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Is Red Eye Gravy Keto-Friendly?

Red Eye Gravy on a kitchen counter

When embarking on a ketogenic diet, certain foods naturally get sidelined due to their carbohydrate content.

One such food item is the traditional Southern favorite, Red Eye Gravy.

While it may be a comforting, flavorful dish, it regrettably doesn't align with the low-carb requirements of a ketogenic diet.

Over the course of this article, we have delved deep into the carbohydrate content of Red Eye Gravy, its impact on a keto diet, and suggested some keto-compatible alternatives.

Let's embark on this nutritional journey, exploring the reasons behind Red Eye Gravy's keto-unfriendliness and discovering new, exciting alternatives that uphold the principles of a ketogenic diet.


  • Red Eye Gravy is not considered keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Consuming Red Eye Gravy may disrupt ketosis, leading to energy fluctuations and potential mood swings.
  • Despite its drawbacks for keto, Red Eye Gravy offers certain nutritional benefits such as sodium balance.

Is Red Eye Gravy Keto-Friendly?

Diving straight into the heart of the matter, the short answer is no, Red Eye Gravy is not keto-friendly. The primary reason behind this incompatibility lies in its nutritional composition, particularly, its carbohydrate content.

The ketogenic diet primarily relies on minimizing carbohydrate intake to force the body into a metabolic state of ketosis. During ketosis, the body burns fats instead of carbohydrates for energy. Hence, it's crucial to limit foods high in carbohydrates, and unfortunately, Red Eye Gravy falls into this category.

For every 100 grams of Red Eye Gravy, there exists approximately 57.38 grams of net carbs. This high carb content can potentially disrupt the state of ketosis, which is the cornerstone of a ketogenic diet. It's worth noting that, typically, a ketogenic diet calls for a daily carb intake limit of 20-50 grams. Therefore, even a modest serving of Red Eye Gravy could considerably contribute to or even exceed this daily carb limit.

Can Red Eye Gravy be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

When it comes to a strict ketogenic diet, it's important to remember that every gram of carbohydrate counts. Given its high net carbohydrate content, incorporating Red Eye Gravy into a strict keto diet would be quite challenging, if not downright impractical. As I mentioned before, this Southern delicacy packs a whopping 57.38 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, which is intrinsically at odds with the fundamental principle of a ketogenic diet—limiting carbohydrate intake.

Maintaining a state of ketosis, which is the goal of a ketogenic diet, requires diligent tracking of your daily carb intake. This involves being mindful of not just the obvious sources of carbohydrates like bread and pasta, but also the hidden carbs in sauces, dressings, and yes, gravies like Red Eye Gravy.

Incorporating tools and methods for tracking your carb intake can prove useful in maintaining your ketogenic diet. There are various apps and online platforms available that can help you monitor your daily food intake and calculate the net carbs. Additionally, reading food labels and understanding the nutrient content of your meals can also play a crucial role in sticking to your carb limit.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Red Eye Gravy

To fully grasp why Red Eye Gravy doesn't fit within the confines of a ketogenic diet, it's necessary to delve deeper into its carbohydrate content.

Red Eye Gravy is a comforting, flavorful dish, but it comes with a considerable amount of carbohydrates. Specifically, it contains 57.38 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. But what does that mean? To understand this, we need to discuss the concept of net carbs.

Net carbs are the total carbohydrates in food minus the fiber content. In the context of a ketogenic diet, net carbs are what count, as fiber isn't digested by the body and does not impact blood sugar levels. The principle behind a ketogenic diet is to reduce your intake of net carbs to a point where your body is forced to burn fats for energy, instead of carbohydrates. This metabolic state is known as ketosis.

So how does this relate to Red Eye Gravy? Let's take a real-world example to illustrate.

Suppose you were to have a serving size of 150 grams of Red Eye Gravy. This would contribute approximately 86.07 grams of net carbs to your diet (57.38g net carbs / 100g x 150g).

Given that a typical ketogenic diet recommends a daily carb limit of 20-50 grams, this single serving of Red Eye Gravy would considerably exceed this limit. This clearly demonstrates the challenge of incorporating Red Eye Gravy into a keto diet without disrupting the state of ketosis.

Nutritional Snapshot of Red Eye Gravy

Red Eye Gravy is a rich source of nutrients that cover almost every aspect of a balanced diet. For a 100g serving, it contains 57.38g of net carbohydrates, alongside 10.74g of protein and 9.61g of total fats. This makes the gravy a substantial energy source, providing 367.0kcal.

It's also noteworthy for its high sodium content, at 4843.0mg per 100g serving. Sodium plays a fundamental role in maintaining fluid balance, and conducting nerve transmissions.

Moreover, Red Eye Gravy is a source of both macro and micronutrients. It offers essential vitamins, such as Vitamin A, B-6, and B-12, and Vitamin C. These vitamins aid in supporting the immune system, promoting skin health, and facilitating cell growth.

Minerals are also present, including Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron, which contribute to overall body function, including bone health, muscle function, and oxygen transportation in the body. Plus, it contains dietary fiber, which aids in digestion.

This gravy also provides a diversified fat profile, with 3.32g of total saturated fats, 4.45g of total monounsaturated fats, and 0.4g of total polyunsaturated fats. These fats play a role in providing energy, supporting cell growth, and aiding the absorption of vitamins.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 57.38g
Carbohydrate, by difference 59.38g
Fiber, total dietary 2.0g
Total fats 9.61g
Protein 10.74g
Sodium, Na 4843.0mg
Potassium, K 262.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 34.0mg
Calcium, Ca 132.0mg
Vitamin A 8.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg
Vitamin B-12 0.7ug
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.3mg
Copper, Cu 0.19mg
Iron, Fe 1.72mg
Phosphorus, P 203.0mg
Selenium, Se 6.1ug
Zinc, Zn 1.11mg
Cholesterol 3.0mg
Manganese, Mn 0.41mg
Thiamin 0.18mg
Riboflavin 0.39mg
Niacin 3.7mg
Pantothenic acid 0.1mg
Folate, total 31.0ug
Folic acid 17.0ug
Retinol 8.0ug
Calories 367.0kcal
Water 5.0g
Fatty acids, total saturated 3.32g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 4.45g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.4g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Red Eye Gravy' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Gravy, brown, dry' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Red Eye Gravy on a Keto Diet

Integrating Red Eye Gravy into a ketogenic diet presents a challenge due to its high carbohydrate content. In a ketogenic diet, the goal is to achieve and maintain a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. The consumption of Red Eye Gravy, with its high net carbohydrate content, could potentially disrupt this metabolic state, making the ketogenic diet less effective.

When your carbohydrate intake exceeds your daily limit, your body may revert to burning sugars for energy, thus exiting the state of ketosis. This not only counters the primary objective of the keto diet but may also lead to fluctuations in energy levels and mood swings due to unstable blood sugar levels.

However, it's important to acknowledge that Red Eye Gravy, like many traditional dishes, has its roots in culinary culture and may have certain beneficial properties. For instance, it's a source of sodium, which can help balance electrolytes, especially for those who are new to the ketogenic diet and may be experiencing the "keto flu". Moreover, because it's typically made from the drippings of cooked ham, Red Eye Gravy may contain small amounts of protein and fat. However, the exact amounts can vary widely based on the cooking method and the cut of ham used.

Avoiding Red Eye Gravy in Your Keto Meal Plan

Staying steadfast on your ketogenic journey may require you to forego certain foods, and unfortunately, Red Eye Gravy is one of them. Here are some practical steps to help you avoid Red Eye Gravy while maintaining your keto diet.

Firstly, it's important to be vigilant about the foods you consume. Red Eye Gravy is a common accompaniment in traditional Southern cuisine, often served with ham, biscuits, or grits. If you're dining out or ordering in, don't hesitate to ask about the ingredients used in your dishes.

Secondly, plan your meals ahead of time. Meal planning helps ensure that you're consuming foods that align with your dietary requirements and can help prevent impulsive eating decisions that may lead to consuming high-carb foods like Red Eye Gravy.

Thirdly, find keto-friendly alternatives to satisfy your cravings. Missing the rich, savory taste of Red Eye Gravy? Try experimenting with other low-carb gravies or sauces made with keto-friendly ingredients like heavy cream, cheese, or low-carb vegetables.

Finally, educate yourself. Understanding the nutritional content of various foods can empower you to make informed dietary decisions. There are numerous resources available online, from books to blogs to social media communities, which can provide you with a wealth of information about the keto diet.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Red Eye Gravy

Given that Red Eye Gravy may not be suitable for your ketogenic diet, finding keto-friendly alternatives that can offer the same warmth and depth of flavor without the carbs can be an exciting culinary adventure. Here are a few suggestions to satisfy your craving for gravy while maintaining a ketogenic diet.

  1. Creamy Mushroom Gravy: This rich and flavorful gravy substitutes the high-carb ingredients of Red Eye Gravy with fresh mushrooms and heavy cream. It contains approximately 3 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, significantly less than Red Eye Gravy. It's a versatile sauce that can complement a variety of dishes, such as keto-friendly meatloaf or grilled chicken.
  2. Cheesy Cauliflower Gravy: Pureed cauliflower provides a base for this low-carb gravy, and the addition of cheese gives it a rich, savory depth. With only about 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, it can be used to dress your keto-friendly mashed cauliflower or roasted vegetables.
  3. Chicken Broth Gravy: Using chicken broth as the base, thickened with a bit of xanthan gum, is a low-carb and flavorsome alternative to Red Eye Gravy. It contains roughly 2 grams of net carbs per 100 grams and can be used in numerous dishes like roasted turkey or keto-friendly stuffing.

Concluding Thoughts on Red Eye Gravy and Keto

In the exploration of Red Eye Gravy in the context of a strict ketogenic diet, we've discovered the insuitability of this savory sauce due to its high net carbohydrate content. Its integration into a keto meal plan poses a challenge to maintaining the state of ketosis, a central goal of this type of diet.

Notwithstanding, Red Eye Gravy carries its own merits, with its rich taste and cultural significance in traditional Southern cuisine. Its sodium content may be beneficial in balancing electrolytes, a crucial aspect for those transitioning into a ketogenic diet. However, these attributes do not supersede the necessity of keeping carb intake low for the success of a keto diet.

We've also delved into compelling alternatives to Red Eye Gravy that align with keto guidelines, each offering a unique flavor profile. From Creamy Mushroom Gravy to Cheesy Cauliflower Gravy to Chicken Broth Gravy, these substitutes give you the flexibility to enjoy the comfort of a warm, rich sauce while adhering to your dietary regimen.

Beyond the specific context of Red Eye Gravy, this discussion underscores one fundamental aspect of dietary planning: the importance of adaptability. Dietary plans, including the ketogenic diet, are not one-size-fits-all solutions. Engaging in a successful diet often means adapting classic favorites, exploring novel alternatives, and remaining flexible to meet personal nutritional needs.

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.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Red Eye Gravy is made from the drippings of cooked ham combined with black coffee, which gives it high carbohydrate content. This makes it incompatible with the keto diet, which requires a low-carb intake to maintain ketosis.