Is Menudo Keto Friendly?

  • Author: Katie
  • Date: June 25, 2023
  • Time to Read: 3 min.

Menudo is probably one of the most controversial dishes of Mexican cuisine. Also known as mole de panza (stomach sauce), its main ingredient is cow stomach (tripe), which puts a frown on most people’s faces. It is, however, a very tasty, hearty dish, and has a lot of cultural significance, often being served at weddings. So, is Menudo keto friendly? Let’s find out.

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What Is Menudo?

Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup, made by simmering cow tripe in beef broth for hours. In the end, you get very tender meat and rich, fatty, flavorful broth. 

Typically hominy, cilantro, onions, and red chili peppers are added for additional flavors, and the soup is seasoned with salt, oregano, and lime juice.

Menudo is rarely eaten as an independent dish, often being served with a variety of side dishes like salsa.

Can I Eat Menudo On Keto

Nutritional Value Of Menudo

Counting macros for Menudo can be tricky as it’s a soup, and the amount of each ingredient you get in a bowl of soup can vary widely. You may take less tripe and more hominy, skip hominy entirely, take more broth, etc.

However, to calculate approximate macros, let’s assume that per 1 cup, you take around 35-40g of tripe, 60g of hominy, 10g of chilies, and 5g of onions, along with assorted spices.

In this case, the nutritional value of Menudo per 1 cup would be:

  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Protein: 6.7 grams
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Fiber: 5.2 grams
  • Sugar: 2.1 grams 
  • Calories: 112

Net Carbs In Menudo

Using the standard formula of deducting fiber from the total carb amount to calculate net carbs, we can see that 1 cup of Menudo nets 10.2g of carbs.

Is Menudo Keto Friendly?

No, classic Mexican Menudo is NOT keto-friendly. Even 1 cup contains more than half of your daily net carbs. 

Considering that 1 cup is considered to be just ½ of standard serving, it’s clear that eating just 1 bowl of Menudo would put you right above your allowed limit of net carbs (1 bowl = 2 cups = 20.2g of net carbs).

Moreover, hominy is not keto friendly. Check out this article for more on that. However, if you skip the hominy in the Menudo, this soup can be perfectly keto friendly, being low in carbs and high in fat.

Keto Alternatives To Menudo

As it happens with many traditional dishes, Menudo has many varieties – both regional kind, and homemade kind (with most families having their own recipes passed down from their ancestors).

All these variations, however, contain at least a few ingredients that invariably bring its net carb content into uncomfortable territory for a keto dieter.

It doesn’t matter if the recipe uses garbanzo beans or if red pepper is exchanged for jalapeno to keep the broth white (as with Menudo Blanco).

Thus there’s really no keto variation of Menudo. But there are a few things you can do:

  1. Cook Menudo at home, skipping the non-keto ingredients (beef broth, tripe, and most spices used to flavor Menudo are luckily keto-friendly);
  2. If served somewhere, make sure to only put tripe and broth on your plate and keep the serving size small, skip the beans.

Learn about the best keto-approved sauces and seasonings to elevate your meals without adding unnecessary carbs.

Staying hydrated on the keto diet is really important, for more on how much water you should be drinking, check out our guide to staying hydrated on the keto diet.

If you’re planning on dehydrating yourself(!) and drinking alcohol on the keto diet, check out our ultimate guide to drinking alcohol on a keto diet. Also, you may be interested in, how to recover from a cheat day.

Summary: Is Menudo Keto?

Unfortunately, no, traditional Menudo is not keto friendly, it contains hominy, which is not keto friendly. However, if you making this delicious soup at home, you can soon skip the non-keto friendly ingredients and make it as keto friendly as you would like.

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