What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is more than just a low carb diet. It involves small amounts of carbohydrates, moderate protein consumption and high amounts of fat. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to remain in a constant state of ketosis. What is ketosis? Great question! Here’s the part that gets a bit science-y. The way ketosis works is by forcing your body to use a different type of fuel in place of its usual preference, which is glucose from carbohydrates. Instead, the body uses ketone bodies, a fuel source produced by the liver from the fat stored in your body so, essentially you are burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. When following a ketogenic meal plan, consuming 20-50g of carbohydrates or less per day is essential along with controlling protein consumption, as too much can interfere with ketosis, and consuming fat with each meal as this is the fuel source you are utilising.
What are Lupins and how do they fit into the keto diet?
Australian sweet lupin is a grain legume crop that is cultivated right here in Australia (1). With similar characteristics to soybean such as high protein but even higher amounts of dietary fibre, lower amounts of fat and minimal starch, lupins are a superstar legume. Macronutrient ratios are dependent on the individuals needs and energy intake, however a daily kilojoule intake of 8400 kj may look like 165g fat, 40g carbs, and 75g protein when following a keto diet. Australian sweet lupins are known for their low carbohydrate content. The Lupin Co. protein pasta spirals for example contain just 2 grams of carbohydrates per 50 gram serve, making it an excellent substitute for regular pasta if you are opting for a low carb diet such as the keto diet.
What are the benefits of adding lupins to your diet when following a keto diet?
The ketogenic diet does come with some potential risks and side effects, most notably is the high levels of saturated fat consumed in a ketogenic meal plan. Another negative sided affect is constipation due to its low levels of fibrous foods such as grains and legumes. In comparison to other legumes, Australian sweet lupins have a very low starch (carbohydrate) content, which is what allows them to fit into the ketogenic diet. Being low in carbohydrates does not take away from their fibre content however! The Lupin Co. lupin splits contain an impressive 38 grams of dietary fibre per 100g, exceeding the acceptable daily intake of 30g/day for men and 25g/day for women. This makes Australian sweet lupins a great addition to a diet such as keto, as the fibre will help to prevent the potential constipation associated with the keto diet. The properties of lupin kernel fibre are also shown to enhance satiety, meaning you will feel more satisfied and fuller for longer. Enhancing satiety reduces hunger which can assist with adherence to dietary goals.
As previously mentioned, the ketogenic diet often involves consumption of high levels of saturated fat (3). Australian sweet lupins are naturally low in saturated fats and are cholesterol free, while containing beneficial fats such as omega 3 and omega 6. Protein sources containing high levels of saturated fat such as pork and bacon are often consumed on the keto diet. Australian sweet lupin foods such as The Lupin Co. protein pasta spirals, lupin splits, and lupinola high protein cereal are great options to include as some of your daily protein sources in place of these, allowing more room for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are actually beneficial to our health from foods such as avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and fish.