Whenever I am on a diet, I always look for fresh vegetables and delicious dressing for salads. It is my go-to lunch menu if I do not feel like cooking anything. I mostly use yogurt, sour cream, or vinegar for my salad dressing.
Besides, balsamic vinegar is my current favorite ingredient to use in salads. The vinaigrette made with this vinegar is very mouth-watering for a salad dressing. But “is balsamic vinegar keto friendly?”
To better understand balsamic vinegar and fit it into the keto diet, I have gathered all the necessary information about the nutrients, recipes, and alternatives. So read further to get a better idea about this unique vinegar.
A Sneak Peek At The Keto Diet
Before getting to balsamic vinegar, we need to know about the keto diet and its requirements. If you do not know about this diet, you might have problems selecting proper low-carb foods.
The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is trendy for quickly losing weight. This diet requires low carb, high fat, and protein foods to make your body stay in a ketosis state. This state helps in losing weight by burning the fats for your body’s energy.
You have to check what you are eating on the keto diet constantly. To strictly follow this diet, you need to count your daily carbs. It requires less than 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. A simple excess of carbs can easily kick you out of the ketosis state.
There are many restrictions on foods in this diet. You cannot have sugar or sweeteners, including certain fruits and juices. Moreover, grainy items like wheat or cereal and processed foods are not allowed.
So, “is balsamic vinegar keto friendly?” Let’s not waste any time finding out about this people’s favorite vinegar.
A Brief About Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is one of the best kinds of vinegar for salad dressing. With its sweet and tart flavor, this vinegar has become a cherished ingredient in U.S. kitchens. It can be used in versatile ways in different dishes.
This vinegar originated in Italy. It is initially made in the vineyards of Modena, Italy, with their freshly crushed, unfermented grape juice. The traditional balsamic vinegar has to be aged for several months or years in wooden barrels.
Moreover, this process makes the flavor of the vinegar more intense and distinctive. Also, the original balsamic vinegar can be quite expensive.
However, nowadays, most brands make balsamic vinegar by blending grapes with wine vinegar. It is the most common and commercial way to promote vinegar worldwide. They are cheap compared to the traditional balsamic vinegar.
The texture of balsamic vinegar is a bit thick and syrupy. For most people, the flavor can be pretty intense and bold. It is a brown-colored liquid and tastes like a mixture of sweet and spicy with a tart aftertaste.
Therefore, this vinegar is best for salad dressing. You can also use it in several other dishes like vegetables, fish, and meat. It is also great for marinating and toppings in most chicken or beef steak recipes.
Nutritional Factors Of Balsamic Vinegar
Most vinegar has low calories and carbs. However, some contain a high level of sugar. So you need to be aware of the nutrients that come with the balsamic vinegar brand. It will help you determine whether you can add it to your diet.
If you find authentic balsamic vinegar, you will get a proper count of nutritional value. One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar contains 14 calories, 2.7 grams of net carbs, and 2.4 grams of sugar. Other than these, it does not have any fat, sodium, fiber, or protein.
Moreover, this vinegar has many health benefits. Due to its rich antioxidants, balsamic vinegar helps in lowering cholesterol levels. Furthermore, it contains probiotic bacteria that improve gut health and digestion.
The main ingredient in this vinegar is grape which prevents your blood platelets from aggregating. Therefore, it prevents heart attack, stroke, and other cardiac diseases. Other than that, it does not preserve food in your body and helps in the immune system.
Furthermore, according to Mediterranean culture, balsamic vinegar is considered a healing and anti-aging component in cooking. It supports weight loss and is diabetes-friendly. Consuming this vinegar will also help you have clear skin and a bright complexion.
Fitting Balsamic Vinegar In The Keto Diet
So from the above discussion, we know that balsamic vinegar is good for health and weight loss. Moreover, it is low in carbs, and depending on the brand, it is also low in sugar. So, “is balsamic vinegar keto friendly?”
Absolutely! Depending on the brand, most balsamic vinegar is fit for the keto diet. The apparent reason is that one tablespoon of this vinegar contains only 2.7 grams of net carbs. These carbs come from the grapes, and much of the sugar gets lost in fermentation.
However, you might find some brands that consist of 6-10 grams of net carbs per one tablespoon. They might contain a high amount of sugar. Some even add extra coloring, caramel, and artificial additives.
That means some brands of balsamic vinegar are not keto friendly. So you need to check the carb count and ingredients of the balsamic vinegar brand before buying.
Besides that, balsamic vinegar does not have any fat or protein, which is a downside of the keto diet. Usually, the keto diet requires high fat and protein in foods.
So you can quickly fill this fat and protein by adding balsamic vinegar with another keto-friendly food. You can either make a vinaigrette for salads or drizzle the vinegar in bacon, cheese platter, or brussels sprouts.
Keto Friendly Recipes With Balsamic Vinegar
I have now established that balsamic vinegar is perfect for the keto diet. But how can you add it into your regular diet routine? Here are some delicious recipes with balsamic vinegar that you can have in your keto diet.
Keto Balsamic Vinaigrette
The first one is a classic salad dressing or vinaigrette. For this recipe, you will need balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper for seasoning. Blend them for a smooth texture.
There you have it! Your classic Keto-friendly balsamic vinaigrette! You can have it in either as your lunch or dinner.
For a bit of a sweet and savory meal, balsamic chicken is perfect. It only needs five indigents: chicken tenders, olive oil, sundried tomato, seasoning, and our favorite balsamic vinegar. It would help if you cooked the chicken tenders with herbs in olive oil until both sides are well done.
Then add some sundried tomato and balsamic vinegar and cook on medium-high heat. After the meat is cooked, serve the dish with some fresh basil sprinkled on top. Enjoy the meal while it is hot and juicy.
Balsamic Steak And Vegetable
If you are craving some hearty dinner, then balsamic steak with grilled tomatoes and asparagus is perfect. For this recipe, you will need olive oil, garlic, pepper, salt, and whatever vegetables you want.
Marinate the steak with pepper and salt and grill it in the oven. Then, sauté all your vegetables like tomatoes, asparagus, or broccoli with red onions or garlic in olive oil. After that, cut and mix the grilled steak with the vegetables.
Voila! There you have a perfect dinner that you can enjoy with anyone. It is delicious and will not kick you out of your keto diet.
Keto Alternative To Balsamic Vinegar
Although balsamic vinegar is keto friendly, it still has the highest sugar consumption among the other kinds of vinegar. So if you don’t like the taste of this, then I have gathered other keto-friendly vinegar options that can replace balsamic vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A perfect alternative to balsamic vinegar is apple cider vinegar, with zero sugar and carbohydrate. One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar contains only 3 calories and no carbs, making it keto friendly.
Moreover, apple cider vinegar helps in controlling harmful pathogens in your body. It also maintains your body’s pH level, which allows your body to use complex minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar is also another keto-alternative to balsamic vinegar. It has a similar tangy flavor as balsamic vinegar but with less sweetness. Due to its carb and sugar-free components, it fits the keto diet.
Red wine vinegar goes well with intense flavors like steaks. You can use this vinegar in your salads. And if you want a bit of sweetness, then you can add a bit of honey or maple syrup.
Another alternative you can find is sherry vinegar. Like apple cider and red wine vinegar, it also contains no carbs and sugar. Therefore it is ideal for the keto diet.
However, sherry vinegar is only made in Spain. You might not find huge varieties and quality brands of this vinegar, unlike balsamic vinegar.
Although it is not vinegar, still lemon juice can be an excellent keto-alternative for balsamic vinegar. The juice of one lemon contains 3 grams of carbs and 11 calories, making it fit for keto.
Lemon juice is naturally rich in vitamin C. It helps you to have healthy skin and strong immunity. Moreover, you can add lemon juice in any salads, keto bread, or even other recipes instead of balsamic vinegar.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you drink balsamic vinegar with water?
Yes. You can drink balsamic vinegar with water. It contains antioxidant polyphenols that help the digestive system. So if you drink a glass of hot water with 10ml of balsamic vinegar, it will prevent bloating and discomfort in digesting.
2. What happens if you eat balsamic vinegar every day?
If you eat balsamic vinegar every day, it can destroy your dental enamel. Vinegar is acidic and contains leads. So it could be a great danger for children rather than adults.
3. Should you refrigerate balsamic vinegar after opening?
It would be best always to put balsamic vinegar in refrigerate after opening. They should always be kept in cool storage spaces. You can also store them in the cupboard if you use the vinegar for sauces and marinades.
4. How long can you keep balsamic vinegar once opened?
You can keep balsamic vinegar for 12-18 months after opening. It is when you use the vinegar regularly. Also, you can refrigerate balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing for about 6-9 months after making it.
5. Does balsamic vinegar have gluten?
No. Balsamic vinegar does not have gluten. Instead, it is gluten-free because it is made of grapes. However, sometimes the wheat-based pastes used to seal casks of balsamic vinegar consist of gluten.
6. What is the difference between balsamic vinegar and regular vinegar?
The difference between balsamic vinegar and regular vinegar is that balsamic vinegar is made from an Italian grape called Trebbiano grapes. This vinegar comes from the concentrated juice of the grape. On the other hand, regular vinegar is made from fermented wine.
7. What foods can be paired with balsamic vinegar?
Sweet and tangy flavors such as peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and chocolates fit perfectly as a pair with balsamic vinegar.
8. What cheese goes well with balsamic vinegar?
All kinds of cheese go well with balsamic vinegar. Especially Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano are great companions for a drizzle over or dip with balsamic vinegar. This vinegar with cheese balances each other’s flavors.
Lastly, this Italy-originated vinegar is not only healthy but also a versatile ingredient. You can add balsamic vinegar to all kinds of dishes, including low-carb vegetables, meat, and other mixed platters. This vinegar will help you to lose weight and stay fit and healthy.
Now that you know the answer to “is balsamic vinegar keto friendly?” You can easily corporate this vinegar into your regular keto diet. And if you want some alternatives, you can choose from the above options like apple cider and lemon.
Therefore, I hope this article helped you find your way to the keto world. With all the information, you can easily decide how to add balsamic vinegar to your keto meal.