What is Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast may sound like something you bake with, but it is actually used as a flavoring component for many ketogenic meals and snacks. It tastes like a nutty type of cheese, so you can do everything from top salads to add it to your soups. Here are some things to know about this unique ingredient.
About Nutritional Yeast
So, what is nutritional yeast exactly? It isn’t actually the type of yeast you bake bread with, in order to get it to rise. This is actually a type of yeast that grows on molasses. It is then deactivated so that it loses its leavening ability, similar to regular yeast. With a silly name, it might seem like a silly ingredient, but it has many excellent benefits. It is only recently when people on the ketogenic diet have discovered how and why it is useful to them in particular.
Why it is Beneficial
Nutritional yeast gets its name from all the health benefits it contains. Before talking about how you can use it for keto, let’s look at the basic health benefits of this ingredient. Nutritional yeast contains a high amount of B vitamins, including B1, 2, 3, and 6, or thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pyridoxine, respectively. It also has a good amount of fiber, protein, B12, and folic acid. This is all in just a tablespoon of the yeast.
How to Use it for Keto
For keto, the reason nutritional yeast is a good ingredient is because it provides a lot of fiber, protein, and a cheese-like ingredient without actually using dairy. You might be lactose-intolerant or you may not want to use dairy quite as much, making this perfect. It is in powder form, so it is the perfect way to replace parmesan cheese in recipes. You can top soups or salads, or cook and bake with it. A single serving of nutritional yeast is just 1 grams of net carbs since it has 4 grams of fiber. It is also low-calorie, yet moderate protein amount at 8 grams of protein per serving.
Health food stores are the best places to get nutritional yeast, since you can get it in its purest form. As with all ingredients you use, check to make sure it hasn’t gone through processing where it might have added ingredients. You want it to be the most natural possible. Many health food stores also offer nutritional yeast in bulk.
What are Fat Bombs?
As you know, keto isn’t just about cutting carbs, but adding in more fats. You need healthy fats to enter ketosis, where your body actually burns more fat for energy. This is what makes the ketogenic diet so beneficial for weight loss and continued weight management. Some people experience difficulty with their fat intake, which is where fat bombs come in. Here is more information about fat bombs and how they can help you.
What Are Fat Bombs?
When you begin looking up different keto recipes, you will often come across something called a fat bomb. This is nothing more than a small treat-like snack that gives you a nice boost of fat. While it is often meant just to give you an easy way to eat healthy fats so you are reaching the 70-75% minimum of fat each day, they also provide other benefits. Fat bombs range in flavors, but often provide a nice sweet treat for you to enjoy while on keto.
The Purpose of Fat Bombs
As you know, the main purpose of fat bombs is to increase your fat. There are many days when as much as you try, you just can’t get your fat percentage up high enough. This often occurs when you have a lighter food day where you’re too busy to eat much more than a salad, you eat leaner protein like fish or chicken, or when you aren’t doing much cooking. During these days, you can enjoy a fat bomb that should already be stored in your refrigerator or freezer and ready to go.
Example of Fat Bombs
Here are some recipes that are popular for fat bombs, though you can definitely change them to fit your personal needs.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter
A classic fat bomb you will see often from other people is one made with chocolate and peanut butter. This gives you a sweet treat in a healthy, keto fat bomb. It typically includes peanut butter, cocoa powder that is unsweetened, and coconut oil. Many of the chocolate fat bombs use something to sweeten in, like Stevia.
Some fat bombs are just meant to boost your coconut oil for some healthy fats. These not only have coconut oil, but often include shredded coconut as well, so they are best if you actually like the taste of coconut. They frequently have other flavors as well, like vanilla or even dark chocolate chips that are raw and unsweetened.
What are Some Good Low-Carb Fruits?
As you know, the ketogenic diet is an extremely low-carb diet, consisting mostly of meat and seafood, cheese, veggies, nuts and seeds, and lots of healthy fats. While fruit is not at the top of the approved list, there are some that you can have as long as you stay under your required macros for the day. Here are some of the low-carb fruits you can eat when you are on the keto diet.
Choose Berries First
Berries are among the best low-carb fruits you can have while you are on the keto diet. They are going to be the lowest in carbs, plus are filled with nutrients to help you have well-balanced meals and snacks. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries all have 6 grams of carbs for a single serving, which is about a handful of berries. They are great to add to your summer salads, have as a snack, or eat when you want something sweet without added sugars. Blueberries are also relatively low, but at about 12 grams of carbs per serving, aren’t the best option unless you are having less than a full serving of them.
Fruit Under 10 Grams Per Serving
There are also some other fruits that are relatively low as well, though you definitely should only have them when you have some extra net carbs left for the day. These are each around 10 net carbs or just below, so it is nearly half of the carbs you can have for the day. However, if you find yourself at the end of the day with enough macros left, it is a great treat. They are also good if you decide to do carb cycling with days where your carbs are a little higher than 20 net per day.
Some low-carb fruits with 10 or less net grams per day are:
Other fruits tend to be too high in sugars, which then causes them to be higher in carbs. These include watermelon, bananas, apples, grapes, and cherries.
You don’t have to eat fruit while on the keto diet, but it is a good way to have something sweet, increase your nutrition, and break up the monotony of all your meats and veggies. You might be looking for something lighter or just a handful of berries as a quick and healthy snack, so it comes in handy knowing which fruit to turn to first.
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