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Should Grains Be A No Go On Keto?

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Whether you’re striving to lose weight once and for all, wish to improve your health condition, or purely want to be the healthiest version of you - your decision to eat a Keto diet will raise some questions around certain foods.

You understand the basics of high-fat, moderate-protein and very low-carb, but what foods are a yummy yes or an absolute no?

One of the biggest questions you may be asking yourself now that you’ve begun, or are at least thinking about going Keto is, ‘Should I be eating grains on Keto’?

Keto Basics

Let’s remind ourselves of the Keto fundamentals.  Your primary source of calories will be fat, good fats are 80% of your daily calorie intake allowance.  Some protein is important, making up between 15-20% of your daily calorie count.  Your carbohydrate consumption must be minimal, less than 5%.

Less than 5% of carbs break down to a really small amount, most people on Keto aim for between 20-50g of net carbs per day (net carbs are the total carbs minus the fibre and sugar alcohols). What this looks like on your plate will be such a tiny amount, that you’ll want to ensure it’s the best and tastiest type of carb around.

The whole point of keeping to these proportions is of course to keep your body in ketosis.  Your body will release fat - converted into ketone bodies, for fuel in the absence of carbs.  If you go above your carb allowance, you risk raising your blood sugar levels, insulin levels and will take your body out of ketosis

Given that you’re eating for health and you want your calories to be as nutritious as possible; the quality of the carbs you eat matter.

What About Low-Carb Grains?

It’s true - there is such a thing as low-carb grains.  We know carbs of the grain kind are difficult to give up completely, and so it wouldn’t be fair of us to not let you know about such things.  Yes, low-carb grains exist, but no grain is completely free of carbs.

Even the best low-carb grains have a high amount of carbs when you’re following a Keto diet.  Some of the better options for low-carb grains include:

  • Rye 1 Slice = 15g carbs
  • Bulgar 1 Cup = 34g carbs
  • Quinoa 1 Cup = 40g carbs
  • Millet 1 Cup = 41g carbs
  • Oats 1 Cup = 103g carbs

(Source: myfooddata.com)

As you can see, even the best that low-carb grains can offer have a high proportion of carbohydrates.  The fact is, even the most excellent complex wholegrains contain carbs, and will take up a large proportion of your carb allowance on Keto.  

You also need to know that whilst low-carb wholegrains may be touted as a great grain alternative, they lack the protein and micronutrients that are vital for your body on Keto.  Keto isn’t a fad diet solely about weight loss.  It’s a wholesome way of eating that nourishes your body in the right way.  This is especially important if you suffer with a health condition exacerbated or caused by a lack of good fats and micronutrients.

Complex carbs such as wholegrains are often considered to be ‘good carbs’, yet many of them rank highly on the Glycemic Index (GI), a scale that measures how much a specific food raises blood sugar.  This really is a no-go for Keto ambassadors like yourself.  Raising your blood sugar will send you spiralling out of ketosis, a risk you really don’t want to take for the sake of a rye slice with your poached eggs.

So, can you eat low-carb grains and maintain ketosis?  Ye-ee-ss, but very cautiously.  You’ll be continuously calculating your carb allowance and obsessing about the GI.  While running the risk that if you get your arithmetic wrong, you’ll kick yourself out of ketosis.  We know you likely don’t have the time or inclination for that, besides Keto can be so much easier, fun and delicious than that.

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Scrumptious Low-Carb Alternatives To Grains

Many will argue wholegrains provide important vitamins, minerals and fibre.  But to achieve the daily requirements of those through wholegrains, you’d need to eat a whole lot of carbs in the process - a definite no-go on Keto.  

Whatsmore, why stick to bland grains when you can open your mouth to so many other delightful, colourful and exciting flavours?  There's a whole invigorating-food world out there waiting to be discovered, that will provide way more of your daily dietary needs; vital protein, and good fats, without the carbs and high GI.

 

cauliflower on keto diet

 

 Diversify Your Plate:

  • Raw with hummus
  • Roast with herbs and sea salt
  • Blitzed into a creamy mash
  • Pulse into cauli-rice 

 

courgette on the keto diet

 

Diversify Your Plate:

  • Drizzle raw ribbons with our KetoKeto 100% Premium MCT Oil
  • Roast with avocado oil and spice
  • Pull into ‘coodles’ (courgette-noodles) and sprinkle with salty parmesa 

lettuce on the keto diet

Diversify Your Plate:

  • Wrap around chicken and avocado
  • Raw wedges with tahini dressing
  • Grill with avocado oil for a tasty side dish 

 

mushrooms on keto

 

Diversify Your Plate:

  • Perfectly grill to top and tail burgers
  • Bake with ghee and garlic to compliment meat
  • Brush with butter and seasoning, then grill - for a luscious toast substitute

(Source for nutritional values: nutritionix.com)

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Do Grains Have A Place On Keto Diet?

The grains you’re likely used to - think white rice, pasta and pizza dough, have little-to-no nutritional value and plenty of simple carbs that have no place in your Keto diet.  Avoid them at all costs.

As you’ve learned, wholegrains and low-carb grains are more complex carbs that offer a more sustainable version of grains.  But your choice really isn’t between good grains and bad grains when your ‘grains’ do not need to be grains.  There are so many other tempting tastes to explore; this is an opportunity to expand your culinary skills, broaden your palate and boost your health. 

We understand you don’t always have the time or energy to prepare appetising alternatives though, especially when you’re on-the-go.  Thankfully KetoKeto has plenty of delicious low-carb, no-grain alternatives to fill the gap.  You don’t need to miss out on your favourite flavours and treats - healthy doesn’t need to be boring!

Do you need grains?  No - you can gain more nutritional benefits without touching grains.   When you opt for low-carb, no-grain alternatives, you keep your carb-intake low, blood sugar levels down and maintain ketosis - all without having to be a food-analysis-genius.  You’ll also feel the benefits of introducing more fibre and micronutrients into your diet when you swap out grains; more satisfied, energetic and healthier than ever.

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