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Is Crab Keto-Friendly?

Crab on a kitchen counter

Are you wondering if crab is keto-friendly? Well, you're in the right place for answers!

Crab is a keto-friendly food. This article provides a thorough breakdown of crab's carb content, the benefits of including it in your keto meal plans, and the nutritional value it carries.

We'll also suggest ways to incorporate crab into your diet, offer alternatives if you fancy a change, and conclude with some food for thought on making crab a staple in your keto diet.

So, let's dive into the world of crab and keto!


  • Yes, Crab is keto-friendly due to its low-carb content.
  • This seafood offers nutritional benefits like rich protein, essential vitamins, and minerals.
  • Be mindful of its high sodium content.

Is Crab Keto-Friendly?

Yes, Crab is keto-friendly. With a mere 0.04g net carbs per 100g, it fits comfortably within the ketogenic diet, which typically limits net carbs to 20-50g daily.

In the context of the ketogenic diet, foods with high fat and moderate protein content are typically encouraged, while those high in carbs are to be limited or avoided. Considering the nutritional profile of crab, it is evident that it does not contribute significantly to daily carb intake.

Can You Have Crab on a Strict Keto Diet?

Indeed, crab fits nicely into a ketogenic diet, even a strict one. A strict keto diet typically involves consuming less than 20g of net carbs daily. Given that Crab contains only 0.04g of net carbs per 100g, it can be safely incorporated into such a diet without significantly reducing the daily carb allowance.

Crab remains a suitable option even for those who are on a low-carb diet, which typically limits net carb intake to between 30-50g per day. Its low-carb profile allows flexibility in the diet, enabling individuals to enjoy its taste and nutritional benefits.

Carbs In Crab

Crab contains a minimal amount of carbs, with just 0.04g per 100g serving. This low carb content makes it an excellent choice for those following a ketogenic or low-carb diet.

Furthermore, Crab has a low glycemic index of 5 [source], meaning it has minimal impact on blood sugar levels. 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.

Crab Nutrition Facts

Crab is an excellent source of nutrition, containing a variety of macro- and micronutrients. In a 100g portion, it boasts 18.06g of protein, providing essential amino acids for growth and repair. It has a minimal fat content, with total lipids standing at 1.08g.

Focusing on micronutrients, crabs are rich in numerous minerals. They contain 89.0mg of Calcium and 229.0mg of Phosphorus for bone health, while 329.0mg of Potassium helps regulate blood pressure. They also provide a significant amount of Selenium (37.4µg) that supports immune function and Zinc (3.54mg) for metabolic health.

Crab also offers a range of vitamins. Notable among these is the Vitamin B-12 content at 9.0µg, vital for nerve function and the production of red blood cells. It also provides other B vitamins, such as Niacin (2.7mg) and Folate (44.0µg), which are essential for energy production and DNA synthesis.

A unique aspect of crab's nutritional profile is the presence of different types of fatty acids. It contains 0.222g of Saturated Fats, 0.192g of Monounsaturated Fats, and 0.387g of Polyunsaturated Fats. Mainly, it consists of 0.17g of PUFA 20:5 n-3 (EPA) and 0.15g of PUFA 22:6 n-3 (DHA).

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100 g
Net Carbs0.04g
Total lipid (fat)1.08g
Carbohydrate, by difference0.04g
Calcium, Ca89.0mg
Iron, Fe0.74mg
Magnesium, Mg34.0mg
Phosphorus, P229.0mg
Potassium, K329.0mg
Sodium, Na293.0mg
Zinc, Zn3.54mg
Copper, Cu0.669mg
Manganese, Mn0.15mg
Selenium, Se37.4µg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid3.0mg
Pantothenic acid0.35mg
Vitamin B-60.15mg
Folate, total44.0µg
Folate, food44.0µg
Folate, DFE44.0µg
Vitamin B-129.0µg
Vitamin A, RAE2.0µg
Vitamin A, IU5.0IU
Fatty acids, total saturated0.222g
SFA 16:00.141g
SFA 18:00.081g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.192g
MUFA 16:10.059g
MUFA 18:10.104g
MUFA 20:10.029g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.387g
PUFA 18:20.012g
PUFA 20:40.055g
PUFA 20:5 n-3 (EPA)0.17g
PUFA 22:6 n-3 (DHA)0.15g
Aspartic acid1.866g
Glutamic acid3.08g

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 Crab on a Keto Diet

Crab is not just low in carbs; it's also a good source of several essential nutrients, including protein, vitamin B12, and selenium, all of which play vital roles in overall health. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, known for their heart-health benefits. However, it's worth noting that Crab can be high in sodium, which may concern those monitoring their sodium intake.

Incorporating Crab into Your Keto Meal Plan

  • Enjoy Crab in its Natural Form: Because Crab is naturally low in carbs, it can be enjoyed simply steamed or boiled without adding any sauces or breading that may increase carb count.
  • Keto Crab Recipes: Crab can be used in numerous keto-friendly recipes. For instance, you could prepare a keto crab salad with mixed greens, diced avocado, and a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. Alternatively, try a keto crab stir-fry with plenty of low-carb veggies.
  • Portion Control: Despite Crab's low carb content, it's important to keep track of your overall carb intake throughout the day. Be mindful of the portion sizes to avoid inadvertently overconsuming carbs.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Crab

  1. Shrimp: Shrimp can be a great alternative to Crab as it's also low in carbs and can be used in many of the same recipes. You might consider making a shrimp stir-fry or shrimp salad, akin to the crab recipes previously mentioned. Nutritionally speaking, shrimp, similar to crab, has a high protein content and crucial nutrients.
  2. Salmon: Salmon is a fatty fish and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. It's versatile and can be used in many keto recipes, such as grilled salmon or salmon salad. The carb content in salmon is almost negligible, making it a good option for those on a keto diet.
  3. Lobster: Another crustacean, Lobster, can also serve as a suitable Crab substitute. Like Crab, Lobster is low in carbs and can be used in various keto-friendly recipes. Lobster salad, steamed lobster, or lobster stir-fry can be excellent low-carb meal options.

Concluding Thoughts on Crab and Keto

Throughout this discussion, it's clear that crab is not only a keto-friendly food but also one packed with nutritional benefits. Its low-carb content and rich source of vital nutrients, including protein, vitamin B12, and selenium, make it a promising addition to a keto diet. However, its high sodium content might require attention, especially for those monitoring their sodium intake.

Incorporating crab into your keto meal plan can be as straightforward as enjoying it in its natural form or creating delicious keto recipes such as crab salads and stir-fries. Remember to apply portion control and keep track of your daily carb intake to maintain your dietary goals.

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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

Absolutely! Crab is low in carbs, making it a favorable choice for those on a keto diet.

Yes, whether it's blue crab, king crab, or snow crab, all varieties have a low-carb content, making them suitable for a keto diet. However, nutritional content may vary slightly among different varieties.

Yes, butter is high in fats and low in carbs, making it a perfect companion for crab in a keto diet. Just remember to monitor your overall daily carb and calorie intake.

There are many ways to incorporate Crab into your keto recipes, from crab salads to stir-fries or even enjoying it in its natural steamed or boiled form.