Can I Eat Just the Pizza Toppings on Keto?

Can-I-Eat-Just-the-Pizza-Toppings-on-Keto

Pizza Toppings on Keto

Maintaining a keto diet often means giving up some foods that used to be our favorite, but that might not have to include pizza. Obviously, the traditional high-carb crust isn’t compatible with a keto diet, but can you just eat the pizza toppings instead?


Many standard pizza toppings like mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes are all Keto-friendly. It’s important to be mindful of added sugars in the pizza sauce, but if it is homemade or you trust the brand, then you can also enjoy the sauce.


So how can you devour these delicious toppings, while still getting the full experience of a saucy, cheesy slice of pizza? We’re going to dig into some of the best keto-friendly pizza options out there and make sure that your diet doesn’t stand in the way of you and some ‘za.

keto-friendly-pizza

What Makes Pizza Toppings “Keto-Friendly?”

Most pizza toppings, like many mentioned above, are primarily fat and protein, and offer very little in the way of carbs. Because pizza toppings contain mostly fat and protein and minimum carbs that's why it's considered keto-friendly.


While the diet isn’t standardized, many popular recommendations “suggest an average of 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein.” Below is a table based on an average 2,000 calorie daily diet, detailing what those percentages mean in grams.


Fats

70% - 80%

165 grams

Proteins

10% - 20%

75 grams

Carbohydrates

5% - 10%

40 grams


A keto diet requires careful attention to each meal and strict adherence to the numbers. There are plenty of online trackers and apps to help the avid dieter stay on track. The table below should help you get an idea for how various pizza toppings fit into the keto diet with their relative fat, protein, and carb quantities based on numbers from eatthismuch.com.


Topping

Grams of Fat

Grams of Protein

Grams of Carbs

Pepperoni

12.2g

6.4g

0g

Italian Sausage

7.1g

13.5g

1.8g

Bacon

3.5g

2.9g

0.1g

Green Peppers

0.2g

1g

5.5g

Onions

0.2g

1.3g

9g


What Makes Pizza Incompatible with the Keto Diet?


keto-diet-pizza

As you can see from the table above, the meat toppings are far more keto-friendly, than the vegetable counterparts. It is definitely best to stick to the fatty meats, like pork and beef, when trying to maximize your intake.

The primary culprit keeping pizza off the plates of keto dieters is the standard pizza crust. Your average pizza crust is made with water, salt, white flour, and yeast. The white flour alone bumps the carb content way up and almost immediately out of the question.

The crust alone of a single slice of pizza could contain more than 30g of carbs, not including the cheese or toppings.

Thin crust pizza options may be lower in carbs than the standard alternative, but even a single slice of thin crust pizza could have around 20g of carbs per slice. The best bet when it comes to enjoying keto pizza, is to steer clear of any crust made like bread dough.

The other big thing to look out for is your pizza sauce. Pizza sauce generally is higher in carbs than standard pasta sauce due to some added sugars. To feel confident in your sauce, either make it yourself, avoiding adding sugar, or be sure to carefully check the label of a store-bought sauce.


What Are Some Keto-Friendly Pizza Crust Options?

A popular keto-substitute is cauliflower. Other popular pizza crust options involve using vegetables as your crust, such as zucchini or Portobello mushrooms.


Low-carb diets have soared in popularity in recent years, which has fortunately led many chefs and companies to pioneer tasty, low-carb alternatives to bread, crust, and doughs. While the safest bet is still to make your own at home so you are confident of the ingredients, you can find many keto-friendly alternatives in the grocery store these days.

A popular keto-substitute is cauliflower. Cauliflower is low in carbs and highly versatile. Clever chefs and bakers have figured out ways to use it as a substitute for rice, potatoes, bread, pancakes, and thankfully pizza crust! This recipe from Food Network is simple enough for any home chef and sure to keep that diet on track.

Other popular pizza crust alternatives involve using other vegetables as your crust, such as zucchini or portobello mushrooms. After topping off this adjusted pizza with sauce, cheese, and fatty toppings, you’ll fall in love with it in no time!


eating-slice-pizza-keto-diet


Will Eating a Regular Slice of Pizza Ruin My Keto Progress?

The short answer is no, but it is a bit more complicated than that. A single slice of pizza on the rare occasion shouldn’t completely ruin your keto progress, though it may take you out of ketosis, resulting in a tough few days while you get back in.


Ketosis is the state when “the body uses primarily fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.” This state is achieved by first forcing the body to burn off all the stored carbohydrates, then continuing to minimize the introduction of new carbs to the body. The entire diet is designed to keep your body in ketosis and maximize the burning of fat.

By eating a full carb slice of pizza, it is possible that you will push your body out of ketosis. Depending on just how far you push your body out of this state, it could take a few days of work to get back into. So be careful when considering that single slice for your cheat day.


Where Can I Get Keto Pizza?

Keto friendly pizza is offered by "Blaze Pizza". For Canadian folks "Pizza Pizza" is the choice . "Papa Murphy's" offer crust-free keto pizza. Depending on where you live it may be easier or more difficult to track down restaurants with keto friendly pizzas.


It wouldn’t be fair to say that it is “easy” to find keto pizza options everywhere, but with a little bit of work it can be done! Most notably, the nationwide pizza chain Blaze officially offers a low carb pizza crust that has just 6 net carbs. Find your nearest Blaze pizza to try it out!

Canadian readers or travelers can enjoy a slice of low-carb crust at the Canadian pizza chain Pizza Pizza. This Toronto based chain offers keto friendly crust options, with specialized menu items loaded up with toppings perfect for maintaining that high fat, low carb balance.

Papa Murphy’s offers their “crust-free” pizza. This keto friendly option is similar to a burrito bowl where the cheese, sauce, and toppings are loaded into a bowl to be eaten with a fork or spoon. While not exactly pizza, it may be more appealing than simply picking toppings off a pizza and tossing out the crust, and definitely less wasteful.

Depending on where you live it may be easier or more difficult to track down restaurants with keto friendly pizzas. Larger urban areas will likely offer some more options than smaller rural areas. Independent local pizzerias may have more to offer to Keto dieters than some of the big chains, so be sure to check out your local pizza shop and see what they have going on!

Going Keto Without Giving Up Pizza:


keto-diet-pizza-weight

Any major shift in diet should be run by a physician before committing to it to ensure your health. That being said, if you choose to try out the keto lifestyle, you can still enjoy all the delights that pizza brings, albeit with a few modifications.

It may be a bit more difficult to go out with friends and split some pizza than it used to be, but by paying careful attention you can still participate. Try to find restaurants that offer alternative crust options like cauliflower, zucchini, or at the very least a thin crust.

In the worst-case scenario, you can still enjoy the fatty meats and melty cheese from any pizza. Keep careful track of your daily intake and you should have no problem knocking back a handful of pepperonis or crumbled sausage, all covered in melty mozzarella cheese. The safest pizza of all though, is definitely one you make from scratch.

Will Diet Coke Kick Me Out of Ketosis?

Diet Coke and Ketosis:


diet-coke-ketosis

Keeping a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. And starting a new diet is even harder.  On the keto diet, staying in ketosis is key.  A keto diet is stringent, and finding a keto-friendly drink that still quenches your thirst can be difficult.  Looking at many zero-calorie options, it is hard to determine which low-calorie option is best for you.


Diet coke will not kick you out of ketosis. The key is making sure that the diet beverage you are consuming is not only zero calories but low carb as well. Calories are not necessarily the main thing you want to pay attention to when maintaining a keto diet.  Net carbs are one of the most important things to key an eye on.


It is important to monitor your intake while on the keto diet.  There are many factors to consider.  Mainly, you want to make sure that your body stays in ketosis (fat-burning mode).

 Keto is a lot less restrictive than you think, and it all comes down to keeping track of what you eat and making sure you do not consume too many carbohydrates.

is-diet-coke-keto-friendly

Is Diet Coke Keto Friendly?

Diet Coke, and many other diet or low-calorie drinks, are keto-friendly.  The key to staying in ketosis is limiting your carbohydrate intake to between 20-50 net grams a day.  There is a huge difference between normal carbohydrate levels and net carbohydrate levels.  Our bodies need carbs.  They cannot run without them.  Keeping in the above-mentioned range will optimize fat burning with little effort. 

Calculate net carbs:

To calculate the net carbs for a certain food, you would take the total carbs listed on the nutrition label and subtract the total amount of fiber from the listed carbs.  That number will be your total net carbs.  For example:  Carbs 6; fiber 3 = 3 total net carbs.  Once you get this down. Determining what you can and cannot consume while on the keto diet will become much easier.  It is all about the science!


glucose-diet-coke

The Glucose Relationship Between Diet Coke and Ketosis

When you consume anything, it is processed by your pancreas, which then produces insulin and ketones.  After you eat, your pancreas produces more insulin, and in turn, it starts to hold your fat in storage. 

When you are not eating, it does the opposite, and insulin is not being produced, and your body goes into fat-burning mode.  So, the more insulin you create, the higher chance you have to gain weight. Some sweeteners used in diet sodas can cause your body to produce insulin.

Glucose:

Insulin monitors the release of glucose and ketones into your bloodstream as well.  Glucose is used much like fuel.  When you are not eating, the glucose in your blood reduces to a healthy and optimal level, and then begins to use your fat store as fuel and starts burning fat.

The artificial sweeteners in diet coke or any diet soda can inadvertently cause a spike in your insulin, disrupting the entire fat burning process. It is not common, and the occasional diet coke will not kick you out of ketosis, but this should be that—an occasional beverage.

Alternative Beverage for a Keto-Friendly Diet


alternative-beverage-keto-diet

There are SO many beverages that are keto-friendly.  Once you know the science behind the keto diet, determining what you can and should not consume becomes much easier.  Here is a quick list of beverages that are keto-friendly:

  • Vitamin water zero
  • Powerade zero
  • Sparkling water
  • Any diet or zero-calorie sodas (in moderation)
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Coffee – unsweetened or with calorie and carb friendly additives
  • Low or zero carb energy drinks
  • Flavored water (crystal light, etc.)

These are just a generalization of what you can and cannot consume while maintaining ketosis.  The best and number one drink will always be water.  But sometimes, we need a bit more, and water just does not cut it.  That is where this list comes in.  If you had a long day and need something a bit stronger, there are a few ‘keto-friendly’ alcoholic drinks as well!


Is Diet Coke Good or Bad for Your Health? 

When switching from regular soda to diet, you are giving up about 150-ish calories per can.  That is a lot of empty calories! A diet soda a day or two is not necessarily healthy or unhealthy.  It is a better alternative than regular soda, that is for sure.  At this point, no health studies are showing that it is bad for you. 


Diet soda does correlate with slight weight gain over time, but again. Nothing linking it to any serious health issues.   Diet sodas overall are not healthy beverages.

Fake Sugar:

 Most sources would consider diet soda unhealthy.  Not only are the ingredients in a diet soda not good for your body, but the 'fake sugar' can also cause hunger.  So, on top of putting chemicals into your body, these chemicals will make you want to consume more calories/carbs.  So essentially, you end up replacing the calories you would consume with a soda with a snack.


coke-quantity

How Much Diet Coke Is Too Much?

Moderation is key.  You can have too much of a good thing.  The same goes for diet coke.  Overall, any diet drink is ok in moderation, but are not good as a regular staple in your diet.  


The point of a keto diet is not only to burn fat and become lean and healthy, but also a complete lifestyle change.  It is a change to keep yourself healthy and well.  Any kind of soft drink is not necessarily healthy.

Being on the keto diet, you need to maintain a lot of different levels.  Drinking a large amount of diet soda can have negative health effects over time.  A certain amount will not necessarily kick you out of ketosis, but it is not necessarily a good idea to drink it all day, or every day for that matter. Do not forget to keep in mind your end goal.

Some Interesting Facts About Diet Coke

Often, we do not know a ton about the food or beverages that we consume.  Knowing what we put in our bodies is important and something we should be mindful of.  Here are a few interesting facts and statistics you may have not known about diet coke:

  • Because diet coke lacks real sugar, it causes your body to crave real sugar.
  • Artificial sweeteners in coke can trigger insulin production and can cause your body to go into fat storage mode, creating the opposite effect most people want from drinking a diet soda
  • Some diet sodas are made with 2% of your daily sodium and potassium intake.
  • The recipe for diet coke is a completely different recipe from regular coke.  They do not alter the recipe but use a different one altogether
  • The artificial sweeteners in diet soda are known to cause headaches

While diet coke may taste good, there are a few things to keep in mind when consuming the beverage.  As noted above, there are other alternatives that may be a better option.

Keto diet drinks:


cold-drink-and-keto

Diet coke, coke zero, diet Pepsi - all these drinks are keto-friendly. Although they will not kick you out of ketosis, they are not healthy to consume all day or long term. At times they are good for a ‘guilty pleasure’. Diet soda can be a good substitute for regular soda or to satisfy a sweet craving.  Although it should not become a normal staple in your diet. Overall, most healthcare providers will warn that diet soda, even with no calories, are worse than regular sodas. 

Is Dragon Fruit Keto Friendly?

is-dragon-fruit-keto-friendly

Is Dragon Fruit Keto Friendly?

Fruits are a tricky one when it comes to what is and what isn't keto-friendly. What we typically look for are foods that are very low in net carbohydrates. Fruits can be a bit all over the place when it comes to their macros. If you're reading this, you're wondering if the dragon fruit is something you can eat on the diet.

Here's the answer:

Dragon fruit is not keto-friendly. A single 6 ounce serving of the exotic fruit contains 17 grams of net carbohydrates. So, if you are on the lower end of carb consumption for the diet, it can be easy to go overboard with this fruit.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this juicy treat is out of the question for those watching their carb intake. Even if you snuck one on a cheat day, the rest of the day would likely be blown. If you'd like to learn more about why we've come to this conclusion, and a few keto-friendly fruits, read on.


dragon-fruit-keto

Reasons Why Dragon Fruit Is Not Keto Friendly:

While the dragon fruit is far from the worst thing you could eat on a ketogenic diet, it is still a bit too high in net carbs per serving to be used as a regular snack. On its own, the white and black speckled flesh of the dragon fruit is a rather nutritious food with a decent amount of fiber per serving and even a little protein. 

Curious about dragon fruit nutritional stats? Look no further:

  • Serving size: 6 ounces
  • Total fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 0 grams
  • Total Carbohydrates: 22 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 5 grams
  • Sugar:  13 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams 

(Nutrition facts are taken from Pitaya Plus Dragon Fruit Frozen Cubes)


So, with total carbohydrates at 22 grams, after we subtract dietary fiber of 5 grams, that leaves us with 17 grams of net carbs per serving of dragon fruit.

Micro-nutrients:

Micro-nutrients are pretty decent as well, and the fruit is a good source of Magnesium, Iron, and Vitamin C. The macros aren't the worst, but they are a little low in value to be considered part of a ketogenic diet, especially if your target is around 20 grams of carbohydrates per day.

 

keto-diet-fruits

What Fruits Are Good for a Keto Diet?

Typically, we think of fruits as sweet foods, and sweet foods often mean that they are chock full of those pesky carbs. But we all get those cravings for a juicy piece of fruit, especially after a good run or session in the gym.

What are some of the best fruits that won't knock you out of ketosis? Let's take a look.

  • Watermelon
  • Berries
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe
  • Starfruit
  • Kiwi
  • Cherries
  • Clementines

Watermelon


keto-diet-watermelon

If you want something juicy and sweet, it's hard to beat a good slice of watermelon, especially when the temperatures are up and the sun is shining. 

Nutrition Value in watermelon:

They've got around 11 grams of net carbohydrates per cup of the sweet pink flesh. So, you get to eat more of that juicy goodness compared to dragon fruit and not have to worry quite so much about going overboard. But, as most of us can attest, it is pretty easy for one slice to turn into two...or three.

Berries


keto-diet-berries

Many berries are reasonably safe bets if you're looking for a fruity snack. Because of their size and relatively high nutrient density, they are a keto-friendly way to feel a bit naughty and not ruin your hard work. Raspberries come in at 3 grams of carbs per half-cup, blackberries at 4 grams, and blueberries at 9 grams. They are great for a handful-sized snack or blended into that high-fat protein smoothie.

Peaches


keto-diet-fruit-peaches

A medium-sized peach has around 13 grams of net carbs. That's not bad for a whole fruit. While it is still pretty high and should be treated as a treat, a peach can be a good option if you're willing to pay extra attention to the rest of your carbs for the day. Did someone say peaches and cottage cheese? Sign us up.

Cantaloupe


keto-diet-Cantaloupe

You might not be that excited to read that the cantaloupe is a low net carb fruit. Few people have ever been excited to eat this type of melon, but it is a decent option. But, if you're new to the diet, eliminating processed foods and added sugars can make a good slice of cantaloupe taste like the sweetest melon you've ever eaten. They've got 11 grams of net carbs per cup, making them non-obtrusive to the ketogenic lifestyle.

Starfruit


star fruit-keto

Also known as the carambola, the starfruit is an interestingly shaped fruit with a sweet-and-sour flesh. They might not be available year-round in your area, but they are one of those fruits that you might want to snatch up when you see them in the grocery store bins. With 4.3 grams of net carbs per cup, these Southeast Asian fruits are a treat worth having for keto folks. They're also rich in vitamin c, potassium, and copper, making them a worthwhile treat that is easy to manage within your limit for daily carbs.

Kiwis


kiwi-fruit-keto-diet

Kiwis are those weird, brown, hairy fruits with glistening green flesh. You might be familiar with the flavor, but you might not be familiar with the fruit itself. One kiwi contains around 8 grams of net carbs. Said to taste like a cross of mango and strawberry, the humble kiwi is an excellent choice for a fruit snack on those days where you just can't resist. If you're confused about preparing and eating one of these odd-looking fruits, know that you can eat the skin. Just bite into the thing like an apple. The skin is high in fiber, so it is well worth eating, especially on keto, where every gram of fiber counts.

Cherries


cherry-keto-diet

Half of a cup of cherries will run you about 8 grams of net carbs. That's not bad for a snack. There is one thing we've learned, though, when it comes to eating cherries. They are hard to put down. Half a cup is one thing, but if you're just snacking, spitting pits, and going back into the bag, it can be effortless to go overboard. Fast. So, while cherries are rich in antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory, watch out for that carbohydrate creep when you get to snacking.

Clementines


clementines-keto-diet-fruit

One little clementine has about 9 grams of net carbs. They have a decent amount of fiber despite their size, so they are an ok option for a fruit snack. But again, since they are so delicious, easy to peel and eat, these little hybrid oranges can be a dangerous temptation and quickly push you over your threshold for the day. Since they have their own easy to peel wrapper, they are easy to throw into a pocket or bag when hunger strikes. Pair that with a handful of macadamia nuts, and you're good to go.

Recap:

While we are sad to learn that dragon fruit isn't the best thing to stay keto-friendly, we are happy we could show you some options that aren't going to ruin your hard-earned ketosis. So long as you're careful. Like most treats, it can be easy to go overboard, even if that means just one more clementine orange or half of a cup of blueberries. So, eat fruit with care, but rejoice to know that you don't have to cut it completely.

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