Garlic is a potent vegetable that fights multidrug-resistant E. coli, dangerous parasites, and chronic inflammation.
But is garlic keto-friendly?
In this post, I’ll go over everything you need to know about garlic. I’ll cover if it’s keto-friendly, the health benefits of daily garlic consumption and some alternatives.
Can You Eat Garlic On A Ketogenic Diet?
You can eat garlic on a low carb diet. One clove of garlic only contains a gram of net carbs and four calories.
To get some garlic in my diet, I like crushing a few cloves with a garlic press, adding some coconut oil with salt and using it as a salad dressing. This is a convenient dressing if you’re eating a chicken or steak salad for dinner.
I prefer eating garlic at night because the bloating experienced afterward can interfere with daily activities.
If you feel bloated after consuming fresh garlic, consider a supplement. Many brands sell high-quality garlic supplements in the form of:
- Garlic powder
- Aged garlic extract
- Minced garlic
- Garlic salt
This is helpful if you don’t like the taste of garlic but still want some of the health benefits. These supplements often contain more beneficial enzymes and proteins than regular garlic, so you’re getting more bang for your buck.
Garlic Nutritional Facts
One garlic clove or three grams contains:
- Four calories
- One gram of net carb
- 0.18 grams of protein
- 0.1 grams of fiber
- Five milligrams of calcium
- One milligram of magnesium
- 11 milligrams of potassium
- 0.05 milligrams of iron
So although garlic contains little nutrients, its actual value lies in its unique compounds like allicin and diallyl disulfide.
The Health Benefits Of Garlic
Garlic offers many health benefits, but here are some that stood out to me:
- It can fight dangerous infections
- It’s anti-inflammatory
- Garlic improves athletic performance
It Can Fight Dangerous Infections
In 2001, The Journal of Microbes and Infection published a study that found garlic helps destroy multidrug-resistant E. coli. Even if you aren’t struggling with E. coli, this just shows the power of garlic.
Instead of taking a cocktail of drugs, you can simply eat garlic and fight off E. coli.
Garlic also helps against fungal infections like candida, responsible for yeast infections and oral thrush. Many people think that garlic is bad for bloating because it’s a prebiotic fiber. But this is only true if you have a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. If your infection is yeast-related, the best thing you can eat is garlic.
I’d suggest using a few cloves when searing steaks or preparing a salad dressing.
If you’re on keto and have been doing a lot of research on certain foods and their effects on the human body, you probably know that chronic inflammation is the root of most health issues.
Fortunately, a meta-analysis published by The Journal of Nutrition found that daily garlic consumption lowers c-reactive protein in your body. This is the primary protein your body triggers when it’s inflamed.
So eating garlic lowers your risk of developing common chronic conditions, including cancer. The National Cancer Institute even recognizes garlic as a potent anti-cancer compound. So this isn’t just a random study showing garlic is anti-cancer. Large institutions are realizing how effective garlic is.
Garlic fights cancer because it blocks nitrosamines, which is a carcinogen.
Garlic Improves Athletic Performance
The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a double-blind placebo study in 2015 that found eating just 900 milligrams of garlic increases your Vo2 max by 2.7%.
This might not sound like much, but it can instantly boost performance.
Your Vo2 max is a measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use when exercising. This means that you’re getting 2.7% more oxygen per minute. That’s a lot of oxygen multiplied over an hour-long sports game or workout session.
You can rest for shorter periods because your body utilizes more oxygen and performs better.
And that’s just by eating less than a gram of garlic.
The main reason garlic allows you to receive and use more oxygen at the cellular level is that it reduces inflammation. This reduced inflammation opens pathways allowing your body to operate as it should.
So I’d suggest taking a garlic supplement a few hours before going to the gym or playing a match. This way, you’re increasing your Vo2 max without bloating.
Now that we know the potent health benefits that raw garlic offers, let’s cover some tasty keto garlic recipes.
Keto-Friendly Garlic Recipes
Here are some of my favorite garlic keto recipes:
Keto Mushroom And Garlic Sauce
This creamy garlic mushroom sauce is the perfect side dish to go with a steak. You can even eat it on its own since it contains lots of fat, zero carbs and you’ll experience all the garlic health benefits.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- One onion
- Five cloves of garlic
- 300 grams of mushrooms
- Two tablespoons of parsley
- A tablespoon of butter
- 400 milliliters of cream
First, you want to thinly slice your onion, garlic, mushrooms and parsley.
Next, put a tablespoon of butter in a pan on high heat and add all your onion and garlic. Cook them until it has a golden color, and add your mushrooms. Once your mushrooms are done, add your parsley and 400 milliliters of cream. Stir until it has a nice consistency, and enjoy!
Keto Garlic Bread
This keto garlic bread is a tasty snack when you’re experiencing carb cravings. For this recipe, you’ll need:
- One cup of mozzarella cheese
- A tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
- Half a cup of almond flour
- Two tablespoons of cream cheese
- One tablespoon of garlic powder
- One teaspoon baking powder
- A clove of garlic
- One egg
- A tablespoon of chopped parsley
- One tablespoon of butter
First, preheat your oven to 400°F. Next, into a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl, add your mozzarella, almond flour, cream cheese and baking powder and microwave it for one minute.
Once it’s out of the microwave, add your egg and mix until it looks like dough and spread this dough on a non-stick baking tray.
Now, add melted butter to another bowl with your parsley, garlic and grated Parmesan cheese. You want to mix this delicious topping and place it on your bread. The last step is putting your bread in the oven at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes.
Keto Butter Garlic Squid
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 50 grams of butter
- One chopped spring onion
- Seven cloves of raw garlic
- Two tablespoons of parsley
- 10 pieces of squid
Add butter, chopped spring onion, garlic and parsley to a hot pan and give it a nice stir. Next, add your raw squid once the garlic has a golden brown color. Cooking the squid only takes two minutes and once it’s finished, transfer it to a plate.
While it’s still hot, grate some cheese on top, so it melts and gives you a slight cheesy taste.
What Are Some Alternatives To Garlic On Keto?
If you’re looking for some garlic alternatives to spice up your keto diet, consider the following.
100 grams of chives only contain 4.4 grams of net carbs and 30 calories, making it a keto alternative to garlic. Chives also have a decent amount of micronutrients like vitamin C, riboflavin and beta carotene, boosting immune function.
Onion is another tasty alternative to garlic. 100 grams of onions contain nine grams of carbs which is significantly more than garlic and chives, but you won’t be eating multiple cups of chopped onions in one sitting since most recipes only call for around 25 to 30 grams. So it won’t kick you out of ketosis.
If you aren’t a big fan of onion or simply want a lower-carb alternative, consider spring onion. 100 grams of spring onion has seven grams of carbs, 0.4 grams of fiber and 32 calories.
Spring onion also contains a lot of dietary fiber, vitamin C and calcium.
Final Word On Eating Garlic On Keto
Raw garlic is a powerful vegetable that’s a must-eat for keto-dieters. It fights inflammation, bacterial infection and improves athletic performance. Also, there are only one gram of carbs in garlic.
You can start implementing garlic into your diet by making creamy mushroom sauce, keto bread or garlic squid. And if you want to shake things up, opt for alternatives like onion, chives and spring onion.