Vanilla extract nutrition, glycemic index, calories, and serving size
Complete nutrition and health benefits analysis for Vanilla extract
Vanilla extract is commonly used in baking as a flavouring. Not only does it add a pleasantly sweet aroma, but it also enhances all flavours of the mixture it is added to.
Vanilla extract usually has a dark brown colour, however artificial vanilla extract can also be clear.
Vanilla extract is made from the seed pods of the vanilla orchid. These beans later go through a long process of blanching, fermenting and conditioning, after which they are soaked in a solution of ethanol and water. This is called the extraction process, the result of which is vanilla extract (1).
The main compound that is responsible for vanilla extract’s qualities is called vanillin. Pure vanilla extract contains natural vanillin, as well as many other components, whereas artificial vanilla extract is made completely out of artificially derived synthetic vanillin. However, synthetic vanillin is chemically identical to its natural counterpart.
Vanilla is only used in small amounts, however it can add nutrients to the final product, slightly altering its nutritional value.
Depending on whether the vanilla extract is natural or artificial, as well as the conditions of its production, the nutritional value may change.
A serving size of vanilla extract is the average amount of this flavouring that is added to recipes and it is equal to 4.2g or one teaspoon.
Macronutrients and Calories
Being liquid, 53% of vanillin extract consists of water, with another 34% consisting of ethyl alcohol or ethanol.
Calories in Vanilla Extract
One teaspoon or a serving size of vanilla extract contains about 12 calories.
Carbohydrates in Vanilla Extract
Carbohydrates make up for about 13% of vanilla extract. This means one teaspoon of vanilla extract contains around half a gram of carbohydrates.
The carbohydrate composition is completely made of sugars and contains no dietary fiber.
Nonetheless, pure vanilla extract, without added sugars, does not contain carbohydrates.
Protein in Vanilla Extract
The protein content in vanilla extract is negligible, as a 100g of vanilla extract contains only 0.06g of protein.
Fats in Vanilla Extract
The fat content of vanilla extract is also insignificant. Vanilla extract, naturally, does not contain cholesterol or trans fats.
Vanilla extract is not very rich in vitamins. It contains moderate levels of vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamins B1 and B5.
However, vanilla extract completely lacks vitamin D, vitamin A, both folic acid and folate forms of vitamin B9, vitamin K, vitamin B12, vitamins E and C.
Vanilla extract is relatively high in manganese. It also contains moderate to low amounts of copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phosphorus. It does not contain selenium.
Vanilla extract is low in sodium.
A specific number has not been calculated for vanilla extract’s glycemic index, however it is low.
As about 90% of vanilla extract consists of water and alcohol, its acidity is near neutral, meaning the pH is around 7.
The acidity of vanilla extract based on potential renal acid load (PRAL) has been calculated to be -3.3, making it alkaline. PRAL shows the capacity of base or acid production of the food, inside the human body.
You can also have a look at our nutrition infogrpahic and the charts below
Vanilla extract nutrition infographic
Weight Loss & Diets
Vanilla extract overall consists mostly of water and alcohol, therefore is very low in calories. An average amount of vanilla extract that is usually used in recipes is one teaspoon, which contains almost no fats and only half a gram of carbohydrates.
Vanilla extract can be used as a natural sweetener instead of white sugar for people trying to lose weight. In comparison to white sugar, vanilla extract has a much lower glycemic index and about 8 times less carbohydrates.
Here we will discuss how vanilla extract fits in some diets.
Vanilla extract can be used as a carb-free sweetener on this diet. However, you have to be careful when choosing vanilla extract to use on a keto diet, as some vanilla extract has added sugars in it (2).
Vanilla extract is low in sodium. It is acceptable on the DASH diet.
You can use vanilla extract on the Atkins diet (3). Low or no carb vanilla extract is preferred.
Even though vanilla flowers are not native to the Mediterranean areas, the modern Mediterranean diet often includes vanilla extract.
Artificial vanilla extract is not paleo friendly (4). However, homemade, sugar-free vanilla extract with organic alcohol can be considered acceptable on this diet.
Vegan/ Vegetarian/ Pescetarian
As vanilla extract is a plant product, it is naturally acceptable in vegan, vegetarian and pescetarian diets.
Vanilla extract can be used on this diet, especially if it is sugar-free.
As most foods, you can use vanilla extract during the eating periods, but refrain from it during the eating periods.
Low Fat & Low Calorie
Vanilla extract contains 12 calories per teaspoon and almost no fats, therefore it fits in both low fat and low calorie diets.
One teaspoon of vanilla extract contains about a gram of carbohydrates. However, you can make homemade pure vanilla extract without added sugars.
Vanilla extract has been studied to possess antioxidant qualities (5), therefore it can be used on an anti inflammatory diet.
Vanilla extract does not have a significant effect on the digestive system, so it is acceptable to use on a BRAT diet.
Important nutritional characteristics for Vanilla extract
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NEW NUTRITION FACTS LABEL
Serving Size ______________
Mineral coverage chart
Mineral chart - relative view
Vitamin coverage chart
Vitamin chart - relative view
Fat type information
Fiber content ratio for Vanilla extract
All nutrients for Vanilla extract per 100g
|Nutrient||DV%||In TOP % of foods||Value||Comparison|
|Protein||0%||95%||0.06g||47 times less than Broccoli|
|Fats||0%||95%||0.06g||555.2 times less than Cheese|
|Carbs||4%||44%||12.65g||2.2 times less than Rice|
|Calories||14%||31%||288kcal||6.1 times more than Orange|
|Sugar||0%||37%||12.65g||1.4 times more than Coca-Cola|
|Calcium||1%||74%||11mg||11.4 times less than Milk|
|Iron||2%||92%||0.12mg||21.7 times less than Beef|
|Magnesium||3%||80%||12mg||11.7 times less than Almond|
|Phosphorus||1%||95%||6mg||30.3 times less than Chicken meat|
|Potassium||4%||71%||148mg||Equal to Cucumber|
|Sodium||0%||86%||9mg||54.4 times less than White Bread|
|Zinc||1%||90%||0.11mg||57.4 times less than Beef|
|Copper||8%||68%||0.07mg||2 times less than Shiitake|
|Vitamin B1||1%||92%||0.01mg||24.2 times less than Pea|
|Vitamin B2||7%||70%||0.1mg||1.4 times less than Avocado|
|Vitamin B3||3%||80%||0.43mg||22.5 times less than Turkey meat|
|Vitamin B5||1%||95%||0.04mg||32.3 times less than Sunflower seed|
|Vitamin B6||2%||89%||0.03mg||4.6 times less than Oat|
|Saturated Fat||0%||93%||0.01g||589.5 times less than Beef|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0%||92%||0.01g||979.9 times less than Avocado|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0%||96%||0g||11793.5 times less than Walnut|
The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article and glycemic index text the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.