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Is Imitation Crab Keto Friendly?

All seafood lovers, come here because we have something exciting to discuss!

Is imitation crab keto? If you love seafood and plan to go on a keto diet, this article will help you figure out many things.

It's essential to strictly check your diet, especially if you're on keto. The Keto diet demands discipline and dedication. And if you had something non-keto, it's your fault because it shows you've not been taking the keto regime seriously.

Is Imitation Crab Keto

Nonetheless, there's nothing to worry about. What you have to eat or what not, all of this is covered in this blog. Stay tuned and take away life hacks that would help you lose weight and stay on a diet without compromising on taste buds.

Let's get started!

What is Imitation Crab?

Have you ever heard about surimi? Its minced fish in Japanese invented in Japan over 900 years ago. It's made of pollock used in fish sticks and breaded fish products.

In the 1960s, Surimi paste was introduced, which was made out of shredded or pulverized fish. It was offered as a substitute for fresh crab as it could be quite costly. But don't worry, it's a better and tastier substitute for crab.

Keto Imitation Crab

Imitation crab, or “the hot dog of the sea” as it's called sometimes, contains no crabmeat but fish meat which is finely minced, heated, and pressed in shapes similar to crab legs. Staying true to its name, Imitation crab isn't crab but looks like one due to colouring and texture.

Now, surimi paste includes various ingredients to help meat stick together. It contains egg white, starch, vegetable oil, or sugar. Few chefs add monosodium glutamate to stick together surimi in the best shape possible.

Do you know imitation crab isn't imitation crab without its key ingredient: orange or red colouring?

The colouring resembles shellfish meat, and the meat itself is preserved and pasteurized by vacuuming the seal. You can directly eat the crab from the packaging without additional steps.

Difference between Imitation Crab and Real Crab Meat

You've mistakenly eaten imitation crab instead of real crab once in a meal without realizing it! Yes, it's possible, and you couldn't detect it because the difference is barely visible.

Imitation crab is a popular dish on every restaurant menu as a top-notch appetizer or even a grocery product in regular stores. It's usually labelled as crab seafood or surimi seafood, and restaurants refer to it as ‘Krab.'

Considering it's an imitation, it contains fewer nutrient levels, vitamins, and minerals than a regular crab and derives its calories from carbs. Though it's a good source of vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc, it's not highly nutritious like a crab. And while surimi undergoes washing and processing, the fish meat loses most of its nutrients.

Imitation crab might have omega-3 fatty acids like an actual crab but don't expect them in significant quantity.

Imitation Crab Taste

The imitation crab looks like a real crab, thanks to its texture and colouring. It tastes like seafood and like mimicking crab after a handful of seasoning.

Is Imitation Crab healthy?

People assume that imitation crab is healthy because it looks like a crab. Aren't we missing something?

Healthier food products must be beneficial regarding their ingredients, not just by looks!

Imitation crab isn't healthy because it's made of a relatively cheap fish with dozens of additional products like artificial flavours and vegetable oil that make it unhealthy for all of us.

Is Imitation Crab Keto Friendly?

No. Imitation crab is not keto friendly.

It contains processed ingredients, and most of its calories are derived from carbs that are strictly prohibited during a keto diet. Imitation crab contains starch, salt, vegetable oil, egg whites, and sugar. These products indefinitely kick you out of ketosis.

Despite being a cost-friendly option, crab sticks aren't keto-friendly. It's highly processed and contains a whooping amount of 47.06 g of carbs, 20.59g of protein, and 7.35g of fat.

Recall the basic definition of a keto diet: As per keto guidelines, you're supposed to consume low carb and high fats, and imitation crab is the opposite.

Nutritional Profile: Imitation Crab

 Here's the nutritional profile of 85g (3 oz) of Imitation Crab Meat:

Total Fat 0.4g1%
Saturated Fat 0.2g1%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 449.7mg6%
Total Carbs 12.8g4%
Dietary Fiber 0.4g2%
Total Sugars 5.3g11%
Protein 6.5g13%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Vitamin D 0μg0%
Iron 0.3mg2%
Calcium 11mg1%
Potassium 76.5mg2%
Phosphorus 239.7mg19%


keto crab

Keto Friendly Imitation Crab Alternatives

Being seafood, especially a crab lover, might not settle well for our keto clan. Instead of torturing your taste buds, let's find you some healthy keto-friendly alternatives. Don't miss out on these sumptuous dishes that'd satisfy your cravings anytime!

1.   Shrimp

Shrimps might have high cholesterol levels, but it doesn't contain carbs that fit your keto plans. Its low-calorie content feeds you a high content of omega-3 fatty acids and minerals like dioxin, that's great for your brain health.

2.   Tuna

Try the most healthy, nutritious tuna. It's not only cheap but full of healthy ingredients that provide you with proteins, vitamins, and minerals essential for growth. It improves heart rate, reduces the risk of dementia, and controls blood pressure.

3.   King Crab

Have you ever tried a crab with tasty flesh? Well, if on keto, king crab would satisfy your cravings like no other without putting your weight loss plans in danger. It's a healthy substitute filled with minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. It's minimally processed but contains zero carbs. Go for it!

4.   Cod

Cod is ideal for ketogenic and gluten-free diets. Its sturdy texture and mild flavor are fulfilling, and healthy nutrients keep you healthy and fit. Use lemon juice, extra virgin oil, pepper, and your favorite seasoning, and treat yourself with a perfect keto meal.

5.   Crayfish

Crayfish is common in healthy meals as it contains zero carbs and beneficial nutrients to improve your brain health, eyesight, and skin problems.

6.   Salmon

Those who eat salmon live happily! After all, it's known for its exquisite taste and satisfactory quality. But you can eat salmon as a healthy source of nutrients such as B vitamins, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. It won't kick you out of ketosis and keep reducing heart issues, including blood pressure.

7.   Mackerel

Mackerel is known for its firm texture, delicious flavor, and intense sea flavor that tantalizes taste buds on the first bite. It's also used as the main ingredient in fake crabs. Nonetheless, it's a great vitamin B12, vitamin D, and protein source. It helps reduce heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and aging. You can include it in the keto diet without any worries.

8.   Sardines

You can have sardines on a keto diet. It's packed with nutrients and a rich source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure you're buying fresh ones with a firm texture and those that look fresh to the eyes. Eat them as a snack or salads without worrying about ruining your keto.

9.   Mahi Mahi

Try out this delicious white fish with a mild and sweet taste. It's low in fats but high in proteins. Enjoy it grilled, baked, or fried.

10. Herring

Herring or lake herring isn't a wrong choice for keto lovers. It's healthy and low in carbs.

You can try the following keto friendly crab dishes too:

●     Keto Crab Cakes

●     Keto Crab Dips

●     Keto Crab Rangoons

●     Keto Crab Salad

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, after reading this article, you won’t have sleepless nights about imitation crab keto or not. Is imitation carb keto friendly? No! but it has plenty of alternatives to keep you satisfied and healthy.

If someone tells you otherwise, remind them that imitation crab is highly processed, containing more than 15g of carbohydrates. It's not only artificial but barely contains any good nutrients that could help health wise.

There’s plenty of keto friendly seafood for all the fans out there. Make sure you check the details before eating anything. A one-minute google search will save your ketosis!

Please click on one of the links below to learn more about keto friendly foods:

Is Millet Keto Friendly?

Are Pita Chips Keto Friendly?

Is Ceviche Keto Friendly?

Are Limes Keto Friendly


Founder of The Art Of Keto.

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