- Keto bread is good for people with diabetes. Since it has a lower carb, higher fiber, and protein, it may help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Due to keto bread’s higher protein and fiber content, it has a low glycemic index, resulting in less post-meal blood sugar response.
- Choose low-carb bread alternatives with these targets (15 g of total carbohydrate, at least 2 g of fiber, and aim for 2 g of protein or more per slice).
Keto bread is a by-product of the popular ketogenic diet. There are several versions of the ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is a dietary plan that consists of eating foods higher in fat (up to 90% of total calories) and low in carbohydrates (restricted to as low as 4% of daily calories) compared to the average diet.
Eating carbohydrate-rich foods like grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables is limited when following a ketogenic diet. In response to this dietary trend, food companies developed food products, such as keto bread, specifically for people following the diet.
Keto bread benefits people with diabetes due to its lower carbohydrate content. It is important for individuals with diabetes to monitor how many carbohydrates they eat daily, spread the carbs throughout the day, and eat them with protein, fat, and fiber to prevent blood sugar spikes.
In this article, you’ll learn if keto bread is good for diabetes, how it impacts blood sugar, tips for eating keto bread, and some low-carb bread alternatives.
What is Keto Bread?
Keto bread is a low-carbohydrate bread made from low-carbohydrate and higher-fiber starches such as almond flour, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, arrowroot flour, inulin, and chicory root fiber. Wheat flour might be used, but in smaller amounts than traditional wheat bread.
Keto Bread vs. Regular Bread
If you compare slices of regular and keto bread, you will find that keto bread has a lower net carbohydrate. Net carbohydrates, or “net carbs,” is a term on some food packaging that emphasizes the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Since keto bread has a lower net carb, it means the bread contains more fiber, which can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and does not impact blood sugar as much as regular bread.
You can calculate net carbs by subtracting fiber or sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates.
The formula for calculating net carbs is not entirely accurate, considering that the formula assumes the body does not absorb fiber and sugar alcohols the way it does other carbohydrates. But in reality, some types of fiber get absorbed, and sugar alcohols are partially digested, so they can add to the calories you consume and impact blood sugar.
How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar?
After you drink or eat foods containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks the carbohydrates into glucose (also called sugar) and then releases the glucose into the blood. The pancreas then releases insulin in response to the increased blood sugar levels. The role of insulin is to enable the cells to take in glucose from the blood and use it for energy.
This means insulin causes the blood sugar level to decrease appropriately, and blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day depending on how much carbs you consume and how your body metabolizes them.
With diabetes, carbohydrate digestion and use are altered. In type 1 diabetes, the body ceases to make insulin due to an autoimmune response. In type 2 diabetes, a person cannot produce enough insulin or is unable to use insulin properly.
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause too low or too high blood sugar, which is unhealthy for the body. Keeping blood sugars in an optimal range is essential for overall health.
Potential Benefits of Keto Bread for People with Diabetes
Keto bread could benefit people with diabetes as it will impact blood sugar less than white bread and whole wheat bread. The higher fiber and protein content will help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you full longer than white bread.
Is keto bread good for people with diabetes?
In a 2020 review of studies, researchers linked higher fiber diets to better diabetes management. In the study review, two cohorts of 8,300 adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes were followed for 8.8 years. Individuals consuming 35 g of fiber daily had favorable outcomes compared to those consuming 19 g of fiber daily.
The higher fiber intake group reduced premature mortality among the participants and lowered hemoglobin A1c, blood sugar levels, body weight, and blood lipid levels.
Singling out “keto bread” as the preferred bread could leave you with limited choices and missing out on many other healthy bread options. Keto bread may be good for diabetes due to its higher fiber intake, but other non-keto bread may also be high in fiber and available in your grocery store.
Focusing on the net carbs often found on keto bread labels might affect how you dose your insulin or diabetes medications. This focus could lead to improperly managed blood sugar levels. Speak with your care team (doctor or dietitian) to learn how to count your carbohydrates and how net carbs should be factored in.
Nourish offers personalized nutrition counseling and can help you determine the appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and protein. If you’re ready to take the next step in your health, consider booking a virtual appointment with a Registered Dietitian.
How Much Will Keto Bread Raise Your Blood Sugar?
Keto bread might not raise your blood sugar as much as whole wheat or white bread, as it has a lower glycemic index.
The glycemic index is a 100-point scale that measures your blood sugar response after eating a specific food. High glycemic index foods raise blood sugar levels quickly. Low glycemic index foods are digested slower, leading to a slower rise in blood sugar.
Low-glycemic foods are rated at 55 or less, medium-level glycemic index foods are 56-69, and high-glycemic foods at 70-100.
A recent study published in the Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science Journal compared various types of bread and subsequent glycemic responses in adults. Whole wheat bread has a glycemic index of 61, and white bread (fully refined) has a glycemic index of 70. A high-fiber, low-carbohydrate bread (similar to keto bread) has a glycemic index of 38.
Tips for Eating Keto Bread With Diabetes
If you enjoy the taste of keto bread, it could help manage your diabetes. Keto bread has fewer total carbohydrates (11 g) and net carbs (3 g) than whole wheat and white bread. Fewer carbohydrates from the bread will give you more flexibility for an extra slice of keto bread or other carbohydrate-rich foods at the meal or snack.
Also, keto bread will impact your blood sugar less than regular bread. Blood sugar level stability differs from person-to-person and so does metabolism. Some people notice their blood sugar is higher or lower than expected at certain times of the day.
Observe the amount of sugar in your blood (post-prandial) after eating different types of bread. Checking blood sugar levels will help you plan how much carbohydrate to eat and if you should pair more protein and fiber with the carbohydrates.
Nourish can connect you with a diabetes registered dietitian who will provide individualized recommendations to maintain good blood sugar control. If you need help managing your diabetes, consider booking a virtual appointment today.
Other Low-Carb Bread Alternatives to Consider for Diabetes
As you determine your blood sugar response to different types of food, you may want to try some other low-carb bread choices. With so many healthy options at the grocery store, you should have a variety of low-carb breads to experiment with.
- Try to stay close to 15 g of carbohydrates per serving (usually one slice of bread).
- Aim for at least 2 g of fiber, but more will help to reduce your blood sugar response.
- White bread has about 2g of protein per slice, but you can find a lower-carb bread with at least 4g of protein. Protein will stabilize your blood sugar levels and result in better control.
You might try low-carb non-bread alternatives as well. Cloud bread is made from eggs, cream cheese or cottage cheese, and cream of tartar, resulting in a high protein and almost no-carb “bread” similar to Naan bread. Ultimately, taste and texture are important deciding factors in choosing bread, so choose the one you enjoy.
Low-carb tortillas and wraps are widely available for a different twist than bread. Many have less than 10 g of carbohydrates per tortilla.
Keto bread helps manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Keto bread is typically low in carbohydrates and higher in fiber and protein, resulting in a low glycemic index. This macronutrient combination will help keep your blood sugar levels in the target range and help you stay full longer.
Monitor your blood sugar response after eating keto bread and any other low-carb bread alternatives you try, such as cloud bread or low-carb tortillas. Post-prandial blood sugar information will help you and your care team manage your diabetes best.
Manage Diabetes with an RD
Connect with an expert on managing diabetes. Registered dietitians have a wealth of tools and knowledge to help you customize your specific lifestyle and eating habits to manage your diabetes.
Nourish has a team of dietitians available for online appointments. Every dietitian is covered by insurance, and many are specialized in diabetes. Book your first appointment today.
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