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Are Scallops Keto-Friendly?

Scallops on a kitchen counter

Absolutely! For those of you abiding by the ketogenic diet, you'll be pleased to know that scallops make a fabulous, low-carb addition to your meal plan.

High in essential nutrients and low in carbs, scallops fit seamlessly into a keto-friendly eating plan.


  • Yes, scallops are keto-friendly with just 3.18 grams of carbs per 100 grams.
  • Other benefits include a rich source of protein and essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B12.
  • Be mindful of their high sodium content, especially if you have certain health conditions.

Are Scallops Keto-Friendly?

Yes, scallops are keto-friendly. With only 3.18 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, scallops can be a great addition to a ketogenic diet. This low-carb content makes scallops a suitable choice for those following a keto lifestyle.

The keto diet emphasizes low carbohydrate intake, generally aiming for less than 50 grams of net carbs per day. With only 3.18 grams of net carbs, scallops fit well within these guidelines. To provide some context, a typical serving size of scallops might be around 100 grams. Consuming this amount will only account for a small fraction of a keto dieter's daily carb limit, leaving ample room for other nutritious, low-carb foods.

Can You Have Scallops on a Strict Keto Diet?

Yes, scallops can be incorporated into a strict keto diet. Considering that such a diet typically limits carb intake to less than 20 grams per day, the 3.18 grams of net carbs found in a 100-gram serving of scallops would only contribute a small part of the daily carb count.

Even those who follow a more lenient version of the keto diet, often referred to as a low-carb diet, can comfortably include scallops in their meal plan. This diet allows for 30-50 grams of net carbs per day. The relatively low-carb content of scallops provides flexibility for including other nutritious, low-carb foods in your diet.

Carbs In Scallops

Scallops contain 3.18 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. This makes them a relatively low-carb food, suitable for most keto dieters. Additionally, scallops have a low glycemic index of 0 [source], meaning they have 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.

Scallops Nutrition Facts

Scallops, a seafood delicacy, contains various nutrients. In a 100g serving, scallops pack a significant amount of protein (12.06g), providing essential amino acids. The portion offers a minimal amount of total lipid (fat), amounting to just 0.49g. In terms of carbohydrates, it contains net carbs and starch at 3.18g and 2.17g, respectively, making it a low-carb option ideal for specific dietary needs.
Scallops are rich in essential minerals. They offer a substantial amount of Phosphorus (334.0mg) and Sodium (392.0mg), and a decent amount of Potassium (205.0mg) and Magnesium (22.0mg). Trace minerals such as Iron, Zinc, and Copper are present too.
In the vitamin department, scallops provide Vitamin B-12 (1.41µg), Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Niacin among others. Notably, there's also Vitamin A and Vitamin D in small quantities.
Scallops include both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, with the latter comprising mono and polyunsaturated fats. They also contain a minimal amount of trans fats. The unique composition of these fats contributes to their overall nutritional profile.
Lastly, scallops offer a variety of amino acids like Leucine, Lysine, and Isoleucine, proving their worth as a protein-rich food source.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100 g
Net Carbs3.18g
Total lipid (fat)0.49g
Carbohydrate, by difference3.18g
Calcium, Ca6.0mg
Iron, Fe0.38mg
Magnesium, Mg22.0mg
Phosphorus, P334.0mg
Potassium, K205.0mg
Sodium, Na392.0mg
Zinc, Zn0.91mg
Copper, Cu0.023mg
Manganese, Mn0.017mg
Selenium, Se12.8µg
Pantothenic acid0.215mg
Vitamin B-60.073mg
Folate, total16.0µg
Folate, food16.0µg
Folate, DFE16.0µg
Choline, total65.0mg
Vitamin B-121.41µg
Vitamin A, RAE1.0µg
Vitamin A, IU3.0IU
Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units1.0IU
Fatty acids, total saturated0.128g
SFA 12:00.001g
SFA 14:00.008g
SFA 15:00.003g
SFA 16:00.081g
SFA 17:00.004g
SFA 18:00.029g
SFA 20:00.001g
SFA 22:00.001g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.048g
MUFA 14:10.001g
MUFA 16:10.009g
MUFA 16:1 c0.006g
MUFA 17:10.001g
MUFA 18:10.031g
MUFA 18:1 c0.03g
MUFA 20:10.005g
MUFA 22:10.001g
MUFA 22:1 c0.001g
MUFA 24:1 c0.001g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.13g
PUFA 18:20.008g
PUFA 18:2 n-6 c,c0.007g
PUFA 18:30.003g
PUFA 18:3 n-3 c,c,c (ALA)0.003g
PUFA 18:40.004g
PUFA 20:2 n-6 c,c0.001g
PUFA 20:30.002g
PUFA 20:3 n-60.002g
PUFA 20:40.005g
PUFA 20:5 n-3 (EPA)0.042g
PUFA 22:5 n-3 (DPA)0.003g
PUFA 22:6 n-3 (DHA)0.061g
Fatty acids, total trans0.005g
Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoic0.004g
TFA 16:1 t0.003g
TFA 18:1 t0.001g
TFA 18:2 t not further defined0.001g
Fatty acids, total trans-polyenoic0.001g
Aspartic acid0.923g
Glutamic acid1.404g
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 Scallops on a Keto Diet

Scallops offer a host of nutritional benefits, particularly for those on a keto diet. They are rich in protein, with 12.06 grams per 100 grams, supporting muscle growth and repair. Plus, they contain essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B12, which are crucial for heart health, nerve function, and energy production, respectively. However, scallops are also high in sodium, with 392.0 milligrams per 100 grams, so individuals with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, may need to limit their intake.

Incorporating Scallops into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Scallops can be simply grilled or sautéed in a keto-friendly fat like coconut oil or butter for a quick and nutritious meal. Add a side of leafy greens drizzled with olive oil for added fiber and healthy fats.
  2. Consider making a keto-friendly scallop stir-fry. Combine scallops with low-carb vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and zucchini. Cook in a pan with avocado oil and add some herbs and spices for extra flavor.
  3. Scallops can also be a great addition to a seafood salad. Mix scallops with lettuce, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes, then dress with a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Scallops

  1. Shrimp: This is a great alternative for scallops. It contains only 1 gram of net carbs per 100 grams, making it a more keto-friendly option. Shrimp can be used in keto pasta dishes with zucchini noodles, or tossed in a salad.
  2. Cod: This mild-tasting fish has zero net carbs, making it an excellent choice for the strictest form of keto. It can be used as the main protein in a dish, like in a leafy green salad or a basic cod and cauliflower rice meal.
  3. Chicken breasts: While not seafood, chicken breasts are a versatile keto-friendly substitute with zero net carbs. They can be cooked in numerous ways, from grilling to baking, and can feature in almost any recipe that calls for scallops.
  4. Salmon: It offers a slightly higher fat content, which is favorable for keto dieters, and only has zero net carbs. It is perfect for baking, grilling, or adding to a fresh salad.

Concluding Thoughts on Scallops and Keto

Scallops present a versatile and nutritious option for those following a keto diet. With a low carb content of 3.18 grams per 100 grams, they fit well within the strict carb limits of a keto diet. Beyond just being keto-friendly, scallops are packed with essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B12, contributing to overall health.

While scallops are a good fit for a keto diet, it's always important to remember portion control so as not to exceed your daily carb limit. Also, their high sodium content means certain individuals might need to watch their consumption.

There are numerous ways to incorporate scallops into your keto diet, from grilling to stir-fries, and even salads. Plus, there is room for creativity - why not try creating a scallop ceviche for a refreshing, keto-friendly appetizer?

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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, with only 3.18 grams of carbs per 100 grams, scallops are indeed keto-friendly.

Scallops are a great source of protein and essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B12.

While scallops are keto-friendly, it's always important to maintain variety in your diet for good health. Also, note that scallops have a high sodium content, which might require some individuals to monitor their intake.

Yes, there are several varieties of scallops, including sea scallops and bay scallops. Both types are low in carbs and therefore suitable for a keto diet. However, sea scallops are larger and have a slightly sweeter flavor than bay scallops.