Time to start reducing carb intake. I'm going to just cover breads today, as that's a pretty big topic even without the other high carb foods.
The posts so far:
• How we were made to fear dietary fat, why we don’t need to, and why that was disastrous.
• Metabolic flexibility and how that ties in with ancestral eating
• The importance of not eating continually, and how we can benefit from even a short break in eating
• How to switch from being a carb burner to a fat burner more easily
• The first part of a step by step “How To” of actually changing the food - cut back on processed foods and eat good quality fats - if you’re on a high carb, standard Western diet, this is probably more useful to start with than the last post
• An example of a day on keto for me
• A useful keto food - mayo, and more meal examples
• A useful keto snack - macadamia muffins, and more meal examples
• Recap, overview on cutting back carbs, and more meal examples
Breads containing gluten
Not everybody has a problem with wheat, or gluten, or high starch foods. But because the changeover from Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture is only fairly recent in terms of human history, there are a lot of people who do. Let's start with a quick summary for people who are fine with it.
WORST - supermarket breads often have a load of undesirable extras added - like poor quality fats, preservatives or soy. So if that's your only option, read your labels!
BETTER - gourmet breads, or even better again, bread you have made yourself from fresh ingredients. Yesterday @lyndsaybowes shared a bread recipe from our friend @cecicastor in Nicaragua.
BEST - sourdough breads, either bought or homemade. This is because the sourdough process helps to make the bread more digestible. Here is an easy sourdough recipe from the Weston A Price foundation though you would have to obtain a starter. And here is a recipe I developed for the breadmaker, way back before I realised gluten and I were not friends.
Breads that are gluten free but still high carb
For some people, the problem is simply the gluten. Switch from wheat, rye, barley, spelt and kamut to rice, corn, tapioca starch, potato flour, buckwheat, etc and the problems are over. But these breads are still very high carb, and again, I suspect that most people who are gluten intolerant are going to find other high carb breads a problem in the long term.
Worst / better / best categories are pretty much the same as above.
From my other recipe blog, here's a GF white bread recipe I used a time or two when I was first gluten free.
And this is a whole grain, GF bread that is like a quick sourdough, being made from flour soaked in yoghurt. It's not as high carb as it has eggs in it.
Breads that are starch free
Some of you may remember that I've been a GAPS practitioner for many years. This is a protocol that aims to heal the gut through:
• Temporarily eliminating starches and other problem foods
• Repairing the gut lining, primarily using bone broths
• Rebalancing the gut flora with fermented foods and probiotics
• and gently detoxing eg with juicing and epsom salt baths
Over this time, I've refined or developed a lot of starch free bread recipes, many of which I've already shared here. Most of these are not full keto, but they are much higher in fat and lower carb so are excellent for transitioning. They are based on cashews, almond flour or coconut flour and all have eggs in them.
• Grain free, dairy free Pumpkin & Cashew Bread - about 20% carbs
• Carrot Cashew Blender Bread - about 20%
• Carrot Almond bread, pictured above - about 15% carbs. The zucchini variation is more like 10%
• Vegetable coconut flour muffins - this will vary depending on your veges, but probably 10-15%
• Cheesy Pumpkin Almond bread – gluten and grain free - about 12%
• Grain free cheese muffins and scones - these are both about 10%
The Paleo diet is very similar to GAPS, and there are Paleo breads available commercially now. Here in NZ, there are several different ones. They all have tapioca starch though, and the carbs come out higher than the homemade breads at between 30% and 45%.
If you take a small serve of one of the almond or coconut flour based starch free breads above and slather on some extra fats, they could be part of a keto diet. But you would have to carefully calculate your own macros.
As far as I know there are no commercially available keto breads at this time. But if you scour the web for them, you'll find heaps of recipes. Here are the most common types:
• Breads made from eggs and some kind of cheese, maybe a mix of cream cheese and mozzarella - often called cloud or oopsie bread. To get them cloudlike, you need to separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites till fluffy. I selected a recipe at random for you.
• Similar but with some almond or coconut flour added - often called fathead dough - hmm, that sounds a bit like my cheese scones and muffins. I haven't tried any Fathead dough recipes, but by a happy coincidence, this popped up on my Pinterest this morning - 30 Fathead Dough recipes. OMG, not only are there breads, rolls and calzone on this list, but also croissants, choux pastry and donuts. But they might not all be strictly keto - you still need to do your own sums.
• Almond flour, eggs and butter, sometimes with psyllium husks, but without cheese. Here's one that showed up in my Inbox yesterday, that looks pretty good. On this post on my other blog, I linked to two Youtube videos, one with a good looking recipe and one with lots of info on what keto flours do what, for if you want to experiment with your own recipes. If you want the speed of the microwave, search for keto mug bread.
• Coconut flour and eggs, with or without added almond flour. I personally find coconut flour a bit dry, and almond flour can be a bit heavy, but combining them works quite well. This looks like a nice one.
• Pizza base made from cauliflower, eggs and cheese. I've had an aversion to cauli my whole life, so I wouldn't touch one of these with a ten foot barge pole. But others swear they are wonderful. Here you go, one to look at.
• Or you can just forego the bread altogether and use things like lettuce leaves for wraps or large mushrooms as mini pizza bases instead. 20 years ago when I was first looking into traditional diets, Heidi Jean, from a forum I frequented, used to call bread "edible napkins" - the only purpose for it is to carry the good stuff up to our mouths. On keto, the good stuff is usually something fatty like pâté, cheese, avocado or maybe a nut butter.
Food diary for Tue 8th Jan & Wed 9th Jan
These two days were pretty similar to the day before, so not worth repeating. Once I've cooked up something, I can eat it happily for a few days in a row, but that's pretty boring for you to read about. I remember when I did Carnivore for a year, one of the mottos was our bodies don't need variety, only our minds do. Though I did change my ground beef prep and had patties instead. One day with mozzarella cheese and one day with fried eggs.
On the whole I don't need a huge amount of variety, but I was very bummed to have some food reactions the last couple of days. I'm not sure exactly what has been the problem, but I have some suspects that I need to cut out for a few days and test again. Which means less variety, not more.
My suspicions line up with the pattern I've found that I PASSED nearly all animal foods and FAILED more plant foods. I eventually stopped Carnivore as I needed to add some plants back in. But I have to be so careful with the amount and the types. At the moment, these are the only plant foods that I am (reasonably) confident I am ok on:
• Fruit - berries, cherries, currants
• Veges - carrot, green peas, broccoli
• Nuts - macadamias, walnuts, coconut products
• Oils - macadamia, olive, hemp, avocado, MCT (medium chain triglyceride)
Sigh! If I could eat anything, it would be so much easier. But this is how it is. Maybe there is only so much you can do about your genetics, and there are two genetic things I know:
• I produce very little salivary amylase, so can't digest carbs well - read more here and here
• Type 2 diabetes runs in our family
@andysantics48 is also keto at the moment and we've talked about how low carb or keto is not a diet, it needs to be a lifetime lifestyle change for us both. Hopefully she will soon share some of her menus, which might be different from mine.
Now that the work year is back in full swing, I might go back to posting only 3 or 4 times a week. So probably see you in a couple of days!
Thanks for reading.
Top pic from Pixabay. Other photos by me.
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