Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto?

Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto?

June 24, 2024 5 min read

If you’ve been observing the ketogenic dietfor a while, you’ve probably started getting a bit tired of the bland flavors of your meals. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Seasoned keto dieters are almost always on the lookout for keto-friendly condiments and seasonings to give their food a kick of flavor.

But that’s easier said than done. There are several condiments that are on the keto “do not eat” list because of their carb content. Is balsamic vinegar one of them? We did the leg work and determined what nutritionists and keto experts have to say about consuming balsamic vinegar on keto. 

What is Balsamic Vinegar?

You probably already know what balsamic vinegar tastes like. But are you fully aware of what it is and what it’s made of? 

Balsamic vinegar is a concentrated vinegar originating from Italy. It usually comes in a thick syrup consistency that’s glossy and deep brown in color. It has a complex flavor profile — the perfect blend of sweet and sour to add a tangy kick to a variety of dishes. 

While balsamic vinegar can be prepared in different ways, most are wholly or partially made from freshly crushed grape juice, including the seeds, skins, and stems.

They were originally curated in vineyards in Modena, Italy in the same manner as wine — aged for years in wooden barrels to allow the flavor to intensify. In fact, some balsamic vinegar products are  aged for over 25 years

Today, however,  commercial balsamic vinegar products are made with grapes mixed with wine vinegar and other ingredients to taste. 

Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto?

Now onto the pressing question. Is balsamic vinegar keto-friendly? The answer we got from  most nutritionists and keto experts is “Yes — to some extent.” Remember that there are different types of balsamic vinegar, with each brand adding different ingredients to acquire a unique flavor. 

But in general, because it’s made from grapes, balsamic vinegar has a similar carb content as wine. One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, depending on the type, has around  2-6 grams of carbs

The good news for keto dieters is there are sugar-free balsamic vinegar products in the market that can have as low as 1 net gram of carbs. Before adding it to your diet, keto practitioners recommend that you always check the label to make sure there are no added sugars, coloring, or artificial additives. 

Some popular balsamic vinegar brands approved by keto dieters are the following: 

  • Primal Kitchen Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • De La Rosa Organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • Mamma Tina Aceto Balsamic Vinegar
  • Tessemae’s Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette 

In addition to being selective of the brand of balsamic vinegar you purchase, nutritionists also suggest consuming it in moderation. How much exactly will depend on your daily carb allowance. 

While one tablespoon of low-carb balsamic vinegar will not kick you out of ketosis if your allowable carb intake is 50 grams per day, it might be a problem if you limit your carb intake to only 20 grams of net carbs daily. 

Balsamic Vinegar Nutritional Facts

According to the  USDA, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar typically contains 14.1 calories, 0.078 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 2.72 grams of carbohydrates. The nutritional profile of balsamic vinegar can differ depending on the brand and type. 

Balsamic vinegar is also known to be healthy. It’s rich in antioxidants, antimicrobial compounds, and acetic acid, all of which can improve complexion and skin health. Some  research also points to balsamic vinegar as a blood sugar regulator, having an anti-glycemic impact that prevents the drastic spike of blood sugar. 

Perhaps the biggest  benefit of balsamic vinegar is for the digestive system. It’s abundant in acetic acid, which contains strains of probiotics that can help improve digression and support gut health. 

Balsamic Vinegar Keto Alternatives

While there are now low-carb balsamic vinegar products that can fit well into your keto diet regime, they can be difficult to find. Instead of balsamic vinegar, keto dieters urge you to try the following alternatives to flavor your meals while staying within your daily carb allowance. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is virtually carb-free, with a  one-tablespoon serving containing 0 grams of carbs, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 1.95 calories. It passes as a good alternative to balsamic vinegar, having a similar sweet and tangy flavor profile.

Apple cider vinegar is also one of the healthiest condiments you can find. Its primary benefit is its ability to control harmful pathogens in the body and create an  inhibitory effect against different strains of bacteria. It’s also helpful in assisting the body to use minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron more efficiently. 

Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar is made from a mix of red wine and raw, unpasteurized vinegar. The result is a fruity but strong, tangy flavor that can instantly make any dish more appetizing. This can be a healthy alternative to balsamic vinegar, known to play a role in  lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. 

According to the  USDA, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar contains only 0.04 grams of carbs. It has 0.006 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 2.83 calories. 

White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is a more fruity alternative to balsamic. It’s made of fermented and oxidized white wine to give it a tart flavor that works well as a dressing, sauce, or marinade.

A  tablespoon of white wine vinegar, depending on the brand, typically contains 0 grams of carbs, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, and 2.7 calories. 

Keto dieters like using white wine vinegar because of its effect on their appetite.  Studies show it can provide short-term appetite control, while also reducing the glycemic index of food it is consumed with. 

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a balsamic vinegar alternative you most likely already have in your kitchen. It’s not only more accessible, but it also does a great job of adding a tangy kick to your keto recipes. 

 Juice from a freshly squeezed lemon contains only 3.31 grams of carbohydrates, 0.168 grams of protein, 0.115 grams of fat, and 10.6 calories. You can also purchase store-bought lemon juice, but make sure to check the label for any additives. 

Aside from being tasty, refreshing, and most importantly, low-carb, lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C, with one squeezed lemon containing 18.6 mg. This helps you up your vitamin C intake for  better immunity and healthier skin. 


The  consensus from nutritionists and keto experts is that balsamic vinegar can be keto-friendly — but only if you consume the right types and add it to your keto meals in moderation. When looking for balsamic vinegar products to add to your recipes such as BBQ pork rinds, check the label for the carb content per serving and avoid those with added sugars and flavoring. 

If you can’t find a balsamic vinegar product suitable to your daily macros, you can try any of the alternatives, such as apple cider vinegar, red or white wine vinegar, and lemon juice. 

Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto: Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a lot of sugar in balsamic vinegar?

Generally, balsamic vinegar is low in sugar and contains a meager amount of carbs. It will depend on the specific brand, though. Some have less than 2 grams of net carbs per serving while others can have as high as 10 grams. 

What vinegar is keto-friendly?

Vinegar in general is low in carbs. Some of the best varieties to consume on keto are apple cider vinegar ( 0.1 grams of carbs per tablespoon) and white vinegar ( 0 grams of carbs per tablespoon).

Is there a balsamic vinegar without sugar?

Yes, there are plenty of balsamic vinegar products today that are sugar-free and therefore, keto-friendly. When adding balsamic vinegar to your diet, always check the label to find zero or low-carb products