Home / friendly / processed / spreads-and-sauces / pastes / Is Fermented Bean Paste Keto-Friendly?

Is Fermented Bean Paste Keto-Friendly?

Fermented Bean Paste on a kitchen counter

Embarking on a keto diet journey often means re-evaluating our favorite food items, and fermented bean paste is no exception.

This culinary staple, while rich in flavor and nutritional benefits, presents a particular challenge for those adhering to a strict keto regimen.

The key question that we aim to unravel in this article is, 'Is Fermented Bean Paste Keto-Friendly?' Spoiler alert: the answer might surprise you.

As we delve into the carbohydrate content, health implications, alternatives, and practical tips, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to navigate the keto landscape effectively.

Let's embark on this flavorful journey together, keeping in mind that our focus is to offer insights and not medical advice.


  • Fermented bean paste and a strict keto diet don't mix well due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Despite its nutritional benefits like proteins, minerals, and probiotics, it can impede ketosis progress.
  • Find alternatives that won't compromise your keto regimen, like soy sauce, tamari, and nutritional yeast.

Is Fermented Bean Paste Keto-Friendly?

We love a straight-forward question, don't we? Well, unfortunately, the answer isn't as simple. When it comes to the keto-friendliness of fermented bean paste, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this Asian condiment doesn't quite make the cut. Let's break it down.

Fermented bean paste is a nutrient-rich food, bursting with beneficial proteins and several essential minerals. It's a powerhouse of flavor, and can really elevate your dishes. However, when it comes to its macronutrient composition, more specifically its carbohydrate content, it might cause a hiccup for anyone following a strict ketogenic diet.

Per 100g of fermented bean paste, you're looking at a net carbohydrate content of around 44.68g. Now remember, the ketogenic diet typically limits your daily carb intake to below 50g. This allows your body to reach and maintain a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of carbs. So, you see the issue here, right? Even a small portion of fermented bean paste could push you over your daily carb limit, disrupting your ketogenic regimen.

It's not that we have anything against fermented bean paste, quite the contrary. It's just that the high net carbohydrate content makes it a challenging ingredient for those of us maintaining a strict keto lifestyle.

Can Fermented Bean Paste be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Now, onto the big question: Can fermented bean paste find a place in a strict keto diet? The general consensus leans towards a 'no', primarily due to its high net carb content.

We know, it's a tough pill to swallow, especially for those of us who love the depth of flavor this paste brings to a dish. But let's remember what's at stake here – maintaining ketosis. When following a strict keto diet, it's crucial to keep our daily net carb intake under the 50g mark. Unfortunately, even a modest serving of fermented bean paste might tip this balance due to its substantial carb content, around 44.68g per 100g.

So, what can we do to stay on track with our keto goals? Well, carb tracking is an effective strategy that many keto fans swear by. There are plenty of apps and tools that assist in logging your food intake and calculating your daily carb count. Utilize these resources to ensure your meals stay within your keto boundaries.

Another helpful approach is planning your meals ahead of time. By doing so, you can control the inclusion of high-carb ingredients like fermented bean paste. If you're eating out, scrutinize the menu for hidden carbs and don't hesitate to ask about ingredients. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to maintaining your keto regimen.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Fermented Bean Paste

Let's dive a bit deeper into the carbohydrate content of fermented bean paste. This culinary staple definitely has a lot going for it nutritionally, but when it comes to carbohydrates, that's where things get a little tricky for us keto followers.

Fermented bean paste has a net carbohydrate content of around 44.68g per 100g. But what do we mean by 'net carbs'? Essentially, net carbs are the total amount of carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber content. This is an important concept for us keto dieters because while total carbohydrates can impact blood sugar levels, fiber does not. Hence, when we're counting carbs, looking at net carbs gives us a more accurate picture of the potential impact on our ketosis state.

Now, let's put that into perspective with some real-world examples. If you were to add a tablespoon of fermented bean paste (about 18g) to your stir-fry, you're looking at roughly 8g of net carbs. That might not seem like a lot, but remember the 50g per day limit of a strict keto diet. Suddenly, that 8g is a significant chunk of your daily allowance.

Similarly, let's say you're making a traditional Korean stew that calls for 50g of fermented bean paste. That's already more than 22g of net carbs just from the paste alone, not accounting for the carbs present in other ingredients in the stew.

Nutritional Snapshot of Fermented Bean Paste

Fermented Bean Paste boasts a range of nutritional content that contributes to a balanced diet. In a 100g sample, the paste carries 226.0kcal energy. It is abundant in carbohydrates, with 49.98g noted, inclusive of 44.68g net carbs and a considerable dietary fiber content of 5.3g.

The paste is low in total fats with only 0.47g, preventing an excess intake of unhealthy fats. The protein content stands at 6.22g, which can contribute towards daily protein needs.

The paste also includes a blend of essential micronutrients. It's rich in Potassium (290.0mg) and Phosphorus (102.0mg), minerals that are vital in maintaining normal body functions. It also contains sizable amounts of Magnesium (32.0mg) and Calcium (21.0mg), which are necessary for bone health.

In terms of vitamins, it provides Vitamin B-6 (0.09mg), Vitamin C (0.9mg), Vitamin E (0.02mg), Vitamin K1 (6.0ug) and Folate (93.0ug). These vitamins play key roles in numerous metabolic processes, immunity, and overall well-being.

Fermented Bean Paste also includes trace amounts of Iron (2.13mg), Copper (0.18mg), and Zinc (0.77mg), all necessary for the body's enzymatic processes.

While the paste is not a significant source of water, it still holds 42.21g, contributing to daily hydration needs.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 44.68g
Carbohydrate, by difference 49.98g
Fiber, total dietary 5.3g
Total fats 0.47g
Protein 6.22g
Sodium, Na 124.0mg
Potassium, K 290.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 32.0mg
Calcium, Ca 21.0mg
Vitamin B-6 0.09mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.9mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.02mg
Vitamin K1 6.0ug
Copper, Cu 0.18mg
Iron, Fe 2.13mg
Phosphorus, P 102.0mg
Selenium, Se 1.1ug
Zinc, Zn 0.77mg
Thiamin 0.12mg
Riboflavin 0.05mg
Niacin 0.42mg
Folate, total 93.0ug
Choline, total 21.9mg
Calories 226.0kcal
Water 42.21g
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.05g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.03g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.2g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Fermented Bean Paste' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Bean paste, sweetened' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Fermented Bean Paste on a Keto Diet

The incorporation of fermented bean paste into a keto diet presents some unique challenges, mainly due to its high net carb content. Achieving and maintaining ketosis, the metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs for energy, requires a careful balancing act with your daily carb intake. As we've discussed, even a small serving of fermented bean paste could potentially disrupt this balance and take your body out of ketosis.

Aside from the keto implications, it's worth noting that fermented bean paste is not without its health benefits. It's a rich source of protein, as well as minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc. These nutrients play key roles in various bodily functions, including muscle function, oxygen transport, and immune system support. It's also a treasure trove of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that contribute to gut health.

However, when following a strict keto diet, these benefits must be weighed against the high net carb content of fermented bean paste. It's a decision that ultimately comes down to your individual dietary goals and how strict you wish to be with your carb intake.

We're not saying that you should completely eliminate fermented bean paste from your diet, especially if it's a food you love. But if you're determined to stay in ketosis, you might need to limit its consumption or seek out lower-carb alternatives.

Avoiding Fermented Bean Paste in Your Keto Meal Plan

Choosing to exclude fermented bean paste from your keto meal plan might seem daunting, especially if you're a fan of Asian cuisine. But fear not! There are practical ways to navigate this without feeling deprived.

Firstly, it's important to scrutinize food labels or ask about ingredients when dining out. Fermented bean paste is often a hidden ingredient in marinades, sauces, and soups - the sneaky culprit that could knock you out of ketosis. Being vigilant and informed about what goes into your meals is paramount.

If you're a passionate home cook, you have even more control over your ingredients. Substitute fermented bean paste with low-carb alternatives wherever possible. This might involve some trial and error, but it's all part of the adventure!

Craving that distinct umami flavor of fermented bean paste? There are ways to get around this without compromising your keto regimen. Try incorporating other flavor-packed, low-carb ingredients like mushrooms, tomatoes, or nutritional yeast in your dishes. These can mimic the savory depth that fermented bean paste imparts.

Dining out can be a bit trickier, especially when it comes to Asian cuisine. If you find yourself at a Korean BBQ or a hot pot restaurant, opt for dishes that allow you to control the ingredients, and don't hesitate to ask for modifications. Most chefs are more than willing to accommodate dietary restrictions.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Fermented Bean Paste

Finding a keto-friendly alternative to fermented bean paste might seem challenging, but there are several options that won't compromise your keto diet. Let's explore a few of them.

  1. Soy Sauce or Tamari: These condiments offer a similar umami punch and can be used in marinades, stir-fries, and soups. They both have lower carb content than fermented bean paste. For instance, tamari has approximately 1g of carbs per tablespoon compared to the 8g in a similar amount of fermented bean paste.
  2. Miso: Another fermented product, miso is slightly lower in carbs than fermented bean paste, with around 6g net carbs per tablespoon. It can be used in a similar fashion to fermented bean paste, but bear in mind that it's not entirely carb-free.
  3. Coconut Aminos: This is a naturally fermented sauce made from the sap of coconut trees. It's slightly sweet, tangy and offers a decent umami profile. With only about 1g of carbs per teaspoon, it's a great alternative for those on a strict keto diet.
  4. Nutritional Yeast: While it doesn't have the same texture, nutritional yeast is a great way to get that savory, umami flavor. Plus, it's very low in carbs and packed with essential nutrients.

Using these alternatives in your keto recipes largely depends on the dish at hand. For example, if you're making a stir-fry, soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos can easily replace the fermented bean paste. In a soup or stew, miso might be a better option. If you're looking for a sprinkle-on-top flavor enhancer, you can't go wrong with nutritional yeast.

Remember, while these alternatives are lower in carbs, they still contain some amount of carbs and should be used in moderation. It's always best to consult nutritional labels and adjust serving sizes accordingly to avoid exceeding your daily carb limit.

Concluding Thoughts on Fermented Bean Paste and Keto

Navigating the journey of a keto diet can often present us with tough food choices, and fermented bean paste is a prime example. Its rich, umami flavor can elevate any dish, but its high net carb content makes it a challenge for those following a strict keto diet.

As we've explored throughout our discussions, consuming fermented bean paste could potentially knock you out of ketosis, which is the fat-burning state of metabolism that is the primary goal of a keto diet. The high carb content, around 44.68g per 100g, means even a small serving could account for a significant portion of your daily carb allowance.

That said, fermented bean paste is not without its nutritional merits. With proteins, essential minerals, and probiotics, it packs a health punch. The challenge is to balance these benefits with the need to maintain a state of ketosis, which requires a low-carb intake.

As you embark on your keto journey, exploring keto-friendly alternatives to fermented bean paste can make your culinary adventure more exciting. From using soy sauce, tamari, coconut aminos to nutritional yeast, there are plenty of ways to recreate the depth of flavor without the carb overload.

Another unique perspective to consider is that while fermented bean paste may not be suitable for a strict keto diet, it might still find a place in more flexible low-carb diets, where the daily carb allowance is a bit more generous. This is an excellent reminder that diet is a deeply personal thing, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Is Red Bean Paste Keto-Friendly
Is Mealy Pop Or Bogobe Keto-Friendly
Is Quince Cheese Keto-Friendly
Is Kroeung Keto-Friendly
Are Pastes Keto Friendly

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, fermented bean paste is not typically keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content which can impede the metabolic state of ketosis, a cornerstone of the keto diet.

There are several alternatives that can be used, including soy sauce, tamari, miso (in moderation), coconut aminos, and nutritional yeast. These substitutes have significantly lower carbohydrate content and can offer similar flavor profiles.

While there might be slight variations in carbohydrate content among different types of fermented bean paste, most of them are relatively high in carbohydrates, making them unsuitable for a strict keto diet.