Is Mustard Keto?

The ketogenic diet, a regimen high in fats and low in carbohydrates, has gained immense popularity for its effectiveness in weight loss and health improvement. A crucial aspect of this diet is understanding which foods and condiments align with its strict carb limitations.

Among these, mustard, a common condiment, often raises questions about its compatibility with the keto lifestyle. This article explores whether mustard fits into the ketogenic diet.

Understanding the Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet is a nutritional approach centered around high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate intake. Its primary goal is to shift the body’s metabolism from glucose to fat, leading to a state known as ketosis. In this state, the body efficiently burns fat for energy, contributing to weight loss and potential health benefits.

For successful ketosis, it’s crucial to maintain a diet where approximately 75% of calories come from fats, 20% from proteins, and a mere 5% from carbohydrates. This delicate balance makes it essential for individuals on a keto diet to carefully select their foods and condiments, including mustard.

Is Mustard Keto-Friendly?

Mustard, in its basic forms like yellow and Dijon, is generally considered keto-friendly due to its low carbohydrate content. A tablespoon of these mustards contains only about 0.2 to 0.5 grams of carbs, which is a negligible amount in the context of a daily limit of 20-50 grams of carbs on a keto diet.

This makes mustard a suitable condiment for adding flavor to keto meals without significantly impacting the carbohydrate intake. However, it’s important to note that not all mustard varieties are created equal in terms of their keto compatibility, as some may contain added sugars or higher carb ingredients.

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Keto-Friendly Mustard Alternatives

  1. Whole Grain Mustard: A coarse-textured mustard with a robust flavor, containing no added sugars.
  2. Spicy Brown Mustard: Offers a pungent kick, suitable for keto as long as it’s free of added sugars.
  3. Homemade Mustard: Create your own mustard using mustard seeds, vinegar, and keto-approved sweeteners like stevia or erythritol for a personalized, low-carb condiment.
  4. Dijon Mustard: Generally low in carbs and without added sugars, making it a good choice for keto diets.
  5. Mustard with Stevia or Erythritol: For those who prefer a sweeter taste, mix Dijon mustard with stevia or erythritol to create a keto-friendly sweet mustard alternative.
  6. Herb-Infused Mustard: Enhance plain mustard with herbs like dill or tarragon for added flavor without increasing carbs.
  7. Mustard and Mayo Mix: Combine mustard with keto-friendly mayonnaise for a creamy, flavorful spread or dip.
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar Mustard: Mix mustard with a bit of apple cider vinegar for a tangy twist, suitable for keto diets.

Nutritional Profile of Mustard

Mustard, in its various forms, is more than just a condiment; it’s a blend of nutrition and flavor. The basic yellow mustard typically contains water, mustard seeds, vinegar, turmeric, and other spices. A tablespoon of yellow mustard offers about 3 calories, 0.2 grams of carbohydrates, 0.2 grams of protein, and negligible fat. Dijon and whole grain mustards have similar profiles but may vary slightly in calorie and carb content.

Type of MustardCalories per tbspCarbs per tbspProtein per tbsp
Yellow Mustard30.20.2
Dijon Mustard50.50.3
Whole Grain101.00.5

Types of Mustard to Avoid on Keto

While basic mustard varieties are keto-friendly, certain types should be avoided due to their higher carbohydrate content. Honey mustard, for instance, contains added honey, significantly increasing its carb content. Similarly, sweet mustards, often enhanced with sugar, molasses, or fruit preserves, are not suitable for a keto diet.

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Mustard TypeCarbs per tbsp
Honey Mustard5-7
Sweet Mustard4

These mustards can quickly exceed the daily carb limit of a ketogenic diet, making it crucial for keto dieters to read labels carefully and choose their condiments wisely.

Incorporating Mustard into a Keto Diet

Mustard can be a versatile addition to a keto diet. Spread it over meats like salmon or chicken before baking for a flavorful crust. It can also enhance homemade salad dressings when mixed with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Mustard serves as a great dip for low-carb vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli. For a quick snack, mix mustard with mayonnaise as a spread for lettuce wraps filled with deli meats and cheese. The possibilities are endless, and with only about 0.2 grams of carbs per tablespoon, mustard can easily fit into the daily carb allowance of a ketogenic diet.


In summary, mustard can be a delightful and versatile addition to a ketogenic diet when chosen wisely. Opting for keto-friendly varieties like whole grain, spicy brown, or homemade mustard ensures you can enjoy this condiment without compromising your carb intake. By being mindful of ingredients and avoiding added sugars, mustard can enhance your keto meals with its unique flavor, contributing to a diverse and enjoyable low-carb diet.