There is a lot of conflicting data on whether cheese, nuts or coffee are ideal or acceptable for a ketogenic diet. So let me clear the air a little with some of my experiences and bring in a pinch of clarity and sanity to the issue.
SO are cheese, nuts and/or coffee harmful when taken while on keto? What are the impacts? Are there any specifications as to the quantities, if it ideal to take them? Are they diet friendly? Let’s review.
A lot of people will argue that eating cheese on a ketogenic diet is harmful. The assumption that by eating cheese you are prone to taking in additional carbs, which is not 100% true. Yes, cheese does contains carbs so as long as you don’t go over the carb limit, you’ll be good. The thing to be concerned about is most individuals have a sensitivity to dairy products (and don’t know it), due to the casein in them. So if you have dietary sensitivity to it, avoid it (many people who suffer from a keto diet stall should cut out cheese). Cheese can be a great source of fat soluble vitamins. Eaten in moderation therefore, cheese is ok.
Nuts should not be one of your major sources of fat in the diet. This is because they contain carbohydrates as well as phytic acid (are a pretty high in calories). Phytic acid absorbs essential dietary minerals such as magnesium which is essential for the utilization of vitamin D among many others. In moderation however, similar to cheese nuts are acceptable as part of your keto diet plan, taken as a snack, for instance. To avoid the phytic acid, you could soak or sprout your nuts but for most people on a ketogenic diet it’s not worth the effort due to the fact it a very small part of their daily intake.
Coffee & Caffeine
Biggest grey area in the world of keto. Coffee is engraved in our culture right from birth and it is very hard to let go of. So is it safe to drink coffee on a ketogenic diet? Is it ideal? The answer is yes, let me explain. Most people refrain from taking coffee while on a keto diet but there is no evidence to show that it is harmful or damaging to the dietary effects of keto. However, and this is very important for even those not on keto, the effects of too much caffeine or any other stimulant are usually very volatile. Stimulants work by inhibiting the action of ‘depressant’ hormones in the body such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. However when taken regularly and in large amounts they stimulate the action of those hormones. Long term consumption and these hormones can get fatigued among other issues. At this level of high intake of caffeine – it will affect your keto adaptation. So a cup a day will not hurt your success with keto.