Is Miso Soup Keto Friendly? (Yes, Here’s Why)

Is Miso Soup Keto

For many people, miso soup is a common menu item they enjoy at their favorite Japanese restaurant. For others, like those a part of Japanese culture, this soup is a daily staple that is consumed more than one time per day. Because of its versatility in regards to taste, texture, and nutritional profile, this soup has gained much popularity all over the world as a healthy addition that fits many different dietary approaches. 

Miso soup is keto-friendly due to its low carbohydrate content. Additional ingredients added to the soup could increase the carbohydrate content, so be mindful when choosing any additions. The best keto alternatives for miso soup include Power Provisions Keto Chicken Vegetable Bone Broth Soup, Kiss My Keto Bone Broth and Noodle Soup, Kettle & Fire Butter Curry Bone Broth Soup.

In this article we’ll discuss a brief overview of miso soup and its common ingredients, some proposed health benefits, nutritional content, and review several alternative options. 

What is Miso Soup?

Miso soup is a traditional Japanese dish commonly made using dashi stock and miso paste. Some American varieties are made using chicken or fish stock. This soup has been around since ancient times and during the Japanese civil wars was used by military commanders as an easy-to-prepare meal. Since its origin it has become a foundational piece of Japanese cuisine and its popularity has spread all across the globe. It is a very versatile food item that can be customized to suit any personal taste or texture preferences by adding a variety of different ingredients. Common additions include tofu, sliced onions, spinach, egg, fish, mushrooms, and pork. 

Dashi Stock

Dashi stock is the traditional base of what makes miso soup so special. It is actually a group of broths that can be made from one or a multitude of ingredients. Some of these ingredients include kombu, a seaweed that is part of the kelp family, dried sardines, bonito flakes, dried shiitake mushrooms, dried scallops, dried shrimp or toasted soybeans. Regardless of the ingredients used, the overwhelming similarity among all the different dashi is the unique umami flavor they provide. 

What is umami?

In Japanese, umami means “essence of deliciousness”. Its flavor profile is often described as brothy, meaty, and savory. Umami can be tasted in foods that contain high levels of the amino acid glutamate. The overall effect that umami has on dishes is that it balances taste and rounds out overall flavors, creating a perfectly pleasurable taste sensation. 

Miso Paste

Miso paste is a traditional Japanese condiment made from fermented soybeans that have been mixed with salt and koji, which is a type of mold. Some miso paste blends may include other ingredients like grains. The blend of ingredients is allowed to ferment anywhere from months to years. Miso paste will change in color and flavor the longer it is aged. Colors can range from white, to red, to yellow, to a blend of colors from combining different miso paste types. This complex, savory paste is the star of the show when it comes to miso soup. It’s what gives its characteristic umami flavor and provides much of the soup’s nutritional benefit. 

Health Benefits of Miso

Miso is a low calorie food, but does contain a decent amount of vitamins and minerals which are vital for optimal health. These include vitamin K, zinc, calcium, copper, and manganese. It does also contain some small amounts of B vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and selenium. As with most condiments, however, the paste is not typically consumed in amounts necessary to provide the daily requirements for those specific nutrients. 


Miso is also a fermented food product, so it provides some probiotics. Probiotics are known for feeding the good bacteria found in your gut. Having a healthy, diverse group of gut bacteria is crucial for maintaining a properly operating digestive system, strong immune system, illness prevention, and improved mood and sleep.

Is Miso Soup Keto?

Miso soup is considered to be keto-friendly due to its low carbohydrate content. In reference to the keto diet, however, miso soup falls a tad short when it comes to fat content. It is important to note that miso soup is extremely versatile and can be transformed with the addition of any number of different ingredients. While it is considered a low carbohydrate food in its simplest form, depending on the types of ingredients used, the soup could remain low carbohydrate, or it could take on a higher carbohydrate content. The same concept applies to its fat content as well. It is ultimately left to the consumer to determine which ingredients to include in their miso soup recipe in order to fit the specific dietary approach they are following. 

Nutritional Profile of Miso Soup

Upon review of the following nutrition facts label for an instant miso soup variety, you will see that miso soup is a very low calorie soup that offers few carbohydrates and little to no fat or protein. It is also very high in sodium. As previously discussed, what miso soup lacks in macronutrients it more than makes up for in micronutrients and other potential health benefits. 

Eden Instant Organic Miso Soup


  • Rice Miso (whole hulled soybeans, short grain rice, lake salt, koji aspergillus oryzae)
  • Hacho miso (whole soybeans, sea salt, roasted barley flour, koji)
  • Kuzu
  • Wakame Sea Vegetable 
  • Green Onions

Nutritional Information (per 1 cube):

  • Calories: 25
  • Total Fat: 0.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 590mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 3g
    • Total Sugars: 0g
    • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g

Alternative Options

Kiss My Keto Salt and Pepper Chicken Bone Broth and Noodle Soup

Kiss My Keto Chicken Bone Broth Powder Travel Packets — Collagen Protein (10g) + MCT Oil (1.5g), 18 Amino Acids | Low Carb Salt & Pepper Chicken (15 Pack), Instant Bone Broth Soup Ingredients:

  • Keto Noodles (Purified Water, Konjac Flour, Limewater)
  • Chicken Bone Broth
  • Natural Flavors
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides
  • Salt
  • Yeast Extract
  • Gum Acacia
  • Guar Gum
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Silicon Dioxide

Nutritional Information (per 1 container):

  • Calories: 55
  • Total Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 480mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 2g
    • Total Sugars: 0g
    • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 10g

Power Provisions Keto Chicken Vegetable Bone Broth Soup

Power Provisions, Soup Bone Broth Chicken Vegetable, 1.2 Ounce Ingredients:

  • Chicken Bone Broth
  • Collagen
  • Chicken Broth
  • Chicken Fat
  • MCT Oil (Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil)
  • Cabbage
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Chicken
  • Sea Salt
  • Tomato
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Parsley
  • Spice
  • Green Onion
  • Rosemary Extract

Nutritional Information (per 1 container):

  • Calories: 160
  • Total Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 6g
    • Total Sugars: 1g
    • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 20g

Kettle & Fire Butter Curry Bone Broth Soup

Kettle and Fire Butter Curry Keto Soup, Keto, Paleo Friendly, Gluten Free, High in Protein and Collagen, 3 Pack Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Organic Cream
  • Organic Chicken Bone Broth (Water, Organic Chicken, Organic Onions, Organic Carrots, Organic Fennel, Organic Leeks, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Thyme, Organic Shiitake Mushrooms, Organic Tamarind Extract, Organic Bay Leaf)
  • Organic Butter (Organic Pasteurized Cream, Salt)
  • Less than 2% of Organic Cooked White Meat Chicken, Organic Carrots, Organic Ginger Puree, Organic Jalapeno Peppers, Organic Garlic, Organic Tomatoes in Tomato Puree (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Citric Acid), Organic Onions, Xanthan Gum, Organic Garam Masala Spices, Sea Salt, Organic Turmeric, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate, Organic Spices)

Nutritional Information (per 1 cup):

  • Calories: 290
  • Total Fat: 28g
  • Saturated Fat: 17g
  • Cholesterol: 90mg
  • Sodium: 550mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 4g
    • Total Sugars: 0g
    • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 8g

Main Takeaways

Miso soup is a main staple of Japanese cuisine. It has grown in popularity across the globe as a healthy addition to any diet. In its traditional form, the base of the soup is made from dashi stock and miso paste. This soup is extremely versatile, though, and can be customized with different ingredient additions to fit personal flavor, texture, and nutritional preferences.

Miso soup in its simplest form is considered keto-friendly because it contains only a small amount, around 3 grams, of carbohydrate per serving. Care should be taken if incorporating additional ingredients to miso soup, as some ingredients will raise the carbohydrate content of the soup and create a product that may no longer be keto-friendly.

There are a variety of different ready-to-eat and instant miso soup products available as alternatives to miso soup. These include Kettle & Fire Butter Curry Bone Broth Soup, Power Provisions Keto Chicken Vegetable Bone Broth Soup, Kiss My Keto Salt and Pepper Chicken Bone Broth and Noodle Soup.

Related Questions

What are some substitute options for miso paste?

If you are making your own miso soup, but realize that you just ran out of miso paste, never fear! There are some pantry staples you may have on hand that can be easily substituted for miso paste. The top substitutes include soy sauce and fish sauce. While these options may not provide the same creamy texture as miso, they will help to keep a somewhat similar umami-type flavor. 

How many different types of miso paste are there?

There are typically three main types of miso paste available on supermarket shelves. These include white miso, red miso, or yellow miso. White miso tends to be the mildest flavored miso, while the red miso is fermented the longest and therefore has the strongest, most pungent flavor. Yellow miso falls in between white and red, providing a more neutral flavor which makes it very versatile. 

Is miso soup vegan?

Miso soup may not be vegan dependent on the type of stock that is used as the base of the soup. Some American versions of miso soup are made using chicken or fish stock, while some authentic Japanese miso soup stocks are made using flakes from smoked fish. If chicken or fish stock is used, then the miso soup would not be vegan-friendly. 

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Ashley Patrick

Ashley is a registered dietitian who enjoys helping others develop healthy habits that fit seamlessly into their everyday life. She believes in a balanced approach to health with nutrition, physical activity, and mental health being the main focus. Through nutrition education and counseling she has helped countless individuals take back their health, improve their quality of life, and develop a balanced approach to maintaining their health long term.

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