaps pair perfectly with tea and coffee!
- Keto Gingerbread – Another holiday favourite, this gingerbread is soft, sweet, and spicy! Perfect with chai!
- Keto Moscow Mule – A delicious low carb tipple, this is a great way to unwind without any guilt! Loaded with sugar-free ginger syrup (it’s easy to make!), lime juice, and mint leaves, this easy keto cocktail is great anytime.
- Sugar-Free Candied Ginger Pieces – These pieces of ginger are crystalized with___instead of sugar. Great as a treat or for nausea!
- Keto Sushi recipe – Yes, you can have sushi on the keto diet, and enjoy that pickled ginger! There’s no rice, of course.
- Ginger Turmeric Energy Shot – Packed with fresh ginger slices, lemon juice, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil for healthy fats, this shot is sure to give your energy levels a boost and make you feel great!
The good news is, yes, ginger is the perfect addition to a healthy keto diet. Bring out the flavours of this magic spice in different ways like stir-fries, soups, cookies, tea, and even keto sushi. Keep an eye out for the sugar content in ginger drinks, they can contain large amounts of carbs that will throw you out of ketosis!
Keto-friendly recipes to try with ginger
- Chinese Braised Pork
- Pumpkin Keto Cheesecake Bites with a Ginger Cookie Crust
- Chinese Tomato Beef, and Egg Stir Fry
- Keto Orange Chicken
- Paleo Chicken Ramen
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