Is Wasabi Keto Friendly?

  • Date: January 7, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

In a strict yes or no sense – no, wasabi isn’t keto-friendly. It has a far too high number of net carbs to be a keto product.

A more complicated answer would be that while it’s not strictly a keto product, wasabi can be used on a keto diet as long as you keep track of your macros. As wasabi is a condiment and is usually used in smaller quantities due to its intense taste, it’s unlikely to push one over their daily net carb limit.

What is Wasabi?

Wasabi is a popular condiment of Japanese origin. It looks like a vibrant green paste. In western countries, it’s mostly known for accompanying sushi, along with ginger and soy sauce.

Real authentic wasabi is made out of wasabia japonica, a plant from the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard and horseradish. In fact, wasabia japonica is sometimes referred to as Japanese horseradish due to many shared characteristics, including looks, smell, and even taste.

It’s due to this similarity, by the way, that most mass-produced wasabi these days isn’t made from wasabia japonica, but from horseradish with its signature green color derived from artificial coloring.

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 Wasabi?

The information you get calculating the nutritional value of wasabi per 100g is likely going to be of little use. Wasabi is mostly consumed as a condiment, so counting its macros per serving (1 tsp) is much more prudent.

  Macros Per 100g    Macros Per TSP (6.5g)
Carbs: 46 grams
Protein: 2.2 grams
Fat:  11 grams
Fiber: 6.1 grams
Sugar: 13 grams
Calories: ~292   
 Carbs: 3 grams
Protein: 0.1 grams
Fat:  0.7 grams
Fiber: 0.4 grams
Sugar: 0.9 grams
Calories: ~20   

How Many Net Carbs are there in Wasabi?

A standard method of calculating net carbs in a product is to deduct fiber amount from the overall number of carbs.

According to this method, the amount of net carbs per 100g of wasabi is (46 – 6.1) 39.1g. But if we calculate per serving (1 tsp), then the amount of net carbs is only (3 – 0.4) 2.6g.

Is Wasabi Keto Friendly?

And we’ve come to the gist of the problem. Overall, wasabi isn’t a keto-friendly product – its net carb content is far too high for it to be.

But it’s also not usually consumed in large quantities, even as a condiment, due to its intense taste. This makes it pretty easy to incorporate it into a keto diet, either on its own or as a sauce/marinade component.

What are the Best Keto Alternatives to Wasabi?

If you miss wasabi, not for its distinct taste, but for the spice it adds to food – you’re better off substituting it with a more keto-friendly hot sauce, such as original Tabasco Sauce, Frank’s Hot Sauce, or Cholula – all of which have 0g net carbs.

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 Wasabi Keto Friendly?

Unfortunately, no, wasabi is not keto friendly due to it being high in carbs. However, there are a number of alternatives that you can reach for if you are looking for a spicy kick that won’t kick you out of ketosis.

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