Is Cilantro Keto-Friendly? (Coriander Leaves)

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Herbs and spices are sometimes surprisingly high in carbs. Find out whether cilantro aka coriander leaves are keto-friendly or not.

To make it easier to compare to other foods, 100 grams of raw cilantro contain around 0.9 grams of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber).

This is very low-carb so it is fair to say that cilantro will generally be keto-friendly.

You can also consume this herb in its dried form. Dried cilantro contains around 41.7 grams of net carbs per 100 grams which is not keto-friendly in this amount.

That being said, something important to keep in mind about these net carb counts is that you typically don’t consume cilantro in these amounts.

If you keep your portions reasonable, you could likely even eat the dried version while staying in ketosis. What foods you put the cilantro on will typically deserve more attention.

How many carbs are there in cilantro aka coriander?

Ketogenic diets require you to keep your carbohydrate consumption low. That means you definitely want to know how many carbs there are in cilantro aka coriander leaves.

100 grams of raw cilantro contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 3.7 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.9 grams

There are not many people who eat an entire 100 grams of raw cilantro. However, even if you would do this, this food will likely not be the thing that kicks you out of ketosis.

9 sprigs of raw cilantro are about 20 grams and contain the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 0.7 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.6 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.1 grams

As you can expect, smaller portions of cilantro will also contain fewer carbs. This makes it more likely that you stay in ketosis.

Other nutrients in cilantro

The number of carbohydrates in cilantro is important on keto but looking at other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals is often helpful too.

These nutrients also influence whether you stay in ketosis and how good your general health will be.

100 grams of raw cilantro contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 23
  • Protein: 2.1 grams
  • Carbs: 3.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Vitamin K: 388% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin A: 135% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 45% of the DV
  • Manganese: 21% of the DV
  • Folate: 16% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Cilantro is not just low in carbs. It can also provide you with nice amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Even if you only consume it in small amounts.

You will definitely still need other nutritious foods too but adding some cilantro to your dishes can make your ketogenic diet just a bit healthier.

How many carbs are there in dried coriander & cilantro?

Cilantro and coriander leaves are often also available in their dried forms. The nutrient composition of this type per 100 grams will be different than the raw version due to the lack of water.

More specifically, dried cilantro aka dried coriander leaves contain the following amounts of carbs per 100 grams (2):

  • Total carbs: 52.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 10.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 41.7 grams

The quantity of 100 grams is to make it easier to compare dried cilantro aka dried coriander leaves to other foods. You will likely not actually consume this amount.

On the other hand, 1 tablespoon (about 2 grams) of dried cilantro contains about 0.7 grams of net carbs.

This is a lot more realistic and also a lot more keto-friendly.

Why cilantro is theoretically not always keto-friendly

There are some situations where even the tiny number of carbs in foods like cilantro could be enough to kick you out of ketosis. To understand and avoid this, a quick recap of the keto basics can be helpful.

Ketogenic diets are ways of eating where you get and stay in ketosis. This is a state where your body mainly burns fat as fuel (3).

To achieve this, you need to keep your carbohydrate consumption under certain levels. These levels vary depending on details like body weight, muscle mass, activity levels, etc.

That makes reality more complicated but there are still some general guidelines. These are not perfect but can steer you in the right direction.

A typical recommendation to get and stay in ketosis is to consume 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

If you calculate this for your situation, you will likely conclude that you can eat somewhere around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.

Something to note is that you don’t include the fiber in cilantro or other foods in these amounts. Fiber is a category of carbohydrates but your body deals with it in more keto-friendly ways.

With these keto fundamentals, you can estimate how much cilantro you would be able to eat in combination with the rest of the foods in your diet.

Substitutes for cilantro on keto

Raw cilantro can be a great way to add some taste to your keto-friendly dishes.

At the same time, cilantro is definitely not unique in this. There are a variety of other keto-friendly herbs that you can consider too.

You may prefer these other options in terms of taste or simply want to change up your keto dishes.

The numbers next to the herbs are the amounts of net carbs per 100 grams (4, 5, 6, 7, 8):

  • Fresh basil: 1.1 grams of net carbs
  • Raw chives: 1.9 grams of net carbs
  • Raw parsley: 3 grams of net carbs
  • Raw scallions: 4.7 grams of net carbs
  • Fresh dill weed: 4.9 grams of net carbs

Keep in mind that even these keto-friendly cilantro substitutes still contain a few carbs. They will likely not be the foods that kick you out of ketosis but this is something to keep in the back of your mind.

  • Total carbs: 3.7 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.9 grams

Related posts:

Does cilantro have carbs or sugar?

Cilantro has both sugar and other types of carbs like fiber.

Is coriander low-carb?

100 grams of raw coriander contains about 3.7 grams of carbs (including 2.8 grams of fiber). The 0.9 grams of net carbs this results in is typically considered to be low-carb.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.