Worcestershire sauce has got to be one of the best ingredients for marinades or added to meat for enhanced flavor. One of my favorite ways to use Worcestershire sauce was dousing it on some mushrooms and stir-frying or grilling them, but is it keto friendly?
Worcestershire sauce is a condiment that should only be used in moderation while following a keto diet. With 1 gram of net carbohydrates per 1 teaspoon serving, Worcestershire sauce can begin to add a significant amount of net carbs if used in a non-sparing manner.
In this article, I’ll discuss why you may or may not want to include Worcestershire sauce in your keto diet, what it’s made of, how to make a lower-carb version, and some alternatives you may want to consider.
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Can You Have Worcestershire sauce On Keto?
Here’s the truth for whether you can have a particular food when following a ketogenic diet, you can have ANYTHING, but here’s the caveat.
If you slice it small enough.
Ketosis is a metabolic state that is established by drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake. While this number falls between 20 and 50 grams of net carbs for most individuals, where those carbohydrates come from isn’t as important.
It’s important from a health perspective where you get those carbohydrates from. However, for achieving and staying in ketosis, where those carbs from are not as important.With Worcestershire sauce, if you’re able to moderate your intake to a tablespoon or two every so often, you can definitely fit in Worcestershire sauce while also staying in ketosis.
There may be lower-carb alternatives that you might want to consider, but as long as you’re mindful of the amounts you use, Worcestershire sauce CAN BE keto-friendly.
What Is Keto Friendly?
I’m always at a loss of words when someone asks me if (insert food here) is keto friendly.
The answer Is always… it depends.Keto friendly is referring to whether it’s “worth it” to spend that amount of carbs on a particular food.
It’s such a hard question to answer, because for some people, it’s worth having just a little of something considered “forbidden” to make them adhere to their diet.
You can think of your net carbs as a budget you get to spend each day. The more carbs you can eat, the larger your budget.
If you have a larger budget, some foods would be considered more “keto-friendly” because you’d only have to spend a percentage of your budget to have a piece.
If you could only eat 20 net carbs per day and an item has 10 grams of net carbs, that would be 50% of your carbohydrate budget. Now, if your friend could eat 50 grams of net carbs and stay in ketosis, 10 grams of net carbs is only 20% of their budget.
Do you see how one thing may be “keto-friendly” to one person, but not another?
No foods will automatically kick you out of ketosis, but if you eat enough of any food, that definitely will.
How Many Carbs Are In Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce?
Enough of my rant, back to the topic at hand, and that’s Worcestershire sauce.
How many carbs are in Worcestershire sauce? And can YOU fit it in your ketogenic diet?
Again, context is important here.For 1 tablespoon (17g) of Worcestershire sauce, you get 3.3 grams of carbohydrates or 1 gram per teaspoon.
I imagine everyone following a ketogenic diet can easily fit in one to two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce in their diet. As long as you’re not pouring copious amount of Worcestershire sauce and you can be mindful of your serving size, have at it.
Just remember, if you spend your “budget” on Worcestershire sauce, that leaves less to spend on more filling and nutrient-dense carb sources like veggies, so make sure you take that into account.
What Is Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment made from a variety of ingredients. Using one of the most popular brands, Lea & Perrins, as an example, ingredients include:
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Tamarind Extract
- Chili Pepper Extract
Worcestershire gives off a bit of a tangy, sweet, and salty flavor profile which makes it perfect for marinades or flavoring different meats and vegetables.
Keto Worcestershire Sauce Substitute
Here are other keto friendly sauces worth considering.
If you want to lower your carb count a bit, while it’s not exactly the same, using soy sauce as a 1:1 swap might work in your recipes that require Worcestershire sauce.
In addition, you could also spice up the soy sauce with a bit of fresh ginger root, lemon, a dash of your favorite sugar-free substitute, and maybe even some hot sauce or sriracha to recreate the same tangy, sweet, and salty flavor.
Another option that’s a bit on the saltier side would be using something like fish sauce.
How To Make A Low Carb Worcestershire sauce
If you’re really wanting to re-create the Worcestershire flavor, but keep it more keto-friendly, here is a recipe you can use to make your own low-carb Worcestershire sauce.
Combine the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Sweeten to taste with Stevia or Splenda
- *optional squeeze of lemon or lime for more citrus/tartness
You’ll want to bring all the ingredients to a boil while stirring, then simmer for 1 minute, and cool before serving.
If you have any unused Worcestershire sauce, store it in a container and keep it in the fridge for another day.
Worcestershire sauce is moderately keto friendly.
Worcestershire sauce does have carbohydrates, so small amounts of 1-2tbsp are recommended if you decide to partake.
As long as you’re mindful and include the carbohydrates in your allotment for the day, then a bit of Worcestershire sauce can easily fit into your keto diet.
If you’re willing to put a little work in the kitchen, you can easily make a lower-carb substitute using some spices you probably have sitting in your cupboards.