Starting a new diet is very daunting. The general perception about diets is that they severely limit your food options. However, this is not the case with keto diets, considering how many keto-friendly food items keep popping up!
When I first started my diet, I wondered if every other food was keto-friendly. After all, there is such prevalent confusion and debates about many food options. Unlike most people, I love my veggies quite a lot. And this led me to wonder whether Bok Choy is keto friendly or not?
Is bok choy keto-friendly? You would think it must be – and you are right! Bok choy has very low carbs and hence is a recommended vegetable to eat during a keto diet.
Read ahead to learn more about the vegetables and ways to prepare the vegetable for your meal!
Is Bok Choy Keto-Friendly?
Before making a bok choy keto diet recipe, you might want to know what the vegetable is and what nutrients it has. As a rule of thumb, I always examine the nutritional profile of everything I eat to know what is going inside my body.
Bok Choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. Its smooth-edged leaves differentiate it from other types of Chinese cabbages. Compared to other leafy greens, it has quite a mild taste.
The Nutritional Profile
As reported by USDA, every 100 grams of bok choy has approximately the following nutritional content.
- 1.5 grams of protein
- 2.2 grams of carbs
- 0.2 grams of fat
- 1 gram of dietary fiber
- 1.2 grams of sugar
- 0.8 milligram of iron
- 105 milligram of calcium
- 65 milligram of sodium
- 19 milligram of magnesium
- 252 milligram of potassium
- 37 milligram of phosphorous
- 0.02 milligram of copper
- 0.19 milligram of zinc
- Vitamins, including 45 milligrams of Vitamin C, 0.07 milligram of Vitamin B2, 0.5 milligrams of Niacin, 66 micrograms of Folate, 0.09 milligram of Vitamin E, 45.6 micrograms of Vitamin K, and 223 micrograms of Vitamin A.
Understanding the ‘why’
Bok choy has minimal-carb content. Since the vegetable only has 0.8 grams of net carbs per serving, it fulfills a keto diet’s low carb rule. What are net carbs, you may wonder? Net carbs refer to the number of carbs in food that can be broken down for energy.
Since the food has low net carbs, the body is not able to derive its energy solely from its carb content, leading to the breakdown of fat for the purpose. This is why the answer of “is bok choy keto-friendly?” is a resounding yes.
The Bok Choy Way: How to eat it?
My next question after researching whether or not I can eat boy Choy on keto was to find out how to implement it in my keto diet. I usually ate the vegetable as part of a salad and was convinced I couldn’t continue this on my diet as the other items were not keto-friendly.
But, to my surprise, I found out that you can implement it in the form of a salad after all (just with the right ingredients). For starters, cucumber spinach mixed with bok choy salad was a perfectly healthy and keto-friendly way to enjoy the vegetable.
I soon discovered that this was just one of the many ways to eat bok choy.
What Bok Choy dishes are keto-friendly?
Is bok choy keto-friendly in all forms? Well, it depends on the seasonings used and the complementary ingredients that the recipe has. Here are a few bok choy dishes that are keto-friendly.
- A vegetable soup comprising of bok choy and keto mushrooms.
- Roasted bok choy sprinkled with garlic salt.
- Rice mixed with bok choy and arugula.
- Grilled keto chicken and bok choy.
- Roasted salmon with bok choy
- Bok choy stir fry with keto garlic and sesame oil.
The only way you can have bok choy on keto is when the food that you accompany is with are low on carbs too. Hence, mere research on the veggie is not enough. Instead, you must find out if all the ingredients are keto-friendly before cooking it. If they are not, try to find an alternate, that is!
What makes a food keto-friendly?
While bok choy is keto-friendly because of its low carb content, the amount of the nutrient itself is not a clear-cut signal of the keto friendliness of a food item.
Don’t look at nutrients alone
This is because merely looking at the nutritional profile of snacks won’t give you the complete picture. While it might mention that the food has carbs or fat in it, it won’t mention their type. For example, there are different types of fat, and trans fat, in particular, should not be consumed when doing keto.
Similarly, even if the carb content is low, but carbohydrates are derived from sources like maltodextrin, the food should not be eaten as it will boost your insulin levels. As I mentioned, it is the net carb intake that matters. And this isn’t something that a nutritional profile of an item will tell you.
Ingredients to be careful around
Instead, you need to dig deeper and research the ingredients and their sources. For example, here are certain components you need to maintain a safe distance from.
- Starch comes from thickeners, wheat, or grain.
- Sugar replacements include sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners.
- Highly processed vegetable oils, like those extracted from soybean or canola.
- Trans fat, including margarine and Monoglycerides.
- Sugar is granulated, powdered, or in syrup form.
All in all, is bok choy keto-friendly? It surely is! For people who love their leafy greens, I am sure this is a source of great comfort for you.
But, still, always make sure that you only eat bok choy in a keto-friendly way. Look for keto-specific recipes to ensure that you don’t mix them with something unhealthy. The tricky part about keto is that things that might otherwise seem beneficial can render the diet useless.
This is why, compared to other diets, you need to tread carefully. This is why I have documented all my findings related to what food options are friendly and which are not in several different guides. Whenever in doubt, do read those too!
Who knows, a little bit of reading might save your keto diet from ending due to a small misstep! I hope this may never happen. May the force (read: keto diet) be with you!
Click on one of these links below to find out more about keto-friendly foods!