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Keto probiotics packed with gut-friendly bacteria

As some of you may know, in addition to weight loss, I originally started following a ketogenic diet as a means to improve my irritable bowel syndrome.

It works really well for me.

But I noticed even further improvement when I started incorporating fermented foods — those naturally rich in probiotics.

That got me to thinking — this isn’t something that we discuss too much in the Keto world.

For example, did you know that many doctors recommend probiotics in conjunction with a round of antibiotics? Yep, a large percentage of antibiotics completely destroy our gut bacteria and restoring them with probiotics is a good way to compensate.

In addition to better gut health, some of the health benefits that I noticed personally include:

  • improved energy levels
  • better mental health and brain function
  • less cravings

Others have claimed that probiotics improve their immune system and have even helped them lose weight.

Nothing in this post is intended to diagnose, treat or cure any medical conditions. As always, talk to your healthcare provider before starting a dietary change or when adding new supplements to your health regimen.

Now, lets check out some of the Keto probiotics that you can likely fit into your daily carb limit!

Keto Probiotics - Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

If you would’ve told me 10 years ago that I’d be consuming raw sauerkraut every day, I’d tell you that you were out of your mind!

The canned or jarred stuff that you pick up on the grocery store shelf is great for recipes, but not for the probiotic content. The beneficial bacteria is dead from pasteurization and will provide minimal benefit.

When choosing sauerkraut, always use homemade or a brand that is refrigerated and labeled “unpasteurized” or “raw.”

In the beginning, I really struggled trying to get sauerkraut down. I would have to hide it or pair it with other foods. Now, I look forward to it and enjoy it straight from the container — no need to try incorporating it into an elaborate meal plan unless you really want to.

I will typically consume about 1 heaping tablespoon of sauerkraut (~1 oz) per day and the nutrition breaks down to:

  • 7 calories
  • 0g fat
  • 1.5g total carbs
  • 1g fiber
  • 0.5g net carbs
  • 0g protein

As far as brands go, I have been loving the different flavors from Cleveland Kraut recently!

Keto Probiotics - Kimchi

Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean relative to sauerkraut and has been taking over the culinary world by storm.

Imagine all of the wonderful qualities of sauerkraut with bold, amplified flavors — that’s exactly what you can expect from kimchi!

In addition to napa cabbage, typical ingredients include garlic, scallions, radishes, and traditional Korean seasonings.

The nutritional breakdown is a lot like sauerkraut — for 1 oz of kimchi, you can expect:

  • 10 calories
  • 0g fat
  • 1.5g total carbs
  • 1g fiber
  • 0.5g net carbs
  • 0g protein

Pickles - Keto Probiotic

Pickles

Before I started the Keto Diet, I was obsessed with pickles. I’m proud to say that this love affair is not ending any time soon.

The issue that I run into with pickles is that it’s somewhat difficult to find the raw, unpasteurized types. Much like sauerkraut, the jars you find on the grocery store shelf are not alive and will provide very little probiotic benefit (though these are still great for electrolytes and snacks, of course).

I’ve only been able to find the unpasteurized Bubbies brand, but they’re really good!

They’re also so low in calories and carbs that the label lists each pickle as:

  • 0 calories
  • 0g fat
  • 0g carbs
  • 0g protein

Keto Probiotics - Sour Cream

Sour Cream

Now, I know what your thinking. Sour cream as a probiotic?

Kind of. Unfortunately, most sour cream is pasteurized, and therefore the bacteria is destroyed. However, if you’re able to find some that isn’t (I haven’t yet), it should still contain some beneficial probiotics.

For one tablespoon of unpasteurized sour cream:

  • 30 calories
  • 3g fat
  • 1g carb
  • 1g protein

Keto Probiotics - Kombucha

Kombucha

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m all about that kombucha life. It’s a fermented tea beverage and it comes in all sorts of fun flavors.

While it makes me feel amazing, the reality is that kombucha does contain a decent amounts of carbohydrates.

The carbohydrates come from sugar — the food source consumed by the bacteria. This means that some, if not most, sugar will be removed in the end. If your kombucha is very sour and vinegary tasting, it’s likely to have a lower amount of sugar.

With that being said, there’s no real way to know how much is actually leftover, so I track it by the nutritional label anyways. Just to be on the safe side.

If you find that your kombucha doesn’t have a carbonated fizz when you open it, there’s a good chance the bacteria are dead. In this instance, you likely will not notice any probiotic benefits.

My favorite brand is GTS — they’re always consistent with the flavor and I’ve never had a bottle without the fizz.

For 4 oz of GTS Triology Kombucha (1/4 of the bottle), the nutrition breaks down to:

  • 13 calories
  • 0g fat
  • 3g carbs
  • 0g protein

TIP: If you ever plan on brewing your own kombucha, save your glass bottles and reuse them! You’ll thank me later.

Keto Probiotics - Milk Kefir

Kefir

Kefir is another popular probiotic beverage that, in the right amounts, can fit into a Keto diet.

Much like kombucha, kefir contains a fair amount of sugar, even though a percentage of it will have been removed via the fermentation process.

Keto Friendly Probiotic Sources

This is another one of those instances where I track the carbs anyways, just to be sure.

If you’d like to do it yourself, you just need some grains that will work with your preferred liquid: water or milk.

Nutritional information will vary, but just as a comparison, there are roughly 3 carbs in 1/4 cup of plain milk kefir.

Keto Probiotic Source: Olives

Olives

Ah, olives. Another snack I’ve loved since I was a kid — especially stuffed with blue cheese.

Did you know that these briney delights are also a source of probiotics? Even more reason to enjoy!

Make sure you get the refrigerated ones packed in the brine.

For roughly 5 Kalamata olives:

  • 45 calories
  • 4g fat
  • 2g carbs
  • 0g protein

Keto Probiotics - Yogurt

Yogurt

For a while, yogurt was pretty much off the table for Keto. All of the brands in the grocery store were loaded with sugar and I just accepted that fate.

Eventually I stumbled upon a few Keto friendly yogurts like:

Yep, that’s for the entire individual container! Not bad, huh?

Keto Probiotics - Supplements

Supplements

When you just can’t get behind any of the previously mentioned Keto probiotics, you could always use a supplement instead.

There’s nothing wrong with supplementing, but there are a couple things to consider:

  • Price – compared to a food like sauerkraut, probiotic supplements can get pricey.
  • Stability – some probiotics need to be refrigerated. Take transit time into consideration if purchasing supplements online — you don’t want to destroy those gut bugs!
  • Quality – purity standards and quality are a major concern. For what it’s worth, it looks like this is specifically being evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Knowledge – there is still so much to learn about the gut microbiome and how the many different probiotic strains interact with it. All strains are not created equal.

I don’t have an absolute favorite probiotic supplement, but I have used and noticed improvement with Hyperbiotics and Prescript Assist.

What are your favorite ways to get probiotics on Keto? Comment below!

Posted Mar 6, 2019
by Dominic Geracia

3 Comments

  1. Avatar silverdust on March 7, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Hi, Dominic, I have a friend with IBS and I told her what nurses recommend chemo patients with chronic diarrhea: coconut! They recommended Archway coconut cookies, but if you’re eating keto, that’s a no-no. Just a spoonful of flaked coconut daily will help. Big time.

  2. Avatar Abby on March 7, 2019 at 11:12 am

    I’m curious about the flavor of ” raw ” sauerkraut…. does it taste the same as the stuff in the can on the shelf ?? May be a silly question–sorry — but I’ve never heard of the raw but I sure love the kind in the can on the store shelf.
    I really enjoyed this post, I found it very informative. You always provide lots of important & fun things to know.
    Thank You

    • Avatar Dominic on March 7, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Abby-

      The flavor is a lot like the canned stuff, but it’s definitely a little more vinegary tasting! It took a little while to get used to, but now I love it!

      Thank you so much for that wonderful comment <3

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