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What Are Keto Friendly Fish? 23 Seafood Options You Need To Know

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What fish and seafood are keto friendly?

If you are here reading this, then you must be a seafood lover. 

What about eating fish on the keto diet? It’s important to know what fish are keto friendly. 

The ketogenic diet (or keto for short), is a popular diet with many people successfully losing weight. It focuses on reducing the number of carbs that you eat. 

I was shocked when I realized how much carbs are packed into many of our favorite foods and beverages. Sadly, fish and seafood are not spared from this. 

So, what fish are keto-friendly? What fish are low in carbs, that you won’t get kicked out of ketosis?

In this article, we are going to explore 23 low carb seafood options you should be on the lookout for. 

Even if you aren’t as interested in the keto diet, knowing which fish are lower in carbs is always a good nutritional step. 

Want to know what other food are keto friendly? Head over to our Keto Food List article below.

Is Eating Fish Healthy?

a plate containing steaming salmon that has been cooked
Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

Fish is a healthy addition to your meals, regardless of diet. 

Like many meat products, fish is an excellent source of protein. 

However, any fatty meat products are also high in saturated fat. Fish do not have as much saturated fat when compared to meat products. 

Protein plays a role in important body functions like bone health and wound healing. [1]The importance of patients’ nutritional status in wound healing – PubMed (nih.gov) , [2]Dietary protein and skeletal health: a review of recent human research – PubMed (nih.gov)

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. 

In other words, the RDA for protein is about 10% of your total daily calories. [3]How much protein do you need every day? – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard Health Publishing

Fish and seafood are valuable sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Why are omega-3 fatty acids good?

Healthy consumption of omega-3 fatty acids helps prevent many cardiovascular heart diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia (high fats in the blood). [4]https://www.ernaehrungs-umschau.de/fileadmin/Ernaehrungs-Umschau/pdfs/pdf_2015/09_15/EU09_2015_WuF_Glei_ENG_.pdf

If you have these conditions or at risk, omega-3 fatty acids can help in reducing that risk. 

Salmon, mackerel, and herring are great examples of fish high in omega-3 fatty fish. [5]Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids | American Heart Association

Fish are also good examples of vitamins and minerals. For example, salmon is rich in folate. [6]Fish, salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

Folate is an important component in cell function, playing a role in making DNA and RNA. 

It is no wonder that fish can be a good addition to your low carb meals.  

Word of Warning: Contaminants

Though eating fish is great, you should avoid any exposure to contaminants. A common one is mercury which can contaminate the fish you might seek to buy. 

According to the discoveries found in this study, experts recommended that you eat wild-caught fish as much as possible.

When the researchers compared toxin concentrations between farmed fish and wild fish, the wild fish had lower amounts of dangerous toxins.

Fish that are generally considered safe from contaminants are salmon, canned tuna, and catfish. 

The FDA has issued some guidelines about eating fish. They go into more specifics into what are the safe fish. Check it out here. 

Now onto our list of keto friendly fish.

1. Salmon

a plate of salmon
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

First, the keto friendly fish on our list is salmon. Salmon is one of the most popular fish you can get on the market today. 

Not only is it prized for its delicious taste, but it also offers many health benefits. 

Salmon is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 0.5 fillet (178 g) of salmon: [7]Fish, salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.0g
  • Protein: 39.3 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 4023 mg
  • Potassium: 683 mg

2. Tuna

stack of tuna bunched together
Image by Yuna Kim from Pixabay

Another popular keto friendly fish is tuna, which you can find in dishes all around the world. 

Tuna contains many essential nutrients for a healthy lifestyle. These include omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, and protein. [8]8 Incredible Benefits Of Tuna: Heart Health, Weight Loss And More – NDTV Food

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 1 can (172 g) of tuna: [9]Fish, tuna, white, canned in water, drained solids Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.0g
  • Protein: 40.6 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 1636 mg
  • Potassium: 408 mg

3. Anchovies

a bunch of anchovies
Image by sezer bulut from Pixabay

Next are the low carb anchovies. These small fishes are native to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and can be found in many dishes such as salad or pizza. 

Because of their size, they can be confused for sardines. However, anchovies are known for the punch of flavor they offer many recipes. [10]What Type of Fish Are Anchovies? (thespruceeats.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 1 can (45g) of anchovies: [11]Fish, anchovy, european, canned in oil, drained solids Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.0g
  • Protein: 13.0 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 951 mg

4. Trout

Trout is another keto friendly fish that you might not consider.

This fish can change flavor depending on if you eat the saltwater or freshwater type. 

Depending on your taste buds, trout can taste like salmon, or give you more of a gamey taste. [12]What Does Trout Taste Like? This Will Surprise You! (imaddictedtocooking.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 1 fillet (71 g) of trout: [13]Fish, trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.0g
  • Protein: 17.2 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 877 mg

5. Sardines

plate with green, leafy vegetables, and a bunch of sardines placed on the top
Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay

If you talk to enough people, you might be convinced that sardines aren’t a tasty fish. 

That’s because of their strong smell and taste. Combined with the bones and skin and small size, it makes sense that many might want to avoid them. [14]8 Reasons to Eat Sardines (& How to Make Them Tasty) | Wellness Mama

However, sardines are not only budget-friendly. They are a great source of essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. 

Most importantly, they are keto friendly fish.

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 1 cup (149g) of sardines: [15]Fish, sardine, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.0g
  • Protein: 36.7 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 2205 mg
  • Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 5280 mg

6. Flounder

Flounder is an ocean flatfish found in the Pacific Ocean. 

It is a great addition to delight your dinner meals. Like all the other keto friendly fish on this list, it comes as a good source of nutrients. [16]Is Flounder a Good Fish to Eat? | Alaskan Wild Flounder Good for You – Global Seafoods North America

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 1 fillet (127 g) of flounder: [17]Fish, flatfish (flounder and sole species), cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.0g
  • Protein: 30.7 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 715 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 3.2 mcg 

7. Halibut

cooked halibut on a plate

At an amazing 9 feet (2.7 m) in length, halibut is the largest flatfish in the ocean. 

Halibut offers a gentle and mild taste, a great pair for strong seasonings such as basil or lemon juice. [18]Halibut: Here’s What Every Home Cook Needs to Know | Taste of Home

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 0.5 fillet (159 g) of halibut: [19]Fish, halibut, Atlantic and Pacific, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.0 g
  • Protein: 42.4 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 1064
  • Potassium: 916 mg

8. Mahi-Mahi

picture of mahi mahi

I first heard about Mahi-Mahi while watching an episode of MasterChef, where one group’s dish featured this fish. 

Mahi-Mahi is a small, lean, and healthy fish. You are more likely to find it in warm waters. [20]What Is Mahi-Mahi? (thespruceeats.com)

It offers versatility because you can cook it with various cooking methods. 

If you’re looking for keto friendly fish, consider mahi-mahi.

Here’s a basic look at nutrition data of 1 fillet (140 g) of mahi-mahi: [21]Mahi Mahi Nutrition Facts – Eat This Much , [22]Omega-3s & Mahi Mahi (healthfully.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 13 g
  • Potassium: 468 g

9. Crayfish

raw crayfish on a table
Image by Ylvers from Pixabay

Crayfish may also be known as crawfish, mudbugs, yabbies, or crawdads depending on where you reside. 

It looks similar to how it tastes; closer to lobster and crab, with more sweetness. [23]What Are Crawfish and How Are They Used? (thespruceeats.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data for 3 oz (85 g) of crayfish: [24]Crustaceans, crayfish, mixed species, farmed, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 14.9 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 156 mg
  • Calcium: 43.4 mg

10. Shrimp

stack of shrimp placed on top of each other

Shrimp needs no introduction for many because it can be found in most grocers around the world. 

It is a popular ingredient in many dishes from salads, to chowders, and pasta. It helps that it is also easy to cook and often budget-friendly. [25]What Is Shrimp? (thespruceeats.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data for 3 oz (85 g) of shrimp: [26]Crustaceans, shrimp, mixed species, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 17.8 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 295 mg

11. Snapper

The red snapper is found naturally in fish harvests around the world. 

Due to its popularity and nutty, sweet taste, you can find it in everything from hot chilies to fish stew. [27]What Is Red Snapper? (thespruceeats.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data for 1 fillet (170 g) of snapper: [28]Fish, snapper, mixed species, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.0 g
  • Protein: 44.7 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 583 mg
  • Potassium: 887 mg

12. Cod

cooked cod with broccoli
Image by Adriano Gadini from Pixabay

Cod is a popular harvested fish known for its flaky, white flesh and mild taste. 

Unlike other fish, cod doesn’t have a reputation as a healthy fish. But it still has essential nutrients like the other seafood on this list. [29]Is Cod Healthy? Nutrition, Calories, Benefits, and More (healthline.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data for 1 fillet (180 g) of cod: [30]Fish, cod, Atlantic, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 41.1 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 310 mg
  • Phosphorus: 248 mg

13. Redfish

crate full of redfish
Image by Saulius Peleda from Pixabay

Redfish is red like the red snapper and similar in characteristics as well. 

It contains a mild, sweet flavor and moist white meat, the reason behind its growing presence in restaurants. [31]Why You Should Be Eating Redfish | Edible Lower Alabama (ediblecommunities.com)

Here’s a basic look at nutrition data for 4 oz (112 g) of redfish: [32]Calorie Chart, Nutrition Facts, Calories in Food | MyFitnessPal | MyFitnessPal.com

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Potassium: 200 mg

14. Mackerel

Mackerel is a small oily fish that is known for its distinctive flavor. 

Some people find that flavor to be too fishy for their tastes. However, when paired with soft seasonings like citrusy ingredients help bring out the best mackerel offers. [33]How to Cook Mackerel – Great British Chefs

Here’s the basic look at the nutrition data of 1 fillet (88 g) of mackerel: [34]Fish, mackerel, Atlantic, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 21 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 1251 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 16.7 mcg
  • Phosphorus: 245 mg

15. Herring

Herring is a small, oily fish found worldwide, and therefore common in many different cuisines. [35]https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-is-herring-5072165

Herring is also a versatile fish and prepared in various ways such as grilled, steamed, or fried. [36]https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-is-herring-5072165

It has a distinct taste similar to sardines. The two can be confused with each other. 

Here’s what the basic nutrition data for 1 fillet (143 g) of herring looks like: [37]Fish, herring, Atlantic, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 32.9 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 3171 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 18.8 mcg
  • Potassium: 599 mg

16. Catfish

Catfish is a common fish that can survive in many different environments. So, you commonly find it worldwide. [38]Is Catfish Healthy? Nutrients, Benefits, and More (healthline.com)

I’ve often heard concerns about the mercury levels in catfish. According to the FDA, catfish are among the fish with the lowest amounts of mercury and contaminants. [39]Advice about Eating Fish | FDA

Here’s the basic nutrition info for 1 fillet (143 g ) of catfish: [40]Fish, catfish, channel, farmed, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 26.8 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 370 mg
  • Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 1472 mg

17. Scallops

plated of well cooked keto friendly fish, aka scallops
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Scallops are shellfish found on the East Coast of the United States. 

They are known for their delicate texture and taste. When cooked correctly, you generally don’t need to have any seasonings or additions. [41]What Are Scallops? (thespruceeats.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data for 1 oz (28 g) of scallops: [42]Mollusks, scallop, (bay and sea), cooked, steamed Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 6.5 g
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 111 mg
  • Phosphorus: 94.6 mg

18. Crab

nicely placed crab
Image by xu_ming-xm from Pixabay

Crab is one of the most popular seafood you can get on the market. 

The most important part of the crab is what’s underneath the exoskeleton: its tasty meat. 

You can look forward to great health benefits by including crab in your diet. [43]Crab Health Benefits: 9 Reasons Why Eating Crab is Good (Why should I eat crab?) – Global Seafoods North America

Here’s basic nutrition data of 1 leg (134 g) of crab: [44]Crustaceans, crab, alaska king, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 25. 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 71 mg
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 614 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 15.4 mcg

Caution With The Following Keto Friendly Seafood

So far, the fish and seafood on this list have no natural carbohydrates in them. This is ideal for those on low-carb diets.

The same is not so for the following seafood on this list. 

Pay attention, because they contain carbs. The number of carbs is still low, but they aren’t zero. 

You will have to account for them when planning your meals. 

19. Mussels

a plate full of keto friendly fish which are mussels
Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Mussels are a type of seafood similar to clams and oysters. 

They are commonly in seawater environments. 

Their natural habitat is present in their sweet-salty taste. Well-cooked mussels shouldn’t be overly salty and have a texture similar to a mushroom. [45]What Are Mussels? (thespruceeats.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition facts of 3 oz (85 g): [46]Mollusks, mussel, blue, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 6.3 g
  • Protein: 20.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 47.6 mg
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 736 mg
  • Manganese: 5.8 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 20.4 mcg

20. Oysters

close up picture of oysters still in their shells placed on table as part of keto friendly fish and seafood
Image by Yung-pin Pao from Pixabay

Oysters are seafood found in marine habitats, prized for their flavorful meat. 

They have a hard shell with plump inner meat inside. It is the meat that matters the most. [47]Oysters: Nutrition, Risks, and How to Cook Them (healthline.com)

Oysters are also known for containing antioxidants, important for health. [48]Oysters: Nutrition, Risks, and How to Cook Them (healthline.com)

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data for 3 oz (85 g) of oysters: [49]Mollusks, oyster, eastern, wild, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 41. 6 mg
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 511 mg
  • Zinc: 62.6 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 23.6 mcg

21. Lobster

table with lobster which is an keto friendly fish and seafood
Image by ndemello from Pixabay

Lobster is a popular seafood, enough to have an American restaurant chain focused around it. 

A big concern about lobster is its cholesterol content. [50]Lobster Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits (verywellfit.com)

Cooked lobster contains around 104 mg of cholesterol per cup (145g). [51]Crustaceans, lobster, northern, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg per day. [52]2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov

So keep this in mind, if you intend to add lobster into your meals. 

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data for 1 cup (145 g) of lobster: [53]Crustaceans, lobster, northern, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 29.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 104 mg
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 125 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 4.5 mcg

22. Clams

pot full of clams
Image by Koangchul Na from Pixabay

Clams are seafood with two shells that contain delicious meat inside. 

They can be eaten raw or added to recipes such as juices, chowders, and soups. [54]Clams | Seafood Health Facts

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 3 oz (85 g): [55]Mollusks, clam, mixed species, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 4.4 g
  • Protein: 21.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 56.9 mg
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 337 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 84.1 mcg
  • Iron: 23. 8 mg

23. Squid

cleaned and raw squid which is a keto friendly seafood
Image by Miguelpereda from Pixabay

Squid, also known as calamari, can be found in Mediterranean countries and across Asia. 

Its meat has a mild, slightly sweet, and nutty taste. [56]What Is Calamari? (thespruceeats.com)

There are a variety of methods to cook squid including grilling, broiling, and deep-frying. 

Be careful with the cholesterol level of fried squid, though. 

Here’s a basic look at the nutrition data of 3 oz (85 g) of squid: [57]Mollusks, squid, mixed species, cooked, fried Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

  • Total Carbohydrate: 6.6 g
  • Protein: 15.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 221 mg
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 549 mg
  • Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 1248 mg

Takeaways

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet, where you limit your carb intake. 

Adding fish and seafood to your meals offers you great sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Here is the list of 23 low carb fish and seafood options you should consider:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Anchovies
  • Trout
  • Sardines
  • Flounder
  • Halibut
  • Mahi-Mahi
  • Crayfish
  • Shrimp
  • Snapper
  • Cod
  • Redfish
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Catfish
  • Scallops
  • Crab
  • Mussels*
  • Oysters*
  • Lobster*
  • Clams*
  • Squid*

*Those with a star are the ones that have carbs in them naturally. You need to account for them if you want them in your meals. 

To download a copy of this list, go to the button below.

Do you know what other foods are keto-friendly? 

Check out our Keto Food List article. We go over low-carb fruits, vegetables, baking ingredients, and more there. See the button below.

Make sure to grab that Keto Fish and Seafood List through the link above or the button below.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Like what you read? Share with your friends!

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