The keto diet is no doubt the new kid in town. Everyone from celebrities, gym enthusiasts, and athletes down to the average Joe is jumping on the keto bandwagon. From helping you lose weight to keeping you healthy and even treating epilepsy in children, the diet is famous for all the right reasons.
Ideally, the ketogenic diet revolves around the high fat-moderate protein-low carb principle. Rather than using glucose, the body burns fat for fuel when in ketosis. The problem? Keto can get boring real fast. If you don’t focus on variety, you can drop the ball sooner than you expected. One of the keto superfoods harvested from industrial hemp farms is hemp hearts. They are nutritious, low in carbs (obviously) and highly beneficial to the body. Walk with us as we attempt to expose hemp hearts for a ketogenic diet.
What Are Hemp Hearts?
If you frequent the nuts and seeds section of the grocery store, you already know what hemp hearts are. For those who have never come across this superfood, these are the little edible interiors derived from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp is basically a plant that shares the same species with marijuana, also known as Cannabis Sativa. However, unlike marijuana, hemp contains undetectable levels of the high-inducing component THC.
Hemp hearts are used to add spice and flavor to a number of dishes. It is a wonderful source of protein and that’s why it is a major ingredient in many protein smoothies. These little beauties are also packed with fiber, vitamins, iron, and calcium.
Is It Good For Keto?
Absolutely! According to USDA, hemp hearts contain 25% protein, over 20% fiber and a total of 9 essential amino acids. Based on these findings, one ounce of hemp hearts contains 9 grams of protein, two grams of fiber, and 12 grams of fat. In addition, it contains 20 amino acids that the human body is incapable of producing.
Hemp is not only high in natural fats and proteins, but it is very low in carbs and calories. It can help you feel satiated for longer periods of time.
What Are The Benefits Of Hemp Hearts To The Body?
Offers a mix of nutrients: Hemp hearts are excellent sources of every good nutrient for your body. This includes protein, micronutrients (zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, thiamine, manganese, and vitamin E), fiber, and healthy fats. If you are low in any of these, consider adding hemp hearts to your diet.
Promotes a healthy heart: Due to its rich nutritional profile, hemp seeds can help keep your heart in perfect health. A healthy beating heart excels in a diet rich in less-sugar, more natural fats, and more plant-based proteins. Regular consumption of hemp hearts along other whole, nutrient-dense, fatty foods is a perfect recipe for a happy heart.
Lowers blood pressure and obesity: Hemp seeds are also high in Gamma-Linoleic acid (GLA) responsible for creating prostaglandins (chemicals utilized by the body to regulate body temperature and inflammation). Any food containing GLA helps keep obesity, heart disease, and blood pressure at bay.
How to Use Hemp Hearts in Your Ketogenic Diet
There are a variety of ways to add hemp hearts to your ketogenic diet. Here are a few suggestions:
As a salad: When combined with other keto-friendly ingredients, keto hearts make a hearty salad. If you are looking for a Mediterranean feel to your salad, mix a generous serving of hemp seeds, some parsley, garlic, salt, olive oil, and sprinkle some lemon juice over it. The sour taste of the lemon and the sweetness of the hemp will definitely blow your taste buds.
As an oatmeal alternative: If you are looking for something new and delicious to help kickstart your day, try switching your oatmeal for a bowl of hemp hearts.
Breakfast parfait: What’s better than downing a bowl of seed delight before heading out of the door in the morning? A mixture of flax, chia, and hemp seeds is a perfect trio for a lazy morning. Serve it with your creamy plain yogurt, fresh blueberries, and crunchy granola topped up with organic agave syrup. The flavor and nutrition in this dish is enough to take you throughout the day. After all, hemp hearts are extremely filling.
Milk and cheese alternatives: Hemp can also be made into milk and cheese. If you are lactose-intolerant, this superfood is a perfect milk and cheese alternative.
Can be added to smoothies: Finally, hemp hearts can be blended into a smoothie along with other ingredients such as banana, blueberries, and oatmeal. When you don’t feel like cooking, grab your blender and throw in your hemp seeds and your classic smoothie ingredients.
The main concern people have over making hemp hearts a part of their diet are positive drug tests. The prevailing belief among people, even nutritionists, is that hemp and hemp-infused products may result in a positive drug test. However, we already established that hemp contains less than 0.3% of the high-inducing component THC. With such low, undetectable THC levels, hemp seeds shouldn’t be able to trigger a positive drug test.
Unfortunately, things aren’t always as they seem. The cannabis industry (including hemp) is still highly unregulated in the US, and hemp hearts you bought in your local store might contain higher traces of THC. A higher intake of THC in your diet will surely, over time, result in a positive drug test. Therefore, it pays to read some tips on how to pass a urine test before the need arises. Also, make sure you purchase your hemp hearts from a reputable store to ensure that they contain the appropriate levels of THC.
In case you’ve been wondering if hemp hearts fit into the ketogenic diet, now you know where the truth lies. Next time you go grocery shopping, be sure to buy plenty of hemp hearts and get creative with them around the kitchen.