It’s ok to eat mint if you’re on a keto diet, but it’s important to use the mint in its conventional culinary role – as a herb to add flavor to the main ingredient(s) rather than as the main dish itself. The reason for this is that mint (and peppermint) have between 4 and 6 grams of carbohydrate per ounce. This is high when compared with kale or other fibrous vegetables. However, when used as a garnish, kale is fine.
What is mint?
Mint is a type of plant native to the Mediterranean and its main role in cooking is to provide flavor and garnish. This is what allows mint into the keto diet: we consume it mostly as a garnish or flavor additive.
There are around 600 varieties of mint, including peppermint, spearmint, basil mint, pineapple mint, and pennyroyal, their names so associated with a taste that the word “mint” refers as much to “flavor” as well as to a variety of “plant”.
A Keto-Cap (aka A Keto Recap!)
If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.
As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet.
The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.
For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;
- 70% of their calories from fat
- 25% from protein
- 5% from carbohydrates
Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet.
There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.
Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.
One of the main benefits which attract people to the keto diet is that it can cause significant reductions in insulin levels (by up to 75%) and blood sugar levels, which can be attractive to those that struggle with diabetes, amongst other health complaints.
What is the nutritional value of mint?
Mint leaves are high in fiber and antioxidants and vitamin A, but low in sodium. It is often recommended for soothing digestive problems and irritable bowel syndrome.
Mint has long been valued for its restorative properties for the skin and as being beneficial for the immune system.
3.2 grams of mint (about two tablespoons) will provide:
- 2.24 calories
- 0.5g carbohydrates
- 0.12g protein
- 0.3g fibre
- 0.03g fat
- Small amounts of vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium
How many net carbs are there in mint?
One serving of fresh mint (about two tablespoons) contains 0.2g of net carbs. The net carbs are calculated by subtracting the amount of fiber from the total amount of carbs.
The total number of carbs is 0.5g, and by subtracting the grams of fiber from this amount, we are left with 0.2g of net carbs: the amount of energy that we can digest and use for energy.
Which types of mint are not keto friendly?
There are certain foods and drinks that do contain mint but are not keto friendly. These include certain alcoholic beverages, mint flavored candy.
What are the health benefits of mint?
The health benefits of eating fresh mint range from mouth health to brain function! Mint is recommended as being particularly useful for the following functions:
- To freshen breath
- To boost the immune system
- To clear the skin
- To sooth nausea
- To calm asthma and other allergies
- To manage stress
- To improve memory
- To help with weight loss
Staying hydrated on the keto diet is really important, for more on how much water you should be drinking, check out our guide to staying hydrated on the keto diet.
If you’re planning on dehydrating yourself(!) and drinking alcohol on the keto diet, check out our ultimate guide to drinking alcohol on a keto diet. Also, you may be interested in, how to recover from a cheat day.
Summary: Is Mint Keto Friendly?
Yes, mint is keto friendly, whether you’re using it with your lamb, sprinkling it on your salad, or enjoying it in a keto cocktail, mint is keto friendly.