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Is Murukku Keto-Friendly?

Murukku on a kitchen counter

In our quest to understand the compatibility of various foods with a ketogenic diet, we turn our attention to a beloved snack from South and Southeast Asia: Murukku.

Is Murukku Keto-Friendly? Simply put, no.

However, the story doesn't end there.

This article delves into the carbohydrate content of Murukku, discusses its effects on a keto diet, explores practical tips for avoiding it in your meal plan, and even provides you with delicious, keto-compatible alternatives.

Let's embark on this culinary exploration together, appreciating Murukku's distinct flavors and textures, while aligning our snack choices with a keto lifestyle.


  • Murukku, while delicious, isn't typically keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Despite its nutritional merits, including being a source of protein and B vitamins, Murukku's high carb content can disrupt ketosis - a crucial aspect of a keto diet.
  • We delve into practical tips for avoiding Murukku in your keto meal plan and introduce some tasty, keto-compatible alternatives.

Is Murukku Keto-Friendly?

Now that we've whet your appetite for knowledge, let's get down to the crux of the matter: Is Murukku keto-friendly?

While we'd love to validate your snack cravings, the truth is, traditional Murukku doesn't quite align with the principles of a ketogenic diet. This has everything to do with its macronutrient composition, specifically, its carbohydrate content.

As a rule of thumb, foods that fit into a keto diet typically have low carb, moderate protein, and high fat content. The aim is to induce ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body utilizes fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

Now, let's dissect Murukku. Murukku is a delectable fried snack, made primarily from rice flour and urad dal flour, both of which are high in carbohydrates. One hundred grams of Murukku contains approximately 42.49g net carbohydrates.

To put this into perspective, people adhering strictly to a ketogenic diet usually aim to consume between 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day. As you can see, consuming 100g of Murukku alone would surpass this daily carb limit. And, let's be honest, who can stop at just a few pieces of this crunchy, savory goodness?

While Murukku does contain fats and proteins (which are keto-approved macronutrients), its high net carb content makes it a less-than-ideal choice for those following a strict ketogenic diet.

Can Murukku be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

As we delve deeper into the topic, the question arises: Can Murukku be incorporated into a strict keto diet? Given its high net carb content, the straightforward answer would be no.

A hallmark of a strict keto diet is keeping a vigilant eye on daily carbohydrate intake. For most people following the ketogenic lifestyle, this means keeping net carbs somewhere between 20 to 50 grams per day. Consuming Murukku, which contains 42.49g of net carbs per 100g, could easily tip the scale and potentially disrupt the state of ketosis.

One of the profound benefits of following a ketogenic diet is achieving and maintaining ketosis, a metabolic state where the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Consuming high-carb foods like Murukku can halt this fat-burning process and throw your body out of ketosis, defeating the purpose of a ketogenic diet.

For those of you who are new to this, you may be wondering, "How do I keep track of my daily carb intake?" The answer lies in food tracking apps. These tools can be incredibly handy in helping you monitor your macronutrient distribution, including your daily carb intake.

By consistently logging the foods you consume, you can keep an accurate count of your net carbs and ensure that you're staying within the range that maintains ketosis. These apps often include extensive food databases, which can help you understand the nutritional content of a variety of foods, including snacks like Murukku.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Murukku

Understanding the carbohydrate content of Murukku requires a deeper look into its traditional recipe. Murukku is primarily made of rice flour and urad dal (black gram) flour. Both of these ingredients are high in carbohydrates, which is reflected in the final product.

Every 100 grams of Murukku contains approximately 42.49 grams of net carbohydrates. But what exactly are net carbs? Net carbs refer to the total carbohydrate content of the food minus its fiber content. This is an important concept for individuals on a ketogenic diet, as fiber doesn't impact blood sugar levels the same way other carbohydrates do and thus doesn't interfere with ketosis.

To put this into perspective, let's look at a real-world example. A single piece of Murukku, depending on its size, can weigh around 15 grams. This means that one piece has approximately 6.37 grams of net carbs (15% of 42.49 grams). So, even a small serving of Murukku can significantly contribute to your daily carb intake, especially if you're following a strict ketogenic diet with a limit of 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day.

Nutritional Snapshot of Murukku

The nutritional profile of Murukku is quite comprehensive, providing a variety of both macro and micronutrients. One serving of Murukku, which is approximately 100g, contains 42.49g of net carbs and 43.49g carbs by difference. This difference comes from the dietary fiber content, which stands at 1.0g per serving. The total fat content is 16.57g, while the protein content is 7.87g.

Murukku is not just about macronutrients. It is also rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins. The sodium content is 278.0mg, potassium is present at 174.0mg, while magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus are present at 19.0mg, 138.0mg, and 149.0mg respectively. These minerals are essential in maintaining various bodily functions such as heart rhythm, muscle contraction, nerve function, bone health, and energy production.

In terms of vitamins, Murukku contains Vitamin A, B-6, B-12, E (alpha-tocopherol), and K1. It also provides amounts of Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Niacin, all of which are essential for energy production and cellular health. Moreover, Folate and Folic Acid, both essential for DNA synthesis and repair, are also found in Murukku.

Trace elements such as Copper, Iron, Selenium, and Zinc are also present in Murukku. Copper and Iron are needed for producing red blood cells, while Selenium and Zinc are crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system.

Additionally, Murukku contains a variety of fatty acids. Total saturated fatty acids amount to 3.16g, monounsaturated fatty acids are at 6.17g, and polyunsaturated fatty acids are at 5.75g. These fats are vital for brain function, skin health, and hormone production.

Murukku also contains a few unique nutrients like Beta-carotene, Cryptoxanthin, beta, and Lutein + zeaxanthin. These are potent antioxidants that can protect the body cells from damage.

Lastly, Murukku is quite calorie-dense, with each 100g serving providing 353.0kcal, making it a good source of energy. It also contains some amount of water, with each serving containing 30.38g.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 42.49g
Carbohydrate, by difference 43.49g
Fiber, total dietary 1.0g
Total fats 16.57g
Protein 7.87g
Sodium, Na 278.0mg
Potassium, K 174.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 19.0mg
Calcium, Ca 138.0mg
Vitamin A 65.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.07mg
Vitamin B-12 0.42ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 2.32mg
Vitamin K1 14.7ug
Copper, Cu 0.06mg
Iron, Fe 2.31mg
Phosphorus, P 149.0mg
Selenium, Se 11.3ug
Zinc, Zn 0.72mg
Cholesterol 64.0mg
Beta-carotene 3.0ug
Cryptoxanthin, beta 2.0ug
Lutein + zeaxanthin 76.0ug
Thiamin 0.29mg
Riboflavin 0.29mg
Niacin 2.21mg
Folate, total 45.0ug
Choline, total 52.3mg
Folic acid 31.0ug
Retinol 65.0ug
Calories 353.0kcal
Water 30.38g
Fatty acids, total saturated 3.16g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 6.17g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 5.75g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Murukku' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Funnel cake with sugar ' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Murukku on a Keto Diet

Let's explore the health implications of eating Murukku while following a ketogenic diet.

As discussed earlier, Murukku's high net carbohydrate content can be a hurdle for someone trying to stay in ketosis. When the body receives more than the necessary amount of carbs it needs for energy, it reverts to burning glucose instead of fats. This transition can disrupt the metabolic state of ketosis, which is central to the ketogenic diet’s effectiveness. Consuming Murukku, which is high in carbohydrates, could potentially cause this disruption.

Having said that, it's essential to note that Murukku, like many other foods, isn't inherently bad. In fact, it has some valuable nutritional qualities. For instance, urad dal flour, one of its main ingredients, is known to be a good source of protein, fiber, and B vitamins, which are essential for various functions in the body, including energy production and maintenance of nerve health.

Nevertheless, the key lies in understanding your dietary goals and how different foods fit into those objectives. If your primary dietary goal is to remain in a state of ketosis, the high-carb nature of Murukku might pose a challenge. However, if you're looking to enjoy a balanced diet with a variety of nutrients, Murukku can certainly have its place in moderation.

Avoiding Murukku in Your Keto Meal Plan

Navigating your way around beloved foods like Murukku can be tricky when you're adhering to a keto diet. But don't worry - we've got some practical tips up our sleeves.

One of the simplest yet most effective strategies is mindful meal planning. When planning your meals, focus on incorporating foods that are high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. This practice can help you maintain a state of ketosis without having to worry about sneaky carbs finding their way onto your plate.

Murukku, a common snack in many South and Southeast Asian cuisines, often makes its appearance at parties or family gatherings, and can be a popular component in variety snack boxes. These are situations where you need to be particularly mindful. A helpful tip might be to snack on keto-friendly alternatives before attending such events to reduce your cravings.

Speaking of cravings, they can be one of the biggest challenges when you're trying to avoid specific foods. If you find yourself missing the crunchy satisfaction of Murukku, consider exploring the wide range of low-carb, high-fat snack alternatives that are available in the market. You can also get creative in the kitchen and try making your own keto-friendly snacks.

Remember, it's not just about cutting out specific foods; it's about finding new foods that you love and that align with your dietary goals. It's a journey of discovery that can be both exciting and rewarding.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Murukku

While Murukku may be off-limits for those following a strict ketogenic diet, there are several other snacks that can satisfy your cravings without knocking you out of ketosis. Here are a few keto-friendly alternatives to consider:

  1. Cheese Crisps: These crispy delights can be a great low-carb alternative to Murukku. Made from baking or frying cheese until it becomes crispy, cheese crisps offer satisfying crunch and flavor. Plus, with nearly zero carbs and a good dose of protein and fats, they align well with the macronutrient needs of a ketogenic diet.
  2. Flaxseed Crackers: Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, making flaxseed crackers a nutrient-dense, low-carb alternative to Murukku. They can be paired with keto-friendly dips or cheeses for a satisfying snack.
  3. Zucchini Chips: Zucchini, when thinly sliced and baked, can make delicious, crunchy chips. While the texture is a bit different from Murukku, zucchini chips can offer a satisfying crunch with a fraction of the carbs.
  4. Almond Flour Crackers: Almond flour is a staple in many keto kitchens, thanks to its high-fat, low-carb profile. Crackers made from almond flour can provide a crunchy texture similar to Murukku and can be seasoned with various herbs and spices for added flavor.

Comparatively, 100 grams of Murukku contains approximately 42.49 grams of net carbs. On the other hand, 100 grams of cheese crisps contain just 1.3 grams of net carbs, flaxseed crackers have around 1.5 grams, zucchini chips around 3.1 grams, and almond flour crackers around 3.5 grams.

Concluding Thoughts on Murukku and Keto

As we've delved into the topic, we've established that Murukku, while being a deliciously crunchy and beloved snack, isn't the most keto-friendly food item due to its high net carbohydrate content. Consuming this snack could easily disrupt the delicate balance of ketosis, which is the cornerstone of a successful keto diet.

Murukku's primary ingredients, rice flour and urad dal flour, contribute to its high carbohydrate profile. However, it's important to remember that Murukku also has nutritional merits, such as being a source of protein and B vitamins, thanks to the urad dal flour. While these qualities are commendable, the overriding factor for a ketogenic lifestyle is the need to limit carbohydrate intake.

We've also explored various crispy, satisfying alternatives to Murukku that align with the nutritional requirements of a ketogenic diet - including cheese crisps, flaxseed crackers, zucchini chips, and almond flour crackers. These alternatives not only provide the enjoyable crunch of Murukku but also offer different nutritional benefits, and can be a valuable addition to your keto-friendly pantry.

As a new and unique idea, while your kitchen might be missing the traditional crunch of Murukku, this could be an excellent opportunity to explore and experiment with international low-carb snacks. From the spicy pork rinds of Mexico to the cheesy goodness of Brazil's 'pao de queijo' (made with tapioca flour), the world of international cuisine could provide a treasure trove of keto-compatible snacks.

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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.

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

No, Murukku is not typically keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content, primarily from rice flour and urad dal flour.

The high carb content in Murukku can disrupt ketosis, a metabolic state crucial to a ketogenic diet, where your body primarily burns fats for energy instead of carbohydrates.