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Is Clove Keto-Friendly?

Clove on a kitchen counter

In the quest for keto-friendly foods, spices often get overlooked, and that's why we're focusing this discussion on the question - "Is Clove Keto-Friendly?" With its bold, aromatic flavor, clove is a spice that can elevate a myriad of dishes.

But when it comes to adhering to a ketogenic diet, there's a lot more to this humble spice.

Join us as we delve into the carbohydrate content of clove, explore its health implications on a keto diet, suggest ways to incorporate it into your meal plan, and even provide keto-compatible alternatives.

We'll also share a few creative ideas and nutritional insights, always bearing in mind that we're here to guide your culinary adventure, not provide medical advice.

Let's begin this flavorful exploration of cloves in a keto context.


  • Yes, clove is keto-friendly. It has a low net carb content and is packed with flavor – a winning combination for any keto diet!
  • Clove offers a slew of health benefits, including high antioxidant content, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, and is rich in fiber, vitamin K, and manganese.
  • Get creative with clove in your keto meals, from spiced keto coffee to clove-infused marinades.

Is Clove Keto-Friendly?

Yes, clove is indeed keto-friendly! Let's break down why this is the case.

On a ketogenic diet, your primary focus is to limit your carbohydrate intake significantly, usually to around 20-50 grams of net carbs per day, to induce the state of ketosis - that's when your body starts burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.

Now, where does clove fit into this picture? 5 grams of clove, which is quite generous given the potent flavor of this spice, contains only 1.58 grams of net carbs. Net carbs are the total carbohydrates minus the fiber content. This means that even if you're following a strict ketogenic diet, cloves won't make much of a dent in your daily carb limit.

It's worth noting that the flavor intensity of clove means you're likely to use less than 5 grams in your recipes, making its impact on your carb count even less significant.

However, it's important to use cloves sparingly due to their strong flavor profile. Even though they are low in carbs, overuse can overwhelm the taste of your dishes.

Can Clove be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Absolutely, clove can be incorporated into a strict keto diet, thanks to its minuscule net carb content. But, like with all foods, it's about balance and moderation.

A strict keto diet, also known as a standard ketogenic diet (SKD), typically limits net carbs to about 20-50 grams per day. Given that 5 grams of cloves contain a mere 1.58 grams of net carbs, this spice is far from a diet-breaker.

However, it's key to remember that every gram counts on a strict keto diet. While clove is low in carbs, you still need to account for it in your daily intake. It's easy to disregard spices when you're counting carbs, but they do add up, especially if you're using a variety of them in your meals.

Now, let's talk about balance. A keto diet isn't just about keeping carbs low; it's about getting the majority of your calories from healthy fats and a moderate amount from proteins. So, while cloves can certainly add flavor and variety to your keto meals, they should be used to complement your primary macro sources, not replace them.

To keep track of how cloves and other spices affect your daily carb intake, consider using a food diary or a carb counting app. These tools can help you keep an eye on your macros to ensure you stay within your limits.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Clove

Understanding the carbohydrate content of any food is crucial when you're following a keto diet, and clove is no exception. So, let's take a closer look at what this aromatic spice has to offer.

To start with, 5 grams of cloves contain about 1.58 grams of net carbs. But what are net carbs, and why do they matter?

Net carbs are essentially the total carbohydrates in a food, minus its fiber content. They are the carbs your body can digest and use for energy. For someone on a keto diet, net carbs are the key player, as they are the ones that can potentially affect blood sugar levels and insulin response, thereby influencing your state of ketosis.

In the case of cloves, the net carb content is incredibly low. To give you a real-world example, consider a typical dish like a keto pumpkin pie. You might use about 1 gram of cloves for the entire pie, which gives you roughly 0.32 grams of net carbs from the cloves. This amount is tiny, especially when you consider the size of the pie and how many slices it yields.

While the carbohydrate content of cloves is low, remember that these carbs do count towards your daily intake. It's easy to overlook spices, but every gram of carb matters when you're keeping them to a minimum.

Nutritional Snapshot of Clove

The nutritional profile of clove provides a fascinating insight into its health benefits. In a 100g sample of clove, there are 31.63g of net carbs and 13g of total fats. It also contains a good amount of dietary fiber, around 33.9g, contributing to a healthy digestive system.

Protein is another essential nutrient found in clove, with a quantity of 5.97g. It’s interesting to note the presence of a variety of amino acids including isoleucine, leucine, lysine, and more. These are fundamental in building and repairing body tissues.

Clove is also an excellent source of essential vitamins, such as Vitamin A, B-6, and E. The presence of Vitamin A, along with beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin, beta, contributes to good vision. Vitamin B-6 aids in brain development and function, while Vitamin E provides antioxidant properties.

When it comes to minerals, clove is rich in many. Potassium, which helps control blood pressure, is present at 1020.0mg. There’s also calcium for bone health, iron for red blood cell production, and magnesium for nerve function, among others.

This spice is also unique in its high manganese content, a whopping 60.13mg, which plays a role in metabolism and bone development. Lastly, the presence of fatty acids, both saturated and unsaturated, contributes to overall heart health.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 31.63g
Carbohydrate, by difference 65.53g
Fiber, total dietary 33.9g
Total fats 13.0g
Protein 5.97g
Sodium, Na 277.0mg
Potassium, K 1020.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 259.0mg
Calcium, Ca 632.0mg
Vitamin A 8.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.39mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.2mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 8.82mg
Vitamin K1 141.8ug
Copper, Cu 0.37mg
Iron, Fe 11.83mg
Phosphorus, P 104.0mg
Selenium, Se 7.2ug
Zinc, Zn 2.32mg
Beta-carotene 45.0ug
Cryptoxanthin, beta 103.0ug
Betaine 1.4mg
Manganese, Mn 60.13mg
Thiamin 0.16mg
Riboflavin 0.22mg
Niacin 1.56mg
Pantothenic acid 0.51mg
Folate, total 25.0ug
Choline, total 37.4mg
Calories 274.0kcal
Water 9.87g
Tryptophan 0.03g
Threonine 0.18g
Isoleucine 0.24g
Leucine 0.4g
Lysine 0.37g
Methionine 0.08g
Cystine 0.07g
Phenylalanine 0.23g
Tyrosine 0.19g
Valine 0.34g
Arginine 0.32g
Histidine 0.13g
Alanine 0.29g
Aspartic acid 0.6g
Glutamic acid 0.56g
Glycine 0.28g
Proline 0.39g
Serine 0.24g
Fatty acids, total saturated 3.95g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 1.39g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 3.61g
Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Clove on a Keto Diet

Beyond its low-carb content, clove has several other health benefits that can contribute positively to a ketogenic diet.

Firstly, clove is rich in antioxidants, compounds that help fight against oxidative damage caused by free radicals in the body. A diet rich in antioxidants is linked with improved overall health and a lower risk of chronic diseases.

Secondly, clove has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation can contribute to various health issues, and a diet which includes anti-inflammatory foods like cloves can help manage this.

Moreover, clove is known for its antibacterial properties. This means it can help boost your immune system, keeping you healthier and more resilient.

Next, cloves are a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber aids digestion, adds bulk to your diet helping you feel full, and slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, thereby preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, clove is a source of important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K and manganese. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in blood clotting, while manganese is essential for bone health and the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins.

Linking it back to a keto diet, cloves can add flavor to your meals without adding any significant amount of carbs. This makes it a win-win addition to your keto diet – you get the flavor plus the health benefits without compromising your carb limits.

Incorporating Clove into Your Keto Meal Plan

Incorporating clove into your keto meal plan can be an aromatic and flavorsome affair. Thanks to its robust flavor, a little goes a long way, making it an economical and keto-friendly addition to your spice rack.

Here are some ideas to incorporate cloves into your keto diet:

  1. Spiced Keto Coffee: Add a pinch of ground clove to your morning coffee for a warming, aromatic twist. It pairs beautifully with other spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Keto Pumpkin Soup: A dash of cloves can add a depth of flavor to a creamy, comforting pumpkin soup. Just remember to count the carbs from the pumpkin in your daily intake.
  3. Cloves in Marinades: Ground or whole cloves can be added to marinades for chicken, fish, or tofu. They lend a warm, spicy note that can elevate the taste of your protein source.
  4. Keto Baking: Clove is a common addition in baking, and it's no different for keto-friendly baked goods. From pumpkin pie to gingerbread, a touch of clove can add that characteristic holiday flavor.
  5. Cloves in Tea: A hot cup of clove tea can be a comforting, low-carb beverage choice. It's as simple as boiling a few cloves in water and adding a non-carbohydrate sweetener if desired.

Remember, while cloves are a flavorful addition to your meals, they're quite potent. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your taste. Also, consider pairing cloves with other spices to create a depth of flavor.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Clove

While clove is a great keto-friendly spice, it's always nice to have alternatives to switch things up. Here are some keto-compatible substitutes for clove:

  1. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a widely used spice that can be a great alternative to cloves in a keto diet. It's sweet, a little spicy, and has a warm flavor. Cinnamon can be used in many of the same dishes as clove, like in keto baking or spiced coffee. 5 grams of cinnamon has about 1.4 grams of net carbs, closely matching the carb content of cloves.
  2. Nutmeg: Nutmeg has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor, and it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. In a keto pumpkin soup, for example, you can replace cloves with nutmeg for a different flavor twist. 5 grams of nutmeg contains around 2.2 grams of net carbs, a bit more than cloves but still quite low.
  3. Allspice: Allspice is another low-carb spice that can substitute for clove. It's a bit milder but still offers a warm, sweet-spicy flavor. Allspice could be an excellent addition to a chicken marinade or a keto-friendly pie. Its carbohydrate content is also low, with 5 grams of allspice containing about 2.6 grams of net carbs.
  4. Ginger: Ginger is a bit of a wildcard as its flavor is different from clove, but it's a good low-carb option and can be used in many of the same dishes. For a change of pace, try adding ginger to your tea or coffee. Around 5 grams of ginger contains about 1.3 grams of net carbs, making it a good low-carb choice.

Concluding Thoughts on Clove and Keto

Throughout our exploration of clove within the context of a strict keto diet, we've found this spice to be a beneficial and compliant addition. Its low net carb content of 1.58 grams per 5 grams makes it a suitable choice for those looking to flavor their meals while maintaining ketosis.

Beyond being keto-friendly, clove brings a wealth of health benefits to the table. Its high antioxidant content, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, alongside important nutrients like fiber, vitamin K, and manganese, make it a spice well worth incorporating in your diet.

Experimentation is key in keeping your meals exciting. From spicing up your coffee, flavoring your soups, marinating your proteins, to giving an aromatic twist to your baked goods, clove is versatile in its use.

A new idea to consider might be creating a DIY keto-friendly spice mix. Mix clove with other low-carb spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. This blend could be your go-to for adding robust, complex flavors to a variety of dishes, from roasts to keto desserts.

Remember, while the carb count of spices might seem negligible, they can add up if multiple ones are used in a recipe. Always account for them in your daily carb intake.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, clove is keto-friendly. It has a low net carb content of 1.58 grams per 5 grams, making it suitable for flavoring meals while maintaining ketosis.

Clove boasts high antioxidant content, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It also has nutrients like fiber, vitamin K, and manganese.

There are many ways to use clove in your keto meals. Examples include adding it to your morning coffee, using it in soups, incorporating it in marinades, and even in keto-friendly baked goods like pumpkin pie or gingerbread.