Is Soluble Corn Fiber Keto?
If you’ve read our nutrition label lately, you might have noticed soluble corn fiber listed on the packaging.
Perhaps this made you concerned. Corn is a grain, after all. Aren’t grains banned on most healthy diets, keto included?
Not necessarily. Because it’s a form of dietary fiber, corn fiber isn’t digested like a normal carbohydrate. It passes through your gut, and gets digested by gut bacteria instead.
Does this make soluble corn fiber keto?
Most likely, yes. But you’ll have to read on for the full explanation.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about soluble corn fiber: basics, benefits, keto-friendliness and potential side effects. Okay, time to learn.
What Is Soluble Corn Fiber?
Soluble corn fiber is a form of dietary fiber—or plant material that can’t be broken down by human digestive enzymes. Specifically, soluble corn fiber is a type of fiber known as a low-digestible carbohydrate.
Corn fiber is typically used to add fiber and texture and a little sweetness to packaged goods. It’s a low-calorie, low-glycemic sugar alternative.
When you eat corn fiber, it passes largely undigested through your gut. First it goes through the stomach, then through the small intestine, then into the large intestine. In the large intestine, your gut bacteria digest this fiber, creating beneficial byproducts. More on this later.
In case you were wondering, soluble corn fiber is made by isolating starch from corn syrup and using natural enzymes to convert these starches into non-digestible fiber. These fibers are called prebiotics because they feed good bacteria in the gut.
In fact, most soluble fiber is prebiotic fiber. Not all fiber, however, is soluble fiber.
Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber
There are two main classes of dietary fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble, by the way, simply means “able to dissolve in water”.
Most soluble fibers (like soluble corn fiber) pass through the gut and are digested in the colon by your gut microbiota. That’s why most soluble fiber is considered prebiotic, or fementable, fiber. It feeds gut bacteria.
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not typically feed your gut bacteria. Instead it passes through the entire gut largely intact, adding bulk to stool and regularity to bowel movements.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber can be beneficial, but we’ll be focusing on soluble fiber benefits today. These benefits include enhanced intestinal health, better blood sugar control, and lower inflammation. Let’s turn to soluble corn fiber now, and see what researchers have found.
Benefits of Soluble Corn Fiber
Is soluble corn fiber good for you? Consider the following benefits and decide for yourself.
#1: Gut health
Think of dietary fiber as nourishment for gut bacteria. You digest normal food, they digest fiber.
When gut bacteria ferment fiber, they produce anti-inflammatory short chain fatty acids like butyrate, propionate, and acetate. These compounds not only fuel your colon cells, but they also reduce inflammation (unnecessary immune activity) throughout your body.
Some evidence suggests that corn fiber improves your gut environment. In one randomized trial, 14 days of soluble corn fiber supplementation increased the levels of bifidobacteria (a beneficial strain of gut microbe) in healthy volunteers.
#2: Blood sugar stability
Keeping blood sugar low is the key to entering the fat-burning state known as ketosis. That’s why the keto diet requires strict carb restriction. Less carbs, lower blood sugar.
Does eating corn fiber spike blood sugar? It appears not. In one 2018 study, researchers found that a soluble corn fiber supplement did not raise blood sugar significantly more than a placebo. Good news for keto folks.
Basically, soluble corn fiber is used to reduce sugar in many products while still giving you the flavor and texture that you love.
#3: Immune health
More and more, scientists are exploring the deep link between gut health and the immune system. Believe it or not, about 70% of your immune cells are located in the gut!
Fiber may strengthen this gut-immunity link. One group of researchers, for instance, gave older adults a soluble corn fiber supplement along with a probiotic (or beneficial bacteria strain) for three weeks. The result? Enhanced immune function, as measured by increased natural killer cell activity.
#4: Bone health
In adolescent females, one month of soluble corn fiber supplementation (12 grams per day) improved calcium absorption. Higher calcium absorption, as a rule, correlates with better bone density.
Researchers speculate that two types of bacteria—Parabacteroides and Clostridium—were involved. Soluble corn fiber nourishes these microbes, which in turn help shuttle calcium through the gut and into the bloodstream for building bone.
Soluble Corn Fiber Side Effects and Concerns
Most corn plants in America are genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. This usually means the corn has been bred to resist herbicides like Roundup.
Roundup, unfortunately, contains a potentially carcinogenic compound called glyphosate. And while it’s not clear that conventional soluble corn fiber contains this toxin, it’s probably best to play it safe and stick with a non-GMO soluble corn fiber. (FYI: That’s one of the reasons we only use non-GMO soluble corn fiber in our products!).
Along with the concern about GMOs, eating too much corn fiber (any fiber, really) has the potential to cause gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, or other forms of GI distress. In general, however, the small amounts of soluble corn fiber in packaged foods should be well-tolerated.
Choosing Keto-Friendly Fibers
The quality and sugar content of soluble corn fiber varies widely by product. Some corn fibers are as high as 40% sugar, while others (like the kind used at Keto and Co) are restricted to 4% sugar fiber. This is a HUGE difference if you’re trying to stay keto.
What about tapioca fiber? It’s often promoted as a healthy alternative to soluble corn fiber, but in reality: Tapioca fiber has more sugar! A lot of manufacturers, however, use tapioca fiber so they can label their products “grain free”, even though it’s a bigger sugar hit.
Two quick tips to make sure you’re staying healthy and keto-friendly:
- Choose foods from a brand that you trust and that specializes in keto
- Look for a company that lists net carbs to the decimal point
Follow these tips and you’ll be well prepared to ace your keto shopping trip.
Is Soluble Corn Fiber Healthy?
In short, yes: Non-GMO soluble corn fiber is a healthy addition to your keto lifestyle.
To keep your memory fresh, here’s a quick recap of what you just learned about soluble corn fiber:
- Soluble corn fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that feeds your gut bacteria.
- There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber feeds gut bacteria, while insoluble fiber generally passes through the gut intact.
- Soluble corn fiber doesn’t appear to impact blood sugar. In other words, it’s keto-friendly!
- Fiber supports a healthy gut, which translates to a healthier immune system.
- Soluble corn fiber may increase calcium absorption in young women.
- Favor non-GMO soluble corn fiber to avoid potential brushes with toxins.
So all things considered, you can rest easy next time you see soluble corn fiber on a nutrition label.
Author: Brian Stanton
Bio: Brian Stanton is the author of Keto Intermittent Fasting, a certified health coach, and a freelance writer who helps health and wellness companies connect with their customers. Learn more about Brian by visiting his website at www.brianjstanton.com.
- Keto and Co
What Are Net Carbs? (And How To Track Them On Keto)
Carb tracking on the keto diet can be confusing. Do you track total carbs? Net carbs? Is reading the nutrition label sufficient?
These are all questions that will be answered in this article.
Today you’ll get a primer on net carbs: What they are, the benefits of using this metric, and how to track keto net carbs.
But first, let’s talk about carbs on keto generally.
Why You Need To Limit Carbs On Keto
On a ketogenic diet, you eat about 60 to 70 percent of calories from fat, 20 to 30 percent from protein, and under 10 percent from carbohydrates.
This last rule—keeping carbs low—is the crucial one. It’s the initial spark that sends you into fat-burning ketosis.
Why? Three simple steps:
- Keeping carbs low keeps blood sugar low (Carbs raise blood sugar MUCH more than fat or protein)
- When blood sugar stays low, the hormone insulin stays low
- Low insulin sends the ketosis bat signal to cells in your liver, then your liver starts burning fat and making ketones
Pretty neat chain of events. And it’s all because you stopped eating carbs.
What Are Net Carbs?
Net carbs are the only carbs that count on keto.
Specifically, net carbs refers to carbohydrates that are digested through normal routes. These carbs are absorbed through the small intestine, metabolized, and end up in your blood as blood sugar.
Net carbs include both simple and complex carbohydrates. In the simple carb category are glucose, galactose, and fructose—sugars found in candy, sodas, and table sugar. These simple sugars have a high glycemic index, meaning they raise blood sugar rapidly and significantly when digested.
Complex carbohydrates—which are just simple carbs molecularly bonded together—have a lower glycemic index than simple carbs, and have a smaller (though still keto-unfriendly) blood sugar impact. Foods high in complex carbs include apples, lentils, and whole grains.
In summary: Net carbs = Simple carbs + complex carbs
But not all carbs fall into these categories. Fiber and sugar alcohols aren’t digested through normal routes, so they don’t significantly raise blood sugar and insulin levels. So unlike most carbs, they aren’t keto kryptonite. They aren’t counted as net carbs.
With this in mind, the more useful (and well-known) net carbs equation is:
Net carbs = total carbs - fiber - sugar alcohols
That’s the equation needed for food-label math.
Digesting Carbs from Fiber and Sugar Alcohols
By now you’re probably wondering why fiber and sugar alcohols are so special. Why, exactly, don’t they count towards your keto carb limit?
Let’s take fiber first. Fiber may be indigestible (not absorbed), but it still has two main purposes in your body:
- To feed gut bacteria and promote a healthy gut microbiome
- To help you stay regular
One class of fiber, called soluble fiber, helps with both these functions. It passes through the small intestine, fueling gut bacteria in your colon—which in turn produce anti-inflammatory compounds like butyrate. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, passes through the entire gut, and primarily helps with function #2. (Pun not intended!).
What about sugar alcohols? Like fiber, sugar alcohols generally have a negligible impact on blood sugar. To be clear, however, it depends which sugar alcohol you’re talking about.
Xylitol and maltitol, for instance, have a measurable glycemic index, meaning they affect blood sugar levels when ingested. Xylitol has a glycemic index of 13, while maltitol has a glycemic index of 35. (For reference: pure sugar has a GI of 65).
Erythritol, however, has a glycemic index of zero—no blood sugar impact. Also interesting: Early human evidence suggests that erythritol supplementation improves blood vessel function in diabetics.
Benefits Of Eating Low Net Carb
Keeping net carbs low keeps you in ketosis. This unique metabolic state has many potential benefits, from enhanced fat burning to better energy to improved focus.
Beyond these benefits, however, let’s review the advantages of measuring net carbs instead of total carbs on keto. Both will keep you in ketosis, but using net carbs helps you:
Tracking Net Carbs
Tracking net carbs isn’t super complicated, once you get the hang of it.
To start, use a macro calculator that takes into account net carbs. Just input your gender, activity levels, weight loss goals, and other metrics—and it spits out your daily allotment of net carbs, usually somewhere around 20 grams per day.
Now comes the fun part: Logging your meals! Just kidding, but with the benefit of smartphone technology, food tracking can be both easy and enjoyable. (Here’s a list of our favorite keto apps).
After a few days of dedicated tracking, you’ll get an intuitive sense for the net carb content of different foods. Here are a few examples: (Source: USDA food database)
- Net carbs in broccoli: 3.4 grams net carbs per 100 grams broccoli
- Net carbs in onions: 7.6 grams net carbs per 100 grams onions
- Net carbs in avocado: 2.6 grams net carbs per avocado
- Net carbs in carrots: 6.7 grams net carbs per 100 grams carrots
Some of these foods, obviously, are more keto-friendly than others. But interestingly enough, the lowest net carb food on this list—the avocado—is one of the highest in total carbs.
That’s because most of the carbs in an avocado are from fiber. When we calculate net carbs, we back that fiber out.
Low Net Carb Shopping
Yes, lots of foods don't fit well into a keto diet. (Groan!). But thanks to the beauty of nutrition science and zero calorie sweeteners, many of your favorite carby foods are now keto friendly. You can make keto brownies, munch on keto granola, and even whip up keto s’mores!
When it comes to finding keto-friendly packaged foods, label reading is key. Look for companies that:
- Don’t use refined sugar
- List net carbs out to the first decimal
Number two means looking for companies that go beyond the standard nutrition label. The standard nutrition label rounds everything to whole numbers, which makes it impossible to accurately calculate net carbs.
For example, you could calculate 1 gram net carbs based on the label, when a product has closer to 2 net carbs per serving. That adds up over time!
For a visual example of this phenomenon, check out this handy guide to net carb math.
Your Low Net Carb Journey
You’re officially a net carb expert now. You know what net carbs are, and you know how to track them like a pro.
This knowledge will serve you well on your low-carb journey. Come back for a refresher anytime.
- Keto and Co
Is Pumpkin Keto Friendly?
The fall season seems synonymous with eating pumpkins in many tasty dishes. But now that you’re on the keto diet, can you partake? The good news is, yes! Pumpkin can be keto-friendly without sacrificing flavor.
What’s a Pumpkin?
A pumpkin is a type of winter squash. They are versatile in cooking and baking, as most of their parts are edible - the seeds, shell, flesh, and flowers. Pumpkin can be steamed, boiled, roasted, or baked. It’s used in many recipes for its smooth texture and robust flavor.
And here’s an interesting fact: Pumpkins are not vegetables, they are fruit! Yes, pumpkin is a botanical berry.
Related: Keto Soup Recipes You Need to Know
Is it a Carb?
Pumpkin isn’t a high carb food, but it does contain some carbohydrates. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are several starchy vegetables that people following a keto diet should avoid, such as potatoes, parsnips, corn, and peas. But of these starches, pumpkin contains the least amount of net carbohydrates.
How Many Net Carbs are in a Pumpkin?
Pumpkin may be consumed on a keto diet, but you will need to consider your portion size.
When you want to calculate the net carbs of pumpkin or any food, find the total number of carbs in a serving and then subtract the fiber.
For instance, a cup of raw pumpkin has 7.5 grams of carbohydrates and .6 grams of fiber in that cup of pumpkin, so we subtract to find that 1 cup of pumpkin contains 6.9 grams of net carbs.
If you’re purchasing canned pumpkin puree, make sure to avoid options with additional ingredients or added sugars. On average, even the plain canned pumpkin puree has slightly more carbs-- ½ cup of canned pumpkin contains 10.0 grams of carbohydrates and 3.0 grams of fiber. We subtract and find that ½ cup of canned pumpkin contains 7 grams of net carbs.
So pumpkin looks good when compared with other starches and winter squashes. It’s in preparation that pumpkin can become less keto-friendly.
Keto Pumpkin Recipes
Here are a few of the yummiest keto-friendly pumpkin recipes we could find:
- 15 oz can of unsweetened pumpkin puree or an equal amount of fresh pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup your favorite sweetener
- 1 ½ tsp spice mix
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the crust:
- 2 cups extra-fine Almond Flour
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp your favorite granulated sweetener
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- 4 Tbsp Melted butter
- 1 large egg
Make the crust first: Melt butter in a mixing bowl, then add the other ingredients. Stir with a spatula until well combined. The dough will appear dry and crumbly at first, but keep mixing until it becomes more cohesive.
After the crust has been chilled in the fridge, roll it out with care. It will be more fragile than dough containing gluten. But once you have lined your pie pan with it, par-bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
While that’s baking, mix the filling. Pour into the pre-baked shell and bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until set.
This makes 8 servings, with 5 grams net carbs per serving.
- 2 cups almond flour
- ⅓ cups butter
- 4 tsp Wondrose Sugar Replacer (hydrated with 1 tsp water)
- 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 24 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup Wondrose Sugar Replacer (hydrated with 1/4 cup water)
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust first and press into a greased 9" pan, then bake for 10 - 12 minutes until just golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Then mix the filling by beating together the ingredients slowly. Pour filling into pie shell and bake for 45 - 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 hours until completely set.
This makes 16 servings with 4.5 grams net carbs.
- ½ cup Keto and Co’s Pancake Mix
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 Tbsp nut milk or water
- 1 Tbsp oil
- ½ cup Pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp allspice
Combine pumpkin, oil, nut milk, and eggs in a bowl. Then add ½ cup of pancake mix and spices to the wet ingredients. Let sit 30 seconds to thicken.
Stir batter again before pouring ¼ cup onto a greased or non-stick skillet on medium-low heat. When the top edges of the pancakes are dry and firm, flip them. Cook until browned.
Enjoy these low-carb pumpkin pancakes with sugar-free syrup and whipped cream!
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- ½ cup heavy cream or coconut cream
- 4 beaten eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice liquid stevia, or vanilla liquid stevia, or cinnamon stevia
- Optional topping: Whipped Cream and sprinkle of nutmeg
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix the ingredients and pour the mixture evenly into individually-sized, greased ramekins. Bake in a water bath for 45 - 50 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean. Best served chilled.
Serve on a plate inverted, or in the dish. This delicious treat has only 5 grams net carbs per serving.
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup vanilla or plain whey protein
- ¼ cup coconut milk or heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp Wondrose Sugar Replacer
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin oil or MCT oil
- ¼ cup whipped cream or coconut cream to top
Blend all ingredients and pulse until smooth. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. There are 6.7 grams of net carbs in each serving.
It appears we don’t have to be denied this season. We can enjoy the many flavors of pumpkin in a variety of delicious recipes.
- Keto and Co
The Best Nuts for a Keto Diet: The Good and The Bad
Nuts are the ideal keto snack - delicious, nutrient-dense, and low-carb. What more could we ask? They provide precisely what we need, high in fat and moderate in protein, with only a little bit of carbohydrates. They store easily and are convenient to carry and find when shopping. But not all nuts are created equal; some are more keto-friendly than others.
Here, we’ll look at the best keto-friendly nuts and the worst. Beginning with the nuts that have the lowest net carb count to those with the highest.
The 3 Best Nuts to Include in a Keto Diet
Here are our top 3 best keto nuts. We begin with a nut you might be unfamiliar with, the pili nut.
With just 1g of carbs (no fiber) and 22 g of fat per 1 oz (28g) serving size, Pili (pee-LEE) nuts are the front runner of keto-friendly snacks. They grow on large evergreen trees found in the volcanic soils of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. They are sustainable, low-maintenance, tropical trees that can yield up to 300 lbs (140 kg) of nuts annually.
The nuts are harvested as black, tear-shaped, hard pulps, with the edible white kernel safely protected by a second brown shell.
When eaten raw, the pili nut has a light flavor similar to sunflower seeds. But after roasting them, the exterior becomes chewy and the inside a melting, buttery, velvet texture. They may be eaten plain, roasted, or seasoned.
Because pili nuts grow in volcanic soil, they have a high mineral content. They have the highest magnesium levels of any nut, they are a complete protein, and have all of the amino acids.
Note: 1 oz of pili nuts = 15 kernels (approx.)
Our next keto-friendly nut is the pecan. With just 1.2 g of net carbs and 20.2 g of fat per 1 oz serving, it’s no wonder we love pecans so much. This tree nut is bursting with thiamine (vitamin B1), phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, oleic acid, and fiber.
Research indicates that pecan-rich diets can benefit over-weight or obese adults by reducing cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. The same study showed that consuming 1.5 oz of pecans daily reduced insulin levels and improved trial participants’ insulin sensitivity.
So with the right sweeteners, pecan pie is back on the menu!
Note: 1 oz of pecans = 9 nuts (approx.)
Happy news! Brazil nuts are one of the top keto-friendly nuts we can eat. With 1.3g net carbs and 18.6 g of fat per 1 oz serving, your love affair with the Brazil nut may continue. This South American tree nut is rich in selenium and the trace minerals your body needs for reproduction and protein synthesis.
One single Brazil nut has 100% of an adult’s daily requirement of selenium. But as with all things, moderation is the key. Too much selenium can have a negative effect on your health, so daily consumption shouldn’t exceed four nuts.
Note: 1 oz of Brazil nuts = 6 nuts (approx.)
Other Nuts to Explore That Meet Keto Diet Standards
The following nuts are also keto-friendly and would make a nutritious snack:
Macadamia nuts are the trendy treat, with 1.5 g net carbs and 21.5 g of fat per 1 oz serving. These Australian tree nuts have been linked to improved cholesterol levels. One study showed that men who made macadamia nuts 15% of their daily calorie intake had 5.3% reduction in bad cholesterol and an 8% increase in good cholesterol.
Macadamia nuts have more manganese than most nuts. We need manganese to produce digestive enzymes, bones, and immune-system defenses. They also surpass every other nut in the number of monounsaturated fats they provide.
You can find many keto-friendly macadamia nut products like milk, butter, and flour.
Note: 1 oz of macadamia nuts = 11 nuts (approx.)
Walnuts are a great way to boost your keto results with only 1.9g net carbs and 18.5g of fat per 1 oz serving. This tree nut is a fan-favorite worldwide and is bursting with B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, fiber, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Rich in omega-3 fats, walnuts have more antioxidants than most other foods. There is evidence to suggest that a diet rich in walnuts can improve your heart and brain health. Walnuts may also increase weight loss, regulate blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and protect against some forms of cancer.
One study of 100 people on low-calorie diets revealed that consuming 15% of their calories as walnuts had lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure.
Walnut oil is an expensive culinary oil often used in salad dressings.
Note: 1 oz of walnuts = 7 nuts (approx.)
Related: Keto Soup Recipes You Need to Know
HazelnutsWe often associate hazelnuts with sugary Nutella, but they’re so much more. With 2.0g of net carbs and 17.2 g of fat, hazelnuts are a friend to the keto lifestyle. These have a smooth buttery texture, which makes them versatile for baking.
Originally a British native, the hazel tree was once considered magical, providing protection from evil. Today hazelnuts are a great vitamin E source, with only one ounce holding 28% of your Reference Daily Intake (RDI). Vitamin E is vital for skin and brain health and neutralizes harmful free radicals to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Note: 1 oz of hazelnuts = 21 nuts (approx.)
Not strictly nuts, these botanical legumes have 3.0 g of net carbs and 13.8 g of fat per 1 oz serving. They are an excellent source of plant protein (6.6 g per serving) and are rich in vitamin E, folate, niacin, and magnesium. Peanuts are exceptionally high in leucine and other essential amino acids.
Though they are more closely related to beans and lentils, peanuts are the most popular and common nut. They make an easy and enjoyable treat and can be used in such a wide variety of recipes, we couldn’t list them all.
The healthiest way to eat peanuts is raw, with the skins still on. The skin contains antioxidants that protect our cells from damaging free radicals.
Other than eaten whole, peanut butter is a fantastic keto snack. Two tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter contain 5 g of net carbs, 18 g of fat, and 8 g of protein. It is a creamy, smooth mouthful of heaven! Just be sure to track how much you’re eating, as it’s easy to overeat.
Note: 1 oz of peanuts = 28 nuts/legumes (approx.)
What Are the Nuts to Enjoy in Moderation in Your Keto Diet?
Although we love nuts as a quick and tasty way to get our fat and nutrients in a low-carb way, not all nuts are so beneficial. The following are a few that we should consider more carefully and consume more sparingly.
Unique and versatile pine nuts, also known as pinoli or pignoli, have 2.6 g net carbs and 19.1 g of fat per 1 oz serving. Like peanuts, pine nuts are not actually nuts. They are the seeds from pine cones and are best known for their contribution to pesto - the Italian sauce made with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and basil.
The fat contained in pine nuts is called pinolenic acid, which can minimize hunger by regulating the hormones associated with appetite. One study showed that in overweight, postmenopausal women, a dose of 3 g of concentrated pine nut oil with breakfast, ate 36% less food.
Pine nuts are one of the most expensive nuts to purchase, but when we consider the long process of their harvesting, we understand the price.
Note: 1 oz of pine nuts = 167 nuts/seeds (approx.)
Almonds are a protein-rich, fiber-rich, and versatile nut. Containing 2.7g of net carbs and 14.0g of fat per 1 oz serving, they are naturally sweet and easy to find in stores.
Research shows that a diet full of almonds is also nutrient-dense and could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and type-2 diabetes. Almonds have high concentrations of healthy fats, protein, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, and copper.
Concentrated in the brown layer of skin, there is a treasure trove of antioxidants. So if you eat them, choose the ones with the skin intact as the healthier option.
Almond flour, milk, and butter are keto-favorites. But the nuts may be eaten raw or roasted.
Note: 1 oz of almonds = 23 nuts (approx.)
With a count of 4.9g of net carbs and 12.4g of fat per 1 oz serving, pistachios are a great source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and B-vitamins.
They are the edible seeds of the Pistacia vera tree. Although they have more potassium in 1 oz than half of a large banana, they’re still on our ‘please limit’ list. Consuming fewer of these is recommended as the net carbs are higher than most other nuts.
To benefit from these nuts’ nutrition, consider using fewer of them in recipes that can maximize the flavor - for instance, Pistachio and Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins.
Nuts To Track More Closely
Although we’ve said that nuts are the perfect keto snack, there are a few nuts whose consumption can quickly lead to overdoing it on carbohydrates. We don’t want to tell you that you should never eat these but consume with caution.
With 8.3g of net carbs and 12.3 g of fat per 1 oz serving, just a few of these nuts can quickly put you over your net carb count for the day. Even if you carefully fraction it out, you are still allowing them to consume a big part of your daily carb allotment. Cashews are also light on fats, which makes them mostly unsuitable for the keto-lifestyle.
If you feel like you must have a few of these soft, sweet nuts, consider chopping a few to sprinkle on a salad or have dry-roasted macadamia nuts, which have a similar taste.
Note: 1 oz of cashews = 18 nuts (approx.)
Chestnuts are not without their benefits, but with 13.6g of net carbs and hardly any fats per 1 oz serving, they’re best avoided.
If you cannot resist, know that chestnuts contain vitamin C (for the immune system), folic acid and vitamin B, fiber, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Chestnuts may restrict the absorption of fats and sugars in the intestine and stimulate the intestinal peristalsis as a remedy for stubborn constipation.
Note: 1 oz of chestnuts = 3-10 kernels (information was conflicting)
There’s a wide variety of choices when it comes to nuts. You can avail yourself of their nutrient-density and healthy fats while enjoying their convenience. You have nuts that are so low-carb that you can enjoy them in some abundance (not too much), and others that may be consumed in moderation.
Just imagine sprinkling these mouthwatering and healthy ingredients on your keto ice cream or baking it into your brownies. The possibilities are endless, so go nuts and enjoy your keto journey to the max!
- Keto and Co
Are Beans Keto? What You Need To Know About Legumes And Vegetables
We know that it can be challenging to know what kinds of food are okay to eat when following a keto diet; don’t worry, we’re here to help. Keto is all about entering ketosis, a unique fat-burning state that can help you lose weight, have fewer cravings, increase mental acuity, and feel more energetic. You can achieve this by following keto’s simple rule: eat low-carb and high-fat foods, but what sort of vegetables fall into this category? Can you still eat beans? Let’s find out.
Want some new delicious keto-friendly recipes to try? Check these out!
Related: Delicious Keto Cake Batter Cookies
Above the Ground Vs. Below the Ground Vegetables: What’s the Difference?
There is a simple guideline that you can follow when deciding what vegetables are keto-friendly, but there are exceptions to the rule; we’ll get to those in a minute. Vegetables that grow above the ground are typically lower in carbs and the better keto option. Root vegetables, ones that grow below the ground, usually contain more carbs and aren’t as good a choice for someone following the keto diet.
On to the exceptions: corn, quinoa, and legumes all grow above the ground, but are high in carbs. Wheat grows above the ground, although it is grain rather than a vegetable, and contains many carbs that get rapidly digested into glucose that will raise your blood sugar. It is best to avoid both whole and refined grains for this reason.
Are All Vegetables Keto-Friendly?
Most vegetables can be enjoyed, in moderation, while following a keto diet, while some should be avoided as much as possible. Sweet vegetables, like carrots, rutabaga, and onions, are higher in carbs than the most friendly ones, but you can still have a serving here and there.
Root vegetables and legumes like peas, beans, and carrots are generally the highest in carbs and, in most cases, should be avoided. It is not only because they contain many carbs, but also have a higher glycemic load than most other vegetables.
List of Keto-Friendly Vegetables
We know this is what you’ve been waiting for; what are the best vegetables to eat on the keto diet? The net carb counts are all based on a 3 ½ ounce serving (100 grams):
Carb count: ~1.6 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~1.7 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~1.8 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~1.7 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~3.0 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~6.0 grams net carbs
Can You Eat Beans on a Keto Diet?
Unfortunately, most beans have a high carb content, especially kidney, black, and pinto beans. But don’t fret, there are a couple of great low-carb alternatives and some keto-friendly substitutes.
You should only consume high carb beans on a keto diet if you are following either a targeted (TKD) or cyclical (CKD) diet where you eat more carbs during specified periods.
The carb counts here are also based on a 3/12 ounce serving.
Which Beans Are the Most Keto-Friendly?
- Black soybeans are a keto dieter’s best friend when it comes to satisfying a craving for beans.
Carb count: less than 1 gram
- Green beans can be eaten with salt and pepper alongside your favorite meal.
Carb count: ~2.5 grams
Which Beans Are the Least Keto-Friendly?
- Baked beans might be a barbecue favorite, but should be avoided by keto dieters.
Carb count: ~20.8 grams net carbs
- Chickpeas are another no-go for keto-friendly foods.
Carb count: ~15.2 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~13.1 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~20.1 grams net carbs
Carb count: ~12.5 grams net carbs
Keto-Friendly Bean Substitutes
Beans have a unique texture and are a great complement to many different dishes, and we’ve found two great alternatives that can be used as a substitution.
Carb count: ~3.1 gram net carbs
Many of us love beans, but most of them aren’t very keto-friendly. Luckily, there are a few alternatives, along with so many delicious foods that are great for someone participating in the keto lifestyle. If your favorite vegetables didn’t make the list it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t be enjoyed; we listed some of the lowest carb options available, but there are a ton of veggies in the middle area that can be had in moderation. Just be sure to do your best in avoiding extremely high carb foods like most legumes and root vegetables. Ready to find your next keto favorite? Take a look at Keto and Co’s fantastic selection of high-quality keto-friendly food, drinks, and snacks!
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Keto Soup Recipes You Need To Know About
Whether you are just starting your keto journey or you’re a vet looking to add some new recipes to your cookbook, you’re in the right place!
In case you’re a beginner, the keto diet is a low-carb diet that’s high in fat. By significantly reducing carbohydrate intake, it puts the body into a ketosis metabolic state, making it very efficient at burning fat for energy. This is an excellent program for losing weight, and it may lower the risks and effects of many health issues, including heart disease, blood sugar levels, and acne.
Replacing carbs like pasta and potatoes can be daunting, especially if you are used to eating them regularly. That is why we have reworked some classic soup favorites and made them fit your keto diet! Give them a try! They are extra healthy and delicious. Who’s in?
Mexican Chicken Soup
This soup combines classic Mexican flavors and makes a fantastic low carb medley you won’t forget! May we suggest adding a little avocado to take it to the next level?
This recipe is simple and fast! Here’s how it’s prepared:
- 1 cup of chopped yellow pepper
- 1 cup of salsa
- 1 carton of low sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of low sodium taco seasoning
- 1lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast
Firstly, heat the oil and cook the chicken until there is no longer pink. In the same pan, cook peppers until soft. Add in the taco seasoning. Next, add salsa, and broth and bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and cook for five minutes uncovered to blend in all of those lovely bold flavors.
Tasty-Italian Vegetable Soup
This Italian soup is bursting with flavor and will be a marvelous addition to your keto recipe list. It’s hardy, but low carb and will have you going back for seconds and thirds!
Get started now:
- 1lb Italian sausage
- 1 sliced, medium onion
- 1.5 cups water
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 14.5 oz of beef broth
- Zucchini cut into ¼ inch slices-2
- ½ tsp of dry basil
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the sausage and onion over medium until there isn’t any pink left then drain. Add the water, basil, broth, tomatoes, and zucchini. Bring everything to a boil.
Reduce heat and let it simmer until the zucchini is soft enough for your liking. This dish will warm you up quickly. Enjoy!
Turkey Sausage, Butternut Squash & Kale Soup
On crisp fall evenings, this is the kind of soup that warms our hearts. Or have it whenever you are craving a delicious, healthy soup! It is just as flavorful as it sounds, and the best part is it fulfills all your keto needs.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- ½ cup of parmesan cheese
- 1 bunch of kale, trim it and chop it
- 1 package of Italian turkey sausage links (casings removed)
- A medium butternut squash peeled and cubed (approx. 3lbs)
- 2 cartons of chicken broth
First, cook the sausage in a stockpot over medium--breaking it into nice little crumbles. This takes about 8-10 minutes. Add your broth and squash, and bring it to a boil. Stir in the kale while allowing it to wilt intermittently. Bring to a boil again, then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes and top it with cheese!
Tuscan Cauliflower Soup
This delicious soup recipe will leave your mouth wanting more and more. A traditional Tuscan soup is rich, hardy, and savory! Using cauliflower for a keto version does not sacrifice any flavor, so you can experience the taste you love without breaking your diet.
- 4 cups fresh cauliflowers (about 14 ounces)
- 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 lb bacon, stripped, cooked, and crumbled
This recipe requires a large saucepan. Add the chicken broth, garlic, onions, and cauliflower. Bring it all to a boil then let it simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Remove as much of the stem as possible for the cauliflower. The head of the cauliflower contains the best flavor!
While everything is simmering, start cooking your mushrooms and sausage without its casing. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
Once the cauliflower is tender, add mushrooms and sausage to the mixture.
Return to a boil, then reduce heat. Let everything simmer for 5 minutes. Next, you can add in the spinach and heavy cream.
Heat it, top with bacon, and enjoy this warm soup and comforting soup!
Cheesy Broccoli Soup
It’s cheesy, creamy, and simply perfect. This recipe tastes similar to the one found at Panera Bread, which...yes, please.
Broccoli cheddar soup is top five on everyone’s list! This creamy recipe has a few more steps than other soups on this list, but the result is worth every second.
- 1/4 cubed cup butter
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 4 cups freshly cut broccoli florets
- 1 finely chopped large carrot
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 cup water additional chicken stock is optional
- 2-1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- *Optional to add bacon nutmeg and additional cheddar cheese
Heat butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add garlic and onion and saute until soft—approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Add carrot, stock, broccoli, cream, and all seasonings. Stir.
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes.
Combine water and xanthan gum and blend until smooth. Add the mixture to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook until the soup is thickened, stirring occasionally. This takes about 1 to 2 minutes.
Take out the bay leaves, then add cheese until fully melted.
If desired, top with optional items, then you are ready to serve!
Tomato Green Bean Soup
With its bold colors and flavors, this green bean and tomato soup is a complete meal in itself! Although fresh, homegrown produce is preferred whenever possible, frozen beans and canned tomatoes work just fine for this recipe.
This recipe is simple, and the ingredients may already be in your refrigerator!
- 1 cup onion diced
- 2 tsp butter
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (fresh)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 cups freshly diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil (minced) or 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Saute the onion in butter for about 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic, beans, and broth, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Once your vegetables are tender, you are ready to serve!
Moroccan Cauliflower and Almond Soup
This slow cooker Moroccan soup recipe is extra creamy and delicious. Here’s the best part; it’s healthy and vegan! Bet you didn’t see that coming.
Here’s what you need:
- A large cauliflower head broken into florets
- 6 cups of vegetable stock
- ¾ cup sliced almonds--toasted and divided
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp of minced cilantro (fresh)
- 1-3 tsp of hot pepper sauce or harissa chili paste
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1tsp of good ole salt
Place a ½ cup of cilantro and a ½ cup of almonds, and all other ingredients in a slow cooker and cook covered on low until the cauliflower is tender (6-8) hours. Puree it in an immersion blender or--when cooled--a regular blender. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and almonds if you’d like!
Tomato Spinach Soup
This tastes like a soup that you’d find at a high-end restaurant--seriously. The recipe is packed full of flavor and is a breeze to make, so let’s get to it:
- 2 yellow onions-cubed, large
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-quart water
- 28 oz diced tomatoes-don’t drain
- 1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms
- 4 beef bouillon cubes
- ¾ tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 4 cups spinach leaves-loosely packed
- Grated parmesan cheese (or cheddar)
In a dutch oven, saute onions over medium in oil for 10 minutes. Add everything except the spinach and cheese, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for a half-hour. Stir in the spinach, simmer for 3-5 minutes, and garnish with cheese! Yes, please.
Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower is a fantastic substitute for those on a keto diet. It’s just so good at holding flavors!
You will be grabbing for a second helping of this soon to be family favorite. The leeks and Worcestershire sauce give a subtle savory taste, while the creaminess of the cheddar cheese is to die for!
The flavors blend perfectly, and this recipe will be one you will always want in your keto cookbook.
Cooking the soup involves boiling, simmering, and blending. For a dish so indulgent, it’s so easy. Make sure you get the specifics before you begin.
Simply Elegant Tomato Soup
If you’ve been can-bound in the tomato soup arena so far in life, you’re in for a huge treat. This rich and velvety soup will make you wish you made the switch years ago!
You only need six ingredients for this beauty:
- 4lbs of tomatoes (approx. 10 medium-sized)
- 3 tbsp of minced chives
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1tsp of salt
- ½ tsp of pepper
- 2 cups of heavy cream
First, you’ll bring eight cups of water to a rolling boil. Place one tomato at a time in the boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then instantly submerge it in ice water. Peel, quarter, and deseed them afterward.
In a separate pan, melt butter and add tomato, 2 tbsp of chives, salt, and pepper. Boil then simmer uncovered for 6-7 minutes.
Let the soup cool then blend. Return to the pan to warm, and garnish with the rest of the chives. Voila! That’s it!
Mushroom & Broccoli Soup
This is the perfect recipe for mushroom and broccoli lovers. To be honest, anyone who loves light and earthy soup will love this recipe!
- 2 celery ribs-chop finely
- 2 medium carrots-chop finely
- 1 broccoli bunch-cut into bite-sized pieces; peel + chop stalks
- 1/2lb fresh sliced mushrooms
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 32 oz vegetable broth
- ¼ cup chopped onion-finely
- 1 clove of garlic
Just imagining these flavors combined should be tempting enough to give this soup a try! The rest of the recipe involves softening the mushrooms, adding everything else in, boiling, simmering, and pureeing. In just about an hour, this recipe is ready to enjoy!
Related: Keto Granola Bar Recipe
Artichoke Tomato Bisque
This tomato bisque could and should win an award! It pairs roasted red sweet peppers with tomatoes in an herby, creamy soup. Although you technically could eat it as a meal, of course, a lot of people love to serve this as an appetizer or a side dish.
Here is everything you need to know about making this delicious keto soup and home!
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 jar roasted sweet red peppers (drained)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tsp each of oregano, dried thyme and basil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 can ounces chicken broth (14.5 oz)
- 1 can vegetable broth (14.5 oz)
- 1 can water-packed artichoke hearts (14 ounces) drained, rinsed, and chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 Tbsp sherry
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro. Can substitute with 2 teaspoons dried cilantro flakes
- 1 Tbsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
- 1/8 tsp pepper
In a blender, combine tomatoes and peppers until the mixture is smooth.
Saute onions, garlic, thyme, basil and oregano with the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook until onions are soft and tender.
Add tomato and peppers mixture, artichokes, cilantro, sherry, milk, cream, and broths to the saucepan. Simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Combine xanthan gum and water in a small bowl, then whisk until well blended. Slowly add to the saucepan and cook for 3-5 minutes while stirring.
Lastly, add your creole seasoning and pepper, and enjoy!
We know how hard it is to stay inspired in the kitchen especially for those who are watching their carbs. Your keto journey doesn’t have to be dull and flavorless; we’re here to help make your health and wellness journey as easy as it is delicious! With products like keto cake frosting, Flatbread and Pizza Bread Mix, and Dry Riced Vegetables, they’ll bring joy into your kitchen with steller keto products bursting with nutrition.
Be kind to yourself today and give your body the gift of health through Keto and Co products.
Which recipe did you try on the list?
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