We put 10 of the most common nutrition questions to Prof Grant Schofield and Dr Caryn Zinn. Here’s question 2: Can I eat bread if I’m on a low-carb or keto diet?
It depends on how much bread. The idea with a low-carb or a ketogenic diet is that you are sufficiently limited on the carbohydrate you eat, that you can’t supply the brain exclusively with glucose, and there’s some metabolic stress that makes you oxidise fat better. So you need to eat less than 120-130 grams of carbs in a day for a low-carb diet, or less than 50 grams for a ketogenic diet. A piece of bread might be 20 grams of carbohydrate, so sure, you could have some bread. But not that much.
If you are on low-carb or keto, within the realms of being sensible and eating whole unprocessed foods, you might have 50-100 grams of carbs to play with, and you can choose where you want to get that from. And if it’s bread every now and again, then absolutely, enjoy it! Of course, if you have some kind of gut-related issue and you can’t tolerate gluten or components of bread, don’t eat it. But otherwise, it’s fine.
Bear in mind that most breads fall into the category of what we call ultra-processed foods, which is what we’re trying to avoid.
And of course, the philosophy around low-carb and keto is that we do centre our foods around whole, unprocessed foods, and low human interference factor.
Prof Grant Schofield and Dr Caryn Zinn are the lead instructors in the Certificate of Advanced Nutrition.