Ah, bread — so popular it has its own aisle in the grocery store.
There are multiple types of bread including wheat, rye, sourdough, pita, brioche, ciabatta, naan…you get the picture. When looking at the bread variations available today, there is no shortage. But is there low carb bread available among all those options?
What’s Wrong With Bread?
While freshly-baked bread might be hard to turn down, there are multiple reasons you should avoid it on keto.
While the exact macronutrients depend on the type, you can assume most servings of bread (two slices) run anywhere from 30-40 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fat and absolutely zero protein — not exactly ideal for a low carb diet. On keto, you should keep your daily carb count to roughly 5% of total calories. The percent daily values for protein and fat should be roughly 20% and 75%, respectively.
The high ratio of carbs to fat and protein causes bread to spike your blood sugar. This can cause insulin resistance, the root cause of diabetes[*]. While insulin resistance is not fully understood, there is strong evidence showing insulin resistance causes weight gain[*].
Finally, bread is a detriment to those with celiac disease and other autoimmune issues. Below, you’ll learn about gluten-free and keto bread options to use instead of regular wheat bread.
#1: Cloud Bread
Cloud bread (also known as “oopsie bread”), is an easy, gluten-free bread that’s light and airy in texture. This fluffy alternative to bread can be used as a burger bun, tortilla, sandwich or pizza crust. You should be happy about the nutrition facts: One piece contains just 35 calories, less than 1 gram net carbs, 2 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein. The fat comes from the cream cheese and whole eggs — powerhouses of saturated fat and nutrients.
Make it Yourself
There is a great recipe for cloud bread on this site, and you don’t need to be a great baker in order to make it. It takes less than an hour to prepare and requires just four ingredients (eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar and salt).
Separating the egg yolks from the egg whites is what gives cloud bread the light, fluffy texture. When you whip the egg whites at high speed with a hand mixer, a stiff peak forms — giving the bread its cloud-light texture when baked.
#2: Almond Flour Bread
Almond flour is an excellent substitute for regular white flour, and can easily be found in health stores or online on Amazon. Almond flour is an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium[*]. Plus, it contains 1.6 grams of carbohydrates and 1.6 grams of dietary fiber, resulting in zero net carbs[*].
Make it Yourself
Almond flour is the key ingredient used in our Perfect Keto Almond Flour Bread recipe. To make it, you will need almond flour, eggs, baking powder, olive oil, poppy seeds and a loaf pan. It contains just 4 grams of total carbohydrates, or 2 grams net carbs per serving. Plus, with five eggs used in just one loaf, it contains 7 grams of fat per serving.
#3: Coconut Flour Bread
Coconut flour is an ideal ingredient for any keto bread recipe because it’s so dense in healthy, saturated fats. Just two tablespoons of coconut flour contain 39 grams of fat[*]. Plus, coconut products like coconut oil and coconut flour are an excellent source of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), your body’s preferred source for converting fat into ketones.
Make it Yourself
While you won’t find a coconut flour bread recipe on this site, it is the main ingredient in these keto tortillas. Simply top one with your favorite ingredients for a keto-friendly wrap.
Coconut flour is an incredibly dense flour. To balance out the texture, most recipes will require an abnormally high amount of eggs within the ingredients list.
Pro tip: Coconut flour, because of its density, has a tendency to clump. When combining the dry ingredients, sift the coconut flour through a strainer to ensure an even texture in your recipe.
#4: Cauliflower Bread
Cauliflower has amazing health benefits. Cauliflower is rich in vitamins C and K. Our bodies aren’t capable of producing vitamin C itself, so it’s vital to add vitamin-C-rich foods into our diets to get all the benefits.
Cauliflower also has anti-inflammatory properties. Cauliflower contains beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and caffeic acid which all help fight off the damage caused by free radicals.[*]
Make it Yourself
Try out our recipe for cauliflower pizza crust. To make sandwich wraps instead of a crust, simply break up your dough into smaller portions, then press into circles on a baking sheet. You may need to adjust the cook time, taking your wraps out of the oven when the edges are golden brown.
Cauliflower contains a lot of water, making it a little tricky to cook with. The best way to use cauliflower in a low carb bread recipe is to microwave it first. Then, wrap the cooked cauliflower in a cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess moisture. Place a piece of parchment paper over a baking sheet to prevent your dough from sticking.
#5: Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce wraps may be the easiest low carb substitute for bread — and they yield the least amount of calories. Like cauliflower, lettuce is abundant in vitamins C and K. It’s also a rich source of folate, manganese, iron and potassium. Not only will you be reducing your carb intake, but you’ll be adding a significant amount of key vitamins and nutrients into your diet as well.
Make it Yourself
From a construction standpoint, romaine and iceberg lettuce both work great as wraps. Simply open one large leaf, then add in your favorite toppings. Layer together roasted turkey, tomatoes, onions and keto mayo for a healthy, low carb lunch wrap.
Use a Low Carb Bread Substitute on a Ketogenic Diet
There is almost always a keto substitute for your favorite comfort foods. If you’re craving sandwiches, French toast or your favorite deli wrap, these five options are the perfect low carb bread alternatives.
These low carb bread recipes taste just as good as normal bread, without the stress of abandoning your health goals. They won’t spike your blood sugar, cause insulin resistance or kick you out of ketosis. Your body will be thankful for the swap.
Steph is a writer, competitive weightlifter and nutritional consultant with a passion for health and wellness. She is the founder of The Athlete’s Kitchen, a website dedicated to providing its audience with articles, recipes and the latest nutritional information on their favorite foods.