The world's largest folk festival starts this year on September 22nd. If you're planning to have the time of your life under one of Oktoberfest's tents, then having a pint or two is a no-brainer on your to-do list. But if you decide to skip on the grub for fear of sabotaging your keto diet, you'll be seriously missing out.
Oktoberfest serves some of the best food out there. Lucky for you, most of it is meat-based and that means keto friendly. Still, you'll want to plan ahead, not only to stay within your daily macros, but to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event to the fullest. Read on to learn what you need to go for and avoid to make it a Keto Oktoberfest.
Let's First Talk About the Beer
Bavaria has THE best beer in the world thanks to some pretty strict regulations for brewing practices that have been enforced since the 16th century. While you may get tempted to try out as many beers as you can, it's best to have one to two servings to stay in ketosis.
Alcohol is allowed on keto, but only in moderation. Beer is actually one of the least keto-friendly alcoholic beverages due to its relatively high carb content. However, not all Oktoberfest beers are high in carbs. The ones you should definitely go for include:
- Spaten (Spatenbräu) (12 oz.)
Spaten is the first ever Oktoberfest beer and the lowest-carb you'll find. It's a medium-bodied beer with a roasted malt flavor and with a perfect balance of hops.
Calories: 165, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 11g, Protein: 0g
- Hacker-Pschorr Märzen (12 oz.)
A lager full body and amber color. It's made from slow-roasted Bavarian barley and spring waters from the Alps.
Calories: 165, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 11g, Protein: 0g
- Paulaner Original Munich Lager (12 oz.)
With an aroma of sweet grains along with rich malt notes, we're sure you'll enjoy this light and floral hops beer. The more so because it's lower in carbs than many other Oktoberfest beers.
Calories: 151, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 7g, Protein: 1.5g
As you can tell, high-quality Bavarian beer is pretty high in carbs and calories. You'll have to practice serious self-control to keep your carb intake within your daily limits. Try eating low to no-carb meals before you head for the tents to enjoy the few beers you can have on your keto Oktoberfest.
And Now About the Oktoberfest Keto Food
You want to order a satisfying meal to go along with your hearty bears. Eating while drinking alcohol slows down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream . Alcohol also seems to stimulate appetite, so you'll definitely end up craving something savory after your first beer . Here are a couple of low-carb Bavarian staples you just have to try:
Bratwurst (113 grams)
It's commonly made from pork but you can also find this traditional German sausage with beef or veal. Its name is derived from Old High German brät (finely chopped meat) and wurst (sausage). While meat makes up most of the sausage, it can also contain milk, salt, spices, and wheat flour and gluten in small amounts.
Calories: 360, Fat: 33g, Carbs: 2g, Protein: 14g
Weisswurst (1 sausage – 67 grams)
Weisswurst literally translates to "white sausage." It's made from minced veal and pork back bacon and flavored with lemon, parsley, nutmeg, onions, ginger, and cardamom. The sausages are heated in water for about ten minutes making them turn greyish-white because there are no color-preserving nitrites used in Weisswurst making.
These sausages were traditionally made in the morning and eaten between breakfast and lunch. It's a fresh and mild-tasting sausage that goes great with mustard.
Calories: 285, Fat: 26g, Carbs: 0.2g, Protein: 12g
Stecklerfisch (trout - 100 grams)
Stecklerfisch is simply grilled fish on a stick. Germans love to grill fish on a stick like a fisherman or camper. You'll likely come across local fish like common bream but most tents will now also serve trout, fingerling or mackerel. To make the fish, the cooks marinated it in a mixture of oil and spices. The nutrition profile of one serving varies depending on what fish was used.
Calories: 190, Fat: 8.5g, Carbs: 0 g, Protein: 26g
Sauerkraut (1 cup)
If you want to have some vegetables on the side, definitely order sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage and is good for you. It has a sour flavor thanks to the presence of lactic acid resulting from bacterial fermentation. Studies show that regularly eating fermented food like sauerkraut can help fight cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, allergies, and digestive disorders among others .
Calories: 27, Fat: 0.2g, Carbs: 2.5 g, Protein: 1,3g
You will find many other meat-based meals like roasted pork knuckle (schweinshaxe), German beefsteak, and roast chicken. Stick to these and eat moderately to avoid taking in too much protein. The keto diet is a moderate-protein diet, which is important for ketosis.
What Oktoberfest Food to Steer Clear From
Oktoberfest high-carb delicacies can be quite tempting, and what's worse – they're everywhere. Use this list as a reminder of what you need to avoid if you want to stay in that ketosis you worked so hard to achieve:
Almost every dish is served with this German staple. It's made from wheat flour, so it's obviously not good for keto.
These are types of soft egg noodles that are usually served with cheese and topped with caramelized onions. While they may look delicious, they're too high in carbs to do you any good.
Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancakes) are one of the most popular Oktoberfest desserts. Others include stolen (a type of fruit bread), and kuchle (donuts). The gingerbread hearts are more of a souvenir than an edible treat.
There's no reason why you couldn't have a great time on your visit to Munich's biggest festivity. Allow yourself to enjoy a beer or two with German sausage and some fermented cabbage on the side and you'll have a great time while still sticking to your macros.
If you plan ahead, you won't run the risk of being kicked out of ketosis. It's also a good idea to fast a few hours before or even a day before you hit the tents. One more thing – prepare to spend more than you're used to on beer and food, Oktoberfest is notoriously pricey and it's a good idea to have some extra money available just in case.