Rice vinegar, sometimes called rice wine vinegar, is created by turning the sugars in rice into alcohol and then transforming that into acid.
It’s not as sharp as white distilled vinegar and has a softer, mildly sweet taste. You’ll often find it in marinades, salad dressings, and pickling veggies.
But is it a good option if you’re following the keto diet?
Rice vinegar can be considered keto-friendly in moderation when using unsweetened and unseasoned varieties.
With roughly 1 gram of net carbs per 1 tablespoon, it can be a flavorful addition to your ketogenic diet when used sparingly.
Total and Net Carbs in Rice Vinegar
Net carbs refer to the number of carbohydrates in a food that the body absorbs.
You can calculate net carbs by subtracting the grams of fiber in a serving from the total carbohydrates.
Total Carbohydrates – Grams of Fiber = Net Carbohydrates
In the case of rice vinegar, there are 1 gram of total carbs, and no grams of fiber per 1 tablespoon serving, resulting in 1 gram of net carbs.
Since carbs are limited on a keto diet, most keto resources recommend keeping your daily carb intake to 5-10% of your total calorie intake.
For example, on a 2,000-calorie diet, you’re limited to 25-50 grams of carbs daily.
Protein 0.2 g
Total lipid (fat) 0 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 0.799 g
Fiber, total dietary 0 g
Sugars, total including NLEA 0 g
Sodium, Na 15 mg
Fatty acids, total saturated 0 g
Fatty acids, total trans 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
It’s important to note that nutrient values can vary based on the brand and specific product.
Potential Health Benefits
Rice vinegar isn’t just a versatile ingredient in your kitchen; it also offers various health benefits.
Regulates Blood Sugar
One of the key components of rice vinegar is acetic acid.
Acetic acid may help control your blood sugar levels by slowing the digestion of carbohydrates.
This can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes or those looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Supports Weight Loss
Feeling full can help you eat less, and acetic acid has been shown to increase satiety, or the feeling of fullness, after eating.
By making you feel full quicker, rice vinegar could help you consume fewer calories, thus aiding in weight loss.
Rich in Antioxidants
Vinegar is rich in polyphenols, plant compounds known for their antioxidant properties.
These antioxidants help shield cells from oxidative stress, a factor that contributes to tumor development. Some research conducted on cells and mice indicates that vinegar could inhibit cancer cell growth or even trigger the death of tumor cells.
However, it’s important to note that there’s not enough human research to conclusively say that vinegar benefits cancer prevention or treatment.
While rice vinegar can be suitable for keto diets in moderation, choosing unsweetened and unseasoned varieties is essential to keep carbs in check.
Alternatives to rice vinegar on a keto diet include:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Distilled White Vinegar
- White Wine Vinegar
- Champagne Vinegar
Ways to Add to Your Keto Diet
If you opt to include rice vinegar in a keto diet, consider the following uses:
- Salad Dressings. Mix rice vinegar with healthy fats like olive oil and seasonings to create keto-friendly dressings.
- Cauliflower Rice. Drizzle over cauliflower rice for added flavor.
- Keto Sushi. Use rice vinegar in keto sushi recipes that feature cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice.
- Marinades. Combine with soy sauce, added salt, and seasonings for a keto-friendly marinade.
The Bottom Line
With 1 gram of net carbs per tablespoon, rice vinegar can be keto-friendly when used in moderation and selecting unsweetened and unseasoned varieties.