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Vanilla extract nutrition, glycemic index, calories, net carbs & more

*all the values are displayed for the amount of 100 grams
Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan by Victoria Mazmanyan | Last updated on December 03, 2020
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Vanilla extract


Vanilla extract is commonly used in baking as a flavoring. Not only does it add a pleasantly sweet aroma, but it also enhances all flavors of the mixture to which it is added.

Appearances and Production

Vanilla extract usually has a dark brown color; 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 the vanilla extract (1).


The main compound responsible for vanilla extract’s qualities is vanillin. Pure vanilla extract contains natural vanillin and many other components, whereas artificial vanilla extract is made entirely 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.

One serving size of vanilla extract is the average amount of this flavoring 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.

Macronutrients chart

13% 53% 35%
Daily Value: 0%
0.06 g of 50 g
Daily Value: 0%
0.06 g of 65 g
Daily Value: 4%
12.65 g of 300 g
Daily Value: 3%
52.58 g of 2,000 g
34.65 g

Carbohydrates in Vanilla Extract

Carbohydrates make up 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, without added sugars, pure vanilla extract does not contain carbohydrates.

Protein in Vanilla Extract

The protein content in vanilla extract is negligible, as 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, vitamin K, vitamins B9 and B12, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

Vitamin coverage chart

Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 22% 8% 3% 6% 0% 0% 0%
Vitamin A: 0 IU of 5,000 IU 0%
Vitamin E : 0 mg of 15 mg 0%
Vitamin D: 0 µg of 10 µg 0%
Vitamin C: 0 mg of 90 mg 0%
Vitamin B1: 0.011 mg of 1 mg 1%
Vitamin B2: 0.095 mg of 1 mg 7%
Vitamin B3: 0.425 mg of 16 mg 3%
Vitamin B5: 0.035 mg of 5 mg 1%
Vitamin B6: 0.026 mg of 1 mg 2%
Folate: 0 µg of 400 µg 0%
Vitamin B12: 0 µg of 2 µg 0%
Vitamin K: 0 µg of 120 µg 0%


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.

Mineral coverage chart

Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium Choline 4% 5% 9% 3% 14% 2% 3% 24% 30% 0% 0%
Calcium: 11 mg of 1,000 mg 1%
Iron: 0.12 mg of 8 mg 2%
Magnesium: 12 mg of 420 mg 3%
Phosphorus: 6 mg of 700 mg 1%
Potassium: 148 mg of 3,400 mg 4%
Sodium: 9 mg of 2,300 mg 0%
Zinc: 0.11 mg of 11 mg 1%
Copper: 0.072 mg of 1 mg 8%
Manganese: 0.23 mg of 2 mg 10%
Selenium: 0 µg of 55 µg 0%
Choline: 0 mg of 550 mg 0%

Glycemic Index

A specific number has not yet been calculated for vanilla extract’s glycemic index; however, it is assumed to be low.


Since about 90% of vanilla extract consists of water and alcohol, its acidity is near neutral, meaning the pH value is around 7.

The acidity of vanilla extract based on the potential renal acid load (PRAL) has been calculated to be -3.3, making it alkaline-forming. PRAL shows the base or acid production capacity of the food inside the human body.

Weight Loss & Diets

Vanilla extract overall consists mostly of water and alcohol; therefore, it is very low in calories. An average amount of vanilla extract 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 eight times fewer carbohydrates.

Here we will discuss how vanilla extract fits in some diets.

Keto Vanilla extract can be used as a low-carb sweetener on this diet. However, you have to be careful when choosing vanilla extract on a keto diet, as some vanilla extracts have added sugars (2).
DASH Vanilla extract is low in sodium. It is acceptable on the DASH diet.
Atkins You can use vanilla extract on the Atkins diet (3). Low or no carb vanilla extract is preferred.
Mediterranean Even though vanilla flowers are not native to the Mediterranean areas, the modern Mediterranean diet often includes vanilla extract.
Paleo 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.
Dukan Vanilla extract can be used on this diet, especially if it is sugar-free.
Intermittent Fasting As with most foods, you can use vanilla extract during the eating periods but refrain from it during fasting.
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.
Low Carb One teaspoon of vanilla extract contains about a gram of carbohydrates. However, you can make homemade pure vanilla extract without added sugars.
Anti Inflammatory Vanilla extract has been studied to possess antioxidant qualities (5); therefore, it can be used on an anti-inflammatory diet.
BRAT Vanilla extract does not significantly affect the digestive system, so it is acceptable to use on a BRAT diet.


Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: December 03, 2020

Important nutritional characteristics for Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract
Insulin index ⓘ
Net Carbs ⓘ Net Carbs = Total Carbohydrates – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols
12.65 grams
Serving Size ⓘ Serving sizes are taken from FDA's Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs)
1 tsp (4.2 grams)
Acidity (Based on PRAL) ⓘ PRAL (Potential renal acid load) is calculated using a formula. On the PRAL scale the higher the positive value, the more is the acidifying effect on the body. The lower the negative value, the higher the alkalinity of the food. 0 is neutral.
-3.3 (alkaline)
69% Calories
64% Alcohol
63% Sugar
59% Net carbs
56% Carbs
Explanation: The given food contains more Calories than 69% of foods. Note that this food itself is richer in Calories than it is in any other nutrient. Similarly, it is relatively rich in Alcohol, Sugar, Net carbs, and Carbs.

Mineral chart - relative view

0.23 mg
TOP 49%
0.072 mg
TOP 68%
148 mg
TOP 71%
11 mg
TOP 74%
12 mg
TOP 79%
9 mg
TOP 86%
0.11 mg
TOP 90%
0.12 mg
TOP 92%
6 mg
TOP 95%
0 µg
TOP 100%

Vitamin chart - relative view

Vitamin B2
0.095 mg
TOP 70%
Vitamin B3
0.425 mg
TOP 80%
Vitamin B6
0.026 mg
TOP 89%
Vitamin B1
0.011 mg
TOP 92%
Vitamin B5
0.035 mg
TOP 95%
Vitamin D
0 µg
TOP 100%
Vitamin E
0 mg
TOP 100%
Vitamin A
0 IU
TOP 100%
Vitamin K
0 µg
TOP 100%
Vitamin B12
0 µg
TOP 100%
0 µg
TOP 100%
Vitamin C
0 mg
TOP 100%

Fat type information

0.01% 0.01% 0.004%
Saturated Fat: 0.01 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.004 g

Fiber content ratio for Vanilla extract

Sugar: 12.65 g
Fiber: 0 g
Other: 0 g

All nutrients for Vanilla extract per 100g

Nutrient DV% In TOP % of foods Value Comparison
Net carbs N/A 41% 12.65g 4.3 times less than Chocolate Chocolate
Protein 0% 95% 0.06g 47 times less than Broccoli Broccoli
Fats 0% 95% 0.06g 555.2 times less than Cheese Cheese
Carbs 4% 44% 12.65g 2.2 times less than Rice Rice
Calories 14% 31% 288kcal 6.1 times more than Orange Orange
Sugar N/A 37% 12.65g 1.4 times more than Coca-Cola Coca-Cola
Fiber 0% 100% 0g N/A Orange
Calcium 1% 74% 11mg 11.4 times less than Milk Milk
Iron 2% 92% 0.12mg 21.7 times less than Beef Beef
Magnesium 3% 79% 12mg 11.7 times less than Almond Almond
Phosphorus 1% 95% 6mg 30.3 times less than Chicken meat Chicken meat
Potassium 4% 71% 148mg Equal to Cucumber Cucumber
Sodium 0% 86% 9mg 54.4 times less than White Bread White Bread
Zinc 1% 90% 0.11mg 57.4 times less than Beef Beef
Copper 8% 68% 0.07mg 2 times less than Shiitake Shiitake
Vitamin A 0% 100% 0IU N/A Carrot
Vitamin E 0% 100% 0mg N/A Kiwifruit
Vitamin D 0% 100% 0µg N/A Egg
Vitamin C 0% 100% 0mg N/A Lemon
Vitamin B1 1% 92% 0.01mg 24.2 times less than Pea Pea
Vitamin B2 7% 70% 0.1mg 1.4 times less than Avocado Avocado
Vitamin B3 3% 80% 0.43mg 22.5 times less than Turkey meat Turkey meat
Vitamin B5 1% 95% 0.04mg 32.3 times less than Sunflower seed Sunflower seed
Vitamin B6 2% 89% 0.03mg 4.6 times less than Oat Oat
Folate 0% 100% 0µg N/A Brussels sprout
Vitamin B12 0% 100% 0µg N/A Pork
Vitamin K 0% 100% 0µg N/A Broccoli
Cholesterol 0% 100% 0mg N/A Egg
Trans Fat N/A 100% 0g N/A Margarine
Saturated Fat 0% 93% 0.01g 589.5 times less than Beef Beef
Monounsaturated Fat N/A 92% 0.01g 979.9 times less than Avocado Avocado
Polyunsaturated fat N/A 96% 0g 11793.5 times less than Walnut Walnut

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Nutrition Facts
___servings per container
Serving Size ______________
Amount Per 100g
Calories 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 9mg
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Total Sugars g
Includes ? g Added Sugars
Protein 0g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%

Calcium 11mg 1%

Iron 0mg 0%

Potassium 148mg 4%

The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Health checks

Low in Cholesterol
 ⓘ Dietary cholesterol is not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in healthy individuals. However, dietary cholesterol is common in foods that are high in harmful saturated fats.
No Trans Fats
 ⓘ Trans fat consumption increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality by negatively affecting blood lipid levels.
Low in Saturated Fats
 ⓘ Saturated fat intake can raise total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, leading to an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Dietary guidelines recommend limiting saturated fats to under 10% of calories a day.
Low in Sodium
 ⓘ Increased sodium consumption leads to elevated blood pressure.
Low in Sugars
 ⓘ While the consumption of moderate amounts of added sugars is not detrimental to health, an excessive intake can increase the risk of obesity, and therefore, diabetes.

Vanilla extract nutrition infographic

Vanilla extract nutrition infographic
Infographic link


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.


Data provided by should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.