Is Cinnamon Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Herbs and spices can make your food tastier but they can be high in carbs. Find out whether cinnamon is keto-friendly or not.

One tablespoon of cinnamon is about 7.8 grams and contains around 2.2 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber).

If you look at the amounts of carbs per 100 grams, cinnamon is relatively high in carbs.

However, as the amount above shows, cinnamon can still be keto-friendly if you consume it in reasonable amounts. Not many people will even consume 8 grams of cinnamon in one sitting.

In short, whether cinnamon will be keto in your situation depends on details like your portion size and what other foods you eat.

You typically need to pay more attention to the recipes you add cinnamon to on a ketogenic diet.

Carbs in cinnamon

The number of carbs in cinnamon is a good place to start if you want to figure out whether this food is keto-friendly.

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

  • Total carbs: 80.6 grams
  • Of which fiber: 53.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 27.5 grams

You don’t want to consume cinnamon in these quantities but it helps you compare this food to other options.

Per 100 grams, cinnamon is actually relatively high in carbs compared to regular foods.

As you will see in the cinnamon substitutes section, 27.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams is actually lower than many other herbs and spices.

One tablespoon of cinnamon is about 7.8 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 6.3 grams
  • Of which fiber: 4.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.2 grams

One tablespoon of cinnamon is a relatively high amount in a recipe for one person but a bit more realistic. The number of net carbs in 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 2.1 grams, should be possible to fit into a keto diet.

As you can see, exactly how many grams of cinnamon you will combine with what types of foods will influence a lot whether this spice is keto-friendly or not.

Other nutrients in cinnamon

Carbohydrates are important when following ketogenic diets but it can be interesting to look at the fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in cinnamon too.

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

100 grams of cinnamon contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 247
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 80.6 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 53.1 grams
  • Fat: 1.2 grams
  • Manganese: 873% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Calcium: 100% of the DV
  • Iron: 46% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 39% of the DV
  • Copper: 17% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Again, you will likely never eat this amount of cinnamon. Even so, this does show that this spice contains big amounts of valuable nutrients.

You will still need to eat a lot of other nutritious foods to have something that can be considered a healthy ketogenic diet. At the same time, small amounts do add up.

Does cinnamon tea have carbs?

You can also combine cinnamon sticks or powder with boiling water to get cinnamon tea.

The exact nutritional details of this mix can vary a lot depending on how much cinnamon you actually use and consume.

That being said, a teacup of one example of cinnamon tea (6 fl oz or 18 cl) contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 3.4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.4 grams

So cinnamon tea does have a decent amount of carbs.

One teacup of cinnamon tea will likely not kick you out of ketosis but keep in mind that it is easy to consume large amounts of fluids.

Is cinnamon okay for keto?

There are situations where even low amounts of carbs, including small portions of cinnamon, are not okay for keto. To understand why this is and to avoid it, going over the keto fundamentals can help.

You can describe basically any way of eating where you get and stay in ketosis as a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a state where your body mainly uses fat as fuel (3).

To achieve this, you need to keep your carbohydrate intake under a certain level. Where this level is depends on details like your body weight, body composition, activity levels, and more.

There are some general exercise recommendations to make things easier. These are oversimplified but do give you an idea of what it takes to follow a ketogenic diet.

A typical recommendation is that you want to get 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

In practice, this will likely come down to around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Keep in mind that you typically don’t include the fiber in cinnamon and other foods. This is a category of carbohydrates but your body processes them in a different way.

Is cinnamon tea keto-friendly?

To figure out whether cinnamon tea would be keto-friendly for you and in what amounts you need a few details.

First of all, you want to figure out how many carbs you can eat before getting kicked out of ketosis. Next, you want to figure out how many carbs the other foods in your diet contain.

After that, you want to learn how many carbs your cinnamon tea contains per what amounts.

With these pieces of information, you can roughly estimate how much cinnamon tea would be keto-friendly for you.

This is not perfect because different types of carbs can have different effects etc. Even so, it is likely better than just drinking an entire pot of cinnamon tea.

As mentioned above, cinnamon tea is often keto-friendly in small amounts. However, it could be easy to overconsume if you don’t pay any attention.

Substitutes for cinnamon on keto

Spices can be a great way to improve the taste of your ketogenic diet foods. Cinnamon is definitely not your only option for this.

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

  • Nutmeg: 28.5 grams of net carbs
  • Cloves: 27 grams of net carbs
  • Mace: 30.3 grams of net carbs
  • Allspice: 50.5 grams of net carbs
  • Ginger: 58.3 grams of net carbs

As you can see, cinnamon is actually relatively low in carbs compared to these other spices. Similarly, you may need to keep an eye on your portions of these substitutes to stay in ketosis.

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Does cinnamon have sugar or carbs?

Cinnamon has both sugar and other carbs. A lot of these will be fiber but a good percentage is from sugar and other carbs too.

Is cinnamon high in carbs?

100 grams of cinnamon contains around 80.6 grams of carbs which includes 53.1 grams. Per 100 grams, cinnamon is relatively high in carbs. At the same time, a more reasonable amount of cinnamon like a teaspoon only contains 2.1 grams of carbs (including 1.4 grams of fiber).

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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.