Dear URLife: Does a vegan keto burger have more calories than a regular burger?
A keto burger is lower in carbs than a regular burger, but how does it compare in calories? In this column, we tell you how the calories in a keto burger may differ.
Q. I have recently gone on a keto diet and want to know if a vegan keto burger will have more calories than a regular burger.
Dear Reader, It is difficult to give a blanket statement about which burger will contain more calories, as it depends completely on what ingredients you have used in your burger. The ketogenic or keto diet is high in fat, moderately low in protein and extremely low in carbohydrates, with only 5 to 10 per cent of your calorie intake being from carbs. So a keto burger is usually made by eliminating the white bread buns used in regular burgers, and wrapping the patty and fillings in pieces of lettuce or tomatoes, sandwiching the toppings between two patties or using low-carb bread-like cauliflower bread or almond flour bread.
For example, if you are using a paneer patty in your vegan burger, 100 grams of paneer (used per patty) will amount to 250 cals, the burger buns will contribute 170 cals, and along with the vegetables and continents, the total calories in the keto version of this burger would be around 450 cals.
When you make the same burger keto, you will have to replace the buns with the options I mentioned earlier, and increase the fat amount by putting on more vegan mayo or cashew butter in your burger. In the absence of the buns, the total calories will amount to 300 cals, which is obviously less than that of the vegan burger.
In a different example, if you want to change this vegan tofu burger into a keto one, the tofu patty will contribute 150 cals and the vegan burger would amount to 350 cals, but the keto version will be about 200-220 cals. If you are replacing your burger bread with almond-flour bread or cauliflower bread, the calories will go up to a certain extent, but obviously not as much as a regular burger as the keto diet calls for the reduction of calorie intake through carbs.
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Keep in mind, the calories in a keto burger are mainly from fat and protein, while those in a regular burger are from carbohydrates. If you are on a keto diet or planning to go on one, you should remember the following things:
1.You have be in ketosis to reap the benefits
If you are on the keto diet to lose weight, the aim is for your body to go into ketosis—a metabolic state through which you deplete your body’s fat reserves. One mistake a lot of people on keto make is that while they eat a high-fat diet, they do not eliminate carbs and protein sufficiently, and thus may not see the results that they wish to. You can test whether you have entered ketosis through blood or urine tests.
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2.The keto diet may not be sustainable for you in the long run
The ketogenic diet is often recommended for certain health conditions like type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, PCOS and epilepsy, and there is research to suggest that people suffering from these ailments benefit from the keto diet in the long run. However, nutrition is not one-size-fits-all, and whether you can sustain yourself permanently on a keto diet depends on how your body reacts to the diet. Cutting out important macros like carbs, or loading up on a diet of saturated fats could be detrimental for your body. Keto only allows protein to be 10 to 20 per cent of your daily calorie intake, which can cause you to lose muscle or fail to build them. The long-term effects of keto on people without health conditions have also not been studied extensively. So make sure to consult a registered dietician or nutritionist to understand what would be good for you, and pay attention to your body’s needs.
Answered by Shanti Reddy, a nutritionist who studied Nutrition and Genetics. She is currently on a path to educate people about the importance of consuming nutritious food, following a healthy and active lifestyle, and ways to plan and prepare healthy meals.