The ketogenic diet has become quite popular recently. Studies have found that this very low-carb, high-fat diet is effective for weight loss, diabetes and epilepsy. There’s also early evidence to show that it may be beneficial for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases, too. ¹
A ketogenic diet typically limits carbs to 20–50 grams per day. While this may seem challenging, many nutritious foods can easily fit into this way of eating. You certainly have a selection of keto snacks, but are they really that good?
Enter baru seeds. They are non-starchy vegetables, with a very low net carb count, but high in many nutrients and healthy fats, which makes them a perfect fit for a ketogenic diet.
Baru seeds are high in healthy fats, and some studies suggest that baru may help protect against heart disease. It also has an optimal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio rarely found in other vegetables, a balance of healthy fats that many keto adopters strive to maintain. A study found evidence that baru seeds may help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Fibre can help you feel full and absorb fewer calories overall. That happens because your body doesn’t digest and absorb fibre like other carbs. And baru seeds have a lot of them!
Let’s look at their digestible (or net) carb count, which is total carbs minus fibre. 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of baru contain 7 grams of carbs. However, 5 of these are fibre, so its net carb count is only 2 grams. Having that in mind, baru seeds make great substitutes for higher-carb oily seeds, like cashews.
They’re also a great source of high-quality protein, which has been shown to help preserve muscle mass during a very low-carb diet.
On top of that, baru seeds contain massive amounts of Vitamin E antioxidants. They protect against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage.
So in a nutshell: one ounce (28 grams) of baru seeds provides 3 gram of fibre, 7 grams of protein, 8 grams of healthy fats and 35% of the RDI for Vitamin E.
They are also high in several important minerals, including potassium and magnesium, which many people may not get enough of. What’s more, a higher potassium and magnesium intake may help make the transition to a ketogenic diet easier.
Many ketogenic enthusiasts avoid lectins. These are specific plant-based proteins common in many well-known Legumes. Lectins could play a major role in gut inflammation and an individual’s inability to lose weight, according to Dr. Steven R. Gundry in his book The Plant Paradox. Baru seeds, however, have no detectable lectins, even though they are high in plant-based protein. ²
In addition to the absence of lectins, a recent study found that adding 20g baru to a normocaloric diet has a weight control and weight loss effect. This is mostly due to a synergy of its fibre, healthy fats and protein content on satiety.
For all this, baru seeds are quite possibly the best possible natural snack for keto enthusiasts if compared to other oily seeds and Legumes. Taking into account its high fat content, high protein, high fibre, low net carbs and lack of lectins, baru seeds are certainly the ideal keto snack!
2. TOGASHI, M.; SGARBIERI, V. C. Caracterização química parcial do fruto do baru (Dipteryx alata, Vog.). Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, Campinas, v.14, n.1, p.85-95,1994.