Garlic is a favorite additive to a variety of recipes mainly due to its ability to add aroma and flavor to the food. Therefore, garlic can work in many types of diets.
The question as to whether you can use garlic on keto is one that needs an urgent answer. As one of the plants in the allium family, garlic is flavorful and can turn any keto recipe into a great meal.
This article discusses whether and how you can use garlic in a keto-friendly diet. Keep reading to learn how to have the best keto by infusing garlic into your recipes.
How Does Garlic Fit into a Keto diet?
Garlic is a nutrient-rich vegetable that comes with many health benefits. First, it contains lots of antioxidants, which have fat-burning capabilities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends it as one of the healthiest vegetables around. Besides its great flavor, it contains a low number of calories and doesn’t contribute to excessive body weight.
So, is garlic keto-friendly? Yes, works well in a keto diet.
Nutritional Content of 3 Garlic Cloves
- Carbohydrates 3g
- Energy 13
- Protein 0.5g
- Fiber 0.2g
- Manganese 0.2mg (8% DV)
- Calcium 16.3mg (2% DV)
- Vitamin B6 0.1mg (6% DV)
- Vitamin C 2.8mg (5% DV)
Since it contains lots of antioxidants, making it one of the most beneficial plants around. So, garlic is good for inclusion in a keto diet.
Net Carbs in Garlic
On average, a raw garlic clove (3g) has 1g of carbohydrates and provides only 4.4 calories. A store-bought garlic bulb has 10-15 cloves, with each weighing 4-6 grams.
Therefore, a garlic bulb can weigh 50g to 100g. but that’s for the largest bulbs. Considering that garlic bulbs are usually smaller, a weight of 30g to 45g would.
In that case, one bulb has 10g to 15g of carbohydrates and 45 to 70 calories.
Whether these carbs and calories end up in the body depends on whether one eats garlic cloves or only enjoys the flavor. In most cases, people use garlic to improve the flavor of foods.
So, a 3g garlic clove containing 1g carbohydrates and up of calories has little or no effect on a keto diet.
Why Eat Garlic with Keto?
The main purpose of including garlic in food is to make it flavorful. So, is garlic keto-friendly?
Due to its low-carb content and its use mainly as a flavoring agent, garlic is keto-friendly. For example, one teaspoon (4g) of minced garlic contains up to 1g net of carbohydrates, which doesn’t compromise your keto diet plan.
A standard keto diet usually contains up to 30g of carbs. Therefore, a single meal can supply you with 10g of carbs.
So, adding one garlic clove to the keto diet introduces only 1g of carbohydrates, which is virtually negligible.
With keto-friendly garlic recipes, therefore, you can easily maintain your ketosis. Therefore, it’s okay to make garlic part of your keto diet.
However, limiting your consumption to 2 to 3 garlic cloves a day is important. That’s because you would already be eating carbs from other sources anyways.
To avoid going over and above the 20g keto carb limit, you have to follow a strict keto diet with the other foods.
If you lead an active lifestyle, you can have a keto diet with 30-50g of carbs a day. Otherwise, you should limit your carbs by using garlic.
How Much Garlic for a Keto Diet?
Keto diets help people maintain ketosis. Therefore, it’s important to avoid eating more than 20g of carbohydrates at the beginning.
Once you become consistent with ketosis, you can raise the carbohydrate content of your diet to up to 50g.
A typical store-bought garlic bulb has 10-15 bulbs and weighs 50 to 100g, so eating 2 to 5 cloves is enough.
With that, you can eat up to 2 grams of net carbs. Therefore, sticking to 1-2 garlic cloves daily is good for a keto diet.
In that amount, fresh garlic is enough to add flavor to your food. So, if you eat alone, one bulb should serve you for up to 5 days.
In that negligible amount, garlic has no effect on your ketosis. However, if your diet contains more than two cloves, you could add at least 20g of carbohydrates, which is quite significant.
How to Eat Garlic on Keto?
There are different types of keto-friendly garlic recipes that you can use to stay fit. They may include things like garlic sauce, garlic butter, garlic salt, and garlic powder. Here is a detailed description of each of these garlic-related concoctions:
1. Garlic Sauce
Garlic sauce is just that – it has garlic as the primary ingredient. As a result, it has the characteristics of a pungent garlic smell and taste.
While you can prepare it at home, garlic sauce is available in-store as a ready-made, packaged product. When purchasing from the store, check the label for the fat, calorie, and carb content.
Garlic sauce is great for flavoring food. It works well in keto-friendly dishes like mutton chops, seafood, and fish. On average, it contributes an additional 7g carbs, 46g fat, and 3.57g protein.
2. Garlic Butter
Like many garlic-based products, garlic butter provides a great way to flavor food. It’s composed of a mixture of garlic and butter.
Since it’s high-fat and low-card, garlic butter is a perfect additive to a keto diet. 1 teaspoon of garlic butter supplies up to 1.1g of carbohydrates, which is negligible.
3. Garlic Powder
Garlic powder is one of the best ways to consume this allium plant. It’s prepared by dehydrating garlic and crushing it into a powder.
It is the most common way people consume garlic. In most cases, garlic powder is added to food as a flavoring agent.
You can prepare it at home by peeling and slicing garlic cloves. Then, after preheating an oven to 150°C, you can dry the cloves.
Then, it would be best if you crushed the garlic further until you have a fine, consistent powder. You can add flavor to a keto diet using garlic powder. However, avoid taking over 1 teaspoon per meal.
4. Garlic Salt
Garlic salt is just that – salt with garlic flavor. It’s a mixture of dried ground garlic, table salt, and an anti-caking agent.
The composition of the ingredients is one part dried, ground garlic, and three parts table salt. You can add it to different keto meals for great flavor.
What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?
While the major reason for using garlic on keto is to improve the flavoring, the allium plant has several health benefits. The following are the reasons why garlic is good for your health:
1. Medicinal Compounds
Garlic has useful sulfur compounds, which have many health benefits. Cutting, chopping, mincing, or chewing garlic releases sulfur compounds like diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine, which get assimilated into the body, causing potent but useful biological effects.
2. Boosting the Immune Function
Did you know that garlic supplements have a boosting effect on immune function? For example, garlic consumption has been established to reduce the likelihood of catching a common cold by over 63%.
There’s also evidence that high amounts of sulfides in garlic can protect body organs against damage from heavy metal toxicity. If left unaddressed, heavy-metal toxicity such as high levels of lead can cause high blood pressure, headaches, and other unwanted symptoms.
3. Good Antioxidant Source
Garlic contains substantial amounts of antioxidants that protect body cells against oxidative stress. For example, there’s evidence that consuming high amounts of garlic supplements can increase antioxidant enzymes in the body. The enzymes help reduce oxidative stress in people with high blood pressure.
Besides reducing oxidative stress, garlic helps reduce blood cholesterol and pressure. It also reduces the likelihood of developing brain diseases like dementia.
4. High Nutrition Value
Garlic also contains lots of useful vitamins ad minerals. For example, it has vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and selenium. Besides, garlic has a high fiber content with negligible carbs, making it great for a keto diet.
5. Good for Heart Health
Did you know that garlic can improve heart health? Garlic supplements have been shown to reduce blood pressure. All you need is a few garlic cloves daily to keep your heart working perfectly. In the case of a keto garlic combination, you should ensure you stay within your low-carb target.
Why Could Eating Garlic Be Bad for You?
While it has many benefits, eating garlic isn’t all good. That’s because not everyone reacts to garlic favorably. Here are some disadvantages of eating garlic in any form:
Eating garlic may result in a lingering bad breath. That can be bad, especially if you have to socialize with other people. It can also worsen body odor in some people due to the release of the pungent garlicky smell in sweat.
People can have allergies to garlic with varying levels of severity. For example, garlic can cause bloating and gas. Those on a FODMAP diet should avoid garlic. It doesn’t matter if they’re trying to implement a ketogenic diet.
Increased Risk of Bleeding
While garlic has fat-burning effects, taking it in large amounts may lead to an increased risk of bleeding in some individuals. It gets worse for those on blood-thinning medication.
How to Make Garlic on Keto Diet
There are many creative ways to prepare garlic for a ketogenic diet. The following are two cooking methods that quickly come to mind:
One of the best ways to eat garlic on a keto diet is roasted garlic. This method is great, especially if you’re preparing garlic for more than one person. If you are alone, you may want to avoid roasted garlic because of the time it takes to cook.
Raw garlic has the freshest flavor and the most nutritional value. You can add it to a keto diet in the form of minced garlic on grilled meats and other fatty foods.
One of the reasons to add chopped garlic to food is to improve its flavor. With one teaspoon of chopped flavor, you can improve the flavor of a meal. Since it’s chopped, the garlic would have the most nutrients.
The Bottom Line
Garlic is low-carb. Therefore, it’s suitable for adding to a keto diet. Consuming up to two garlic cloves daily is enough.
Since the main purpose of garlic is to act as a food flavoring, is a safe inclusion in a keto diet. However, if you intend to eat many bulbs of garlic, consider avoiding it.
Garlic has several health benefits and does more than just add flavor to your food. So, eating it on a low-carb diet is a necessity.