The Wonders of Nuts & Seeds in a Ketogenic Diet
Posted: Apr 27, 2019
The ketogenic diet by and large limits the intake of fats, proteins and carbohydrates to a ratio of approximately 75%, 20%, and 5%, respectively. While this may seem challenging to balance, it really is a manageable quota with the inclusion of nuts & seeds on the keto diet. High in fats and low in carbs, the nuts and seeds can be a perfect food to help you meet your keto macros.KETO NUTS & SEEDS:
Keto nuts and seeds can be differentiated for their higher fat contents against the carbs per gram of fruit. Regarded as a dietary staple by the keto dieters, these keto nuts and seeds promise a nutrient dense & gut-friendly meal supplement. They're convenient, rich in healthy fats, low in carbs, and abundant in health-protecting antioxidants – all things that can surely benefit one’s keto journey.
It's true that most plant foods are too high in carbs to be suitable for keto. With a higher carb content, grains, fruits, legumes, and starchy vegetables cannot be added on a keto diet. For instance, if you eat these foods, chances are your blood sugar will spike and you won’t get anywhere near ketosis diet.
Keto friendly cereals, on the contrary, are rich in fat and low in carbs, having a minimal impact on blood glucose. In fact, research shows that eating these foods has an anti-diabetic effect. And the impact cannot be solely attributed to the high-fat content of nuts and seeds. Fiber does hold a roleplay as it feeds good gut bacteria which then supports normal metabolism functioning. Their high antioxidant content also helps lower inflammation in the body and inflammation is a key driver of diabetes.
Not all nuts and seeds are, however, keto-approved. Let’s take a closer look at some of the nuts & seeds that can often be used in Low-carb & Keto kitchen.
Almonds, beholding a mild savory taste, are a perfect addition to the keto diet. Native to the Mediterranean region, almonds are botanically not the "true nuts, rather the seeds of a drupe.
Nutrition Facts: Almonds are particularly rich in fiber as well as unsaturated fatty acids, that helps to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. A 100-gram of almond is supposed to provide over 20% of the daily value (DV) of B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc in tandem with substantial levels of folate, choline, and potassium.
Great for boosting brain functioning & fortifying your heart, walnuts are a definitely an underrated keto nut. Walnuts, with an economical cost & marginal calorie, however, can be a favorable addition to your keto diet.
Nutrition Facts: Walnuts are 65% fat, most of which is the polyunsaturated kind. In fact, walnuts contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) than other nuts, particularly the brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids that studies show we should eat more.
Other than PUFAs, walnuts are a good source of fiber, protein, thiamine, folate, magnesium, and copper.
Peanuts in the form of butter or as a salted snack is a well-endorsed keto nut. Whichever way you choose to eat them, you won't go wrong as peanuts are definitely one of the preferred keto nuts. Peanuts are actually legumes and they’re classified as nuts solely because they're nutritionally closer to nuts than legumes.
Nutrition Facts: Peanuts carry 50% fat, most of which is monounsaturated type. It is an exceptionally good source of high-quality plant proteins. These keto nuts are also favored for their vitamin E, niacin, folate, magnesium, & choline contents.
4. Sesame Seeds
These beige seeds are native to India & Africa where people have domesticated them for over 3,000 years. Today, the rich and nutty flavor of these edible sesame seeds has made them a part of cuisines worldwide. You can pair them with your meals either raw, toasted or even ground to a paste known as tahini.
Nutrition Facts: Sesame seeds are known for delivering the maximum oil contents from plant-based seeds. Rich in dietary fiber and protein which, along with fat content, makes them a perfect macro balance for a keto diet. The nutritional profile of these sesame seeds plays a vital role in improving the blood pressure, reducing oxidative stress, & improving the blood lipids.
- Carbohydrates per serving: Total Carbs: 6.6 g, Fiber: 3.3 g, Net Carbs: 3.3 g
- Key Nutrients: Sesame seeds provide 27% of your daily calcium needs and 25% of your daily magnesium needs per serving.
- Potential Health Benefits: Lower LDL cholesterol and antioxidant protection. In one study, people with elevated cholesterol who ate 40 grams (1.5 ounces) of sesame seeds daily for 60 days experienced significant decreases in LDL cholesterol and free radical cell damage, along with an increase in antioxidant activity.
Flax is also known as flaxseeds or linseed. Unlike most keto seeds, flax is grown in cooler climates. There are different varieties of flax available in the market, the most common being brown, yellow, and golden flaxseeds.
Flax is a versatile plant invariably used across the industries for making linen, wood-finishing, oils, and nutritional supplements.
Nutrition Facts: Keto dieters love flax because it helps them meet their daily omega-3 fatty acid needs. At least half of the fats in flax are omega-3s. Flax is around 40% fat, 30% fiber, and 20% protein. These seeds uphold a high-fiber content which makes them good for appetite control, weight loss, gut health, and cardiovascular health. Exceptionally rich in thiamine, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, flax has a hundred times more lignans than any other plant food. Lignans are plant compounds with antioxidant and hormone-regulating properties.
6. Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds are tiny, kidney-shaped, oily seeds harvested from the dried seed pods from the poppy flower. Nutty & pleasant in taste, poppy seeds impart a unique flavor that goes well in pastry and bread.
Nutrition Facts: Poppy seeds are a rich source of thiamine, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. These seeds contain 40% fat, 30% carbohydrates (mostly fiber), and 20% protein. Poppy seeds also contain opium alkaloids like morphine and codeine.
Densely loaded with oleic and linoleic acids, these fatty acids help with weight loss and balance out blood cholesterol. Linoleic acid is an essential nutrient important for healthy hair and wound healing.
7. Chia Seeds
Keto dieters prefer chia seeds for their high-fat content and health benefits. Tiny & oval in appearance, chia seeds are mostly grey in color with stripes, resembling miniature castor seeds. Chia has hydrophilic characteristics, absorbing up to 12 times their weight in liquid.
Nutrition Facts: Chia seeds are 40% carbohydrates, mostly is in the form of dietary fiber. Fiber being an indigestible carb does not impact blood sugar or ketone production, however, tends to regulate the normal bowel movements and gut health. With over 30% fat compound of omega-3 fatty acids (65%), Chia seeds claim to be a great source of the essential omega -3 fatty acids
Chia seeds also contain powerful antioxidants, most notably chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol. These antioxidants protect heart health and liver health and they prevent cancer and premature aging.
8. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, aka pepitas, are flat, oval seeds available in hulls or de-hulled. These seeds are nutrient-dense and a perfect keto-snack. Cheaper than many other nuts and seeds, the pumpkin seeds go well in a range of savory dishes.
Nutrition Facts: Pumpkin seeds are 50% fat with a perfect balance of PUFA and MUFAs. Rich in proteins, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, these edible seeds provide plenty of riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium, and potassium.
The ketogenic diet basically changes the metabolic fuel of your body to make it lose weight. Being high in fat and low in fiber, Nuts and Seeds are definitely welcomed on the keto diet with their impressive nutritional breakdown. While retaining a good number of calories, they help in avoiding carbohydrates giving you massive benefits including improved health, weight loss, and better performance physically and mentally.
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