Fizzy, trendy, and downright delicious, kombucha is just as popular now as it was when it first took the health and fitness industry by storm. Loaded with gut-boosting probiotics, it appears that kombucha would make an excellent addition to a healthy diet, but here’s the thing. As with anything else, not all kombucha is created equal, and some popular brands aren’t even healthy, not to mention the fact that many of them are a far cry from being keto.
But, don’t worry, it can make a great addition to your diet, it can be healthy, and yes, keto dieters, it can be keto-friendly.
So, what do you need to look for to make sure the kombucha, aka “booch” you are drinking is as healthy as it’s made out to be?
Let’s break it down.
The Kombucha Craze: Is It Healthy?
It’s hard to go into Whole Foods or another crunchy health food store without finding countless different kombucha options. Since the craze a few years ago, it has quickly become one of the most popular ways to get your daily dose of gut-boosting probiotics in. However, is kombucha healthy and all that it’s cracked up to be?
The short answer is yes, the long answer is maybe. When it comes to determining the health benefits of the kombucha you may be drinking, it all depends on the brand, quality, and of course, added ingredients.
If you choose a high-quality kombucha that is free from artificial ingredients and low in sugar, it can be an excellent beverage choice if you are looking for a gut-health tune-up. Let’s break down some of the things that makes kombucha healthy.
- Rich in probiotic to promote gut health
- Can help strengthen the immune system & help fight off infections
- Boost mood-preliminary studies show promising outcomes when it comes to probiotic use and mood
Knowing whether or not the kombucha you are drinking regularly is healthy can be as simple as taking a peek at the nutrition label. The great news is that everything you need to know in regards to added ingredients is going to be listed right on the back of the bottle.
Here are the cliff notes on what you need to know about determining whether or not the kombucha you’ve been told is good for you is in fact, healthy.
Check the Sugar Content
Sugar is found in nearly every single food and beverage we consume today, and kombucha is no exception. The thing to keep your eyes peeled for here is added sugar. Kombucha will naturally contain sugar, but most of that sugar is going to be consumed during the fermentation process. It’s the excessive amount of added sugar some companies add to their product you need to watch out for.
So, how much is too much? While you will want a small amount of sugar in your booch for fermentation purposes, and to make the natural vinegar flavor a bit more palatable, there is such as thing as too much, and it can get to the point where the added sugar content takes away from the health benefits of the kombucha.
Unflavored kombucha is going to contain about 2-3 grams of sugar which is great and is going to be your best bet if you are following a keto diet. However, if you prefer a flavored option, a good rule of thumb is to steer clear of any kombucha that contains more than 10-12 grams of sugar per bottle.
Be on the Lookout for Unnecessary Ingredients
Avoid any ingredient that you can’t pronounce…we’re looking at you artificial colors, preservatives, and additives. If you see these listed on the ingredient list, stay far away.
Any drink that contains artificial and unnecessary additives isn’t going to give you the health-promoting benefits a high-quality kombucha would. And, while we’re on the topic of quality, quality is king. Stick to one that comes from a reputable brand that doesn’t take shortcuts to provide you with the best possible kombucha available.
Stick to brands that contain just the ingredients required to make the booch: water, tea, and sugar. Want to know our top kombucha picks? Read on to find out which brands put quality first.
So, here’s the takeaway on whether or not kombucha is healthy. The answer is yes, so long as you are being selective when it comes to which one you choose to enjoy.
Is Kombucha Keto?
So, we know that kombucha holds some impressive health benefits, but is it keto? Can you add it to your keto diet without completely throwing your daily carb count out of whack? The good news is that with a few exceptions, you can continue to sip on your favorite kombucha even while following a ketogenic diet, there are just a few things to keep in mind.
- While kombucha is naturally high in sugar, remember that the bacteria in the fermentation process feeds off the sugar, it’s the added sugar companies add after fermentation that can pose an issue. For keto purposes, try to stick to the unflavored version that only contains 2-3 grams of sugar total.
- Skip the fruit flavored kombucha as these are not keto-friendly. These have usually gone through a double fermentation process where the additional flavors were added into the drink. You’ll be left with unnecessary added carbs, a keto-dieters nemesis.
- When you enjoy kombucha, simply adjust your other foods so you can be sure you are staying within the appropriate carbohydrate range without running the risk of throwing your body out of ketosis.
Not All Kombucha is Created Equal
Ready to sip on a refreshing and fizzy kombucha to promote better gut health? Here are some of our favorite brands.
- Health-Ade Kombucha
- GT’s Enlightened Raw Kombucha
- Brew Dr. Kombucha
Feeling adventurous? Make your own kombucha using a home brewing kit you can find online or at your local health food store.
The Bottom Line
High-quality kombucha is an excellent gut-boosting beverage choice. This superstar drink can provide you with a hefty dose of probiotics to keep your gut in tip-top shape. Plus, if you are selective with the kind of kombucha you add to your diet, you may just be able to manage to keep this fizzy drink in your keto diet plan.