Jam and other fruit spreads are popular additions to toast, pancakes, and other breakfast foods. But can these sweet fruity condiments fit into a ketogenic diet? Here’s what you need to know about the carb counts and keto-friendliness of different jams and fruit spreads.
What is Jam Exactly?
Jam is a fruit preserve made from crushed or chopped fruit, sugar, and sometimes pectin or citric acid. The fruit pulp and juice are boiled until they reach a gel-like consistency. Jams have a soft set and are less stiff than jellies.
Other Fruit Spreads: Jelly, Preserves, Marmalade
Jelly: Made from fruit juice only, without fruit pulp or chunks. Jelly has a firm set.
Preserves: Have whole or large chunks of fruit in a gel made from fruit juice and pulp.
Marmalade: A fruit preserve made from citrus fruits such as orange or grapefruit. It contains the zest and pulp of the fruit.
Low Sugar vs Regular Jam Carb Counts
Regular jams contain around 13-15g net carbs per tablespoon. Lower sugar varieties have around 9-11g net carbs per tablespoon.
To stay under 20g daily net carbs on keto, regular jam is too high carb to fit into the diet. Lower sugar jams may work in tiny amounts but beware of added sugars.
Best Keto-Friendly Fruit Spreads
Look for jams with no added sugar or low-glycemic sweeteners like stevia or Erythritol. Watch the total carb counts, aiming for under 5g net carbs per serving.
- Chomps Spreadable Fruit Applesauce Pouches (2g net carbs)
- Crofter’s Organic Just Fruit Spread, Strawberry (3g net carbs)
- Polaner All Fruit Spread, Strawberry (4g net carbs)
Make Your Own Keto Berry Jam
You can make low-sugar berry jam at home with keto-approved sweeteners. This recipe uses Erythritol and chia seeds to create a thick, spreadable jam under 3g net carbs per serving:
- 300g mixed berries, like raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
- 60ml water
- 3-4 tbsp stevia/erythritol sweetener
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Combine the berries, water, sweetener, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Once simmering, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the berries break down.
- After removing from the heat, add the chia seeds and let them thicken for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a jar and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.
Make Your Keto Breakfasts More Exciting with Fruit Spreads
While regular jams are too high in sugar for keto, you have options. Opt for low-sugar varieties, or get creative with chia jams made from berries. A dollop of keto fruit spread makes morning toast, pancakes, or waffles feel a little more like the pre-keto days!