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Is Jiaozi Keto-Friendly?

Jiaozi on a kitchen counter

Embarking on a ketogenic diet can often raise queries about the compatibility of various foods with this low-carb, high-fat eating plan.

One such food item that has been the subject of curiosity is Jiaozi, a beloved dumpling enjoyed in many parts of Asia.

The critical question here is, 'Is Jiaozi Keto-Friendly?'

While Jiaozi offers a unique blend of flavors and textures, its compatibility with a ketogenic diet is not straightforward.

In this article, we delve into the carbohydrate content of Jiaozi, discuss the health implications of including it in a keto diet, and explore some inventive, keto-friendly alternatives.


  • Jiaozi, while delicious and nutrient-rich, is not compatible with a ketogenic diet due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Consuming Jiaozi can potentially hinder your body's ability to enter or maintain ketosis, a metabolic state key to a ketogenic diet.
  • But don't fret! There are creative and tasty, keto-friendly alternatives to Jiaozi that we dive into in this article.

Is Jiaozi Keto-Friendly?

Is Jiaozi Keto-Friendly?

Let's cut to the chase: Jiaozi, as delicious as it is, isn't exactly a friend to the keto diet. Why you might ask? The answer lies in its macronutrient composition, specifically the carbohydrate content.

As we've established earlier, Jiaozi contains about 12.55g net carbs per 100g. In the context of a ketogenic diet, which typically limits daily carb intake to around 20 to 50 grams, a single serving of Jiaozi could take up a significant portion of your daily carb allotment.

To understand this better, let's explore the ingredients in Jiaozi. The dough, which creates the soft, chewy wrapper we all love, is primarily made from flour—a high-carb ingredient. Inside the wrapper, you'll typically find a mixture of meat and vegetables. While the meat is low in carbs, the addition of vegetables can add to the carb count, particularly if starchy vegetables are used.

Another factor to consider is the method of cooking. Jiaozi is usually boiled or steamed, cooking methods that don't inherently add additional carbs. However, if the dumplings are pan-fried to create potstickers, additional carbs could be introduced if the dumplings are coated with flour or cornstarch to create a crispy texture.

In short, while Jiaozi offers a delightful culinary experience, its high carbohydrate content makes it incompatible with a strict ketogenic diet. Remember, the goal of a ketogenic diet is to shift your body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. Consuming high-carb foods like Jiaozi could prevent your body from entering or maintaining this state.

Can Jiaozi be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Can Jiaozi be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Given what we've discussed about the carbohydrate content of Jiaozi, you might be wondering if there's any way to sneak this tempting dumpling into a strict keto diet. As much as we're enthusiastic about culinary creativity and flexibility, we also have to respect our bodies' nutritional needs, particularly when we're adhering to a specific dietary regimen like the ketogenic diet.

As we've previously noted, a ketogenic diet usually restricts daily carb intake to around 20 to 50 grams. Considering that Jiaozi contains 12.55g net carbs per 100g, even a modest portion could potentially consume much of your daily carb allocation.

So, while it might be technically possible to incorporate a very small quantity of Jiaozi into a strict keto diet without exceeding your daily carb limit, it would leave very little room for other sources of carbs in your meals for the rest of the day. And remember, not all carbs are created equal. Many nutrient-dense foods, such as leafy green vegetables and some fruits, also contain carbs but offer significant nutritional benefits that you won't get from Jiaozi.

To ensure you're sticking to your carb limit, we recommend using tools or apps that help track your daily macronutrient intake. These tools can be invaluable in helping you record and monitor your daily consumption of carbs, proteins, and fats, and ensure you're adhering to your nutritional targets.

It's crucial to remember that the ultimate goal of a ketogenic diet is to maintain a metabolic state of ketosis, where your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Consistently consuming high-carb foods like Jiaozi can disrupt this state, undermining the potential benefits of your keto diet.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Jiaozi

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Jiaozi

To fully appreciate why Jiaozi isn't a keto-friendly food, we must take a closer look at its carbohydrate content and understand the concept of net carbs.

In general, carbohydrates in our food can be broadly classified into three types: sugars, starches, and dietary fiber. The term "net carbs" refers to the number of carbs that are actually absorbed by the body. It's calculated by subtracting the amount of dietary fiber (which isn't digested or absorbed) from the total carbohydrates. This is an especially important number for individuals following a ketogenic diet as it allows them to accurately count the carbs that impact their body.

Let's apply this to Jiaozi. With 12.55g net carbs per 100g, Jiaozi ranks high in carbohydrate content. To put this in perspective, consider that an average dumpling weighs around 25g to 35g. Even if we assume the lower end of this range, a single Jiaozi dumpling contains approximately 3.14g to 4.39g of net carbs.

So, if you were following a strict keto diet restricting your daily intake to about 20g of net carbs, consuming more than 5 to 6 dumplings could potentially take up your entire daily carb allowance. This doesn't leave much room for other nutritious foods, which might also contain necessary carbs, such as non-starchy vegetables (think spinach, broccoli, or kale).

Additionally, keep in mind that the actual carbohydrate content can vary based on the specific ingredients used in the Jiaozi filling, and the cooking method. For instance, if the dumplings are pan-fried and coated with additional flour or if the filling contains higher-carb vegetables, the carb content could be even higher.

Nutritional Snapshot of Jiaozi

Jiaozi, a traditional Chinese dumpling, offers a well-rounded nutritional profile that offers both macro and micronutrients essential to our diet. Diving into the specifics, a 100g serving of Jiaozi contains 12.55g of net carbs, 11.13g of total fats, and 8.76g of protein, showing a fairly balanced macronutrient distribution.

In terms of micronutrients, Jiaozi is a noteworthy source of different vitamins and minerals. It contains Vitamin A, beneficial for good eyesight and a healthy immune system, and also Vitamin B-6 and B-12, essential for brain development and function. The ascorbic acid content or Vitamin C in Jiaozi is 8.8mg, which aids in maintaining skin health and boosting the immune system. The presence of Vitamin K1 is significant at 64.0ug, assisting in blood clotting and bone metabolism.

Moreover, Jiaozi carries a generous amount of minerals. The 467.0mg Sodium content helps control blood pressure and volume, while the 301.0mg Potassium content aids in nerve function and muscle control. The dumpling also contains trace amounts of Magnesium, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium, and Zinc, each playing a crucial role in supporting our body's function and health.

Importantly, the fatty acid content in Jiaozi includes both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthier fat types known to lower bad cholesterol levels and support heart health. Plus, its water content of 63.96g helps in keeping the body hydrated.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 12.55g
Carbohydrate, by difference 14.05g
Fiber, total dietary 1.5g
Total fats 11.13g
Protein 8.76g
Sodium, Na 467.0mg
Potassium, K 301.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 22.0mg
Calcium, Ca 30.0mg
Vitamin A 5.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.26mg
Vitamin B-12 0.28ug
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 8.8mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1.12mg
Vitamin K1 64.0ug
Copper, Cu 0.04mg
Iron, Fe 0.79mg
Phosphorus, P 134.0mg
Selenium, Se 18.7ug
Zinc, Zn 1.77mg
Cholesterol 18.0mg
Beta-carotene 48.0ug
Lutein + zeaxanthin 22.0ug
Thiamin 0.39mg
Riboflavin 0.13mg
Niacin 2.37mg
Folate, total 19.0ug
Choline, total 55.5mg
Retinol 1.0ug
Calories 192.0kcal
Water 63.96g
Fatty acids, total saturated 2.55g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 4.8g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 2.96g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Jiaozi' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Wonton, dumpling or pot sticker, fried' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Jiaozi on a Keto Diet

Health Implications of Jiaozi on a Keto Diet

While Jiaozi isn't suitable for a keto diet, that doesn't negate its potential health benefits or its contribution to a diverse and balanced diet. However, for those following a keto diet, understanding the implications of consuming Jiaozi is necessary.

One of the key challenges of including Jiaozi in a keto diet is maintaining ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs for fuel. Given the high net carb content of Jiaozi, consuming it, especially in larger amounts, could hinder your body's ability to remain in or enter ketosis.

When your body gets kicked out of ketosis, it has to switch back to burning carbohydrates for fuel. This metabolic switch can often lead to a temporary decline in energy levels and mood swings, commonly referred to as the "keto flu". Until your body re-enters ketosis, you might experience these and other symptoms.

Beyond the keto diet, it's worth noting that Jiaozi can offer some nutritional benefits. Its filling, often a combination of meat and vegetables, provides protein and various vitamins and minerals. Meat is a source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Additionally, vegetables add fiber, along with a whole host of vitamins and antioxidants, to the dish.

Moreover, Jiaozi is traditionally served with a dipping sauce composed of soy sauce, vinegar, and occasionally, chili oil, garlic, and ginger. These ingredients add not only flavor but also additional nutrients to the meal. For instance, ginger and garlic have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, while chili oil can add a dose of healthy fats.

However, these benefits don't necessarily make Jiaozi compatible with a keto diet. While it can certainly be part of a balanced, nutrient-rich diet for those not following dietary restrictions, its high carb content poses a challenge for those trying to limit their carbohydrate intake.

Avoiding Jiaozi in Your Keto Meal Plan

Avoiding Jiaozi in Your Keto Meal Plan

Successfully following a ketogenic diet involves not just knowing what foods to eat, but also what foods to avoid. As we've already established, Jiaozi, unfortunately, falls into the latter category due to its high carbohydrate content. But don't despair! We've compiled some practical tips to help you navigate your way around this delicacy while sticking to your keto diet.

Firstly, awareness is key. Jiaozi are often featured in many Asian cuisines, especially Chinese, and might pop up in a variety of dishes, from soups and salads to main courses. They can also be an appetizer or a side dish in meals. When dining out or ordering in, make sure to check the menu carefully and ask about the ingredients if necessary.

Next, let's address cravings. If you find yourself missing Jiaozi, try focusing on the elements you love about it. Is it the succulent filling? The tangy dipping sauce? By identifying what you really crave, you can find keto-friendly alternatives that hit the spot. For instance, you could stir-fry some meat and veggies with your favorite Jiaozi flavors, or try a keto-friendly dumpling soup where the traditional dumplings are replaced with low-carb alternatives.

Moreover, it's important to keep your meals varied and interesting. One of the reasons people crave certain foods is because they feel their diet is restricted or boring. There's a wide array of low-carb foods that are incredibly delicious and satisfying. Try experimenting with different recipes and flavors to keep your meals enjoyable and your cravings at bay.

Lastly, consider meal prepping. Having keto-friendly meals and snacks ready to go can make it easier to resist the temptation of carb-heavy foods like Jiaozi.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Jiaozi

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Jiaozi

The beauty of a keto diet lies in its flexibility and the variety of delicious, low-carb alternatives it offers for traditionally high-carb foods—like Jiaozi. If you're missing your favorite dumplings, here are some keto-friendly substitutes that can fill that void while keeping your carb count in check.

A popular option is to use low-carb, keto-friendly flours to make dumpling wrappers. Almond flour and coconut flour, for instance, have significantly lower net carb counts compared to regular flour. A 30g serving of almond flour contains about 2g of net carbs, while the same amount of coconut flour has roughly 8g of net carbs. In comparison, 30g of regular wheat flour has around 20g of net carbs. These flours can be used to craft delicious, low-carb dumpling wrappers for your fillings.

As for fillings, you can stick to lean meats and low-carb vegetables. Cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, and zucchini, for instance, are all excellent options. You could also consider seafood, which is typically very low in carbs.

As an interesting twist, you could make cabbage or lettuce wraps. Instead of using a dough-based wrapper, you could wrap your filling in large cabbage or lettuce leaves—a flavorful, low-carb alternative to traditional Jiaozi.

Another fabulous alternative is to turn the dumpling filling into a standalone dish. Cooked in a skillet or wok, the meat and vegetable filling can be transformed into a hearty stir-fry. Paired with a side of cauliflower rice, it's a satisfying meal that brings the flavors of Jiaozi onto your plate without the high carbs.

Finally, if it's the soup you're missing, consider making a keto-friendly dumpling soup, using low-carb dumplings made from the flours mentioned above or even using mini meatballs as a dumpling substitute.

Concluding Thoughts on Jiaozi and Keto

Concluding Thoughts on Jiaozi and Keto

Throughout our exploration of Jiaozi in the context of a ketogenic diet, we've discovered that while this flavorful dumpling holds a cherished place in many culinary traditions, it poses a significant challenge for individuals following a ketogenic diet due to its high carbohydrate content.

The high net carb content, primarily from the dumpling wrapper, can jeopardize the state of ketosis, a cornerstone of the ketogenic diet where your body uses fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates. Subsequently, consuming Jiaozi, especially in larger servings, could cause fluctuations in your diet's macronutrient balance and potentially throw your body out of ketosis.

However, the story doesn't end there. Every challenge is an opportunity in disguise, and the same holds true here. The challenge of incorporating Jiaozi into a keto diet actually opens the door for culinary creativity. We have discussed various low-carb alternatives to Jiaozi, ranging from using keto-friendly flours for dumpling wrappers to converting the Jiaozi filling into an independent, carb-conscious dish. These alternatives not only keep your carb intake in check but also bring a new dimension of flavor and texture to your keto meal plan.

Beyond the keto context, remember that Jiaozi, like any food, is neither intrinsically 'good' nor 'bad'. It's about how it fits into your overall dietary picture. For non-keto diets, Jiaozi can be a part of a balanced diet, offering protein, fiber, and other nutrients, especially when paired with a variety of other nutrient-dense foods.

As we close this exploration, here's a new idea: why not create a keto-friendly 'Jiaozi-inspired' salad? Use all the delicious ingredients you would include in your Jiaozi filling—like minced meat, cabbage, mushrooms—but instead of wrapping them in a dumpling, toss them together into a flavorful salad. Add some Asian-style dressing, and you've got a dish that celebrates the spirit of Jiaozi without the carbs!

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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.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

While it's all about balance and occasional indulgences might not completely derail your diet, Jiaozi is high in carbs and could disrupt your state of ketosis. It's best to limit its intake or opt for low-carb alternatives.

Yes, you can create keto-friendly versions of Jiaozi using low-carb flours like almond or coconut flour for the wrapper and filling them with lean meats and low-carb vegetables.

It's primarily the wrapper, made from wheat flour, that's high in carbs. However, the filling can also contribute to the carb count depending on its composition.