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Are Oysters Keto-Friendly?

Oysters on a kitchen counter

The short and simple answer to whether oysters are keto-friendly is yes, they are! They have moderate carbs and are fit for a keto meal plan.

In this article, we explore oysters' carb content, how they can be incorporated into a keto diet, and their nutritional benefits.

We’ll also discuss some keto-compatible alternatives to oysters, just in case you'd like to switch things up a bit.

Let's get started!

TL;DR

  • Yes, oysters are keto-friendly due to their moderate carb and notable protein content.
  • Oysters offer nutritional benefits, including essential nutrients like zinc, selenium, and Vitamin B-12.
  • There are various delicious ways to incorporate oysters into your keto diet, from raw to cooked or in tasty recipes.

Are Oysters Keto-Friendly?

Yes, oysters are keto-friendly. The nutritional data shows that oysters have 4.95g of net carbs per 100g, which is a moderate amount and can fit into the daily carb limit of a typical ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet usually allows for 20 to 50g of net carbs per day, and the amount of carbs in oysters can easily fit within this limit, especially when portion sizes are monitored.

Can You Have Oysters on a Strict Keto Diet?

Yes, you can include oysters in a strict keto diet, which typically limits carb intake to less than 20g per day. Even within such a low-carb framework, the 4.95g of net carbs in a 100g serving of oysters can fit without disrupting ketosis.

The key to successfully incorporating oysters into a strict keto diet is carefully tracking your daily carb intake. Various tools, such as mobile apps and food diaries, can help you keep a record of your carb consumption. Using such tools, you can ensure that the carbs from oysters and other foods you eat throughout the day do not exceed your daily limit.

Carbs In Oysters

Oysters contain 4.95g of net carbs per 100g serving, making them a moderate-carb food suitable for a ketogenic diet. Furthermore, their glycemic index of 0 classifies them as a low-GI food [source].

This low glycemic index means that eating oysters is unlikely to result in a significant spike in blood sugar levels, a crucial factor for those following a low-carb or keto diet. Foods with a lower GI digest slowly, leading to a steady rise in blood sugar levels, whereas foods with a high GI are quickly digested, causing a rapid spike.

Oysters Nutrition Facts

A 100g portion of oysters provides an energy value of 339.0kJ, mainly from its macronutrients: 9.45g of protein, 2.3g of total lipid (fat), and 4.95g of net carbs. Notably, it contains only 50.0mg of cholesterol. The fats are balanced between 0.51g of saturated fatty acids, 0.358g of monounsaturated, and 0.894g of polyunsaturated fats, including beneficial omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA.

Oysters are also rich in minerals. They boast 162.0mg of phosphorus, 168.0mg of potassium, 106.0mg of sodium, and notable amounts of calcium and magnesium at 8.0mg and 22.0mg, respectively. But what sets them apart is their exceptionally high content of certain trace minerals. They provide an impressive 16.62mg of zinc, 5.11mg of iron, and other trace minerals like copper, manganese, and selenium.

Regarding vitamins, oysters provide a good amount of vitamin C (8.0mg) and a myriad of B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folate. Interestingly, they are an excellent source of vitamin B-12, providing a substantial 16.0µg per 100g. They also contribute some vitamin A, with 81.0µg of RAE and 270.0IU.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100 g
Net Carbs4.95g
Water82.06g
Energy339.0kJ
Protein9.45g
Total lipid (fat)2.3g
Ash1.23g
Carbohydrate, by difference4.95g
Calcium, Ca8.0mg
Iron, Fe5.11mg
Magnesium, Mg22.0mg
Phosphorus, P162.0mg
Potassium, K168.0mg
Sodium, Na106.0mg
Zinc, Zn16.62mg
Copper, Cu1.576mg
Manganese, Mn0.643mg
Selenium, Se77.0µg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid8.0mg
Thiamin0.067mg
Riboflavin0.233mg
Niacin2.01mg
Pantothenic acid0.5mg
Vitamin B-60.05mg
Folate, total10.0µg
Folate, food10.0µg
Folate, DFE10.0µg
Vitamin B-1216.0µg
Vitamin A, RAE81.0µg
Retinol81.0µg
Vitamin A, IU270.0IU
Fatty acids, total saturated0.51g
SFA 14:00.082g
SFA 16:00.357g
SFA 18:00.071g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.358g
MUFA 16:10.114g
MUFA 18:10.191g
MUFA 22:10.053g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.894g
PUFA 18:20.032g
PUFA 18:30.032g
PUFA 18:40.084g
PUFA 20:40.038g
PUFA 20:5 n-3 (EPA)0.438g
PUFA 22:5 n-3 (DPA)0.02g
PUFA 22:6 n-3 (DHA)0.25g
Cholesterol50.0mg
Tryptophan0.106g
Threonine0.407g
Isoleucine0.411g
Leucine0.665g
Lysine0.706g
Methionine0.213g
Cystine0.124g
Phenylalanine0.339g
Tyrosine0.302g
Valine0.413g
Arginine0.689g
Histidine0.181g
Alanine0.572g
Aspartic acid0.912g
Glutamic acid1.285g
Glycine0.591g
Proline0.386g
Serine0.423g

Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Oysters on a Keto Diet

Oysters are a rich source of various essential nutrients. They provide substantial amounts of protein, with 9.45g per 100g serving, making them a good protein source for a keto diet.

Oysters are also packed with essential minerals like zinc and selenium, and they're a great way to get your daily dose of Vitamin B-12. However, it's worth noting that oysters contain sodium, so those on a sodium-restricted diet should be considerate of their oyster intake.

Incorporating Oysters into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Enjoy Oysters Raw or Cooked: Oysters can be enjoyed both raw and cooked, making them a versatile addition to your keto meal plan. Whether they are served fresh on the half-shell or baked with some keto-friendly toppings, they can provide a refreshing change to your usual meals.
  2. Keto Recipe Ideas: Oysters can be incorporated into various keto-friendly recipes. Consider making a seafood salad with oysters, leafy greens, and a high-fat dressing. Another option could be a low-carb oyster stew made with heavy cream, butter, and a mix of your favorite low-carb vegetables.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Oysters

  1. Clams: Like oysters, clams are also a good source of protein and have a similar texture. They can be used as a direct replacement in recipes that call for oysters, such as seafood stews or salads. While clams also contain carbs, their count is relatively low, making them a keto-friendly substitute.
  2. Mussels: Mussels, another shellfish, are an excellent alternative to oysters. They're packed with high-quality protein and essential nutrients, similar to oysters. Mussels can be steamed, grilled, or baked and used in a variety of keto recipes, from stews to stir-fries.
  3. Shrimp: Shrimp is not only low in carbs but also rich in protein, which makes it a great keto alternative to oysters. Shrimp can be grilled, steamed, or sautéed and used in salads, soups, or even as a main course.
  4. Scallops: Scallops are a low-carb, high-protein seafood option that can replace oysters in many dishes. They can be seared, baked, or grilled and used in a variety of keto-friendly recipes.

Concluding Thoughts on Oysters and Keto

With their moderate carb content and substantial protein, oysters fit nicely into a strict keto and low-carb diets. They not only add variety to your meal plan but also provide essential nutrients like zinc, selenium, and Vitamin B-12.

It's encouraged to try different ways of incorporating oysters into your keto routine, whether raw, cooked, or in various recipes. Remember to keep track of your carb intake and portion sizes to stay within your daily carb limit.

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.

Disclaimer:

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

Yes, all types of oysters, whether Pacific, Eastern, or European flat oysters, are keto-friendly due to their moderate carb and high protein content. However, the carb content may vary slightly among different types, so it's best to check the nutritional information before consuming.

The number of oysters you can eat on a keto diet depends on your daily carb limit. Generally, a 100g serving of oysters contains 4.95g of net carbs, so make sure to factor this into your daily carb intake.

Yes, you can eat raw oysters on a keto diet. Consuming them raw might even help to preserve some of the nutrients that can be lost during cooking.