Carbs in Sake: Is Rice Wine Keto?

Medically reviewed article

Sake is a fermented drink from Japan. Its unique taste makes the rice wine more and more popular. But can you drink rice wine on keto and other low-carb diets due to the carbs in sake?

Find out in this article and more!

Is Sake Keto?

Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage often referred to as rice wine.

Sake is made from rice, yeast, and water. The mixture is fermented, and the yeast helps convert the contents of the rice into alcohol.

Sake has been part of Japanese culture for centuries and is usually enjoyed when people gather to celebrate.

Rice wine can be drunk hot or cold. Its range in quality and price goes from cheap to luxuriously expensive.

Since the main ingredient is rice, a high-carbohydrate food, the legitimate question is whether sake can be suitable for low-carb diets like the keto diet.

To find out, we need to look closely at the nutritional information.

Carbs in Sake

Rice has a reputation for being a high-carbohydrate side dish. However, we know that fermentation usually has positive effects on food. Can it reduce the carbs in sake relatively when combined with water?

The nutritional information will tell us how much sake we can drink on keto.

How Many Carbohydrates per Fl Oz of Sake?

One fluid ounce of commercial sake provides the following average nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 39 calories
  • Protein: 0.15 grams
  • Fat: 0.0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1.5 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.0 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.5 grams

The nutritional information is clear. Rice wine also has carbohydrates. Thus, the dosage depends on whether sake can still fit into a ketogenic diet.

Finally, sake is drunk in moderation and not served in large glasses.

Is Sake Keto-Friendly?

Sake is suitable for keto in moderation.

Hot sake is served in a small bottle (tokkuri) and poured into a cup (ochoko) resembling a shot glass.

Sake in Tokkuri and Ochoko for Keto

An ochoko is usually 30 to 90 ml in size. Therefore, depending on the size of the cup, it contains an average of between 1.5 and 4.5 grams of net carbohydrates.

This means that a person can drink up to 5 large or 15 small cups of rice wine without exceeding the daily limit of carbohydrates for ketosis.

Of course, we’re assuming you’re not adding any other carbs.

How Much Alcohol Is in Sake?

The alcohol content of rice wine is generally 14-16%, which is slightly higher than regular wine.

Wine usually has an alcohol content of 12-14%, while spirits like vodka and rum have an average of 40% alcohol.

Still, clear spirits with no mixed drinks and wines with manageable residual sugar are the types of alcohol you can enjoy in moderation on keto.

Sake falls between these common alcoholic beverages and is therefore acceptable on keto and low carb.

Remember that alcohol can keep your liver from performing critical metabolic functions.


The bottom line is that carbs in sake make it possible to drink it occasionally on keto and other low-carb diets.

So, if you want to enjoy a cup of sake now and then at your favorite Japanese restaurant with company or friends, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Ketogenic diets are no slouch if you know how your body works. You can find the knowledge you need in my keto section.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sake allowed on keto?

Sake is allowed in moderation on keto.

Are there carbs in sake?

Yes, there are carbs in sake.

How many net carbs are in sake?

One shot of sake has 1.5 to 4.5 net carbs.

Does sake have more carbs than wine?

Sake has slightly more carbs than dry wine.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

Click on the links above to visit his author and about me pages.

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