Can you eat wheat on keto?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat wheat on keto?” and discuss the low-carb diet?

Can you eat wheat on keto?

Yes, you can eat wheat on keto. Despite the fact that traditional bread like whole wheat and whole grain are too high in carbs to be included in a ketogenic diet, there are many of low-carb alternatives available if you must have the odd sandwich or roll.

Grains are currently the most important contributor to human food supplies globally. Approximately 21% of the world’s food depends on annual wheat crop harvests, which often have relatively low stocks. Developing countries, the majority of which are net wheat importers, consume 77% of total global wheat production (1).

It’s common knowledge that whole wheat bread is a nutritious food. Wheat bread and most other baked foods, on the other hand, tend to be high in carbohydrates. When on a low-carb diet, bread and other grain-based items should be avoided or limited.

Meal Plans with Few or No Carbohydrates

Low-carbohydrate diets advise you to eat more fat and fewer carbs. A typical low-carb diet calls for 20-60 grams of carbohydrate per day.

The ketogenic diet, a specific low-carb diet, has gained immense popularity during the last decade. Classic ketogenic diets are defined as high in fat (90%) and low in carbohydrates (restricting daily carbs to 4%) and proteins (6%). A modified Atkins diet does not restrict energy content and allows 65% fat, 5% carbohydrate, and 30% protein. Another ketogenic diet is the very low-energy ketogenic diet which allows 13% carbohydrates, 44% fat, and 43% proteins and provides a total energy intake of <800 kcal/day. The consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods, mostly cereal-based foods, fruits, and vegetables is limited during a ketogenic diet, yet it is not a carbohydrate free diet (2).

The goal of a low-carb diet is to consume as little net carbohydrates as possible. To calculate net carbs, researchers looked at the number of carbs in food after subtracting the amount of fat, fiber, and sugar alcohols. This implies that items high in carbohydrates and sugars, which are common in low-carbohydrate diets, are off-limits, but the fiber is allowed.

If you’re new to the low-carb lifestyle, you may not be familiar with all of the foods you should stay away from. Bread, cookies, fried chicken, and dumplings are all examples of familiar items that aren’t suitable for a low-carb diet.

Foods manufactured with refined grains should be avoided at all costs. The consumption of a wide variety of whole grains, as well as certain fruits and vegetables, may also need to be limited.

For low-carb diets, this means avoiding most baked products, including bread and pastries. Potatoes and grain-based items like rice and barley should also be avoided by low-carb diets. Also forbidden are fried dishes with flour-based coatings and thickened sauces like gravy.

Wheat Bread Carbohydrates

According to the USDA, two slices of whole wheat bread have a total of 161 calories. The 27.3 grams of carbs (3.8 grams of which are fiber), 8 grams of protein, and 2.2 grams of fat in two slices are all included (0.5 grams come from saturated fat). Manganese, selenium, and the B-complex vitamins are especially abundant in whole wheat bread.

You would consider whole wheat bread to be quite healthful in the context of a Western diet. The UK government’s dietary guidelines recommend no more than 55% carbohydrate intake per day. The Japanese Diabetes Society recommended a diet with carbohydrates constituting 50–60% of total energy consumption (2). 

Whole wheat bread’s carbohydrate content is too high for many low-carb regimens, which is a shame. There are 23.5 net carbohydrates in two slices of whole wheat bread.

Carbohydrate Choices for Weight Loss

The health benefits of the ketogenic diet are speculated to be in association with glycogen depletion and fat mobilization that might result in reducing blood glucose and improving fat burning. The ketogenic diet has been used against neurologic conditions including autism, dementia, epilepsy, and nerve regeneration. However, the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet are not yet fully understood (2).

Two slices of whole wheat bread would put you over your daily carbohydrate limit if you’re on a low-carb diet like the ketogenic one (which allows for no more than 20 grams of net carbohydrates per day). This indicates that if you’re following a ketogenic diet, you shouldn’t be eating wheat bread.

Regarding the amount of carbohydrate ingested, the diet may be classified as: Very low-carbohydrate (less than 10% carbohydrates) or 20 to 50 gm/day; 2. Low-carbohydrate (less than 26% carbohydrates) or less than 130 gm/day; 3. Moderate-carbohydrate (26% to 44%); 4. High-carbohydrate (45% or greater). For reference, the institute of medicine proposes Americans obtain 45% to 65% of calories from carbohydrates (4).

Two pieces of bread a day might be part of a healthy diet if you’re on a less severe low-carb regimen (40 to 60 net carbohydrates per day). If you intend to consume additional carbs that day, this may or may not be a good choice.

On a low-carb diet, if you consume whole wheat bread, you’ll need to limit your intake of other carbohydrate-rich items. Fruits, cereals, and starchy meals like potatoes, yams, and parsnips should be avoided.

This is because some nutrients, such as dietary fiber, are also critical to monitor. Approximately 25 grams of dietary fiber per day is recommended for the majority of adults, according to the FDA. This amount of fiber daily should be sufficient for normal laxation. In adults there is evidence of health benefits (e.g., reduced risk of coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes and improved weight maintenance) associated with the consumption of diets rich in fiber-containing foods with dietary fiber intakes >25 g/d (3).

Wheat bread and other grain products are good for you, but they don’t have enough fiber to make up the bulk of your daily carb intake. Eat plenty of leafy greens and other low-carb vegetables if you want to stick to a balanced low-carb diet and receive the required daily intake of dietary fiber while you have wheat bread.

Bread cravings are understandable. Bread produced with low-carb flours might help you stick to a low-carb diet if you can’t consume a lot of carbs. A wide range of low-carb dishes may be made with coconut, almond, and even flaxseed flours. 

A study showed that the low carb breads available in the market contain high-fat flours from almond, coconut, soybean, and tiger nut, due to their high content of protein and fat, unlike the standard bakery flour mixes that, in addition, included also flours from cassava, corn, potato, and rice. Oils from coconut, sunflower, and palm were the most employed fat for these product categories (2).

A staple meal for thousands of years, bread is an important part of many people’s daily diets. Refined wheat, which has a high carbohydrate content, is often seen in modern bread (carbs). Some individuals may be able to shed weight or lower their risk of certain diseases if they eliminate bread from their diet.

People who are cutting off bread as part of a low-carb or ketogenic diet sometimes question what they may substitute for it.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat wheat on keto?” and we discussed a low-carb diet?

Reference

  1. Enghiad, Aliakbar, et al. An overview of global wheat market fundamentals in an era of climate concerns. Int J Agron, 2017.
  2. Gasparre, Nicola, et al. Nutritional Quality of Gluten-Free Bakery Products Labeled Ketogenic and/or Low-Carb Sold in the Global Market. Foods, 2022, 11, 4095.
  3. Delcour, Jan A., et al. Prebiotics, fermentable dietary fiber, and health claims. Adv Nutr, 2016, 7, 1-4.
  4. Oh, Robert, Brian Gilani, and Kalyan R. Uppaluri. Low Carbohydrate Diet. StatPearls Publishing, 2021.

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