Keto and Whole Grains: Can They Coexist?
By Tom Seest
At BestKetoNews, we save you time and resources by curating relevant information and news about the keto / ketogenic diet.
Whole grains are an invaluable source of fiber and protein, providing essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
However, they can pose problems on a keto diet due to their high carb content; thus, it would be wiser if you are following a strict keto plan to steer clear of these items.
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Fiber is an invaluable source of nutrients for human bodies, aiding the regularity of bowel movements and helping you avoid constipation. In addition, fiber feeds the good bacteria present in the digestive tract, allowing for the absorption of more nutrition from foods.
If you’re on a keto diet, make sure you consume sufficient fiber. Studies have demonstrated the positive benefits of high-fiber diets on blood sugar, heart disease, and colon cancer risk, and may even help manage Alzheimer’s.
Fiber can be found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in moderation – just be sure to choose varieties that contain more fiber!
One cup of cooked oats provides 4.1 grams of fiber with no net carbs. Other nourishing foods that may be great sources of fiber are quinoa, barley, and millet.
Flaxseed provides 1.9 grams of dietary fiber per serving with no net carbs – perfect for adding to breakfast cereal, yogurt, or mayo to help meet fiber goals while following the keto diet!
Beans are packed with fiber and low in net carbs. Plus, they contain potassium and magnesium that can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
Nuts can help increase your fiber intake. Pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts are all low-carb choices that will boost fiber consumption on a keto diet.
Cashews, Brazil nuts, and pistachios are other nuts with low net carbs but plenty of fiber content; each ounce will provide approximately 1.2 net carbs and 2.7 g of fiber, according to USDA estimates.
Enjoy an unsweetened shredded coconut serving! Each two-inch by two-inch piece contains about three grams of net carbs and four grams of fiber, according to USDA.
On top of the above, when on a keto diet, you should include more high-fiber foods like legumes, berries, and collard greens into your diet – they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Are You Searching For an Easy Way to Increase Protein Intake? Look No Further! Include Whole Grains In Your Diet Now
Whole grains contain all three parts of a grain: bran, endosperm, and germ – unlike refined grains, which only include bran. Furthermore, whole grains provide essential fiber benefits that can help lower blood cholesterol levels and potentially decrease the risk of heart disease.
Whole grains are an excellent source of iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as folate, which helps prevent neural tube defects during gestation.
Wheat, brown rice, and quinoa all offer plenty of protein-rich options that you can incorporate into soups, salads, burger combinations, or bake into bread products.
As a general guideline, at least half of your grains should be whole to optimize their nutritional value – including whole-wheat bread, pasta, and crackers.
Buckwheat is another delicious, whole-grain option, boasting low glycemic index values while still being full of protein, vitamin K, and folic acid content.
If you are on a keto diet, be sure to consume enough protein to sustain or build lean muscle while losing weight. Aim for 18-25% of your total caloric intake as a high-protein intake.
Your protein consumption should depend on your individual goals and needs as determined by health and fitness factors. Leaner people often can tolerate higher protein intake levels with noticeable weight-loss results.
Overweight or obese individuals should eat lower intakes to prevent themselves from gaining too much fat during a ketogenic diet, while those following one therapeutically to manage a chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or cancer should take into account their individual medical history and adjust accordingly.
In the US, the recommended daily protein allowance is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight or approximately 0.36 grams per pound; however, those underweight or recovering from illness, injury, or surgery may require higher intakes.
Carbs provide our bodies with energy. You can find carbs in vegetables, fruit, milk, nuts, and whole grains, but different forms of carbohydrates may impact our health differently.
Simple carbohydrates consist of single sugar molecules that your body breaks down into glucose during digestion. Examples include sugar, fructose, and lactose.
Complex carbohydrates are made up of long chains of sugar molecules linked together. Their digestion takes longer, helping your blood sugar remain more steady.
Starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, peas, and beans provide slow-digesting carbs that help you feel satisfied more quickly while helping you maintain a healthy weight. Incorporating them into meals will not only satisfy but also contribute to feeling full faster!
A diet rich in fiber can be an excellent way to improve cholesterol, reduce heart disease risk, and bring down blood sugar. Plus, diets rich in fiber may even help prevent stomach issues like constipation.
The Glycemic Index measures how quickly certain foods raise your blood sugar. Foods with high glycemic index numbers have been linked with obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions.
A low-carb, keto diet requires selecting foods with a low glycemic index rating – such as green leafy vegetables and peppers, which don’t cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar.
Choose whole grains such as whole wheat bread and oatmeal to provide your body with carbohydrates without increasing caloric intake. If you have any queries about what kind of carbohydrates should be part of a keto diet plan, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Your diet must adhere to a low-carb, keto lifestyle; most meats and dairy products will fit this bill; however, avoid those containing added sugars or artificial sweeteners such as cheese. Instead, opt for plain yogurt, cottage cheese, and unsweetened plant milks.
Whole grains refer to all parts of a grain that have not been refined. Refined grains have their germ and bran removed during processing to improve texture and extend shelf life; however, this also eliminates much of their fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.
However, according to the US Dietary Guidelines, it is advised that you incorporate various whole grains in your diet for maximum health benefits – including oats, brown rice, wheat, barley corn millet quinoa, etc.
Whole grains are an excellent source of dietary fiber, helping to manage blood sugar and cholesterol levels while providing essential B vitamins such as thiamin and riboflavin. Furthermore, whole grains also contain numerous essential minerals and vitamins like selenium, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
Whole grains are also an excellent source of plant phenols, which contain powerful antioxidants. You’ll find these substances in other foods, such as berries, tea, coffee, spices, and dark chocolate.
Studies have suggested that increasing whole grains consumption can aid weight loss; however, most of these studies have failed to establish an association between whole grains and weight loss.
Studies have also demonstrated that switching out refined grains like white bread, pastries, and cakes for whole grains (oatmeal and rye bread) may improve insulin sensitivity and inflammation reduction. A meta-analysis of RCTs concluded that people eating higher whole-grain diets lost more fat than those who consumed primarily refined-grain diets.
Due to their lower glycemic index and high content of insoluble fiber, whole grains tend to help keep people feeling satisfied for longer than starches; additionally, fiber does not count against your total carb limit.
Also, it’s possible to find many low-carb versions of whole grains that won’t push you out of ketosis, such as quinoa, which boasts high soluble fiber content while being relatively low in carbohydrates. Other examples are popcorn, bulgur, and wild rice – so long as their carb levels don’t increase too quickly!
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