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Is Vanilla Extract Keto-Friendly?

Vanilla Extract on a kitchen counter

Is Vanilla Extract Keto-Friendly? The short answer is yes!

In this article, we'll delve into its carb content and discuss practical ways to include it in your ketogenic diet.

We'll also examine its nutritional profile and potential advantages, offering valuable insights for both experienced keto enthusiasts and beginners alike.

So, get ready to spice up your culinary adventures with vanilla extract!


  • Yes, vanilla extract is keto-friendly!
  • Vanilla extract has trace amounts of several minerals and vitamins and can add flavor to your keto dishes.

Is Vanilla Extract Keto-Friendly?

The straightforward answer to whether vanilla extract is keto-friendly is yes. Vanilla extract is indeed considered compatible with a ketogenic lifestyle. This conclusion is primarily based on its nutritional profile, particularly its carbohydrate content.

The primary consideration for any food or ingredient on a keto diet is its net carb content. Net carbs, put, are the total carbohydrates in a food minus the dietary fiber. These are the carbs that your body can absorb and use, and they're what you need to watch out for on a keto diet.

In the case of vanilla extract, it contains 0.53 g of net carbs per 1 teaspoon (4.2g). This is a relatively low amount, fitting comfortably within the daily carb limit of a typical keto diet, which often ranges between 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day.

Can You Have Vanilla Extract on a Strict Keto Diet?

Vanilla extract, with its relatively low carb content, comfortably fits into even a strict keto diet. A strict ketogenic diet limits carbohydrate intake to less than 20g per day, a boundary where vanilla extract can easily be accommodated.

For example, considering that an average serving size of vanilla extract is one teaspoon (4.2g), which contains 0.53g of net carbs, even multiple servings won't significantly impact your daily carb limit on a strict keto diet.

Carbs In Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract contains 0.53g of net carbs per 1 teaspoon (4.2g). This is a reasonably low amount, suitable for a ketogenic diet.

Furthermore, vanilla extract has a low glycemic index of 5 [source], meaning it has minimal impact on blood sugar levels. 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.

Vanilla Extract Nutrition Facts

With a surprisingly low net carbohydrate count of 0.53g per teaspoon (4.2g), Vanilla Extract is a keto-friendly ingredient. It contains 50.61kJ of energy, a small amount of protein (0.0025g), and virtually negligible total lipid or fat content (0.0025g).

The carbohydrate content is primarily accounted for by total sugars (0.5313g). Vanilla Extract is not a significant source of dietary fiber, but it does contain a small amount of water (2.2084g) and ash (0.0109g).

In terms of micronutrients, Vanilla Extract contains trace amounts of essential minerals. These include calcium (0.462mg), iron (0.005mg), magnesium (0.504mg), phosphorus (0.252mg), potassium (6.216mg), sodium (0.378mg), zinc (0.0046mg), copper (0.003mg), and manganese (0.0097mg).

A range of B vitamins are also present, albeit in small quantities. Key vitamins include thiamin (0.0005mg), riboflavin (0.004mg), niacin (0.0178mg), pantothenic acid (0.0015mg), and vitamin B-6 (0.0011mg).

It also contains minute amounts of total saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Ensuring a balance of these fats is essential for overall health.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 1 teaspoon (4.2g)
Net Carbs0.53g
Total lipid (fat)0.0025g
Carbohydrate, by difference0.5313g
Total Sugars0.5313g
Calcium, Ca0.462mg
Iron, Fe0.005mg
Magnesium, Mg0.504mg
Phosphorus, P0.252mg
Potassium, K6.216mg
Sodium, Na0.378mg
Zinc, Zn0.0046mg
Copper, Cu0.003mg
Manganese, Mn0.0097mg
Pantothenic acid0.0015mg
Vitamin B-60.0011mg
Fatty acids, total saturated0.0004g
SFA 16:00.0002g
SFA 18:00.0g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.0004g
MUFA 18:10.0003g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.0002g
PUFA 18:20.0001g
PUFA 18:30.0g
Alcohol, ethyl1.4448g

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.

Incorporating Vanilla Extract into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Vanilla extract can be a great flavor enhancer in keto-friendly dishes. Try adding a small amount to your morning keto smoothie, coffee, or protein shake for an extra burst of flavor.
  2. There are numerous keto recipes that can benefit from vanilla extract. Consider using it in dishes like keto pancakes or waffles, low-carb desserts, or even savory sauces for an unexpected twist.
  3. While vanilla extract is keto-friendly, remember the importance of portion control. Even though it has a low carb content, the carbs can add up if consumed in large quantities. Make sure to count these carbs as part of your daily intake.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Vanilla Extract

  1. Vanilla bean paste: Vanilla bean paste is a good keto-friendly alternative to vanilla extract. It offers a deeper, more intense flavor, making it great for keto desserts like panna cotta or custard.
  2. Vanilla powder: Another option could be using vanilla powder. This substitute can be used in the same quantity as vanilla extract in most keto recipes, and it has a negligible carb content, making it an excellent choice for strict keto dieters.

Concluding Thoughts on Vanilla Extract and Keto

In our discussion about vanilla extract and its place in a keto diet, we've discovered that this aromatic ingredient is, indeed, keto-friendly. With its low carb content, it can comfortably fit into even a strict keto diet, providing subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to various dishes without disrupting ketosis.

The nutritional benefits of vanilla extract, although present in minimal amounts due to the small serving size, include trace minerals and vitamins. The only caution here is the small amount of alcohol present, which some may choose to avoid.

Remember, variety is the spice of life! So, feel free to explore and experiment with different ways to incorporate vanilla extract into your keto meal plan. Whether used in sweet or savory dishes, it can enhance the flavor profile of your meals significantly.

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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

Yes, vanilla extract is keto-friendly due to its low carb content.

Vanilla extract contains trace amounts of several minerals and vitamins, although the quantities are minimal due to the small serving sizes typically used.

Yes, there are several keto-friendly substitutions for vanilla extract such as vanilla bean paste, vanilla powder, vanilla flavoring, and fresh vanilla beans. Each has a similar carb content to vanilla extract.

You can use vanilla extract in a variety of keto recipes, from smoothies and protein shakes to keto pancakes, waffles, and low-carb desserts.