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Is Matzo Keto-Friendly?

Matzo on a kitchen counter

'Is Matzo Keto-Friendly?' is a question that could cross the minds of many who are considering or already following a ketogenic diet and have a fondness for this traditional flatbread.

With a ketogenic dietary approach relying heavily on low-carb foods to maintain the body's state of ketosis, it becomes essential to scrutinize the carbohydrate content of our favorite foods.

In this exploration, we delve into the carbohydrate content of Matzo, its implications for those following a keto diet, practical tips for avoiding it in your meal plan, and discuss keto-friendly alternatives to keep your diet plan on track.

Let's embark on this fact-filled journey to help you make informed dietary choices without compromising your keto lifestyle.


  • Matzo, despite its nutritional benefits, is not keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • The carbohydrate count in Matzo can disrupt ketosis, a metabolic state crucial for a ketogenic diet.
  • Keto-friendly alternatives to Matzo exist, such as almond flour flatbread and cheese wraps.

Is Matzo Keto-Friendly?

Is Matzo Keto-Friendly?

To answer this question, let's first dive into the basics of what makes a food keto-friendly. In a ketogenic diet, the primary energy source is fat, accounting for about 70-75% of daily caloric intake. Proteins follow next at around 20% while carbohydrates are limited to just 5-10%, which typically equates to 20-50 grams of carbs per day.

Now, let's examine Matzo. This flat, unleavened bread, often consumed during Jewish Passover, has a very high carbohydrate content. Just a 100g serving of Matzo contains 80.7g of net carbs. Just to put that into perspective, a single serving of Matzo exceeds the upper limit of the daily carb allowance on a keto diet.

That's a significant amount of carbohydrates! And remember, in a ketogenic diet, it's all about keeping those carbs low. The goal is to push the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis, where fats, instead of carbs, are used as the primary energy source. Consuming a food item with a high carbohydrate content like Matzo would make it challenging to maintain this state of ketosis.

While Matzo does have other nutrients, such as fiber and protein, the overwhelming amount of carbs overshadows these beneficial properties in the context of a strict ketogenic diet. For instance, the protein content in Matzo can range from 10-12g per 100g, and the fiber content is around 3.5g per 100g. However, these figures don't negate the high carb content.

Can Matzo be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Can Matzo be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Given its high net carbohydrate content, incorporating Matzo into a strict ketogenic diet can prove to be challenging. As we've already discussed, a ketogenic diet requires carb intake to be minimal, typically around 20-50g per day, which helps your body to enter and maintain ketosis. With a single 100g serving of Matzo offering a whopping 80.7g of net carbs, it's clear that it surpasses the daily carb limit substantially.

Using a tracking tool or app can be a valuable resource in managing your daily carb intake. These tools can help you log your food intake, calculate net carbs, and provide insight into the macronutrient breakdown of the foods you eat. However, while managing and adjusting portion sizes can still allow for some high-carb foods, the exceedingly high carb content in Matzo makes this a challenging task. Even a small portion could potentially knock you out of ketosis.

It's crucial to remember here that a ketogenic diet is not just about cutting carbs; it's about replacing them with high-quality fats and moderate proteins. It's a careful balancing act that requires constant monitoring and adjustment. Including Matzo regularly or in significant amounts in your keto diet might disrupt this balance.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Matzo

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Matzo

Understanding the carbohydrate content of foods is crucial for those following a ketogenic diet. This is where the concept of 'net carbs' comes into play. Net carbs are the total carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber content. Since fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our body can't digest, it doesn't contribute to the rise in blood sugar levels. Hence, when calculating the carb content for the keto diet, we focus on net carbs.

Now, let's look at Matzo. A 100g serving of Matzo contains around 80.7g of total carbohydrates. The fiber content in the same serving size of Matzo is approximately 3.5g. This means that the net carb content in 100g of Matzo is around 77.2g (80.7g total carbs minus 3.5g fiber), which is significantly high.

To put this in perspective, let's take a real-world example. Imagine you serve yourself a standard piece of Matzo, which usually weighs around 33g. This single piece would already contain approximately 25.5g of net carbs (77.2g of net carbs per 100g scaled down to a 33g serving). Remember, on a strict keto diet, your daily carb intake should ideally be between 20-50g. You can see how quickly a piece of Matzo can use up, if not exceed, your daily allowance of carbs.

This high carbohydrate content is the primary reason why Matzo is far from ideal for those strictly adhering to a ketogenic diet. The fundamental principle of keeping carb intake to a minimum to maintain ketosis, a metabolic state where fat is burned for energy instead of carbs, makes the high net carb content of Matzo incompatible with this diet.

Nutritional Snapshot of Matzo

Matzo, a staple in many diets, offers a unique nutritional profile that contributes to overall health. This unleavened bread, with its modest 1.4g of total fats per 100g, is low in saturated fats, minimizing the risk of cholesterol build-up.

Carbohydrates are the predominant nutrient, with a substantial 83.7g per 100g, including net carbs of 80.7g and 3.0g of dietary fibre. Thus, Matzo can provide a quick energy source, while the fibre content aids in digestion.

Despite being low in fat, Matzo isn't lacking in protein, offering 10.0g per 100g. This makes it a considerable source of protein, assisting in tissue repair and muscle growth. It also contains various amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and arginine, which are essential for protein synthesis and various metabolic functions.

Matzo also offers an abundance of micronutrients. It's a source of vital minerals such as iron (3.16mg/100g) which is important for blood health, and potassium (112.0mg/100g) that can contribute to maintaining healthy blood pressure. It also contains modest amounts of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.

In terms of vitamins, Matzo contains Vitamin B-6, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, among others, which are essential for energy production and supporting the nervous system. Although they are present in smaller quantities, they contribute to the overall nutritional value of the food.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 80.7g
Carbohydrate, by difference 83.7g
Fiber, total dietary 3.0g
Total fats 1.4g
Protein 10.0g
Potassium, K 112.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 25.0mg
Calcium, Ca 13.0mg
Vitamin B-6 0.12mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.06mg
Vitamin K1 0.3ug
Copper, Cu 0.06mg
Iron, Fe 3.16mg
Phosphorus, P 89.0mg
Selenium, Se 36.9ug
Zinc, Zn 0.68mg
Lutein + zeaxanthin 18.0ug
Manganese, Mn 0.65mg
Thiamin 0.39mg
Riboflavin 0.29mg
Niacin 3.89mg
Pantothenic acid 0.44mg
Folate, total 17.0ug
Choline, total 10.8mg
Calories 395.0kcal
Water 4.3g
Tryptophan 0.12g
Threonine 0.27g
Isoleucine 0.37g
Leucine 0.69g
Lysine 0.19g
Methionine 0.18g
Cystine 0.22g
Phenylalanine 0.49g
Tyrosine 0.27g
Valine 0.42g
Arginine 0.35g
Histidine 0.21g
Alanine 0.31g
Aspartic acid 0.4g
Glutamic acid 3.51g
Glycine 0.34g
Proline 1.18g
Serine 0.48g
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.23g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.13g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.6g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Matzo' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Crackers, matzo, plain' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Matzo on a Keto Diet

Health Implications of Matzo on a Keto Diet

Maintaining a state of ketosis is the cornerstone of a ketogenic diet. This metabolic state, in which the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, can be disrupted by the consumption of high-carb foods, like Matzo. As we've already discussed, just a single serving of Matzo can exceed the daily carb allowance of a strict keto diet, thereby potentially knocking the body out of ketosis. This makes it challenging to maintain the ketogenic metabolic state.

Now, it’s important to remember that while Matzo may not fit the ketogenic lifestyle, it does have certain nutritional properties that contribute to overall health and wellness. Despite its high carb content, Matzo is low in fat and contains a moderate amount of protein. It also provides a source of dietary fiber, which supports digestive health. Additionally, some varieties of Matzo contain additional nutrients, such as iron, which is essential for the production of red blood cells.

However, those benefits don't negate the fact that the high carbohydrate content of Matzo poses a challenge for those following a ketogenic diet. For individuals adhering to this dietary approach, it's important to be aware of these implications to make informed food choices. It's always crucial to align your food choices with your specific diet plan and health goals.

Avoiding Matzo in Your Keto Meal Plan

Avoiding Matzo in Your Keto Meal Plan

Navigating food choices while following a ketogenic diet can be quite a journey, especially when it involves letting go of high-carb foods that you enjoy, like Matzo. Here are some practical tips for avoiding Matzo in your keto meal plan:

Firstly, knowledge is power. Be aware of the dishes in which Matzo is typically used. For instance, it's a staple in many Jewish meals, particularly during Passover. Matzo ball soup, Matzo brei, and even chocolate-covered Matzo are popular dishes where this high-carb bread is a central ingredient. By being aware of when and where Matzo might make an appearance, you can plan and prepare accordingly.

Secondly, maintain a variety of low-carb foods in your diet. This can help to keep your meals interesting and satisfying, reducing the likelihood of craving high-carb foods like Matzo. Incorporate a wide range of keto-friendly foods, such as leafy greens, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your diet.

Next, explore new recipes. There are countless low-carb, keto-friendly recipes available that can provide a culinary adventure and open up a whole new world of food choices. Experimenting in the kitchen can be an enjoyable way to discover new favorite dishes, which can replace your cravings for Matzo.

Lastly, if you do find yourself craving Matzo, it’s essential to have a plan in place. For instance, you could turn to a low-carb, keto-friendly alternative that offers a similar flavor or texture profile. We'll be discussing some of these alternatives in the next section.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Matzo

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Matzo

While traditional Matzo may not be a viable option for those following a strict ketogenic diet due to its high carbohydrate content, there are several keto-compatible alternatives that can be used as substitutes.

Almond flour or coconut flour flatbread is one such option. These flours are low in carbs and high in healthy fats and fiber, making them an excellent alternative to Matzo. They can be used to make a keto-friendly flatbread that can serve as a base for various dishes. For example, you could use almond flour flatbread as the base for a keto-friendly pizza, filling it with low-carb toppings of your choice.

Next, consider flaxseed meal or chia seed meal. These seeds are not only low in net carbs but are also packed with beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. They can be used to make a kind of 'bread' that is crunchy and somewhat similar to Matzo in texture.

Cheese wraps are another innovative, keto-friendly alternative. Several retailers now offer wraps made entirely of cheese, which are naturally low in carbs and high in protein and fat. These wraps can be used in much the same way as Matzo, as a base for spreads or fillings.

Let's take a quick nutritional snapshot of these alternatives compared to Matzo. A 100g serving of almond flour contains approximately 20g of carbohydrates and 10g of fiber, resulting in 10g of net carbs. This is significantly lower than the 77.2g of net carbs found in the same serving of Matzo. Similarly, a 100g serving of flaxseed meal contains around 29g of carbs and 27g of fiber, resulting in just 2g of net carbs.

Cheese wraps vary in their nutritional profile depending on the type of cheese used, but most are high in fat and protein and contain minimal, if any, carbohydrates.

Concluding Thoughts on Matzo and Keto

Concluding Thoughts on Matzo and Keto

While it's clear that traditional Matzo's high carbohydrate content makes it a challenging inclusion in a strict ketogenic diet, it's equally evident that there are viable, keto-compatible alternatives available. The key takeaway here is that while Matzo holds cultural and traditional value, its nutritional profile may not align with the principles of a ketogenic diet, which prioritizes low carbohydrate intake to maintain ketosis.

Despite Matzo's high carbohydrate content, it's worth noting that it does contain other beneficial nutrients. It's a source of dietary fiber and contains a moderate amount of protein, contributing to its overall nutritional value. However, these benefits do not negate the fact that, for those following a ketogenic meal plan, the high net carb content can disrupt the metabolic state of ketosis.

The good news is, the world of keto-friendly alternatives opens up a realm of possibilities. Almond or coconut flour flatbreads, flaxseed or chia seed meals, and cheese wraps are examples of low-carb substitutes that can be used creatively in your cooking. Embracing these alternatives allows you to enjoy dishes with similar tastes and textures to those that traditionally incorporate Matzo, without compromising your ketogenic lifestyle.

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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

Due to its high carbohydrate content, traditional Matzo is not typically compatible with a ketogenic diet, which emphasizes low-carb, high-fat foods to maintain the body's state of ketosis.

Even in smaller amounts, Matzo's carbohydrate content can potentially disrupt ketosis. However, each individual's tolerance to carbohydrates can vary, and it's essential to monitor your body's responses.

Yes, there are several keto-friendly alternatives to Matzo, such as almond flour or coconut flour flatbreads, flaxseed or chia seed meal 'breads', and cheese wraps.

While whole wheat Matzo may have slightly more fiber and nutrients than regular Matzo, it still contains a significant amount of carbohydrates and is not typically considered keto-friendly.