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Is Miso Soup Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about miso soup, is it keto-friendly?

Miso is a type of paste made by fermenting soybeans. Sometimes other ingredients like barley and rice are added too. Miso soup is basically soup that uses miso and dashi stock, a Japanese kind of fish stock.

The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in the example miso soup recipe is around 2.5 grams per 100 grams.

While it depends on the rest of your diet and the recipe you use, for most people miso soup is generally keto-friendly. That being said, most other soups will be more keto-friendly substitutes due to the number of carbs in miso and tofu.

Example miso soup recipe

There is not one single way to make miso soup. Depending on the quantities and ingredients used, nutritional values will vary too. However, by taking a look at one miso soup recipe you get an overall view of the impact of this dish on weight loss.

The guidelines are for two servings of miso soup.

Example ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dashi granules
  • 2 cups (480 grams) water
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste
  • 8 ounces (224 grams) soft tofu
  • 1 onion
  • 1 medium carrot

Depending on your personal nutrition needs you may decide to add or remove ingredients. For example if you have trouble reaching your daily protein goals you may add eggs to your miso soup.

This article will use the estimated nutritional values of 100 grams of this miso soup recipe (1, 2, 3, 4).

When is a food keto-friendly

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into ketosis, a state where it starts mainly burning fat as a fuel (5). This comes down to more or less getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

For most people this comes down to eating around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates a day.

In reality, this number is different depending on a lot of factors. For example, people who exercise a lot may be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.

That being said that daily amount can be a good general guideline.

It is also common to exclude fiber from this amount since it doesn’t get absorbed into your body the same way as regular carbohydrates.

Carbs in miso soup

100 grams of the example miso soup contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 3.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.6 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.5 grams

While possible depending on the other foods in your diet, it is unlikely that the 2.5 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of miso soup is enough to kick you out of ketosis.

One bowl of this miso soup is about 180 ml (6 oz) and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 5.6 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 4.5 grams

You can likely fit the number of net carbs in miso soup, 4.5 grams, in a ketogenic diet.

Carbs in regular miso

The above amounts of net carbs in miso soup are miso combined with a variety of other ingredients. You can also eat miso as for example a dip, this will have a big impact on how keto-friendly miso is.

Here is the comparison between miso soup and miso as an example (6):

Values Per 100gMiso SoupMiso
Total Carbohydrates3.1 g26.5 g
Of Which Fiber0.6 g5.4 g
Net Carbs2.5 g21.1 g
Chart of carbs in miso soup vs miso

As you can see, if you decide to eat miso in some form on the ketogenic diet, you preferably want to eat it as miso soup, not on its own. Miso is not very keto-friendly.

Other nutrients in miso soup

Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still matter on the ketogenic diet.

100 grams of the example recipe miso soup contains the following nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 29.1
  • Protein: 2.2 grams
  • Carbs: 3.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.9 grams
  • Vitamin A: 23% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 7% of the DV
  • Sodium: 5% of the DV
  • Selenium: 4% of the DV
  • Folate: 4% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Miso soup does contain a nice amount of a variety of valuable nutrients. However, if you’re close to your carb limit you may be able to find foods that are more nutrient-dense and lower in carbs.

Substitutes for miso soup on keto

Miso soup is not that high in carbs compared to most foods. Even so the typical ingredients miso and tofu are generally higher in carbs than most typical soup ingredients.

That means that most soups will be lower carb and thus more keto-friendly substitutes for miso soup.

What is your goal with keto?

Even though miso soup is generally low in net carbs, added to certain daily diets it can potentially put you just over the net carbs border, out of ketosis. Depending on the goal you have with keto this may or may not be a problem.

If your goal is to stay strictly in ketosis 24/7 you want to be careful about your carbohydrate intake.

If your goal is to lose weight and become healthier, miso soup can be a great food option even if it potentially puts you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level.