Can The Keto Diet Work For People Who Are Gluten-Free?

The keto diet has become one of the buzziest eating plans around, even surpassing well-known diets like the Atkins diet and intermittent fasting in terms of the number of Google searches (via Bolst Global). The reason for its popularity may boil down to its effect on the body.

According to Healthline, the keto diet centers on ketosis, a metabolic state where the body burns fat for energy. By following keto eating habits — that is, by filling your plate with fat-rich foods and keeping carbs to a minimum — you're more likely to enter ketosis. The benefits of ketosis can include weight loss, appetite control, and even seizure prevention in people with epilepsy, per WebMD.

However, the keto diet is known to be restrictive, making it difficult for some people to follow. This is especially true for those who already have dietary restrictions, such as needing to follow a gluten-free diet. Thankfully, people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or who don't consume gluten for other reasons can still adopt a keto diet.

Many keto-approved foods are also gluten-free

A keto diet focuses heavily on consuming fat, which comprises around 55% to 60% of the diet's macronutrients, according to a StatPearls article. Protein takes up around 30% to 35% of the keto diet, and carbohydrates are the most limited, making up only around 5% to 10% of the diet's macronutrients.

Because of these limitations, keto meals often include meat, seafood, dairy, oils, nuts, and some low-carb fruits and vegetables (per Healthline). These foods overlap with many of the naturally gluten-free food groups recommended by the Celiac Disease Foundation. However, many gluten-free grains and starches, such as corn and potatoes, aren't suitable for a keto diet.

To follow a ketogenic diet while remaining gluten-free, Carb Manager suggests following a "clean keto" plan that loads up on whole, nutrient-dense foods — think leafy greens and fish, not processed and packaged snacks. But when you're really craving bread, sweets, or pasta, the keto resources website Ketogenic recommends looking for keto, gluten-free versions (be sure to check the label carefully!) or making them yourself with almond or coconut flour.

If you've cut out gluten due to celiac disease or another health condition, this may influence your food choices more than strict keto guidelines. If you struggle to adhere to a standard keto diet, try a gluten-free "lazy keto" diet instead. According to Healthline, this way of eating requires less calorie and macronutrient counting, while still limiting carbohydrate intake.