Honestly, I wouldn’t say I liked chard at first. It was one of my close friend’s birthdays. There was a salad on the table made with chard, cucumber, lemon juice, toasted sunflower seeds, and many other things.
I found it not going with my taste buds at that time. Chard tastes bitter when you eat it raw. But it becomes mildly sweet after cooking.
Later, I realized that chard is a versatile vegetable. I mean, you can eat chard in many ways. How many ways can I eat chard?
You have to go through till the end to know this answer. But for now, I know there is another question about chard roaming among people. Is chard keto friendly?
I would not research it unless I became a fan of chard later. When I started keto, it became necessary for me to know. Read it because I am going to share it elaborately.
How Does Keto Works In Our Body?
Generally, on other diets counting daily calories is mandatory. Keto is not that strict. We agree that calorie tracking helps you maintain your diet correctly.
But in keto, you are not forced to count the calories of every food you eat. There is a reason behind it.
Keto is all about eating low carbs. It is not permissible to eat foods that contain high carbohydrates during keto. Now, what do low carbs do to your body?
Low carbs lower the appetite. Yes, that is true. Eating food that does not contain high carbohydrates helps you to remain hunger-free.
Thus, people are fond of the keto diet for rapid weight loss. But how does it work? Let me make it easier for you.
Your body already has stored carbs. Where is it stored? It is stored in your liver and muscles.
The stored glucose is called glycogen. We know glucose helps provide energy.
Suppose you are invited to a party. You have not bought any new dress for the party. Now, what will you wear?
You will wear something from your almirah. Your body also works the same. When you stop intaking new carbs, your body uses the stored ones.
I am sure you have heard the famous word ‘keto macros‘ somewhere. Macros are the short form of macronutrients.
Do you know about the keto macro ratio? It says that the overall calories you intake during the keto diet, 5% of that calories should come from carbs, 25% from proteins, and 70% from fats. This is how 100% of calories should be fulfilled.
Now, Let’s talk about chard. Chard can suit every meal. But is chard keto friendly? The first and foremost thing is to go through the nutritional facts.
Nutritional Facts Of Chard
Whenever you are in a dilemma about whether a particular food is keto friendly or not, remember the nutritional facts say it all. So, Let’s check about the chard:
Vegetables often have low carbs. Chard or Swiss chard is not different from that.
Dietitians recommend leafy vegetables for keto because of the lower quantity of carbs. Keto is not a complicated diet where you need to give up all the carbs from your meal.
You must limit your carb consumption to 20 grams to 30 grams per day. But it is better to be less than that.
1 cup or 175 grams serving size of swiss chard contains only 7.2 grams of carbs and 3.7 grams of dietary fiber. It is perfect for keeping you into the keto macros ratio.
Those who follow keto should also be conscious of protein intake after carbs. There is a common myth that you are free to eat protein as much as possible. But this should not happen.
The necessity of protein can not be described in words. It is beneficial for cutting down excessive body fat, making skin healthy and hair shiny, building muscles and bones, etc. But consuming more protein than necessary can throw you out of ketosis.
Excessive consumption of protein might be risky for kidneys. But it may not bring the risk for everyone.
The American Heart Association (AHA) forbids the intake of vast amounts of protein daily. They argue that it can increase cholesterol levels in the body and even cause a heart attack.
High-protein diets genuinely are not harmful to healthy people. But one should not continue for a more extended period.
However, keto is not about eating protein foods excessively. Experts say it is sufficient to consume 0.7-0.9 grams of protein per pound of your body weight on keto. Now you can measure and conclude your daily protein consumption.
Chard is a vegetable that is low in protein. The protein in chard is a plant-based protein. One cup or 175 grams of chard contains 3.3 grams of protein.
As I said before, chard is a go-to plant fitted with any other food. So, you can easily combine it with other animal proteins such as pork, beef, and even chicken.
If you have gone through the review so far, you are guessing chard is a keto friendly vegetable. But the fat thing can confuse you now. Don’t worry; I will make it clear to you.
First, let me reveal the quantity of fat chard contains. You will be astonished to know that one cup or 175 grams of chard has only 0.1 grams of fat. The USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture) nutrition database says 36 grams of Swiss chard contains 0.07 grams of fat.
After knowing the calculation of fat in chard or swiss chard, I see the question you are about to ask. Is chard keto friendly? Indeed I have the answer to your ask.
Fat is required for giving energy to your body when you are on keto. If you cut down fat, you will no longer be able to continue keto.
You have to prepare a meal for yourself by adding chard with other foods containing high fat. I forgot to clarify that it is only me who hates raw chard. But if you like the taste, you can add it to your salad.
Swiss chard is filled with vitamins like A, C, and K. Also, it is an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin D is absent in chard.
One cup or 175 grams of chard has 31 mg of vitamin C. You can be assured to eat chard on keto for high vitamins.
Potassium And Magnesium
Recent research has shown that potassium and magnesium are equally crucial in the keto diet. If you are maintaining a well-formulated keto diet, you must know that 3000-4000 milligrams of potassium and 300-500 milligrams of magnesium are recommended.
Fatigue is one of the most common difficulties for keto beginners. It can be for the lack of potassium in foods. I have seen people falling ill on keto and bound to take potassium supplements.
Have you heard the name ‘keto-flu‘? Symptoms of keto flu are extreme weakness, nausea, constipation problems, headache issues, etc. Keto flu can usually happen after the following keto for 2-7 days.
This keto flu happens because of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is crucial for a healthy immune system. It is also helpful for mental wellbeing.
Our body naturally can not make magnesium as much as we need. One of my friends felt like losing appetite while doing ketosis. Later, his doctor prescribed magnesium supplements.
One cup or 175 grams of swiss chard contains 961 milligrams of potassium. Also, one hundred grams of swiss chard contains 81 milligrams of magnesium.
I have seen so many cases of people feeling sick on keto because calcium decreases in the body with urine. People following a ketogenic diet for a long time usually face this. Foods containing high calcium are essential, or they can cause severe kidney disease.
Doctors suggest frequent kidney check-ups for people who follow keto for a long time. Keto maintainers should consume 1000 mg of calcium every single day with food.
It becomes easier to get calcium from foods during keto because mostly, foods that contain high calcium are lower in carbohydrates. To keep your kidney away from kidney stones and risk-free, you must eat calcium-rich foods. Moreover, calcium is also great for teeth and bones.
We think that calcium can only be found in dairy products or seeds. Little do we know that vegetables can also provide necessary calcium to the body.
Swiss chard is an excellent source of Calcium. One cup or 175 grams of swiss chard has approximately 100 milligrams of calcium.
Minus Point Of Chard In Nutrients
The only minus point of chard will be that it does not contain vitamin D. One hundred grams of chard includes 0 grams of vitamin D. So, overeating chard can be a reason for vitamin D deficiency.
Usually, keto maintainers are not at risk of low vitamin D., But Americans often find having this vitamin dangerously low. An adult should consume 1500-2000 IU of vitamin D per day.
Is Chard Fit For Keto?
From the above discussion, we can see that one cup or 175 grams of chard is low in calories, and total carbohydrates and have only 3.5 grams of net carbs which makes it a perfect fit for your keto lifestyle.
You can eat chard raw, cooked, or add it to your salads. I doubt if you eat chard raw. At least raw chard does not seem tasty to me. My neighbor once cooked a keto friendly dish called Chickpea chard pork.
It was so delicious that I took the recipe from them and tried it at home. The result came out amazing. All you need is some pieces of pork fillet, chard, chickpeas, fennel seeds, roasted peppers, and salt according to your taste.
Health Benefits Of Chard
As we are aware of the nutritional values of chard now, we can call this leafy vegetable a nutritional powerhouse. The Health benefits of this vegetable are also many.
As swiss chard is very low in calories, it helps rapid weight loss. One cup or 175 grams of chard has only 35 calories. However, the calories of a meal made with chard increase if you cook it with meat or fish.
Your brain health is maintained with swiss chard. Surprised reading this? Chard or Swiss chard can be a brain booster.
It also helps to decrease blood pressure and contributes to better heart health. Antioxidants and potassium are responsible for reducing stress in the cardiovascular system.
The presence of beta-carotene in swiss chard makes it beneficial for eye care. Moreover, swiss chard has biotin to make hair strong and healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of protein is swiss chard?
Swiss chard is a plant-based protein. So, vegan people who follow a keto diet can eat swiss chard without guilt.
2. Can I eat swiss chard daily?
Yes, you can eat swiss chard daily. But it would be best if you ate in moderation.
3. Can I eat swiss chard raw?
Of course, swiss chard is commonly used raw in salads. It tastes similar to spinach or kale.
4. Is swiss chard as healthy as spinach?
Though the nutritional values of spinach and swiss chard are different, there is no doubt that both are healthy. Calcium is higher in spinach than in swiss chard. Other than that, both contain vitamins A, K, iron, magnesium, etc.
5. Who is restricted from eating swiss chard?
People who already have any kidney disease or kidney stones problem should not eat swiss chard. This vegetable has oxalates and can prove to be harmful to them.
6. Can swiss chard cause a digestion problem?
Swiss chard is high in nutrients. Generally, it does not create any problems with digesting. But eating an excessive amount of swiss chard can cause an upset stomach.
7. Can I make any dish with swiss chard and chicken?
Sure, swiss chard goes well with chicken. Creamy garlic swiss chard chicken is my favorite one. You can also try the quick one-pot chicken and rice with swiss chard dish.
8. How to get rid of the bitterness of raw swiss chard in a salad?
Here is a tip from me. Add some vinegar, chopped garlic, and chopped sweet onions to your salad. I guarantee the bitterness will not be gone, but you will love the outcome and the taste.
Chard is someone from the beet family. It is also called leaf beet, stem chard, spinach beet, etc. The beautiful rainbow chard is a relative of the swiss chard.
There are many kinds of swiss chards: lucullus, bright lights, rhubarb supreme, charbell, perpetual spinach, barese swiss chard, oriole, etc. If you are a beginner in gardening and passionate about growing keto friendly vegetables, then swiss chard can be a perfect choice. It requires minimal care to develop and does not need much maintenance.
Another plus point is that it will produce new leaves once planted throughout the year. By the name, people misunderstood this leafy vegetable to be originated from Switzerland. It is actually from the Mediterranean.
This vegetable is typical for its versatility. Is chard keto friendly? Well, considering the nutritional values, of course, chard is keto friendly.