If you have ever visited a restaurant to eat sushi, there are high chances of coming in contact with imitating crab meat as a meal. Either you know, or you don’t have an idea. But the main question the consumer would ask is: Is this fake crab meat keto-friendly? Actually, the seafood is processed into imitation crab. Imitation crab can also be called crab sticks, or seafood sticks. California rolls, crab rangoons, and crab cakes are famous food items, and imitation crab is also found with them. So is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Find out how!

lumb crab and crab cakes have low carb
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

As this processed crab has more than 15g of net carbs in a three-ounce serving (85g), that’s why it is not at all keto-friendly. 

Most people prefer eating real crab meat. You can try it as a part of appetizer cuisine in many raw fish restaurants.

Serving of imitation crab is a common sight in many places. One can also start with the crab salad and further try steamed crab with brown or garlic sauce, cream cheese, sour cream, and other side sauce.

crab cakes and lump crab
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

What preservatives are used?

Using fish skin, one can make Imitation crab. Along with some preservatives, sugar and starch are added so that the texture is thicker. To give a shiny and smooth look, white eggs are added too.

To increase the flavor further on MSG (Monosodium glutamate) and vegetable oil is added. As imitation crab is a processed food, it is in the market and restaurants, thousands of types of foods are available in a vast range.

Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

While buying crab sticks from grocery stores, one can count the number of carbohydrates. But there’s no idea what is being used and what’s added in imitation crabs in restaurants—using raw materials of cheaper quality in making imitation crab so that the ultimate product comes out very fine and shiny. 

Harmful ingredients

Imitation crab contains harmful constituents, and it is a high carbohydrate food, and due to these reasons, Imitation Crab is not keto-friendly. Imitation Crab has 14.5g per 100g net carbs, 0.5g per 100g fats, 7.6g per 100g protein, 95 calories. 

To stay in ketosis, it is important to fix your daily carbohydrates consumption to 20g-30g per day. If you want to calculate daily net carbohydrates allowance, one can use a keto macros calculator. You can also look for other fish which offer low carb.

Follow a keto diet with crab salad today
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

What is Imitation Crab?

Usually, people think that real crabs contain low carbohydrates, whereas imitation crabs also contain low carbohydrates. And that’s something completely wrong.

Kani surimi is a gel-like substance that is used while making imitation crab. In addition, the manufacturer added starch and flavoring agents to give the same texture and taste as that of real crab. 

Many times crab is spelled as crab in restaurants to Indicate that it’s not the actual real thing.

In making imitation crab, one fish is used, which has mass availability and low prices, and it’s named Pollock. cod, mackerel, and barracuda are some of the healthier sources used by premium brands. 

alaskan pollock

How is Imitation Crab Made

Around the world, the ingredients which are used the most in making imitation crab are as follows:

  1. Vegetable oil: it is an unhealthy ingredient used in surimi-based products. 
  2. Protein: To add a nice glossy finish to the product, a white Egg is added. 
  3. Sugar and sorbitol: it is used to add taste and also to increase the shelf life. 
  4. Salt: To enhance the flavor and bind the substance together. 
  5. Water: To control the cost, it is added to increase the quantity.   
  6. Starch: to thick the surimi paste, starch is added to it.
eat low carb diets, good fats and egg whites

To make the meat tastier, you can add sautéed onion after bay seasoning. While making crab salad you can take lump crab meat and add little amounts of the old bay spice mix.

Adding sour cream will make the lump crab taste better and more appealing.

Is this fake crab meat good for a low-carbohydrate diet?

As we know, imitation crab is high in carbohydrates and low in protein compared to real crabs.  Fake meat can increase blood sugar levels after a meal because it has both starch and sugar and contains carbohydrates.

Mostly these imitation crabs are added to Sushi (Sour rice), and these foods are already high in Carbohydrates because of sour rice. 

Most crabs have a high amount of carbs and offer more nutrition calories.

Imitation crab contains Omega-3 fatty acids as it is seafood and that’s healthy for humans. It’s very tasty food. It has more protein at a lower price, and it’s low in calories.

And for low carbohydrates diets, it is one of the perfect foods. 

fewer carbs, egg foo and canned tuna
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

Why do imitation crabs have carbs?

As Imitation crab is fake meat and because of sugar and starch added to it, it contains carbohydrates and after having a meal of imitation crab, it also increases the sugar level in your blood. 

If you want to lose weight and are ready for a strict diet, then imitation crab could be the best meal for you.

As it is low in calories and also low in fat, this can save you from severe diseases like heart disease. 

low carb and net carbs per person
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

Why is imitation crab bad?

When there is good and tasty food, there are some chances that it will also have some impact on our body that we don’t want.

Similarly, imitation crab also has some bad impacts when taken in the wrong way or in the wrong amount.

Is any nutrition needed?

As it is clear that the fake crab cannot provide that much nutrition, minerals, or vitamins as that of real crabs, it can be bad well.

Also, it contains MSG, and it is also highly processed, and this can lead to serious effects on the human body. 

crab cakes are tasty
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

Is imitation crab vegan?

As we say, no imitation crab meat isn’t a crab.  It contains fish, white eggs, potato starch, cornstarch, and as this meal tastes well, Snow crab is also added to it.

And therefore, it is not vegetarian- or vegan-friendly.

have a ketogenic diet, crab salad and crab cakes
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

Wonder Is Imitation Crab Meat Healthy?

As imitation crab meat is much cheaper as compared to real crabs, that’s why snacks manufacturers and restaurants prefer imitation crab over real crabs.

But we are worried about our health as we are the consumers of this food, as in some scenarios it can be bad as well.

If you are a pregnant woman and are worried about eating imitation meat you do not have to worry. You can go ahead and eat what you want as long as it is properly cooked.

make crab salad and egg foo young
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

Imitation crab Vs. real crabs

Fresh or real crabs contain more servings calories than imitation crabs. But imitation crab meat contains more carbohydrates and starch.

Vitamin B12, Zinc, Selenium, and Copper are some of the micronutrients, imitation crab lack.

Real crabs contain more protein nutrients in comparison to imitation crabs.

Nutrients like thiamine, vitamin A, pantothenic acid, calcium, and potassium can be obtained more from real crabs. 

California rolls and chinese dishes
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

Negative Health Impact of imitation crab 

Imitation crab can lead to serious body issues like increased intestinal permeability,  infection, irritation, pain.

If a person is allergic and unknowingly takes this food for a meal they will suffer from diarrhea, overinflated, or tiredness as imitation crab contains gluten.

avoid imitation crab and added starches if you have allergy
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

To increase the mean life of a product, artificial ingredients and vegetable oils are added to it which in turn leads to health risks.

In fake meat, many brands add MSG to increase the level of flavor and taste. MSG is also found in Asian dishes.

Muscle soreness, weakness, and numbness/tingling after consumption, headache is the common problems one faces if one is sensitive to MSG (Monosodium glutamate). 

Imitation crab is a fiber lacking food and it also causes blood sugar spikes. And it is totally opposite to the Keto-ers, as Keto-ers require food that is fiber-enriched as it reduces the level of GI (Glycemic index) in food.

So, it will be best for you if you are avoiding this highly processed food 

What is considered a keto diet?

It is a diet in which you get very low carbohydrates and a high-fat diet. In this diet, one can see a major decrease in carbohydrates and getting them replaced into fat.

And by this reduction process in carbohydrates, your body puts you into a metabolic state called ketosis. 

eating keto diet works
Is Imitation Crab Keto-Friendly? Is It Safe To Eat?

Potential Upsides of Imitation Crab on Keto 

In the market, the price of real crab is 3 times the price of imitation crabs. We can make different recipes using crab sticks, as crab sticks are adaptable food items.

Many ready-to-eat imitation crab snacks are available in the market.

How do the healthier versions of imitation crab look?

If you are really worried about your health and ready to put in the effort you can also get a healthier version of imitation crab as you will get this at a premium price.

Pea starch, cane sugar, sea salt, oat fiber, and natural flavoring agents are the natural and organic ingredients you will be provided if you buy at a premium price.

You will find it gluten-free and also without any GMO (Genetically modified) as this is a healthier version of imitation crab.

How can it be made?

It can also be made up of seafood. To ensure that the krab sticks are properly cooked medium heat it in low flame. If you have oily skin try to avoid oily fish to prevent outbreaks of pimples.

Cooking food in olive oil is better for heart and brain health. If you are keen on eating healthy do not add unhealthy ingredients to your meal.

There are many people who add bay spice mix and lemon juice for the seasoning of crab meat. There are many crab recipes you can make by adding lemon juice.

eat low carb diet and carbs

Are there healthier versions of imitation crab keto?  

After healthier versions of imitation crab meat as you will get this at a premium price. you’ll still find it as a high carbohydrate-contained food And that’s why you can’t use it for your keto diet.

have a single serving, large bowl of low carb

Why is the amount of carbohydrates in imitation crab more as compared to that of real crabs?

Fish skin or minced flesh is used in making imitation crab. To thicken the texture of imitation crab meat, wheat and tapioca are the types of starches which are added into it.

And many flavoring agents for taste, sugar, and many preservatives are also added to it. For shiny and smooth looks in imitation crab, white eggs are also added to it.

So, by this, it is clear that this fake meat is highly processed and has high-level Sugar content and many more additions of artificial ingredients which leads to a transparent conclusion that it is not keto-friendly food.

It is always recommended to avoid imitation crab. The next time you go to a restaurant to try Chinese dishes you can also give cooked eel a try.