Is Teff Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Ketogenic diets typically require some extra attention to what you eat. Find out whether teff is keto-friendly and what other options you have.

100 grams of cooked teff contain around 17.1 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber).

Since this is a relatively high number of carbohydrates, it is fair to say that teff is generally not keto-friendly.

In theory, you could fit in tiny amounts in certain diets while staying in ketosis. In practice, using so many of your daily carbs on such a small amount of food is likely not worth it.

Luckily there are a few somewhat similar substitutes for teff that are better for staying in ketosis.

Carbs in teff

The amounts of carbohydrates in foods like teff play a big role in whether they are keto-friendly and in what amounts.

100 grams of cooked teff contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 19.9 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 17.1 grams

If you take the carbs in the other foods in your diet into account, the extra 17.1 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of cooked teff will likely kick you out of ketosis.

One cup of cooked teff is about 252 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 50.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 7.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 43 grams

As you can expect, eating bigger amounts of cooked teff will also make it so you eat more carbohydrates.

Your portion size will still influence things a lot but as you will see from the keto fundamentals below, it will be hard to combine teff with reasonable amounts of other foods.

Other nutrition information teff

There are some food options that are somewhat high in carbs but also high in nutrients that are beneficial. This could make it worth consuming small amounts anyway.

To figure out whether this is also the case for teff, you want to look at the other nutrients in it.

100 grams of teff contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 101
  • Protein: 3.9 grams
  • Carbs: 19.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Manganese: 143% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 13% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 12% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the DV
  • Copper: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

The extra nutrients in teff are welcome but they are not that impressive either. You should be able to find foods that are more nutritious and more keto-friendly.

From a nutrition standpoint, it is likely not worth implementing teff into your ketogenic diet.

Carbs in cooked vs uncooked teff

All of the nutrients above were for cooked teff. You may also want to know how many carbs the uncooked version contains for purposes like cooking.

100 grams of uncooked teff contains about 73.1 grams of carbohydrates in total which includes 8 grams of fiber (2). This means about 65.1 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.

On the other hand, the same weight of cooked teff “only” contains 17.1 grams of net carbs (1).

You are likely not waiting to eat uncooked teff but it is worth mentioning that this is even less keto-friendly.

Why teff is generally not OK on a keto diet

As mentioned, foods like teff don’t always need to be keto-friendly to be able to fit them into your diet in small amounts. Understanding why this is can help you approach your keto diet in a smarter way.

You can consider any way of eating where you get and stay in ketosis to be a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a state where your body mainly burns fat as fuel (3).

To do this, you have to keep your carbohydrate intake below a certain level. Where this level is depends on details like your weight, muscle mass, workout habits, etc.

That being said, there are some general guidelines that are not perfect but do give you an idea of what ketosis takes and why teff is generally not OK on a keto diet.

A typical recommendation for someone who wants to get into ketosis is to consume 55%-60% of their macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

If you do the calculation, you will likely conclude that you can consume around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day (not including fiber).

With this, it should become clear that teff is typically not good for keto diets. Even just 100 grams is likely enough to kick you out of ketosis if you consider that you will eat other foods too.

Is teff injera bread keto-friendly?

A popular way to use teff is as an important ingredient in injera bread which is a type of flatbread.

100 grams of injera contain the following amounts of carbs (4):

  • Total carbs: 18.3 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.7 grams
  • Net carbs: 15.6 grams

While it is a bit lower in carbs than regularly cooked teff, injera bread is also not that keto-friendly.

Substitutes for teff on keto

Some of the main ways to use teff in the kitchen are as an ingredient for baking things or making some type of porridge.

You don’t have to remove these things from your keto life entirely. There are a few lower-carb food options that you can use in similar ways.

The numbers next to the teff substitutes are the amounts of net carbs per 100 grams of the flour (5, 6, 7):

  • Flaxseed meal: 0 grams of net carbs
  • Ground chia seeds: 10 grams of net carbs
  • Almond flour: 13.3 grams of net carbs

While they are not perfect either, you could consider using these types of flour instead of teff on keto. Keep in mind that you may still need to keep your portions limited.

Why do you follow a ketogenic diet?

By now it should be clear that teff is not a good choice for people who want to stay in ketosis. Even in small amounts, it is generally not keto-friendly.

That being said, for some popular goals of a ketogenic diet, this is not necessarily the end of the world.

First of all, there are some people that really need/want to stay in ketosis 24/7. These individuals likely still want to stay away from teff.

On the other hand, teff can still be decent/good for weight loss on health, even if they increase your carb intake too much to stay in ketosis.

A ketogenic diet can be helpful but it is typically not the only way to achieve the health goals above.

  • Total carbs: 19.9 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 17.1 grams

Related posts:

Is teff high in carbs?

100 grams of cooked teff contain around 19.9 grams of carbohydrates (including 2.8 grams of fiber). In turn, it is fair to say that teff is high in carbs.

Is teff a low-carb food?

100 grams of cooked teff contain around 17.1 grams of net carbohydrates. In turn, you can say that teff is not a low-carb food.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.