Carbs and Calories In Fried Fish: Is Fried Fish Keto Friendly?

fried fish is keto

Sprinkled with salt and doused in vinegar, an order of fish and chips can’t be beat.  However, it may not exactly be considered health food.  Although high in calories and fat, fried fish is actually quite nutritious.

Not only is fish tasty and easy to prepare, it’s also an excellent source of protein and omegas.  Most types of fish also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly heart-healthy fats.

Even better, fish is low in carbs and fits in well with low carb diets, like Keto.  Pan frying fish with a light coating of almond flour or coconut flour is preferred over heavily breaded, deep fried fish.  But crispy, battered, deep-fried fish isn’t totally off limits.  You can still consume a fillet on the Keto diet as long as you factor it in to your daily carb count.

You should find it relatively easy to incorporate fish into your Keto meal plan prepared a number of different ways, including fried.  So go ahead and add fish to your diet today.

How Many Carbs are in Fried Fish?

A single fillet of deep-fried fish contains 350 to 500 calories, depending on the size. 

Add to that the full accoutrement of a full order of fish and chips; including tartar sauce at 150 calories per tablespoon, French fries at 250 calories, coleslaw 150 calories per half-cup…  A full order of fish and chips can run upwards of 1000 calories!

If you’re following a calorie-reduction diet plan, you may wish to consume the fish and only a few of the fries to keep the calorie count of your meal reasonable.  Or pair your fish with a salad instead.

How Many Calories are in Fried Fish?

One battered, fried fish fillet contains 15.4 grams of carbs.

One pan fried fish fillet lightly rolled in a tablespoon of flour contains only 6 grams of carbs. Pan frying significantly reduces the calories, too.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Deep Fried Fish Fillet  
Calories 260
Total Fat 16 grams
Saturated Fat 4 grams
Trans Fat 4 grams
Cholesterol 35 milligrams
Sodium 790 milligrams
Potassium 0 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate 17 grams
Dietary Fiber 0 grams
Sugars 0 grams
Protein 12 grams
Vitamin A          2% DRV
Vitamin C 8% DRV
Calcium 2% DRV
Iron 4% DRV

Health Benefits

calories in fried fish


A fillet of fried fish provides vitamin C, vitamins B6 and B12.  Just one four-ounce fillet of fish can contain 100% of your daily recommended value of vitamin D, an important nutrient that most people are lacking!  You’ll also get a healthy dose of iron, calcium, iodine, and zinc.  Additionally, fish provides omega-3 fatty acids, along with high-quality protein and some fiber.

Rich in Vitamin D

Fish is chock full of nutrients, like protein and vitamin D.  Vitamin D is an important nutrient, of which almost half the population is deficient.  Fish is one of the best sources of vitamin D and contains more of this vitamin than most other foods.

Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fatty types of fish, like salmon, trout, sardines, tuna, and mackerel, are higher in fat-based nutrients and very nutritious because of their omega-3 fatty acids.

Supports Brain Function

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of disease and support brain function.  Some studies conclude that omega-3 fatty acids that are abundant in fish might even fight depression.  People who consume fish regularly were much less likely to become depressed. 

It can also slow brain decline while aging.  Other studies determined that people who consume fish regularly have slower rates of mental decline. 

Prevents Heart Disease

Unsaturated fat, like the type in fish is actually good for your heart.  In fact, fish is one of the most heart-healthy foods you can eat!  Studies show eating a few servings of fish each week can lower your risk of heart disease by around 15% thanks to the heart-healthy omegas.  These healthy fats can help reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. 

Reduces the Risk of Chronic Diseases

Eating fish regularly is also linked to a reduced risk of diabetes.

Studies show that regular fish consumption is linked to a 24% lower risk of asthma in children, but no significant effect has been found in adults.

Another study found that eating fish once per week was linked to a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Side Effects

carbs in fried fish

Although fish is good for you, it loses much of its nutritional benefits after it’s deep-fried. The frying process destroys most of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish, arguably the most nutritious part of the fish.  In fact, one study determined that frying a serving of tuna reduced the fatty acids in the fish by 75%.

The unsaturated fats in fish, such as salmon, actually have health benefits.  However, if you fry your fish at high temperatures, the frying process can destroy the omega-3 fatty acids. If you use an unhealthy oil (saturated trans fat) it could contribute to high cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease.

If you use a healthy oil for frying like olive, canola or coconut oils and don’t turn the heat up too high, you can preserve more of these essential fatty acids in your fish fillet.  If using extra virgin olive oil, keep the heat lower to prevent the healthy properties in the oil from breaking down at a high smoke point.

The American Heart Association recommends consuming non-fried fish or shellfish at 5.5 ounces a day and up to 8 ounces of fish each week.

Crispy Low Carb Deep-Fried Fish Recipe – Make it Keto!


  • 2 pounds haddock
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Peanut oil (for deep frying) or oil of choice.  
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/3 cup carbonated water (the carbonation makes it crispier)
  • 1 Lemon, cut into wedges for garnish.


  1. Slice the fish into equal sized fillets and sprinkle with sea salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together another pinch of salt, flour, and baking powder.
  3. Incorporate both eggs and slowly pour in sparkling water, little by little while continuing to whisk.
  4. Heat oil in a pot or deep fryer.  Adding each piece one at a time, careful not to overcrowd the fish.  Overcrowding reduces the heat of the oil, and makes your fish soggy.  Make sure your oil stays nice and hot to keep the fish crispy.
  5. Gently flip the fish over and cook until golden brown, it should take about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Drain the fish in the fryer basket before placing onto a cooling rack. Lay the pieces of fish on rack and pat off the excess grease with paper towel.
  7. Repeat this process with the rest of the fillets if you need to fry in batches.
  8. Enjoy with a squirt of fresh lemon. 

Each serving contains 400 calories, 6 grams of carbs, 33 grams of protein and 28 grams of fat.

Healthiest Oil to Use to Fry Fish

Extra virgin olive oil is fine to use when pan-frying fish because it has a high smoke point and it’s a heart-healthy unsaturated fat.  

Other good oils for deep frying include sunflower, coconut, safflower, canola and peanut oils.

Healthiest Ways to Cook Fish

  • Fry your fish in an air fryer to use less oil. You’ll get that same crispy fried taste and texture, but with a lot less fat.
  • Avoid eating fish too often that is heavily salted, breaded or deep-fried.
  • Steam your fish instead. Steaming fish keeps it moist, without adding extra fat.
  • Poaching keeps fish firm.
  • Broiling is makes fish flavorful and it’s a great low fat method.
  • Grilling is another great way to prepare fish in a healthier way.
  • Baking in the oven with dill and lemon makes a tasty fish dinner.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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