Following a keto diet is not easy, may it be steering clear of your favorite fast food or determining which food options are permissible and which should be avoided when on a keto diet.
One such confusion revolves around farro, is farro keto?
Farro rules over the Mediterranean diet, which is an eating practice seldom endorsed and approved by healthcare practitioners. Since it is labeled as one of the world’s healthiest diets, is farro keto?
Most certainly not. Farro’s nutty flavor, ease of preparation, adaptability to multiple cuisines, and chewy texture make it one of the most versatile and widely liked food options worldwide. Still, all of this does not necessarily make it keto-friendly.
Let’s delve deeper into the world of Farro to find a comprehensive answer to “is farro keto?”
What Is Farro?
Farro’s an ancient whole-grain wheat grain known for its high protein and high fiber qualities. Like barley, farro holds a chewy texture after being cooked; thus, barley and farro are used interchangeably in many recipes.
Farro is, however, a wheat grain and contains gluten. Like several other grains looking to make a comeback in modern American kitchens, including freekeh, Kamut, and kaniwa, farro is also considered an ancient grain that has remained virtually unchanged over the last several hundred years.
Therefore, farro is different from the modern and highly processed grocery-store wheat and its products, which have undergone cross-breeding and genetic manipulation to augment profits and production.
What Does Farro Taste Like?
Farro possesses a nutty flavor and chewy texture with cinnamon undertones, making it highly suitable for soups, salads, and sides. It is widely used as a base for cuisines that layer flavors, including protein bowls. It also takes on the essence of a sauce or a dressing.
Chefs enhance their nutty flavor by toasting these grains in a dry skillet until they become golden and fragrant, after which they are cooked in liquid.
Is Farro Keto Friendly?
The Keto diet is a low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein consumption. It allows you to lose weight by helping the body stay in the state of ketosis.
A high-carb diet prompts the body to produce both glucose and insulin, which causes the body to consume glucose and store the fat instead of burning it.
When following a keto diet, the body stays in the state of ketosis and burns fat as a fuel source in the absence of carbohydrates.
So, is farro keto friendly?
Unfortunately, no. Farro is not keto-friendly because it is high in carbs and may kick you out of ketosis even after consuming a small serving size.
Let us look at a few reasons why the answer to “is farro keto friendly?” is a big no.
High In Carbs
Farro contains a large number of net carbs: about 60 grams of net carbs per 100 grams serving. Keto diets restrict the net carb consumption from 20-30 grams per day to stay in the ketosis state.
Therefore, farro should be avoided on a keto diet because of its carb-rich nature. You can look for other grain alternatives low in carbs instead.
Low In Fat
Farro is low in fat and high in carbs, or the exact opposite of the macros requirement on a keto diet.
The ideal macronutrient ratio on a keto diet is 20-25% protein, 5-10% carbs, and 70% fat. Thus, the majority of your food options should be high in fats but low in carbs.
Ghee, avocado, and salmon are suitable examples of food options high in fats and low in carbs.
Minimally Processed but High In Carbs
Although farro is minimally processed, which is a plus point in keto diets, it is exceptionally high in carbs. Therefore, it is not suitable for a keto diet.
It is crucial to keep in mind both the ingredients and macros of the foods you consume to attain healthy weight loss on keto.
Farro: Nutritional Profile
|Iron||4% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||15% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||20% of the RDI|
|Zinc||15% of the RDI|
Keto-Friendly Farro Alternatives
Let us look at a few keto-friendly alternatives to farro that have a low net carb count. You can also calculate the net carbs in any of your food options yourself through the following equation:
Net Carbs: Total carbs – Fiber
The type and amount of the following low-carb, keto-friendly grains you include in your diet will primarily depend upon the strictness of your low-carb diet.
Old-fashioned steel cuts oats are always the way to go when it comes to keto diets. A quarter cup of uncooked steel-cut oats, or about one cup of cooked oats, holds the following nutrition count:
|Net Carbs||23 grams|
Oats may not be a suitable grain option for you if you are following a strict keto diet: even a half cup of oats can cut off a considerable portion of your daily carb allowance.
It is advisable not to opt for instant oats, no matter how great of a time-saving option they may seem. Instant oats are highly processed, removing several of the grain’s nutrients, including fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins.
Oats are also naturally gluten-free and can be used in various recipes, some even savory ones.
Quinoa is an excellent low-carb alternative to farro and is also gluten-free. It is popular with vegetarians because it contains higher-than-average protein content.
The nutritional profile of a half cup of cooked quinoa has the following nutritional profile:
|Net Carbs||17 grams|
The use of quinoa in the cuisine world is versatile: it can easily be added to salads to give them a protein, fiber, and texture boost. It is also an excellent alternative to high-carb grains for people following a keto diet.
Rye lacks in popularity in the culinary world but is heavily packed with vital nutrients. Rye bread is the most popular choice among keto dieters to include rye in their diet.
The nutritional profile of one slice of rye bread is as follows:
You can also use rye as a scrumptious and nutritious base for avocado toast or any other sandwich.
Bulgur is a versatile low-carb grain that you can add to quinoa, rice, and even your morning oats.
The nutritional profile of half a cup of cooked bulgur is as follows:
Bulgur’s net carb count makes it one of the most keto-friendly and low-carb food options for keto, and is a great option if you wish to boost your grain intake without compromising on your carb consumption.
Although millet is relatively lower in fiber, it is low in carbs and a suitable keto-friendly option. Nutritional profile of half a cup of cooked millet is as follows:
Millet is easily available in markets as a packaged grain blend and makes a suitable stand-in option for rice or breakfast cereal.
Although not relatively nutrition-rich, couscous falls at the lower end of the carb count scale. The nutritional profile of cooked couscous has the following nutrition count:
Be it a salad or stuffed squash, you can count on couscous to spice things up for you!
Wild rice is similar in nutrition to couscous but contains relatively more amount of fiber. The nutritional profile of half a cup of cooked wild rice is as follows:
Wild rice is a keto-friendly substitute for plain old brown or white rice, only nuttier and denser!
Suitable in protein content, spelt is a good choice for people who want to consume fewer carbs but try new whole grains options. It is also readily available in the market and can be used in several salads, dishes, and other food options.
The nutritional profile of half a cup of cooked spelt is as follows:
You can also make spelt bread using this keto-friendly whole grain. If you buy pre-made spelt bread, make sure to check the nutrition label and ensure that it contains water and whole spelt flour as primary ingredients.
Although the exact numbers may vary, the nutritional profile of one ounce slice of spelt bread is as follows:
Barley is another versatile low-carb grain rich in fiber content that can keep you full even if its protein content cannot. You can not only use barley to make soups and salads, but it also serves as an excellent side dish, such as a stand-in for risotto.
The nutritional profile of half a cup of cooked barley is as follows:
The unfortunate answer to “is farro keto” is a big no, but you can stir up your keto meals by using any of the above-mentioned low-carb, keto-friendly farro alternatives!
Once you are done enjoying the several recipes and scrumptious cuisines you can make with such low-carb whole grains, come back for more tips and tricks on losing weight healthily when on a keto diet, and have fun in the process!
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below to learn more: