Can You Eat Bread on the Keto Diet?
Brands Like Franz Keto Bread, SoLo Carb Bread and more are making it easier than ever to incorporate bread into the keto diet.
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat and high-protein diet that's still all the rage. People follow keto diets for a variety of reasons including weight loss, migraines, diabetes, arthritis, epilepsy and even cancer.
"The most exciting thing to me is the potential for helping people with medical conditions," says Ginger Hultin, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Seattle. "Doing a ketogenic diet is a big decision, and it's definitely not a right fit for everyone. Work with your physician and registered dietitian to discuss the pros and cons, as well as any side effects you may need to be aware of."
What exactly is a keto diet? "A keto diet usually comprises 5% to 10% carbohydrates, 70% to 80% of fat, and 10% to 20% protein," explains Jonathan Valdez, RD, spokesperson for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "For carbohydrates, that ranges from 20 to 50 grams per day."
What Is Keto Bread?
You may have heard of the newest keto diet trend, keto bread. Simply put, this is bread that theoretically fits into a keto diet. When added carefully, keto bread can be incorporated into a ketogenic diet. Typically low calorie — one popular brand, Franz Keto, contains only 40 calories a slice per its white bread — keto bread is also typically lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and fiber than other breads.
A slice of Frank Keto White, for example, contains 12 grams carbs — all of which are fiber — and 4 grams protein per slice. This is due to the bread’s ingredients, which contain wheat gluten (a form of protein) and inulin or chicory root fiber. A slice of typical white bread, on the other hand, contains 75 calories, 14 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, and 2 grams protein, per the USDA database.
The major plus of keto bread: It allows keto dieters to eat bread. "For keto dieters, bread and bagels are typically off limits," says, Shahzadi Devje, CDE, MSc, a registered dietitian in Toronto. "We're now seeing an explosion in keto-friendly product innovation, where popular carb-rich foods are substituted for low-carb alternatives. Bread is undoubtedly one of those foods, giving people the option to enjoy their favorite foods, not feel deprived, and still meet their carb budget."
How to Eat Bread on the Keto Diet
If you follow the keto diet, you have a very strict carbohydrate limit to adhere to — and depending on what else you eat in a day, you may only be able to enjoy an open-faced sandwich. "People eating keto breads should keep in mind that the nutrition facts apply to one serving, usually one slice," says Valdez.
And some keto breads are high in saturated fat. "Some brands include plenty of saturated fats, which is correlated with heart disease," says Valdez. The Keto Thin Bread from Julian Bakery, for instance, contains 5 grams saturated fat per slice.
One more potential drawback: "Keto breads may not be as rich in other nutrients that are found in whole grains, such as B vitamins and minerals," says Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, a dietitian in Ojai, CA.
How to Choose a Keto Bread
First things first: Read a bread’s nutrition label. "Make sure to carefully assess the net carbs and fat content," says Hultin. "Consider if this fits into the macros that you, personally, are using for your ketogenic diet." For instance, some breads are high in saturated fat but low in fiber — and vice versa.
And make sure that the protein in the bread fits into your keto diet plan. "Eating too much protein can prevent ketosis, since the body can break down protein into glucose when glucose isn't present," explains Valdez.
Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, a keto dietitian in Shreveport, LA, recommends Base Culture Original Keto Bread. "It is pretty awesome," she says. Per slice, you get 110 calories, 8 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, and 4 grams protein. The best part? Each serving contains only .5 grams saturated fat.
Redmond advises balanced diets in her own keto clinic. "So many definitions of keto exist, and unfortunately many perceive keto with a fraternity-boy mentality — order 50 wings and a half-cup of ranch dressing," she says. "In my clinic, I stress the keto lifestyle with great sources of plant-based fats like olive oils and nuts, good-quality meats, and lots of leafy green vegetables."
How to Make Your Own Keto Bread
You can, of course, make your own keto bread, and many die-hard keto dietitians advise going this route so you can control what goes into your loaf.
"You can use flour like coconut flour, sesame seed flour, or almond flour—which are low in carbs," says Hultin. "You'll also be relying on eggs and butter for that texture, binding, and fat content." A popular Food Network keto bread recipe, for instance, features a base of almond flour.
Keto Breads To Try
If you’d like to try a keto bread, here are a few popular options:
Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist in the New York City area and owner of the Plant-Based Eats Etsy store, where she sells healthy meal plans and printables. She’s a regular contributor to many publications, including EverydayHealth.com, ReadersDigest.com, NBCNews.com, and more. She also pens a recipe-focused blog, Amy’s Eat List, where she shares easy, healthy recipes. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.