Lentils are a nutritious and inexpensive source of plant protein. However, we may be wondering if we can eat it on the keto diet. The ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, moderate protein, and a diet very low in carbohydrates.
In fact, most people on the keto diet should limit their carbohydrate intake to just 25-50 grams of net carbs per day. Net carbohydrates refer to the amount of digestible carbohydrates in food. They are calculated by subtracting the fiber content from the total amount of carbohydrates. Since lentils are high in carbs and fiber, this study shows whether lentils are a good fit for the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet is based on the idea of maintaining ketosis, a condition in which the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. By maintaining ketosis, people can benefit from rapid weight loss and better blood sugar control. People with epilepsy may also experience fewer seizures.
For ketosis to occur, the diet restricts carbohydrates to no more than 5-10% of daily calorie intake, whereas protein must contain 15-20% of daily calories. As a result, carbohydrate-rich foods such as starchy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are restricted or severely restricted in the keto diet.
The high carbohydrate content in lentils
Lentils are a type of legume which also includes legumes, soybeans, and chickpeas. Due to their high carbohydrate content, legumes are usually avoided on a strict keto diet. In fact, 1 cup (180 grams) of cooked lentils provides 36 grams of carbs. Even if you consume 14 grams of fiber, you produce 22 grams of net carbs.
Since net carbs are usually limited to 25-50 grams per day, 1 cup (180 grams) of cooked lentils uses at least 50% carbs per day. As a result, those on a strict keto diet want to limit their intake of lenses.
Smaller portions, such as for example, half a cup (90 grams) or a quarter cup (45 grams) of cooked lentils may be suitable for a keto diet, depending on what else you eat that day. The benefit of sometimes including lentils is that they contain several important vitamins and minerals that are hard to come by on a keto diet. These include potassium, magnesium, folic acid, phosphorus, and iron.
The keto diet, what should be considered in this type of diet?
Apart from the lentils’ impressive nutritional profile, there are other ways to get important nutrients that are more compatible with the keto diet, including starch-free vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and whole grains.
Although lentils are high in fiber, they are high in total and net carbs, making them difficult to incorporate into the keto diet. While those on a strict keto diet should avoid lentils altogether, others sometimes have small portions of these nutrient-dense nuts.
However, if you are concerned about maintaining ketosis while getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, there are more ketosis grade options to help you achieve it. Leafy vegetables, mushrooms, broccoli, almonds and even edamame contain fewer carbs than lentils and provide essential nutrients for a balanced ketone diet.