Home / friendly / processed / spreads-and-sauces / sauces / Is Zabaione Keto-Friendly?

Is Zabaione Keto-Friendly?

Zabaione on a kitchen counter

Embarking on a ketogenic diet involves careful consideration of one's food choices.

'Is Zabaione Keto-Friendly?' is a question that may arise for those who enjoy this traditional Italian dessert and are embarking on a keto journey.

This article will take you through an in-depth exploration of the carbohydrate content of Zabaione, its compatibility with the ketogenic lifestyle, and available alternatives for those who still wish to enjoy a sweet treat without disrupting their diet.

Let's delve into the details and discover how to navigate around Zabaione and similar high-carb foods while maintaining a successful ketogenic diet.


  • Zabaione, while delicious, is not keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Consuming Zabaione could potentially disrupt ketosis, and hinder your progress on a keto diet.
  • There are a plethora of keto-compatible alternatives to Zabaione that you can explore.

Is Zabaione Keto-Friendly?

Plunging straight into it, is Zabaione keto-friendly? Given its nutritional composition, the simple answer is, unfortunately, no.

Zabaione, that luscious, velvety dessert from Italy, is essentially a creamy custard made from egg yolks, sugar, and typically a sweet wine like Marsala. As delightful as it sounds, the macronutrient profile of Zabaione doesn't align with the principles of a ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet is primarily a low-carb, high-fat diet, which aims to significantly reduce carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat, setting up a metabolic state called ketosis. The daily carb limit on a keto lifestyle typically hovers between 20 to 50 grams, and that's where the challenge with Zabaione arises.

Serving up around 17.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, Zabaione practically consumes the entire daily carb allowance of a strict ketogenic regimen in a single, albeit delicious, swoop. The high sugar content, an integral part of Zabaione's recipe, directly contributes to its high carbohydrate load, rendering it incompatible with a keto diet.

It's important to note that while we're identifying Zabaione as non-keto, this isn't a judgment of its overall nutritional value. A food's keto-compatibility rests solely on its carbohydrate content and not on its overall nutritional merits. In other words, Zabaione is delightful and can be a part of a balanced diet, but if you're sticking to a strict keto diet, this dessert may not make the cut.

Can Zabaione be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Given the substantial carbohydrate content of Zabaione, incorporating it into a strict ketogenic diet is quite implausible.

A strict keto diet, as many of you know, is remarkably low on carbs with most of your calories coming from fats and a moderate amount from protein. This diet is designed to force your body into ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. With a daily carb limit of 20 to 50 grams, the 17.6 grams of net carbs in a 100-gram serving of Zabaione can potentially disrupt this delicate balance.

Keep in mind, it's not just the carbs from Zabaione that count. You'll need to account for the carbohydrates from all the other foods consumed throughout the day as well. Whether it's a slice of avocado or a handful of nuts, the carbs can add up quickly, and you might find yourself going over your daily limit.

Now, to maintain ketosis and ensure that you're aligning with your dietary goals, it's vital to keep track of your daily carb intake. It's here that food tracking apps can become your best friends. These digital tools allow you to log in everything you eat and keep a check on your macros - carbs, proteins, and fats. This way, you'll be more aware of your dietary choices and can make informed decisions to avoid high-carb foods like Zabaione.

We're not advocating the elimination of all things sweet from your diet, but with a strict keto lifestyle, it's critical to choose your desserts wisely. Opt for treats that are low in carbs and high in fats, like a small serving of dark chocolate or a scoop of sugar-free, low-carb ice cream.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Zabaione

To truly understand why Zabaione clashes with a ketogenic diet, we need to delve deeper into its carbohydrate content.

Before we dive into actual numbers, let's brush up on a key concept - net carbs. When we talk about carbs in the context of a keto diet, we're usually referring to 'net carbs'. These are the carbs that your body can actually digest and use for energy, calculated by subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbs. On a keto diet, keeping the net carb intake low is crucial to remain in ketosis.

Now, back to Zabaione. This classic Italian dessert, in a typical serving size of 100 grams, carries around 17.6 grams of net carbs. That's quite a sizable amount, especially when you're trying to limit your daily carb intake to between 20 to 50 grams for a keto diet.

Let's put this into perspective. Consider you're at a family gathering and you're served a 200-gram bowl of Zabaione. In just that one dessert serving, you're looking at 35.2 grams of net carbs. That's potentially more than the total amount of carbs you're aiming to consume in an entire day on a strict keto diet!

The reason behind Zabaione's high carbohydrate content largely lies in sugar, one of its core ingredients. Sugar is a form of simple carbohydrate, and it directly adds to the net carb content of the dessert.

Being aware of food's carbohydrate content is crucial for managing a successful keto diet. It's important to understand that while Zabaione is a delicious dessert, its high net carb content can be a stumbling block for those pursuing a ketogenic lifestyle.

Nutritional Snapshot of Zabaione

In this nutritional snapshot, we delve into the intricate details of Zabaione's profile. A 100g serving of Zabaione, similar to egg custard prepared with whole milk, is power-packed with a range of nutrients.

The major carbohydrate content is 17.6g, accompanied by a balanced total fat and protein content of 4.0g and 3.99g respectively. These macronutrients provide the energy needed for daily functioning.

Zabaione is also a great source of essential minerals like Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium, providing 84.0mg, 207.0mg, 16.0mg, and 139.0mg per 100g respectively. These minerals are crucial for the maintenance of bone health and electrolyte balance in the body.

Notably, it provides a substantial amount of Vitamins A, B-6, B-12, D3, E, and K, which are necessary for a plethora of functions such as boosting immunity, maintaining healthy eyesight, and supporting cell growth and development.

Moreover, Zabaione carries trace amounts of Copper, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc, and other micronutrients that aid in maintaining overall health.

The presence of a variety of Amino acids like Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Cystine, and others, underline its benefits as these are necessary for protein synthesis and muscle growth.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference 17.6g
Total fats 4.0g
Protein 3.99g
Sodium, Na 84.0mg
Potassium, K 207.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 16.0mg
Calcium, Ca 139.0mg
Vitamin A 52.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.06mg
Vitamin B-12 0.52ug
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.1mg
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 1.2ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.06mg
Vitamin K2 0.9ug
Vitamin K1 0.2ug
Copper, Cu 0.03mg
Iron, Fe 0.34mg
Phosphorus, P 130.0mg
Selenium, Se 6.0ug
Zinc, Zn 0.51mg
Cholesterol 51.0mg
Beta-carotene 6.0ug
Betaine 0.6mg
Manganese, Mn 0.01mg
Thiamin 0.06mg
Riboflavin 0.22mg
Niacin 0.13mg
Pantothenic acid 0.7mg
Folate, total 9.0ug
Choline, total 11.8mg
Retinol 52.0ug
Calories 122.0kcal
Water 73.45g
Tryptophan 0.08g
Threonine 0.19g
Isoleucine 0.21g
Leucine 0.34g
Lysine 0.21g
Methionine 0.09g
Cystine 0.04g
Phenylalanine 0.17g
Tyrosine 0.18g
Valine 0.23g
Arginine 0.12g
Histidine 0.09g
Alanine 0.15g
Aspartic acid 0.32g
Glutamic acid 0.74g
Glycine 0.1g
Proline 0.36g
Serine 0.17g
Fatty acids, total saturated 2.03g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 1.13g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.31g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Zabaione' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Egg custards, dry mix, prepared with whole milk' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Zabaione on a Keto Diet

Integrating Zabaione into a ketogenic diet can indeed present some challenges. As we've mentioned before, the high carbohydrate content in Zabaione can potentially knock your body out of the state of ketosis, the metabolic state where your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.

If a person on a keto diet consumes Zabaione and overshoots their daily carb limit, their body may shift away from ketosis and start using the readily available carbs for energy. This sudden switch can disrupt the fat-burning process and potentially hinder the progress made on the keto diet.

This is not to say, however, that Zabaione doesn't have its own nutritional benefits. The dessert is made from egg yolks, which are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, vitamin B12, and selenium. They also contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body, including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, vitamin E, folate, and many more. Moreover, egg yolks carry the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect your eyes.

The sweet wine typically used in Zabaione, like Marsala, also adds a unique flavor and depth to the dessert. However, keep in mind, while wine has been linked to certain health benefits, these are typically associated with moderate consumption.

It's essential to remember that while Zabaione has its nutritional merits, its high carb content makes it a less than ideal choice for those strictly adhering to a ketogenic diet. As with any food choice on a specific dietary regimen, it's crucial to consider the overall dietary pattern and remember that balance is key.

Avoiding Zabaione in Your Keto Meal Plan

Navigating around Zabaione while sticking to a ketogenic diet can be quite a feat, but with some strategic planning, it is indeed possible.

Firstly, knowledge is power. Being aware of the high carbohydrate content in Zabaione prepares you to make informed decisions when you encounter this dessert, be it at a family gathering, a holiday feast, or even in a gourmet restaurant. If you know what it brings to your nutritional table, you can decide whether to include it in your meal or to pass.

It's also crucial to remember that while Zabaione might be a delightful treat, there's a whole world of low-carb, keto-friendly desserts out there. When the sugar cravings hit, reach out for a piece of dark chocolate, a handful of berries, or a scoop of sugar-free, low-carb ice cream.

If you're cooking at home, there are numerous keto dessert recipes available online that you can try out. You might be surprised at the variety of sweet treats you can enjoy while still sticking to your low-carb, high-fat diet.

Also, an effective way to sidestep Zabaione in your diet is to focus on whole, single-ingredient foods. These are typically low in carbs and high in a myriad of nutrients. Think eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, and healthy oils.

If you do find yourself craving Zabaione, it could be helpful to understand the trigger. Is it the creamy texture, the sweet taste, or simply a nostalgia for Italian desserts? If you could pinpoint what you're longing for, it might be easier to find a keto-friendly alternative that satisfies your craving without jeopardizing your diet.

Remember, a ketogenic diet is about more than just low carbs; it's about nurturing your body with nutrient-dense, whole foods. Zabaione might not fit into this picture with its high carb content, but there are plenty of other delicious and healthful options out there to explore!

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Zabaione

While Zabaione may not be a suitable dessert for those on a ketogenic diet due to its high carbohydrate content, there are several other dessert options that can satisfy your sweet tooth while still keeping you within your carbohydrate limits.

One such alternative is a keto-friendly mousse made from avocados. Avocado is rich in healthy fats and significantly low in carbohydrates, making it a fantastic base for a keto dessert. You can blend ripe avocados with unsweetened cocoa powder, a keto-friendly sweetener like Stevia or Erythritol, and a splash of vanilla extract, and chill the mixture to achieve a creamy, mousse-like consistency.

Another option could be a coconut cream custard. Coconut milk is a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that your body can quickly use for energy. Mix full-fat coconut milk with eggs, vanilla extract, and a keto-friendly sweetener, then bake in a water bath to get a custard that's reminiscent of Zabaione in texture but much lower in carbs.

Dark chocolate truffles can also be a great low-carb dessert option. By choosing a high-quality dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or higher, you can ensure lower sugar content. You can make truffles by melting the chocolate and mixing it with heavy cream and a keto-friendly sweetener. Roll into balls and refrigerate for a dessert that's as decadent as it is low-carb.

To put things into perspective, a 100-gram serving of avocado contains approximately 1.8 grams of net carbs, while the same amount of full-fat coconut milk has around 2.3 grams of net carbs. Dark chocolate, with 70-85% cocoa, contains about 13 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. In comparison, we've already discussed that 100 grams of Zabaione can contain around 17.6 grams of net carbs.

These alternatives can offer you the pleasure of a sweet treat while ensuring you stay within your daily carb limit. However, remember that portion control is crucial, even with low-carb desserts.

These are a few examples of keto-compatible alternatives to Zabaione, but the possibilities are endless. It's all about finding creative ways to use low-carb, high-fat ingredients in your kitchen.

Concluding Thoughts on Zabaione and Keto

As we've traversed the intersection of Zabaione and the ketogenic diet, it's clear that this traditional Italian dessert, tasty as it may be, is a less-than-ideal choice for those adhering to a strict keto regimen. Its high carbohydrate content, mainly due to the sugar it harbors, can potentially disrupt the state of ketosis, a cornerstone of the ketogenic lifestyle.

While it's important to acknowledge that Zabaione is not keto-friendly, it's equally significant to remember the nutritional merits of this dessert. Zabaione is enriched with the goodness of egg yolks, which are a powerhouse of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, these benefits don't offset the high net carb content when it comes to maintaining ketosis.

Exploring alternatives to Zabaione can unleash a world of culinary creativity. From avocado mousse to coconut cream custard and dark chocolate truffles, the choice of low-carb, high-fat desserts is vast. Each alternative offers unique taste profiles and health benefits, providing an exciting variety for those on a ketogenic diet.

Here's something new for you to consider - why not try experimenting with keto-friendly sweeteners in your cooking? Options like Stevia, Erythritol, or Monk fruit sweetener might not entirely replicate the taste of sugar, but they do add a pleasant sweetness to your dishes without the carb overload.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Is Mornay Sauce Keto-Friendly
Is Ketchup Keto-Friendly
Are Sauces 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, Zabaione is not keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content, primarily from sugar, which can disrupt ketosis.

Even occasional consumption of high-carb foods like Zabaione can potentially disrupt ketosis. However, individual responses may vary, so it's essential to monitor your body's responses.