Is Lamb Keto-Friendly? (& Alternatives)

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Find out whether lamb is keto-friendly or not so you don’t get kicked out of ketosis by one suboptimal food choice.

100 grams of cooked lamb contains about zero grams of net carbs (not considering herbs and spices).

In turn, it is fair to say that lamb itself is generally very keto-friendly.

You do want to keep in mind that certain lamb dishes and recipes come with ingredients that do contain carbohydrates.

Some of these could kick you out of ketosis depending on a few details like the rest of your diet.

Additionally, lamb is not the only food option that contains zero carbs.

You can consider these other foods too if you prefer their taste or nutrients or simply want to switch things up.

Is lamb high in carbs?

To figure out how good or bad lamb is for ketogenic diets you need to know the number of carbs in it.

100 grams of cooked ground lamb contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 0 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 0 grams

As you can see, it does not get better for ketogenic diets like this. Lamb is definitely not high in carbs in any amount.

One thing is that herbs and spices often contain small amounts of carbohydrates.

This will likely not be enough to make lamb kick you out of ketosis but it is something to keep in mind.

Other nutrients in lamb

Carbs play an important role in ketogenic diets but when considering foods like lamb, other nutrients are still relevant.

Fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals will also influence things like weight loss and your general health.

100 grams of cooked lamb contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 283
  • Protein: 24.8 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 19.6 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 44% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 40% of the DV
  • Niacin: 34% of the DV
  • Zinc: 31% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

On top of containing zero carbs, lamb also contains valuable nutrients.

For example, people who struggle with hitting their fat and protein intake goals on keto could consider this type of meat.

Lamb is relatively good for weight loss too.

Why lamb is almost always keto

Ketogenic diets come down to eating in a way that gets and keeps you in ketosis. This is a state where your body mainly burns fat as fuel (2).

You get in this state by lowering your carb intake enough.

How low you need to go depends on details like your weight, activity levels, sleeping habits, and more.

That being said, typically consuming less than 5% to 10% of your calories in carbs is enough to be considered keto-friendly.

Excluding any herbs and spices, lamb meat contains zero carbs.

In turn, this will not be the food choice that kicks you out of ketosis.

On the other hand, you do want to keep the other ingredients in lamb recipes in mind. Even vegetables sometimes contain considerable amounts of carbs.

So just because a lamb recipe is “keto-friendly” does not mean you can eat it in unlimited amounts on this diet.

Are lamb chops keto-friendly?

At this point, you likely understand that lamb chops are keto-friendly too because they contain about zero carbs (3).

The same applies to other parts like lamb shank.

As long as you don’t add too many carbs in the form of sauces or other ingredients, lamb is generally keto-friendly.

Is lamb doner keto-friendly?

Besides herbs and spices, lamb doner meat contains around zero carbs which means it is keto-friendly.

However, when you add the bread, vegetables, and sauces, it is very possible that lamb doner kebab kicks you out of ketosis.

Is lamb kofta keto-friendly?

Whether or not lamb kofta is keto-friendly or not can vary a lot from brand to brand.

On the one hand, there is lamb kofta that just includes lamb meat and certain herbs and spices.

This is generally keto-friendly.

On the flip side, you also have lamb kofta recipes that include high-carb ingredients like rice. You generally want to avoid these on a ketogenic diet.

Is lamb saag keto-friendly?

Lamb saag without carb-heavy ingredients like chickpeas tends to be low in carbs and in turn, keto-friendly.

One example of saag contains around 2.94 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (4).

Adding lamb to this mix will only make it more keto-friendly per 100 grams.

Substitutes for lamb on keto

Lamb is often a great option for ketogenic diets but it is not the only food option with zero carbs.

You may prefer the similar lamb substitutes below in terms of taste and nutrients.

The values next to these food options are the amounts of carbohydrates per 100 grams (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10):

  • Salmon: 0 grams of net carbs
  • Beef: 0 grams of net carbs
  • Eggs (hard-boiled): 1 gram of net carbs
  • Tilapia: 0 grams of net carbs
  • Chicken: 0 grams of net carbs
  • Tuna: 0 grams of net carbs

Just switching up the foods in your ketogenic diet plan can improve your enjoyment and consistency too.


Is lamb good on a keto diet?

Lamb is a very good food option on a keto diet thanks to its low amount of carbs and high amounts of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Is lamb or beef better for keto diets?

Based on the current nutrition research, it is hard to say whether lamb or beef will be better for keto diets. The difference will likely not be too big either.

Both contain zero carbs and nice amounts of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

In the absence of good research, you likely want to focus on the option that aligns the most with your genes and/or switch things up.

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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.