When it comes to following a ketogenic diet, which is known for its low carb approach, people often find themselves limited in their menu choices. However, the love for pizza remains strong, prompting various pizza places to introduce “keto-friendly pizzas” that allow consumers to indulge in their favorite food while staying faithful to their diet.
But here’s where the confusion arises: many people mistakenly believe that gluten-free pizza is suitable for a keto diet. While it’s true that gluten-free products are often associated with a low carb intake and are considered healthier, it’s crucial to understand that gluten-free does not automatically equate to being keto-friendly.
To clarify these misconceptions and shed light on the differences between a keto diet and a gluten-free diet, we have curated this article. Let’s dive in and explore why gluten-free pizza is not compatible with a keto diet.
Understanding the Keto Diet
A ketogenic diet primarily consists of high-fat, moderate-protein, and extremely low carb foods. By reducing carbohydrate intake, the body is tricked into burning fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. This diet has proven benefits such as weight loss, blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, and more. It is suitable for those looking to lose weight and improve their overall health.
The Gluten-Free Diet
A gluten-free diet involves eliminating all gluten-containing items from the menu. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Many individuals are either allergic to gluten or have high gluten sensitivity, which can lead to various health issues. However, it’s important to note that gluten is a key component of pizza, providing its unique texture and stretchiness.
While gluten can be found in numerous foods, following a gluten-free diet is not a prerequisite for those wanting to adopt a ketogenic lifestyle.
The Myth of Low Carb Gluten-Free Pizza
It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that gluten-free pizza is automatically low carb and suitable for a keto diet. After all, gluten-free products are often marketed as healthier options with reduced carb content. However, gluten-free pizza is not always as keto-friendly as it seems. Many gluten-free pizzas contain high amounts of carbs, sugar, and lower protein levels.
Why Gluten-Free Pizza is Not Keto Friendly
Let’s debunk the myth that gluten-free pizza is keto-friendly by exploring a few key reasons why it’s not recommended for those on a keto diet.
High Carbohydrate Amounts
The primary objective of a keto diet is to reduce carbohydrate consumption. By significantly decreasing carb intake, the body enters a state of ketosis, promoting fat burning and improved metabolic function. Unfortunately, many gluten-free pizzas have high carbohydrate content, exceeding the daily carb intake limits set by the diet.
High Sugar Levels
Keto diets typically restrict sugar intake to no more than 50 grams per day. However, most gluten-free pizzas contain high sugar levels to compensate for the absence of gluten. Consuming such pizzas can disrupt insulin levels and elevate blood sugar, making them unsuitable for a ketogenic diet.
Low Protein Content
Protein plays a crucial role in a keto diet, and insufficient protein intake can lead to various health issues. Many gluten-free pizza options lack adequate protein content, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass and overall health.
Low Fat Levels
In a keto diet, healthy fats replace carbohydrates as the body’s primary energy source. However, most gluten-free pizzas contain high amounts of unhealthy trans fats, which can negatively impact cholesterol levels and overall well-being. To achieve optimal results on a keto diet, it is crucial to consume healthy high-fat foods.
When gluten is removed from pizzas, it is often replaced with starches such as rice flour and modified starches. These starches contribute significant amounts of carbohydrates to the gluten-free pizza, making it incompatible with a keto diet. Moreover, processed foods, including gluten-free options, are generally avoided in a ketogenic lifestyle.
Tips for Buying Keto-Friendly Pizza
If you’re looking to adopt a keto diet but can’t bear the thought of giving up pizza, fret not! There are ways to enjoy pizza while staying true to your ketogenic goals. When purchasing a pizza advertised as keto-friendly, consider the following tips:
Go for Plant-Based Options
Focus on finding a pizza with a keto-friendly crust. Opt for plant-based options like cauliflower pizza crust or explore pizzerias that offer authentic Neapolitan pizzas made with natural, plant-based ingredients.
Look Out for Hidden Carbs and Sugar
Pay attention to hidden carbohydrates and sugar in pizza toppings and sauces. Avoid toppings that contain breadcrumbs or added sugar, as these can disrupt your keto diet.
Embrace the Low-Carb, High-Protein, and Healthy-Fats Rule
Choose pizzas with low-carb, no-starch crusts and load up on protein-rich toppings. Incorporating healthy fats into your pizza will keep you energized and satisfied.
Check the Ingredients
Always examine the ingredients list to ensure minimal starch usage and choose pizza options that align with your keto goals. Some restaurants provide nutrition guidelines, making it easier to make informed choices.
Creating a keto-friendly pizza involves more than simply opting for a gluten-free crust. It’s essential to carefully consider the carbohydrate sources used as alternatives and assess if they contain harmful or modified carbohydrates. Additionally, prioritize consuming more protein than carbohydrates and ensure that the protein comes from unprocessed sources.
While the allure of gluten-free pizza on a keto diet may seem tempting, it’s important to stay mindful of the potential pitfalls. By making informed choices and selecting pizzas that meet the requirements of a keto diet, you can still enjoy your favorite food while staying on track with your health goals.
Pizza Bien brings you delicious, all-natural pizza made with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Enjoy authentic Neapolitan pizzas delivered right to your doorstep, free shipping nationwide. Order today and embark on your keto journey without sacrificing taste!