Is Miso Paste Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Legumes and the products that come from them are often high in carbs. Find out whether miso paste is a keto-friendly exception to this trend.

An important thing to note is that different miso paste brands can vary in nutrition content. When in doubt you want to double-check the nutrition label.

That being said, one example of miso paste contains around 21.1 grams of net carbohydrates, which means total carbs minus fiber, per 100 grams.

In this amount, miso paste will often kick you out of ketosis so you can say it is typically not keto-friendly.

Even in more reasonable amounts like a tablespoon, miso contains around 3.6 grams of net carbs. This is a lot of your keto carb limit for such a small amount of food.

Depending on why you are interested in miso, you could consider more keto-friendly substitutes.

Carbs in miso

Ketogenic diets require you to keep your carbohydrate consumption low enough. That means the number of carbs in miso is an important detail.

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

  • Total carbs: 26.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 5.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 21.1 grams

In combination with the carbohydrates in the other foods you eat, the 21.1 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of miso paste will typically be enough to get you out of ketosis.

That means it is fair to say miso is often not keto-friendly. Especially not in amounts like this.

One tablespoon of miso is about 17 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 4.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.6 grams

Most people do not consume as much miso as the portion above. However, even only one tablespoon of miso contains a good amount of net carbs.

Even if you are able to implement this amount of miso paste while staying in ketosis, you are using a lot of your daily carbs on a small amount of food.

Other nutritional details miso

In some situations, it can be worth implementing small amounts of foods like miso paste that are somewhat higher in carbs on keto for their nutrients.

Fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals are still important for a variety of health goals.

100 grams of the example miso contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 199
  • Protein: 11.7 grams
  • Carbs: 26.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.4 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Sodium: 155% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 43% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 37% of the DV
  • Copper: 21% of the DV
  • Zinc: 17% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Miso paste does contain nice amounts of fiber and other valuable nutrients. However, you should still be able to find more low-carb foods that offer these nutrients in more keto-friendly ways.

Additionally, it is also possible to overdo it with certain vitamins and minerals.

For example, miso contains a good amount of sodium. If you already eat a lot of foods with this nutrient, you likely want to keep your miso paste portions small.

Carbs in miso soup

One of the most popular ways to implement more miso in a diet is as an ingredient in miso soup.

By adding water and more low-carb ingredients to the mix, the dish changes in nutritional details per 100 grams and how keto-friendly your diet is.

Exactly how many carbs there are in miso soup can differ between recipes. The values below are from our example miso soup recipe.

Values Per 100gMisoMiso Soup
Total Carbohydrates26.5 g3.1 g
Of Which Fiber5.4 g0.6 g
Net Carbs21.1 g2.5 g
Chart of carbs in miso vs miso soup

As you can see, miso soup is a lot more keto-friendly than the regular paste.

If you like the taste of miso but want to keep things low-carb, you likely want to make soup with it.

Why miso is often not good on keto

Sometimes it is possible to implement small amounts of foods like miso that are not that keto-friendly. However, this does use up a lot of your daily carbs that could go toward more nutritious foods.

The general keto guidelines below should make it clear that it is likely not that smart to consume miso on this type of diet.

Any way of eating where you get and stay in ketosis is a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a state where your body mainly uses fat as energy source (2).

To get into ketosis you need to keep your carb intake below a certain threshold. Exactly how many grams of carbs that means depends on a variety of details.

For example, someone with a lot of muscle mass who is very active will typically be able to consume more carbohydrates while staying in ketosis.

Luckily, there are still some general keto guidelines. These are not perfect but give you somewhat of an idea of why miso paste will be hard to fit into a ketogenic diet.

A typical example of one of these guidelines is getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

In practice, this will likely mean something like eating around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day for you.

Keep in mind that you typically don’t include the fiber in miso and other foods in these amounts. Fiber is a category of carbs but it goes through your body in different ways.

Substitutes for miso on keto

There are many reasons why you would consider eating miso on keto. For some of these reasons, there are acceptable substitutes that are more keto-friendly.

For example, you make miso paste by fermenting soybeans. If you like this aspect, you can also consider more keto-friendly fermented foods like pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt.

On the other hand, miso can be used as a dip too. In that case, salsa, guacamole, hot brie, and potentially hummus could suit your need too without adding as many carbs to your keto diet.

Why do you follow a ketogenic diet?

By now you likely understand that miso is often not that keto-friendly. Whether this should stop you from eating miso paste and dishes that implement it depends on your health goals.

For example, it is possible that you want to stay in strict ketosis every minute of the day. In a situation like that, you likely don’t even want to consider miso paste.

On the other hand, even in cases where you don’t stay in ketosis, eating miso paste can be decent/good for weight loss and health.

Following a keto diet can help with these health goals but you can typically achieve them in other ways too.

Does white miso have carbs?

Yes, white miso has carbs. More specifically, 100 grams of white miso contain around 25 grams of carbohydrates (including 8.3 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.