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Is Chicken Teriyaki Keto-Friendly?

Chicken Teriyaki on a kitchen counter

Navigating the culinary world while adhering to a ketogenic diet can be a journey filled with questions, and one popular query is, 'Is Chicken Teriyaki Keto-Friendly?' If you're a fan of this classic Asian dish and are committed to a keto lifestyle, you'll be pleased to know that the answer is a resounding 'yes.' However, there's more to this than just net carbs.

Throughout this article, we'll delve into the carbohydrate content of Chicken Teriyaki, its health implications on a keto diet, practical ways to incorporate it into your meal plan, and even explore keto-compatible alternatives.

As we unravel these insights, you'll not only appreciate the keto-friendliness of Chicken Teriyaki but also understand how to enjoy this savory dish without deviating from your ketogenic goals.

Let's embark on this flavorful journey!


  • Yes, Chicken Teriyaki can be keto-friendly, especially when prepared mindfully with low-carb ingredients.
  • Chicken Teriyaki offers a balance of good-quality protein and moderate fats, aligning well with a keto diet's macronutrient ratios.
  • You can enjoy Chicken Teriyaki in various ways on a keto diet, including stir-fries, skewers, and salads.

Is Chicken Teriyaki Keto-Friendly?

Oh, the suspense! Is Chicken Teriyaki keto-friendly? Let’s dive in.

The answer is a resounding yes, Chicken Teriyaki can indeed be a part of your ketogenic lifestyle. The key factor here, as with any food you’re considering for a keto diet, is its macronutrient composition, particularly carbohydrates. So, let's cut to the chase: Chicken Teriyaki has a remarkably low net carbohydrate content. Precisely, it contains about 1.62g of net carbs per 100g.

Now, if you're new to the world of keto, you might be wondering, "Why are net carbs important?" Well, in a nutshell, net carbs are what you're left with after subtracting the fiber content from the total carbohydrates in a food. They are the carbs that your body can digest and use for energy. The rest, dietary fiber, passes through your system undigested.

So, when you're following a keto diet, the goal is to limit your daily net carb intake to around 20-50g. This is to ensure that your body enters a metabolic state called 'ketosis', where it burns fat instead of carbs for energy. Given this, the 1.62g net carbs per 100g of Chicken Teriyaki is quite keto-friendly!

However, it's important to note that not all Chicken Teriyaki dishes are the same. The total and net carbs can vary depending on the recipe or brand, especially the sugar content in the teriyaki sauce. So, whether you're dining out or buying pre-made sauce, don't forget to check the nutritional information to ensure it aligns with your keto goals.

Can Chicken Teriyaki be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Absolutely! Chicken Teriyaki can certainly be incorporated into a strict keto diet. The key lies in the strategic management of your daily carb intake.

The defining hallmark of a strict, or 'standard', ketogenic diet is keeping your daily net carb intake to a bare minimum, typically under 20g. Given that Chicken Teriyaki has just 1.62g of net carbs per 100g, it can comfortably find a place in your keto meal plan without pushing you over your daily carb limit.

That being said, incorporating Chicken Teriyaki into a strict keto diet is not just about counting carbs. It's equally about balancing with other dietary components. A keto diet is not solely a low-carb diet but also high in fats and moderate in protein. As such, while enjoying your Chicken Teriyaki, you must also ensure that you're meeting your daily needs for fats and protein.

The beauty of a keto diet is that it's not a one-size-fits-all approach. It can be tailored to accommodate a variety of food preferences and dietary needs, and yes, that includes your love for Chicken Teriyaki. But remember, balance is key.

One way to keep track of your carb intake is using a food diary or a nutritional tracking app. These tools can help you log everything you eat and drink, providing a breakdown of your daily intake of macronutrients, including carbs, fats, and protein. By using such tools, you can adjust your meals and snacks throughout the day to accommodate Chicken Teriyaki without breaking your ketosis.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Chicken Teriyaki

When it comes to understanding the place of Chicken Teriyaki in a keto diet, it's essential to delve deep into its carbohydrate content. So let's do just that.

The carbohydrate content of a food plays a crucial role in its keto compatibility. But when we talk about carbs, we're not just referring to the total carbs, we're primarily interested in the 'net carbs'. The net carbohydrate content of a food is calculated by subtracting its dietary fiber content from its total carbohydrate content. Why is this important, you ask? Well, this is because the dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can't digest and use for energy. So, these carbs don't count towards your daily carb limit on a keto diet.

Now, let's talk about Chicken Teriyaki. Precisely, Chicken Teriyaki contains about 1.62g of net carbs per 100g. To put this into a real-world context, consider a typical Chicken Teriyaki dish at a restaurant, which might be around 200-250g. This means you're looking at approximately 3.24g to 4.05g of net carbs for a single serving of Chicken Teriyaki. That's less than a quarter of the maximum 20g daily net carb limit for a strict keto diet!

However, it's fundamental to keep in mind that Chicken Teriyaki is not just chicken and sauce. It's often served with a side, commonly rice. As we all know, rice is a high-carb food, and therefore, not keto-friendly. So, if you're planning to enjoy Chicken Teriyaki at a restaurant or preparing it at home, it's a good idea to swap the rice for a low-carb side, such as cauliflower rice or a fresh salad.

Nutritional Snapshot of Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki is a flavorful Asian dish that, aside from its delightful taste, offers a broad range of nutrients. Let's delve into the nutritional content for a 100g serving of this meal.

One of the primary nutrients in Chicken Teriyaki is protein, at 25.73g. Protein is essential for building and repairing body tissues, including muscles and skin. It also plays a vital role in the production of enzymes and hormones.

Chicken Teriyaki also provides a moderate amount of healthy fats (5.96g in total), including both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats are known to support heart health and maintain normal body functions.

The dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, with only 1.62g per 100g serving. It also carries a reasonable caloric count of 163.0 kcal, making it a well-balanced meal option.

In terms of micronutrients, Chicken Teriyaki is a good source of essential minerals like phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, which contribute to bone health, nerve function, immune responses, and more. Notably, the dish provides 723.0mg of sodium, which helps maintain fluid balance in the body.

Vitamin-wise, you will find a spectrum of vitamins including Vitamin A, B-6, B-12, and E. These vitamins play crucial roles in eye health, brain function, red blood cell formation, and protection against oxidative stress, respectively.

Furthermore, the dish contains 105.0mg of cholesterol, which, in reasonable amounts, is essential for building cells and synthesizing hormones.

The 64.78g of water content in Chicken Teriyaki aids in maintaining body hydration, while the 64.2mg of choline supports brain and nervous system health.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference 1.62g
Total fats 5.96g
Protein 25.73g
Sodium, Na 723.0mg
Potassium, K 285.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 28.0mg
Calcium, Ca 16.0mg
Vitamin A 8.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.24mg
Vitamin B-12 0.34ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.39mg
Copper, Cu 0.07mg
Iron, Fe 0.86mg
Phosphorus, P 239.0mg
Selenium, Se 22.6ug
Zinc, Zn 1.52mg
Cholesterol 105.0mg
Thiamin 0.07mg
Riboflavin 0.18mg
Niacin 7.26mg
Folate, total 10.0ug
Choline, total 64.2mg
Retinol 8.0ug
Calories 163.0kcal
Water 64.78g
Fatty acids, total saturated 1.48g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 2.54g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.88g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Chicken Teriyaki' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Chicken or turkey with teriyaki ' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Chicken Teriyaki on a Keto Diet

Chicken Teriyaki isn't just a tasty dish that can fit into your keto lifestyle, it also comes with certain health implications that make it all the more appealing for those on a ketogenic diet.

Firstly, let's talk protein. Chicken, the primary ingredient of this dish, is a rich source of high-quality protein. Consuming adequate protein is crucial for health. It aids in muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. It also plays a role in hormone production and immune function. On a keto diet, although the focus is on high fats and low carbs, moderate protein intake is still essential.

Next up is the teriyaki sauce. Traditional teriyaki sauce contains soy sauce, which is a good source of certain minerals like manganese and selenium. Selenium is an essential mineral that's vital for your health. It plays a critical role in metabolism and thyroid function and helps protect your body from damage caused by oxidative stress.

Moreover, home-made teriyaki sauce can be tweaked to increase its nutritional value. For example, using ginger and garlic in your sauce not only enhances the flavor but also brings their respective health benefits to the table. Garlic is known for its potential heart health benefits, while ginger is associated with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

It's also worth noting that the low net carb content of Chicken Teriyaki makes it a good fit for the control of blood sugar levels. This is a key health benefit associated with a ketogenic diet. By limiting your carb intake, your body becomes more efficient in managing blood sugar levels.

As always, moderation is key. While Chicken Teriyaki does have benefits, it's essential to balance it with a variety of other nutrient-dense foods in your diet. A diverse diet will provide you with a wide range of nutrients, ensuring that your body gets all it needs to function optimally.

Incorporating Chicken Teriyaki into Your Keto Meal Plan

If you're a fan of Chicken Teriyaki and are following a keto diet, you'll be pleased to know that incorporating this savory dish into your meal plan can be both straightforward and delicious. Here are some practical tips and recipe ideas to get you started.

Tip #1: Control Your Portions

While Chicken Teriyaki is keto-friendly, it's crucial to keep an eye on your portion sizes. Typically, an average serving size of 200-250g should keep you within your daily net carb limits.

Tip #2: Make Your Own Keto Teriyaki Sauce

Store-bought teriyaki sauces can sometimes be high in sugar, which can add unnecessary carbs to your meal. By making your own keto-friendly teriyaki sauce at home, you control the ingredients. Swap out the sugar for a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol or stevia, and you've got yourself a delicious, low-carb sauce that won't break your ketosis.

Tip #3: Choose Your Sides Wisely

Instead of pairing your Chicken Teriyaki with rice, opt for low-carb sides like cauliflower rice, zoodles (noodles made from zucchini), or a fresh salad to keep your meal keto-compliant.

Now, let's dive into some recipe ideas:

  1. Keto Chicken Teriyaki Stir-fry: Stir-fries are quick, easy, and perfect for busy weeknights. Start with your homemade keto teriyaki sauce, add chicken, and stir-fry with an assortment of non-starchy veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, and zucchini. You get a one-pan meal that's packed with flavor and crunch!
  2. Chicken Teriyaki Skewers: Grill chicken pieces marinated in your keto teriyaki sauce and thread them onto skewers with keto-friendly vegetables. These skewers make a delicious and visually appealing dish that's great for lunches or dinners.
  3. Teriyaki Chicken Salad: For a light and refreshing meal, toss chunks of Chicken Teriyaki in a salad of mixed greens, cucumber, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Use a little of your keto teriyaki sauce as a salad dressing for an extra flavor kick.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Chicken Teriyaki

Even though Chicken Teriyaki is a keto-friendly dish, it's always a good idea to have a few alternatives in your culinary arsenal. This allows you to add variety to your meal plan and cater to different taste preferences. Let's explore a few keto-compatible alternatives to Chicken Teriyaki.

  1. Chicken Stir-fry with Keto-friendly Oyster Sauce: Similar to Chicken Teriyaki, a chicken stir-fry can be rich in flavor and low in carbs, especially if you use a keto-friendly oyster sauce. A typical oyster sauce contains 9g of carbs per 100g, but a keto-friendly version (made using oyster extract and a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol) can significantly lower the carb content. Stir-fry chicken pieces and colorful veggies in this sauce for a tasty and nutritious meal.
  2. Grilled Chicken with Keto BBQ Sauce: If you love the smoky flavor of BBQ, this can be an excellent alternative. Traditional BBQ sauces often contain sugar, but by making your own at home using a keto-friendly sweetener, you can keep the carb count in check. Grill your chicken after marinating it in this sauce and enjoy a smoky, succulent dish.
  3. Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce: Originating from Southeast Asia, chicken satay is a dish that involves marinated, skewered, and grilled chicken served with a sauce. The peanut sauce is inherently high in fats and moderate in carbs, making it quite keto-friendly even without any modifications.

Now, let's examine the nutritional profiles of these alternatives. While the specific values may vary based on recipe variations, here are some average values per 100g serving:

- Keto Chicken Stir-fry with Oyster Sauce: 2g net carbs.

- Grilled Chicken with Keto BBQ Sauce: 3g net carbs.

- Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce: 5g net carbs.

Comparatively, Chicken Teriyaki contains 1.62g net carbs per 100g. While these alternatives have slightly higher net carb contents, they still fall well within the range that's considered keto-friendly.

Concluding Thoughts on Chicken Teriyaki and Keto

Chicken Teriyaki and keto make for an intriguing combination. This staple Asian dish, when prepared correctly, can fit comfortably into a ketogenic lifestyle, enriching it with its delightful flavor and impressive nutritional profile.

In terms of carb content, Chicken Teriyaki proves itself to be quite keto-friendly. With just 1.62g of net carbs per 100g, it can be comfortably included in your daily carb count, as long as you keep an eye on your portion sizes and what you pair it with.

But it's not just about the carbs. Incorporating Chicken Teriyaki into your diet also brings a balance of good-quality protein and moderate amounts of fats, aligning well with the macronutrient ratios of a typical keto diet. From the chicken's protein content and the potential health benefits of the ingredients in the teriyaki sauce, Chicken Teriyaki can contribute to both your health and your enjoyment of a keto diet.

While sticking to your diet, don't forget to bring creativity to your kitchen. Whether it's making your own keto-friendly teriyaki sauce, experimenting with low-carb sides for your Chicken Teriyaki, or trying out new recipes like stir-fries, skewers, or salads, there's always room for innovation.

Lastly, here's a new idea to consider. Rather than using chicken, you can experiment with other types of meat or tofu to create your own variations of Teriyaki. How about a Salmon Teriyaki or Tofu Teriyaki? Both are keto-friendly and offer a refreshing change of taste while providing a host of nutritional benefits.

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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, when prepared with mindful substitutions like keto-friendly teriyaki sauce, Chicken Teriyaki can fit comfortably into a ketogenic diet.

The carb count can vary based on the recipe, but a carefully prepared Keto Chicken Teriyaki might have approximately 1.62g net carbs per 100g.

Store-bought teriyaki sauces often contain high amounts of sugar and may not be ideal for a keto diet. Making your own keto-friendly teriyaki sauce at home with a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol or stevia is a better choice.