Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto Friendly?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto Friendly?” and will discuss the nutritional content of balsamic vinegar.

Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto Friendly?

No, balsamic vinegar is not keto-friendly. A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar has 4 grams of carbohydrates and sugar, therefore it’s not keto-friendly. The Standard, Targeted, or High-Protein Keto Diets, which restrict total daily carbohydrates to 50 grams, balsamic vinegar would not be a good fit for these keto diets. Those following the Cyclical Keto Diet, on the other hand, may find it beneficial.

According to studies, the global vinegar market was estimated to grow more than 6.74% from 2017 to 2021. Europe was the biggest market for vinegar in 2017, followed by North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa. By the end of 2024, the global vinegar market is estimated to reach about 54,772 mt for balsamic vinegar, 13,427 mt for apple cider vinegar, 14,297 mt f or white wine vinegar, 31,720 mt for red wine vinegar, 7,539 mt for rice vinegar, 31,720 mt for red wine vinegar and 8,541 mt for malt vinegar (1).

How does balsamic vinegar fit into the Keto diet?

The effectiveness of the ketogenic diet is because it induces a metabolic condition known as ketosis in the body. For most people, after they’ve gotten used to the diet and their bodies have adapted, they may relax a little bit about eliminating carbohydrates from their diet.

It’s essential to be mindful of hidden carbohydrates and stick to your ketogenic diet religiously when you’re first starting, else you may never be able to reach ketosis. The Keto diet is rich in fat and low in carbohydrates, much as the Adkins diet was. However, the ketogenic diet is unique from other low-carbohydrate diets in that followers of the diet are encouraged to forgo nearly all carbohydrates, avoid excess protein, and consume high levels of fat (generally exceeding 70% of calories consumed), resulting in the production of ketones (2).

Carbohydrate-free dieters go into a condition called ketosis, in which their bodies begin using stored fat for energy instead of the carbohydrates they were previously consuming. Your body’s glucose levels are lowered as a result of the reduced carbohydrate intake, pushing it to search for alternative sources of energy. As a result, your body’s fat reserves begin to be burned in the form of ketone bodies. As ketone bodies are produced by breakdown of fats, ketosis is the most reliable indicator of fat loss (3).

As a result, your body begins to naturally shed fat stores. Typical, low-cost balsamic vinegar has 4-5 grams of carbohydrates in the form of sugar, and no fat per tablespoon. So, we know straight away that although balsamic vinegar is low in carbohydrates, it fails the low carb, high fat test associated with keto because of its high-fat content (4).

Is it ok to consume vinegar while on the Keto diet?

vinegar like apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, and red and white wine vinegar are excellent for keeping you in ketosis. Balsamic vinegar contains a lot of carbohydrates and should be avoided on the keto diet.

To explain, even if you use wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar as a food source, the fermentation process will remove all of the sugars and carbohydrates. As a result of introducing yeast, apple juice becomes alcoholic and must be diluted with water.

Alcoholic fermentation is a fast process in which complex sugars are generally depleted within three weeks. Conversion of fermentable sugars into ethanol is done through the action of yeasts, usually strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. On the other hand, in acetous fermentation, ethanol is further oxidized into acetic acid by acetic acid bacteria that usually belong to the genus Acetobacter. Alcoholic and acetous fermentations are carried out under anaerobic and aerobic conditions, respectively (6).

Some internet users now claim that eating a little amount of apple cider vinegar before a large carb meal helps decrease the body’s glucose reaction, which otherwise would cause it to exit ketosis.

While some people believe that consuming apple cider vinegar helps curb their appetites, others believe that it increases them, leading to carbohydrate binges and a blown diet.

Vinegar has been shown to have a glucose-lowering effect in patients with glucose abnormalities. The mechanisms by which vinegar reduces glucose levels are still unclear. Acetic acid has been shown to delay gastric emptying in healthy subjects and patients with type 1 diabetes; alternatively, acetic acid may inhibit disaccharidase activity in the small intestine and suppress the enteral carbohydrate absorption. In addition, vinegar ingestion at bedtime has been shown to decrease fasting glucose levels in humans with type 2 diabetes, suggesting an effect of acetic acid on endogenous glucose production (5).

Carbohydrate content of balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar has a lot of carbohydrates, therefore it’s not a good choice for people watching their carb consumption. Per tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, you’ll find 10 grams of carbohydrates from which 2 g are sugar, according to the USDA. Balsamic vinegar is too high for most individuals on a ketogenic diet, who aim to consume no more than 50 grams of carbs per day.

However, I guess the term “high” is subjective. In comparison to white bread, which has 14 grams of carbohydrates per slice, balsamic vinegar has 10 grams of carbs per tablespoon. You can season a salad for four people with only a tablespoon or three of balsamic vinegar and some EVOO, so it’s not too high in carbohydrates.

However, balsamic vinegar has a higher glucose content than any other vinegar. EU legislation sets a minimum limit for total reducing sugars for the traditional balsamic vinegar to 110 g sugars/L) (7). As a general rule, you only need a tiny quantity of vinegar per serving, so keep this in mind when figuring out how much to add to your dish.

Assuming 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day, here’s what a typical day’s carb consumption might look like on a ketogenic diet:

·         Breakfast: 4 Cream Cheese Pancakes with Butter and any kind of sugar for breakfast (sweetener like stevia if preferred), coffee with heavy cream, and shaved bacon- 7 grams of carbohydrates are included in one serving.

·         Lunch: 1 cup of tuna salad with romaine lettuce (tuna, mayo, salt, and pepper).

·         Dinner: 1 cup chili (beef or turkey with salsa and seasonings), sour cream, and sharp cheddar cheese. Add fried pig rinds for a tasty finishing touch- About 5 grams of carbohydrates are included in one serving.

String cheese (approximately 1 gram each string, twice a day) and avocado (6 grams of carbohydrates for 4 oz) may be used as snacks throughout the day to get your total daily carbs up to 24 grams. That said, if you’re OK with eating up to 50 grams of carbohydrates per serving, you may include a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto Friendly?” and discussed the nutritional content of balsamic vinegar.

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