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Is Corn Syrup Keto-Friendly?

Corn Syrup on a kitchen counter

The short answer to 'Is Corn Syrup Keto-Friendly?' is simply, no.

Due to its high carbohydrate content, Corn Syrup does not align with the low-carb, high-fat dietary requirements of the ketogenic diet.

In this article, we've taken a deep dive into the world of Corn Syrup, breaking down its carbohydrate content, health implications on a keto diet, and finally, providing some keto-compatible alternatives.

Through this comprehensive analysis, we aim to offer insights and practical tips for those looking to navigate a keto lifestyle while understanding where Corn Syrup fits โ€“ or more accurately, doesn't fit into the picture.


  • Corn Syrup is not keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Consuming Corn Syrup can easily push you over the daily carb limit necessary for maintaining ketosis.
  • Despite some beneficial nutrients, its high glycemic index and high carb content may potentially offset these benefits on a keto diet.

Is Corn Syrup Keto-Friendly?

Corn Syrup is not considered keto-friendly. This determination is based on its carbohydrate content, which is one of the key factors when assessing the compatibility of a food item with the ketogenic diet.

Diving into the nutritional details, Corn Syrup contains 76.79g of carbohydrates per 100g. This makes it a high-carb food, which is generally not suitable for a keto diet that emphasizes low carbohydrate intake. To put it into perspective, a typical serving size of Corn Syrup, roughly about 2g, contains 1.54g net carbs. Given that most individuals on a keto diet aim to limit their daily net carb intake to under 20-50 grams, even a small serving of Corn Syrup can represent a substantial portion of the day's total carb allowance.

Can You Have Corn Syrup On a Strict Keto Diet?

On a strict keto diet, where individuals limit their daily net carb intake to less than 20g, Corn Syrup generally doesn't fit the bill due to its high carbohydrate content. Even a small serving size (about 2g) of Corn Syrup contains 1.54g net carbs, which can represent a significant portion of the daily carb allowance on a strict keto diet.

For those who follow a more relaxed form of the keto diet or a low carb diet, where the daily net carb allowance is between 30-50g, the inclusion of Corn Syrup could still pose a challenge. Given its high carb count, consuming Corn Syrup could easily cause one to exceed their daily carb limit, disrupting their ketogenic state.

Carbs In Corn Syrup

When it comes to the carbohydrate content of Corn Syrup, it's crucial to understand the numbers. Corn Syrup contains a substantial amount of carbs: 76.79g per 100g. To put it in terms of a typical serving size, about 2g of Corn Syrup contains 1.54g of net carbs. 'Net carbs' is a term that refers to the total carbohydrates in a food minus its fiber content, and it's the number that individuals on a keto diet often focus on when calculating their daily carb intake.

Another factor to consider is the glycemic index (GI) of foods. The glycemic index is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on how quickly they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed more slowly, causing a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels. However, Corn Syrup is not considered to have a low glycemic index, which means it can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels after consumption.

Corn Syrup Nutrition Facts

Corn syrup, a common sweetener, has a varied nutritional profile. For a 100g portion, the majority component is carbohydrates by difference, coming in at 76.79g, contributing to its total caloric content of 283.0kcal.

Of note, corn syrup contains no significant amounts of total fats, with a mere 0.2g per 100g. It also contains a small but noteworthy amount of sodium, at 62.0mg, which plays a role in fluid balance in our bodies.

When it comes to micronutrients, corn syrup offers 13.0mg of calcium per 100g, necessary for bone health. There's a small touch of potassium and magnesium, each at 1.0mg, minerals involved in many essential bodily processes, including nerve function and muscle contraction.

Furthermore, it provides 0.44mg of zinc, which is crucial for immune function, and a minute 0.7ug of selenium, an antioxidant. Lastly, it contains 0.06mg of thiamin, a B vitamin key for energy metabolism.

Despite its high carbohydrate content, corn syrup also has 22.81g of water per 100g, contributing to its liquid consistency.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference 76.79g
Total fats 0.2g
Sodium, Na 62.0mg
Potassium, K 1.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 1.0mg
Calcium, Ca 13.0mg
Selenium, Se 0.7ug
Zinc, Zn 0.44mg
Thiamin 0.06mg
Calories 283.0kcal
Water 22.81g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Corn Syrup' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Corn syrup' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Corn Syrup on a Keto Diet

Including Corn Syrup in a ketogenic diet can present some challenges when it comes to maintaining a state of ketosis. Given its high carbohydrate content, consuming Corn Syrup can easily lead to exceeding the daily carb limit that's necessary for staying in ketosis.

Looking at the nutritional data, Corn Syrup does contain some beneficial nutrients. It contains trace amounts of minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It also contains a small amount of sodium and has minimal fat content. These nutrients play roles in various body functions, including nerve function, muscle contraction, and maintaining hydration balance.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Corn Syrup

  1. Stevia: This is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener derived from the Stevia plant. Its sweetness comes without the carbs found in Corn Syrup, making it an excellent choice for keto followers. Stevia can be used in a variety of keto recipes, from baked goods to beverages.
  2. Erythritol: Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has almost no calories or carbs, making it another excellent keto-friendly sweetener. It can be used just like sugar in cooking and baking and is often combined with other sweeteners to improve their taste.
  3. Monk Fruit Sweetener: Made from monk fruit, this sweetener is another zero-calorie, zero-carb option. It's much sweeter than sugar, so you'll need less of it in recipes. It's great for baking, desserts, and drinks.

Concluding Thoughts on Corn Syrup and Keto

In conclusion, Corn Syrup's high carbohydrate content makes it incompatible with a regular ketogenic diet. Even a small serving size carries significant carbs, which can easily make you exceed the daily carb limit necessary for maintaining ketosis.

Although Corn Syrup does contain some beneficial nutrients, its high glycemic index and high carb content outweigh these potential benefits when trying to meet the requirements of a ketogenic diet.

Because of these factors, it may be a good idea to avoid Corn Syrup while following a ketogenic diet. Instead, consider exploring some of the keto-compatible alternatives such as Stevia, Erythritol, or Monk Fruit Sweetener. Not only do these alternatives have zero or negligible carb content, but they also offer the benefit of not spiking your blood sugar levels as drastically as Corn Syrup.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

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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, Corn Syrup is not keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content.

Consuming Corn Syrup can easily push you over the daily carb limit necessary for maintaining ketosis.