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Are Clams Keto-Friendly?

Clams on a kitchen counter

When it comes to seafood on a keto diet, one might wonder, "Are Clams Keto-Friendly?" The answer is a resounding yes! Clams can be a fantastic part of a ketogenic diet, thanks to their low net carb content.

In this detailed analysis, we'll explore clams' nutritional value and health benefits and how to incorporate them into your keto diet plan.

We'll also explore some keto-friendly alternatives to clams, ensuring a variety of nutrient-rich meal options.

TL;DR

  • Yes, clams are indeed keto-friendly, boasting a low net carb content.
  • Clams are rich in protein and essential minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium. They also contain a significant amount of vitamin B-12.
  • However, keep in mind their high sodium content and balance your intake accordingly.

Are Clams Keto-Friendly?

Yes, clams are considered keto-friendly. Their nutrient profile is favorable to the standards of a ketogenic diet, primarily due to their low net carb content. One hundred grams of clams contain just 3.57 grams of net carbs, making them a suitable option for those following a keto diet.

Can You Have Clams on a Strict Keto Diet?

A strict keto diet typically involves consuming less than 20 grams of carbs daily. Considering that 100 grams of clams contain just 3.57 grams of net carbs, it is easy to incorporate this seafood into a strict ketogenic meal plan while maintaining ketosis.

Now, if you're someone who prefers a more laid-back low-carb eating regimen, don't fret. Clams are still a delicious and nutritious option for you! In fact, you'll love how easily they fit into your diet and add a boost of flavor to your plate.

Carbs In Clams

Clams are a keto-friendly food as they contain only 3.57 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. Additionally, they have a low glycemic index of 27[source], which means that the carbohydrates they contain are released into the bloodstream slowly.

This leads to a steady rise in blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of a sudden spike. In contrast, foods with a high glycemic index are quickly digested and can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Therefore, clams are a great option for those following a ketogenic diet.

Clams Nutrition Facts

Clams are a great source of nutrition. A 100g serving of clams provides 14.67g of protein, and just 0.96g of total fat, making them a low-fat source of protein. They also contain 3.57g of net carbs and 1.4g of starch. Additionally, clams are an excellent source of water, containing 78.98g.

Clams' nutritional profile extends beyond macronutrients. They offer an array of essential micronutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids. In the mineral category, clams have Phosphorus (198.0mg), Calcium (39.0mg), Magnesium (19.0mg), and Zinc (0.51mg). They also contain Iron (1.62mg) and smaller quantities of other trace minerals.

In terms of vitamins, clams are notable for their high Vitamin B-12 (11.28µg) content. They also contribute Vitamin A (90.0µg RAE and 300.0IU) and small amounts of other B vitamins such as Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Vitamin B-6. Additionally, they contain a modest amount of Vitamin E (0.68mg).

Clams' fatty acid profile includes both saturated and unsaturated varieties. They contain 0.187g of total saturated fatty acids, 0.12g of monounsaturated, and 0.192g of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Trans fats are minimal, with just 0.015g present.
Lastly, clams are a source of a variety of amino acids, including essential ones like Leucine (1.2g), Lysine (1.123g), and Valine (0.743g).

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100 g
Net Carbs3.57g
Water78.98g
Energy360.0kJ
Protein14.67g
Total lipid (fat)0.96g
Ash1.82g
Carbohydrate, by difference3.57g
Starch1.4g
Calcium, Ca39.0mg
Iron, Fe1.62mg
Magnesium, Mg19.0mg
Phosphorus, P198.0mg
Potassium, K46.0mg
Sodium, Na601.0mg
Zinc, Zn0.51mg
Copper, Cu0.053mg
Manganese, Mn0.085mg
Selenium, Se30.6µg
Thiamin0.015mg
Riboflavin0.04mg
Niacin0.35mg
Pantothenic acid0.148mg
Vitamin B-60.01mg
Folate, total5.0µg
Folate, food5.0µg
Folate, DFE5.0µg
Choline, total65.0mg
Vitamin B-1211.28µg
Vitamin A, RAE90.0µg
Retinol90.0µg
Vitamin A, IU300.0IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.68mg
Tocopherol, beta0.02mg
Tocopherol, gamma0.89mg
Tocopherol, delta0.38mg
Tocotrienol, alpha0.03mg
Tocotrienol, gamma0.01mg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units1.0IU
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)0.2µg
Fatty acids, total saturated0.187g
SFA 12:00.004g
SFA 14:00.008g
SFA 15:00.002g
SFA 16:00.11g
SFA 17:00.008g
SFA 18:00.05g
SFA 20:00.004g
SFA 24:00.001g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.12g
MUFA 16:10.02g
MUFA 16:1 c0.012g
MUFA 17:10.034g
MUFA 18:10.06g
MUFA 18:1 c0.054g
MUFA 20:10.007g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.192g
PUFA 18:20.042g
PUFA 18:2 n-6 c,c0.027g
PUFA 18:2 CLAs0.014g
PUFA 18:30.015g
PUFA 18:3 n-3 c,c,c (ALA)0.015g
PUFA 18:40.001g
PUFA 20:2 n-6 c,c0.004g
PUFA 20:30.001g
PUFA 20:3 n-60.001g
PUFA 20:40.011g
PUFA 20:5 n-3 (EPA)0.043g
PUFA 22:40.005g
PUFA 22:5 n-3 (DPA)0.007g
PUFA 22:6 n-3 (DHA)0.064g
Fatty acids, total trans0.015g
Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoic0.014g
TFA 16:1 t0.008g
TFA 18:1 t0.006g
TFA 18:2 t not further defined0.001g
Fatty acids, total trans-polyenoic0.001g
Cholesterol30.0mg
Tryptophan0.205g
Threonine0.7g
Isoleucine0.693g
Leucine1.2g
Lysine1.123g
Methionine0.423g
Cystine0.175g
Phenylalanine0.56g
Tyrosine0.597g
Valine0.743g
Arginine1.21g
Histidine0.3g
Alanine0.885g
Aspartic acid1.608g
Glutamic acid2.248g
Glycine0.64g
Proline0.5g
Serine0.69g

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 Clams on a Keto Diet

Clams are a highly nutritious food with essential nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, and magnesium. They are also a significant source of vitamin B-12, which is vital for proper nerve function and the production of DNA and red blood cells.

However, it's worth mentioning that clams can be high in sodium, which, when consumed in excess, might not align with everyone's dietary needs or health goals.

Incorporating Clams into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Clams can be a versatile addition to a variety of dishes. Consider adding them to your favorite low-carb soup or stew for a protein boost.
  2. For a quick and simple meal, sauté clams in garlic and olive oil, serving them atop a bed of spiralized zucchini noodles for a keto-friendly "pasta" dish.
  3. Clams can also be a tasty addition to a keto seafood salad, combined with other low-carb seafood options like shrimp or crab.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Clams

  1. Shrimp can be a suitable alternative to clams, with a similar net carb content, making them equally keto-friendly. Shrimp can be utilized in a wide variety of dishes, including stir-fries, salads, or as a stand-alone protein source.
  2. Mussels, like clams, offer a low-carb seafood option that fits into a keto diet plan. They can be enjoyed steamed with some garlic and herbs, or incorporated into a keto seafood stew.
  3. Scallops, another low-carb seafood option, can act as an excellent replacement for clams. They provide a unique taste and texture, and can be seared and served over a bed of sautéed spinach for a keto-friendly meal.
  4. Salmon, although a different type of seafood, is packed with healthy fats and protein, and very low in net carbs. It can be grilled, pan-seared, or even baked, providing a hearty alternative to clams.

Concluding Thoughts on Clams and Keto

With their low net carb content, clams fit nicely into a keto diet, providing a protein-rich, nutrient-dense option that can be enjoyed in various ways—from stews and soups to salads and stir-fries.

Their high content of essential minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium, coupled with the valuable vitamin B-12, make them a beneficial addition to your diet.

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.

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, clams are low in net carbs and high in protein, making them an excellent choice for a keto diet.

Yes, most types of clams, including littleneck, cherrystone, and soft-shell clams, are low in net carbs and can be eaten on a keto diet. However, always check the nutritional information, as the carb content may vary slightly.

Clams provide a rich source of protein and essential minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium. They also contain a significant amount of vitamin B-12.

Balancing high-sodium foods like clams with other low-sodium foods can help maintain a healthy balance. Always keep track of your daily sodium intake.