Along with fat and protein, carbohydrates are a macronutrient. Starch, fibre, and sugar are three types of nutrients that are referred to as carbohydrates. Variety of carbohydrates are available but understanding the difference between these carbs is essential while following a keto diet.
On the ketogenic diet, you have to keep your carb intake low as it is necessary to maintain a state of ketosis (a metabolic state when the body switches from burning carbohydrates to burning fat for energy). Also, make sure to completely ditch refined or processed grains and opt for some portions of healthy whole grains.
Grains act as a good source of fibre, carbohydrates, and energy for our bodies. Allowing certain amounts of grains is essential for improving the long-term sustainability of the ketogenic diet. When considering whether you can eat low-carb grains in ketosis, you need to look at how many net carbs they contain and not just at the total grams of carbohydrates. Net carbs are equal to total carbohydrates minus the amount of fibre.
Total Carbohydrates – Total Fiber = Net Carbohydrates
For example, if a particular food contains 30 grams of total carbohydrates and 10 grams of fibre, the net carb count would be 20 grams.
To maintain ketosis, just 25-30 grams of carbohydrates are allowed per day. It is always better to experiment and add a little portion of carbs in your diet and then check your ketone levels. This way you can easily track whether that particular carb is affecting your ketosis state or not. Apart from this, you may also check the nutrient profile and healthy fat content of that food for a varied and balanced keto lifestyle.
Grains low in net carbs include oatmeal, soba noodles, bulgur, buckwheat, whole wheat pasta, cornmeal, quinoa, millet, brown rice, wild rice. Eating foods low in net carbs ensures you will digest the carbohydrates more slowly while feeling full longer.
By Dr Seema Nanda
Refer to her blog for more updates on Health and Wellness.