If there’s a spice I use most besides salt and black pepper, it’s got to be garlic. While garlic is technically considered a vegetable, many people use it as a spice, but is garlic keto friendly?
All garlic forms, including cloves, minced, powder, salt, and black garlic, may be used while eating a keto diet. Garlic is relatively low in carbohydrates, with fresh garlic having 1 gram of carbohydrates per clove and 1.5 grams of net carbs in 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
After all, who wants to eat a side of garlic or raw garlic (forget I asked).
In this article, I’ll cover how many carbs garlic has, the different types of garlic, the health benefits, some of the negatives, and keto friendly garlic recipes like a garlic dipping sauce.
Table of Contents
Can You Eat Garlic On A Keto Diet?
Yes, garlic may be used on a ketogenic diet, but if you’re anything like me, you may want to cut back on the garlic a tad. For most individuals, the use of fresh garlic and garlic powder is perfectly acceptable while following a ketogenic diet.
Granted, I used to throw in tons of garlic in almost everything. If a recipe called for one clove of garlic, I probably tossed in five.
I guess that’s why I never had a problem with vampires. Lol.
That’s what I mean when I say if you’re anything like me. However, if you’re like most folks, you probably use moderate amounts of garlic for a little flavor.
In which case, keep doing what you’re doing.
How Many Carbs Are In Garlic?
You may be wondering, does garlic have a lot of carbs?
The answer is, if you use enough of it, the carbohydrates do add up.A single clove of garlic has about 1 gram of net carbs.
So, if you were like me, tossing in 5 cloves just added 5 grams of carbohydrates to my meal.
What is a clove of garlic? When you buy whole garlic at the grocery store, this is referred to as a “head” or a “knob” of garlic. Each piece that you use from the garlic head is a clove, as shown in the image below.
On average, a head of garlic will yield about 11 cloves. If you use the entire garlic head, you can expect your dish to have about 11 grams of net carbs from garlic alone.
If you prefer other forms of garlic, below is a list of substitutions that all equate to about 1 gram of net carb.
- Minced garlic: 1/2 to 1 tsp of minced garlic
- Garlic Powder: 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of garlic p[owder
- Garlic Salt: 1/2 to 1 tsp of garlic salt
When it comes to roasted garlic or black garlic, you can expect it to have the same amount of carbohydrates as a regular clove of garlic. Meaning, whether it’s roasted or black garlic, one clove will equate to 1 gram of net carb.
How Much Garlic Can You Eat On Keto?
How much garlic you can have on a ketogenic diet all comes down to how many carbohydrates you can have for the day.
Most individuals generally stick to between 20 and 50 grams of net carbs per day.
Think of your carbohydrate allotment, similar to a budget you get to spend. Therefore, how much garlic you can have all depends on whether your budget allows for how much garlic you want to use.
Unless you’re going crazy with the garlic daily, you should be fine using a generous amount.
Is Garlic Good For Weight Loss?
Garlic is a popular vegetable with some medicinal properties, but is there any benefit to garlic in terms of weight loss?
Maybe.As I tell most people, don’t miss the forest for the trees. Even if garlic could help with weight loss, the effect would be minuscule compared to focusing on your diet and exercise.
That said, garlic MAY help increase fat burning.
A 2011 study found that dietary supplementation with garlic resulted in reduced body weight and decreased fat tissue in mice. 1
Another study found that aged garlic extract (AGE) may lead to weight loss in some women. 2
Based on the studies we have available, I wouldn’t hedge my bets on garlic. Instead, you can use these fat burners in combination with keto that I wrote about to yield the most benefit.
Why Is Garlic Good For You?
Garlic has been used as a “health” supplement for as long as I can remember.
Even the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates used to prescribe garlic to treat various medical conditions. As Hippocrates used to say, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” 3
Helps with the common cold
IN a 12-week study, daily garlic supplementation reduced the number of colds by 63%4
In another study, a high dose of aged garlic extract (AGE) reduced the number of sick days with a cold or flu by 61 5
While there still needs to research, it couldn’t hurt to add some garlic if you often battle colds here and there.
May reduce blood pressure
Studies done on individuals with high blood pressure found that garlic supplements significantly helped. 6
In another study, garlic extract was as effective as the drug atenolol at reducing blood pressure 7
Can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases
Garlic contains certain antioxidants that may help protect against cell damage and aging. 8
The combination of the different effects garlic has on cholesterol, blood pressure, and its antioxidant properties may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia 9 10
Additionally, ketogenic diets have also been studied and used for its therapeutic benefits in regards to neurodegenerative disorders 11 12
Improves cholesterol levels
Garlic supplements have been shown to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) by as much as 15 13
Why Garlic May Be Bad For Some
While garlic may seem like a delicious and healthy vegetable/spice, some people may not react as favorably.
We all know that person (or maybe you are that person) who has a big case of garlic breath.
However, funny enough, one study showed that eating garlic could improve your perceived body odor attractiveness. 14
A garlic allergy can range from mild to severe.
Garlic is notorious for causing gas and bloating in many individuals and listed as one of the foods you should avoid if following a FODMAP based diet.
Foods high in FODMAPs are thought to contribute to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Increased risk of bleeding
Taking garlic supplements may increase the risk of bleeding. If you are taking any type of blood thinner or planning to have surgery, it’s best to disclose this information to your doctor.
Random Facts About Garlic
Garlic is quite big all over the world, with the largest garlic festival held in Gilroy, CA, during the last weekend of July and National Garlic Day on April 19th.
More than just a clove
Garlic cloves are not the only part of the vegetable you can eat. Hard-neck varieties of garlic have what are called “scapes.”
You can think of scapes as garlic scented and flavored scallions or green onions and make a delicious addition to soups and even garlic butter (recipe below).
China produces the most garlic
According to a 2012 study, China grows two-thirds of the world’s garlic, around 46 billion pounds per year. 15
Garlic, similar to ginger, is native to Central Asia but has made its way into many European and African cuisines.
Two pounds per person per year
The average consumption of garlic comes in at two pounds per person every year. Two pounds of garlic equates to about 302 cloves per year, which means 302 grams of carbohydrates.
That’s nearly one clove of garlic per day, every day!
Old English Origin
Its name that is, not where it originated.
Even though garlic is of Asian origin, the word garlic comes from a combination of the words “gar” (spear) and “lac” (plant) 16
Can be used for glue
Did you know that garlic cloves could be used as an adhesive? If you can get past the smell, crushed garlic works surprisingly well for small jobs.
Good for the skin
If you don’t have an allergic reaction to garlic, people often use sliced garlic to help heal acne and cold sores.
Again, if you can stand the smell.
Garlic can ward off more than vampires. Surprisingly, garlic can work wonders at repelling mosquitos without the use of DEET or other toxic chemicals.
Keto-Friendly Garlic Recipes And Ideas
If you’re looking for a few inspirational ideas to incorporate garlic into your diet, here are a few ideas.
Garlic-infused olive oil
A common and easy way to use garlic is to press a few cloves of garlic using a garlic press and mix it with some extra virgin olive oil with a bit of salt.
Don’t have garlic press? Finely chop a few cloves or buy a press here for cheap.
Keto-friendly garlic sauce
If you’ve ever had Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food, then chances are you’ve come across that yummy garlic dipping sauce they always serve.
This sauce goes well on almost any meat you want to use it on.
Photo and recipe courtesy of My Keto Kitchen
Another easy way to spruce up your keto diet is to make garlic butter. For this recipe, you can use fresh garlic or garlic powder.
Simply melt a 1/4 cup of grass-fed butter or ghee, mix in 1/2 tsp of garlic powder (1 or 2 finely chopped cloves), a dash of salt, and you’re good to go.
Here’s a follow-along video with fresh garlic and a bit of parsley.
Garlic is keto friendly with only 1 gram of net carbs per clove of garlic. Just remember, if you’re using tons of garlic, all of that adds up.