Garlic adds a lot of flavor and uniqueness to food, so you’ll find it in dozens of the recipes you’re likely going to make at home. But when you’re embarking on a very low-carb or keto diet, before you add all those cloves of garlic to your food, you might want to know, are there carbs in garlic?
The answer is yes, there are carbs in garlic, but before you decide not to eat it, there are some reasons why it might not make a difference to your low-carb diet.
Are There Carbs in Garlic?
There is one gram of carbs in an average-sized garlic clove. The net carb count in a raw garlic clove is 0.9 grams, since there is 0.1 grams of fiber in a clove, as well. That’s just one small clove, which seems like a lot. Especially since many recipes call for adding up to 6 cloves to a recipe.
The biggest consideration you need to make as to whether you should add the garlic to your food, if you’re watching your carb intake, is how much of the recipe you will be eating.
How Much Garlic Should You Eat?
When you use a garlic clove to flavor your food, the carbs are distributed throughout the dish, so the total carb intake is quite a bit less.
On a keto diet, where you are likely limiting your carb intake to 25 grams or less of net carb per day, it might become more important to keep track of how many cloves of garlic you add to your food, but in general it’s not necessary to count the carbs, because they are negligible when divided among the servings in the dish.
Other Ways to Eat Garlic
Garlic comes in many different forms. There are raw cloves of fresh garlic, but garlic can also be dried and used in powder form to flavor food.
One teaspoon of dried garlic powder contains 2.3 grams of carbs. Garlic powder has a higher concentration of carbs than fresh cloves because of the dehydration and condensation process of making the ground into powder.
You can also buy black garlic. Black garlic is a process where fresh raw garlic undergoes a process of fermentation where it is subjected to high heat and humidity, producing a Malliard reaction that turns it brown. One glove of black garlic contains slightly less carbs than raw, because of the reduction it undergoes.
How Many Calories Are in Garlic?
On average, a garlic clove weighs 3 grams and contains only three calories. You are more likely to add 1-4 cloves of garlic to the total dish you’re cooking, so you can count on adding around from 2 to 6 calories. It’s such a small amount that it’s not really worth it to count garlic calories when determining your totals for the day, unless you’re being very strict about it.
One teaspoon of dried garlic powder contains ten calories. That’s because dried and ground garlic has a slightly higher concentration of calories than a fresh garlic clove. No matter what, all types of garlic are great flavoring additions to your food because of the low calorie count and high flavor quotient.
Other Garlic Nutrition
One fresh clove of garlic weighing 3 grams contains the following nutrition composition.
- Fat 0g
- Sodium 0.5mg
- Fiber 0.1g
- Sugar 0g
- Protein 0.2g
- Vitamin C 0.9mg
- Zinc 0.04mg
Garlic Powder Nutrition
Garlic powder is rich in nutrients, just like raw cloves. Below is the nutrition value of one teaspoon of the powder, approximately 3.1 grams.
- Protein 0.5g
- Fat 0g
- Sugar 0.07g
- Fiber 0.27g
- Zinc 0.09 mg
- Iron 0.17 mg
- Sodium 1.86mg
Is Garlic Keto Friendly?
If you’re wondering if garlic is keto friendly, the answer is yes. Garlic is one of the best keto-friendly food additives. It is used to increase the flavor of the foods you eat, which leads to a higher satisfaction level. Since the keto diet is a difficult one to adhere to, the more you like the food you eat, the better.
Thus garlic is definitely a keto-friendly food that you can add fairly liberally to your food without needing to consider it in your macros.
- Garlic has a strong taste and smell that naturally limits consumption
- You’ll likely only use one or two garlic cloves to flavor an entire dish
- One clove has only one gram of carb
Garlic is also a pretty universal flavoring in recipes ranging from stew, stir-fries, and soup, so it’s a good keto-friendly ingredient to have on hand to add to your food.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic, either the powder form or fresh cloves, has several therapeutic benefits. The health benefits of garlic come from its bioactive compounds: phenolic compounds, organic sulfides, polysaccharides, and saponins. Below are some benefits you can get from garlic:
Can Aid in Weight Loss
Garlic has been proven to aid in healthy eating, leading to healthy weight loss. Due to its strong flavor and smell, you only need a tiny piece to add delicious flavor to your food without adding much fat and calories to your diet.
Lowers Salt Consumption
Garlic powder can replace table salt for those who want to cut sodium intake. Table salt has a high sodium concentration and is unhealthy when consumed in large quantities. Garlic gives your food a satisfying taste just like table salt does but limits the amount of sodium you consume.
Lowers Blood Lipids
Garlic and its supplements have been proven to reduce low-density lipoproteins. A test group of diabetes patients consumed garlic or supplements and regulated blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Garlic increased high-density lipoproteins and reduced bad cholesterol in the blood.
Garlic is a multipurpose food additive used to prepare different dishes. Net carbs in garlic are very low, making it keto friendly. Due to its pungent taste and smell, only a small portion is needed to change the entire flavor of your dish. It would be best to try it in your diet for its taste and health benefits.
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Laura is an avid home cook and recipe creator. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.