If you haven’t been hiding under a rock lately, you’ve likely heard about the ketogenic diet. The keto diet blends healthy fats into a low-carb lifestyle, encouraging the body to enter a state of ketosis to promote fat burning.
What types of foods do I eat on Keto?
Eating keto is pretty straightforward. Avoiding processed foods, sugar, and white flour is essential for putting the body into a state of ketosis. It’s all about replacing high carbohydrate foods with quality fats to kickstart the metabolism and turn you into a lean, mean, fat-burning machine. Choosing meats, non-starchy vegetables, cheese, nuts and nut butter, eggs, and low-carb dairy are your secret weapons for the ketogenic lifestyle.
One of the appealing things about the keto diet is that you can still eat high-fat foods and throw your body into a state of ketosis. Decadent, rich cheeses, satisfying nut butter, and thick cuts of steak while dieting? It seems too good to be true…… is it?
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal condition when the body switches over to fat burning as a result of not having enough carbohydrates to use for fuel. In ketosis, your body targets fat stores in the body, breaking them down and assimilating them for energy; a byproduct of this process is the release of ketones. To check for ketosis, it is necessary to test the number of ketones that are being released during metabolic processes.
Speaking of nut butter……
Let’s talk about a delicious staple of most Americans’ diets—-peanut butter. It certainly fits the bill when it comes to fat content, but does it provide that magic ratio of fat to carbs that most keto diets require? Before we continue to spread it on our toast or throw it in our morning protein shake by the cupful, it’s necessary to pick apart this miracle of nature to see if it will derail our efforts to enter ketosis and start burning fat.
Is peanut butter keto-friendly?
For those of us who are very aware of our lack of self-control when it comes to tablespoon servings, consuming peanut butter on a keto diet may become a bit tricky. One serving of peanut butter is around four grams of net carbs, making it a keto-friendly food if eaten in moderation. However, there are some factors you want to take into account.
Unfortunately, not all kinds of peanut butter are created equal—some are keto-friendly, and others are not. On a strict keto diet, you should be getting 60-80 percent of your calories from quality fats, about 20-30 percent of your calories from protein, and absolutely no more than 20-30 grams of carbohydrates per day. Staying within these recommended guidelines will provide you the necessary state of ketosis that is required for fat loss.
The carbohydrate content of many commercially-produced peanut butters is too high to allow it in a strict ketogenic diet. This could be due to the amount of unnecessary sugar added to sweeten up the taste. Reading labels becomes essential for the keto student; look for that carb count and keep track as you consume your food choices each day.
Is peanut butter a good source of protein?
If you’re looking to add some healthy fats in your diet, grab a jar of peanut butter. If you’re looking to add protein in your diet, look elsewhere! Here’s why: Depending on the brand, two tablespoons of peanut butter contain roughly 190 calories, 6 grams of carbs, 16 grams of fat, and only 8 grams of protein.
To get 30 grams of protein from peanut butter, you have to consume roughly 8 tablespoons! That’s 127 grams of peanut butter alongside a whopping 748 calories just to get 30 grams of protein. In-a-nut-shell (no pun intended) this is why peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats, but there are better food choices that offer more protein with fewer calories.
Which peanut butters are best for keto?
There are commercially made peanut butters that are acceptable for use on the keto diet–their main ingredients are peanuts and salt. In general, any label that boasts “all-natural ingredients” or “no added sugar or sweeteners” is safe for ketogenic consumption.
Make sure you read food labels! In a 2 tbsp serving of standard peanut butter, there can be 6-7 carbs. Subtracting grams of carbohydrate from fiber yields, your net carbs, the number of carbs you need to log in to your keto journal. Keeping close tabs on this magic number will help you stay in a state of ketosis and promote maximum fat loss.
Check out Legendary Foods! Legendary Foods offers a variety of delicious nut butter that will add variety to your keto-friendly snacks!
Nut butter in general
Train your palette to favor the natural flavor of nut butter without all of the added sugar. Many companies add sneaky sugars that are hard to find without thoroughly examining the food label! Different kinds of nut butter bring with them added benefits. Almonds are high in calcium, while cashews provide much of your daily needed dose of magnesium. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Stock your pantry with a variety of different nut butter; each offers a unique twist to the keto dishes you create.
If you are becoming a keto purist, you no doubt realize that the cleaner the food source, the more efficiently it is used by your body. That being said, consider making your own peanut or other nut butter by grinding the nuts down in a food processor.
Many health food stores are now starting to offer grinding or food processing machines in their bulk nut section. This allows you to choose nuts and grind the custom butter of your choice. Think of how delicious a blended cashew peanut butter would taste on your morning keto toast.
So, peanut butter fans, it is possible to have your butter and eat it too! You might consider switching out that toast for some celery or a slice of toasted sweet potato. Best of luck to you on your keto journey! What is your favorite keto nut-butter recipe? Post in the comment section below!