I don't know what it was, but when I was a kid, I despised mustard. Now that I'm grown (at least I think I am) and have developed somewhat of a palate, mustard has found its way into my kitchen staples. If you're wondering if you can eat it on a keto diet, look no further
Mustard is a condiment that is low in carbohydrates and calories, making it perfect while following a keto diet. An average serving of mustard has 0.1 grams of net carbs for a one teaspoon serving. However, certain craft mustards may have added sweeteners that you should avoid.
In this article, I'm going to cover everything you possibly would need to know about mustard. I'll include the carb count, the different varieties, the ones with the lowest carbs, and more.
Can You Have Mustard On Keto?
Yes, mustard is a welcomed condiment when following ketogenic diet plans. Both traditional yellow and dijon are virtually carb-free, making them a perfect addition to flavor your foods on keto or those watching their carb intake.
Aside from possibly some soy sauce on keto, I go through bottles of mustard like it's going out of style.
Most mustards are simple in ingredients, with minimal, if any, carbohydrates or calories.
How Many Carbs In Mustard?A 1 tsp (5g) or one packet serving of mustard contains 0.3g of total carbohydrates with 0.2g coming form dietary fiber, leaving 0.1g of net carbs per 1 tsp or one packet of mustard. 1
Now here is where it may get confusing a bit.
If you were to browse your grocery store aisle and take a look at the different mustards, you'd see that most of the nutrition labels will either list their carb count as having either 0 or 1.
What may confuse you even further is that you can look at the ingredients list and they may list the same ingredients in the same order, so what gives?
Why would one bottle have 1 gram of carb and another have 0 grams of carbohydrates?
While almost all mustard is made in generally the same way and with the same ingredients, some manufacturers have different ratios of the ingredients, and perhaps a few spices to make there's a bit different.
When the ingredients are added up, if a food contains less than five calories per serving, manufacturers are allowed to use 0 calories, this same rule applies to carbohydrates.2
The chances are that most food items that you consume, which list 0 calories and 0 carbohydrates on the nutrition label, still have SOME calories, even spices like black pepper or garlic.
So always be mindful when using condiments and spices. Even though there are very few calories and carbohydrates, if you're using A LOT, then it all eventually adds up.
What Are The Ingredients In Mustard?
So what exactly goes into mustard? For your traditional yellow mustard, the essential ingredients are:
- Distilled vinegar
- Mustard seed
- *natural flavors
When making something like dijon, you'll have extra ingredients like white wine that differentiate it from your typical yellow mustard.
Also, you may find that some have added sugar, like some honey mustard, making it not low carb at all. Still, the amounts are so trivial that it doesn't add up to any appreciable amount of carbohydrates in a single serving.But again, it all can add up if you are using excessive amounts. Just remember, a single serving is listed as 1 tsp or (5g), which is the equivalent of one packet of mustard.
Health Benefits Of Mustard
The reason mustard is mustard is that it's made with mustard seeds. The seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals 3
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
In addition, mustard may offer other health benefits, as listed below.
Protect against certain cancers
Test-tube and animal research have shown that glucosinolates in mustard may prevent cancer cells from spreading, and in some cases, help kill them 4
May protect against psoriasis and dermatitis
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that often comes and goes. Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes a rapid buildup of skin cells, then giving off the appearance of bumpy red patches covered with white scales.
In animal studies, the seeds show that they may help reduce inflammation and promote healing of psoriasis-caused lesions 5
Also, mustard has been shown to help speed healing and reduce symptoms of contact dermatitis, another skin condition. 6
Source of antioxidants
They are rich in glucosinolates, especially isothiocyanate and sinigrin.
Isothiocyanates and sinigrin are compounds derived from glucosinolates which have been shown to help prevent cancer from growing or spreading and may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. 7
The Downside Of Mustard
While mustard is generally considered safe for most people, especially in the amounts you are likely to consume, large quantities, such as those found in extracts, may result in unwanted side effects such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Gut inflammation
Also, uncooked mustard seeds and leaves are a significant source of goitrogens.
Goitrogens have been shown to interfere with the normal function of your thyroid. Those with impaired thyroid function may want to avoid uncooked seeds and leaves or soil, boil, and/or cook them beforehand 8
If you're consuming regularly prepared yellow mustard, chances are there's nothing to worry about.
Best Mustard Brands For A Keto Diet
Now that you have a firm understanding of mustard, its calories, and carb count, what are the best brands for a keto diet?
As you may have read earlier in the article, almost all mustard brands contain the same basic ingredients.Therefore, nearly any traditional yellow mustard or dijon mustard would be considered keto friendly.
The problem lies in the craft, honey mustard, and flavored varieties. The best thing to do when choosing a non-traditional yellow or dijon mustard is to check the nutrition facts.
Is honey mustard keto diet-friendly? Some honey mustard is low carb and only contains 1 gram of carbohydrates per serving. However, some brands may provide a significant amount of carbs per serving, so it may be best to check the nutrition label.
Some brands I would recommend on a ketogenic diet would be:
- Great Value (Walmart)
- Grey Poupon
- Trader Joe's
- Market Pantry (Target)
Is Mustard Oil Good For Cooking?
Similar to other nuts and seeds, mustard may be pressed and have its oil extracted. However, the oil has been the center of controversy.
So much so, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibited its use for cooking gin 2016 due to its high eruct acid content.
Due to its concerns, any pure oil sold in the U.S. must include the warning, “For external use only.”
While it may be hard to come across at most stores, local health food stores and specialty ethnic grocery stores likely have mustard oil for purchase.
With that said, countries like India, Nepal, and other southeast Asian countries have long used (and still do) mustard oil in their cooking.
Even then, with a lack of research and a statement by the FDA, I can't safely recommend mustard oil as an excellent alternative for cooking. Instead, stick to butter, lard, avocado oil, and coconut oil when it comes to your keto cooking needs.
A Few Ideas For Mustard On A Keto Diet
So what can you use this delicious and healthy low carb condiment with? Here are a few ideas to add a little mustard to your keto diet for weight loss, all of which are low carb.
- As a glaze (chicken wings, thighs, tenders)
- Pan sauces (after sautéing your meat, add a dollop of mustard to make a delicious sauce)
- Dijon dip (mustard + mayo = heavenly)
- Balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar + mustard = delicious) Maybe even a splash of lemon juice
- Mustard with olive oil and lemon juice for another vinaigrette
- A condiment to any meat (literally, ANY meat)
- On top of sausages (I like Teton Waters)
- Egg salad for a little tang and color
How To Make Mustard
Want to make your own mustard? Here is an excellent video for an easy to do a fermented variety.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are abundant in probiotics, which help increase the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system.
Besides, fermented foods provide benefits such as 9
The majority that you'll find at your local grocery store are low carb and contain minimal calories or carbohydrates, perfect on a ketogenic diet or those watching their carb intake.
Mustard may just be the perfect condiment and sauce for a keto diet and/or weight loss.
Just be wary of flavored and honey mustard, which may contain a lot of added sugars by checking the nutrition label beforehand.
Anything with more than 1 gram of net carb per serving size, you're better off avoiding, especially since a serving size is only one teaspoon.