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Is Seaweed Keto-Friendly?

Seaweed on a kitchen counter

Is Seaweed Keto-Friendly? Indeed, it is! As a staple food packed with an array of essential nutrients, seaweed is a fantastic addition to a ketogenic diet.

In this article, we'll delve into a comprehensive breakdown of seaweed's net carbs and discuss how it can be incorporated into a keto-friendly meal plan.

We'll also explore seaweed's overall benefits and nutritional value, shedding light on why this sea vegetable deserves a spot in your low-carb lifestyle.


  • Yes, seaweed is keto-friendly, with its low net carb content making it a suitable choice for a ketogenic diet.
  • Seaweed is a nutritional powerhouse, providing essential vitamins and minerals that support a range of bodily functions.
  • Discover how to incorporate this sea vegetable into your keto meal plan, and even uncover some exciting new recipe ideas.

Is Seaweed Keto-Friendly?

Yes, seaweed is considered keto-friendly. This determination is based primarily on its net carbohydrate content. With just 0.83 grams of net carbs per 2 tablespoons (10g), seaweed fits comfortably within the low-carb parameters of the ketogenic diet.

Can You Have Seaweed on a Strict Keto Diet?

Absolutely, seaweed can be included in a strict keto diet. This is a diet where carbohydrate intake is severely limited, typically to less than 20 grams of net carbs per day. Seaweed fits quite comfortably within these constraints with a net carb content of 0.83 grams per 2 tablespoons (10g).

Additionally, some keto followers opt for a slightly higher carb limit, typically limiting net carbs to 30-50 grams per day. This approach, often termed a low-carb diet, allows for the inclusion of seaweed in the meal plan.

Carbs In Seaweed

Seaweed contains minimal net carbs, specifically 0.83 grams per 2 tablespoons (10g). This low carbohydrate content makes it a suitable addition to a keto diet. Additionally, it is noteworthy that seaweed has a low glycemic index of 4 [source].

This means that it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels, another essential factor for individuals adhering to a ketogenic lifestyle. Foods with a lower GI digest slowly, leading to a steady rise in blood sugar levels, whereas foods with a high GI are quickly digested, causing a rapid spike.

Seaweed Nutrition Facts

A modest portion of 2 tablespoons (10g) of seaweed contains a variety of nutritional elements. It contains 0.83g of net carbs, 0.168g of protein, and 0.056g of total lipid (fat). This serving also provides 18.0kJ of Energy and 0.957g of total carbohydrates. The dietary fiber content is 0.13g, with 0.06g total sugars.

Moving on to the micro-nutrients, seaweed is a source of several minerals. It offers 16.8mg of calcium (Ca), 0.285mg of iron (Fe), and 12.1mg of magnesium (Mg). Other minerals include 4.2mg of phosphorus (P), 8.9mg of potassium (K), 23.3mg of sodium (Na), and 0.123mg of zinc (Zn). Additionally, you will find smaller amounts of copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), and selenium (Se), with 0.013mg, 0.02mg, and 0.07µg respectively.

Seaweed also contains a range of vitamins. The serving size includes 0.3mg of Vitamin C, 0.6µg of Vitamin A (RAE), 11.6IU of Vitamin A (IU), 0.087mg of Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherin) and 6.6µg of Vitamin K (phylloquinone). B vitamins are also present with small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6, and folate.

The fatty acid profile of seaweed also has a mix of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. The total saturated fatty acids amount to 0.0247g, monounsaturated fats total 0.0098g, and polyunsaturated fats account for 0.0047g.

Lastly, seaweed contains various amino acids, like tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cystine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, arginine, histidine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, and serine.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 2 tablespoon (10g)
Net Carbs0.83g
Total lipid (fat)0.056g
Carbohydrate, by difference0.957g
Fiber, total dietary0.13g
Total Sugars0.06g
Calcium, Ca16.8mg
Iron, Fe0.285mg
Magnesium, Mg12.1mg
Phosphorus, P4.2mg
Potassium, K8.9mg
Sodium, Na23.3mg
Zinc, Zn0.123mg
Copper, Cu0.013mg
Manganese, Mn0.02mg
Selenium, Se0.07µg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid0.3mg
Pantothenic acid0.0642mg
Vitamin B-60.0002mg
Folate, total18.0µg
Folate, food18.0µg
Folate, DFE18.0µg
Choline, total1.28mg
Vitamin A, RAE0.6µg
Carotene, beta7.0µg
Vitamin A, IU11.6IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.087mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)6.6µg
Fatty acids, total saturated0.0247g
SFA 14:00.0031g
SFA 16:00.011g
SFA 18:00.0086g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.0098g
MUFA 16:10.0004g
MUFA 18:10.0086g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.0047g
PUFA 18:20.002g
PUFA 18:30.0004g
PUFA 18:40.0004g
PUFA 20:40.0012g
PUFA 20:5 n-3 (EPA)0.0004g
Aspartic acid0.0125g
Glutamic acid0.0268g

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 Seaweed on a Keto Diet

Seaweed is a nutritional powerhouse packed with beneficial elements. It is an excellent source of essential vitamins like Vitamin K, Vitamin E, folate, and Vitamin C.

Furthermore, it provides essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. These nutrients collectively support various bodily functions, from blood clotting to immune system function.

Incorporating Seaweed into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Seaweed can be enjoyed as a snack: Seaweed is often available as dried sheets and can be eaten straight from the pack as a low-carb, crunchy snack that fits well within the parameters of your keto diet.
  2. Use seaweed in salads: Refreshing and nutritious, seaweed can be added to salads, bringing a unique taste and texture to your greens.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Seaweed

  1. Spinach: This leafy green is a great alternative to seaweed. It can be used in salads, sautés, or as a wrap for keto-friendly sushi. Like seaweed, it's low in carbs and rich in various essential nutrients such as Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and magnesium.
  2. Kale: Another leafy green, kale can be used in a similar way to seaweed in many dishes. It's also packed with vitamins and minerals, and has a low net carb content, making it suitable for a keto diet.
  3. Lettuce: For wrap options, lettuce can be a good alternative to seaweed. It has a low net carb content and provides a crisp texture for keto-friendly wraps and salads.

Concluding Thoughts on Seaweed and Keto

Seaweed has proven to be a compatible food choice when following a keto diet. Its low net carb content makes it a fitting option for those adhering to strict carb limits.

Not only does its nutritional profile boast a myriad of essential vitamins and minerals, but it also has a low glycemic index, making it even more attractive from a dietary standpoint.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

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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, seaweed is a low-carb food that fits well within a ketogenic diet.

Seaweed's net carb content can vary, but it is generally quite low, making it suitable for a keto diet.

While you can eat seaweed on a daily basis, it's essential to monitor your portion sizes due to its high sodium content.

There are numerous types of seaweed, including nori, kelp, and dulse, and they are all generally low in carbs and thus suitable for keto. However, their nutritional content can differ slightly, so it's always a good idea to check the specifics of the type you're consuming.