Who hasn’t heard of keto, the sexy fat-burning diet that’s been trending since last year? If you’re thinking of going strict keto or simply eating clean to detox, here’s a bite-sized primer on how it works, and what you should (and shouldn’t) be eating. For the experienced carb-ditchers among us, skip right down for keto-friendly food options in Singapore.
How Does The Keto Diet Work?
In a nutshell, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan for healthy weight loss. It may sound a little zany to burn fat by eating fat, but here’s how it works. Our bodies usually convert the unused sugar we consume into stored fat – cue those pesky love handles. By drastically cutting carbs, you induce your body to enter a state of ketosis, such that it burns fat – including stored fat – for energy in place of carbs.
Keto fans espouse this diet for its speedy and sustainable weight loss. Not only does reaching ketosis take a mere few days, the ketones produced in this state also suppress production of ghrelin, the hormone which signals hunger to your brain – that means fewer hunger pangs to test your resolve. Some studies have also shown possible links between the keto diet and healthier cholesterol levels.
What Do I Eat On A Keto Diet?
The keto meal plan is based around high-fat, protein-rich stuff like grass-fed meats, fatty fish, eggs, and nuts. You should get plenty of leafy green veggies on your keto plate, along with non-starchy veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers. Fat-rich dairy products like butter, cream, cheese, and yoghurt are also keto-approved.
On the other hand, these are what ketos veto: grains like rice, pasta, and bread, along with root vegetables like potatoes and carrots. Steer clear of beans, legumes, and most fruits, as well as alcohol. And it goes without saying that sugary stuff gets the axe too.
Keto-Friendly Food Options In Singapore
Carbs are everywhere, so dining out as a keto dieter can feel like picking through a minefield. Luckily for us, there’re more and more clean-eating concepts popping up, with well-labelled menus that take the guesswork out of keto eating. Here’s our roundup of the most wholesome keto-friendly restaurants, cafes, and even bakeries in Singapore that’ll have you keeping up with ketosis.
Restaurants and Cafés
Kitchen by Food Rebel
Kitchen by Food Rebel prides itself on using produce with no hidden sugar or preservatives – think fresh local greens, grass-fed meats, and organic nuts and seeds. For a breakfast of champions, check out the 3 Egg Omelette (S$6) or the Ultimate Breakfast (S$15) of beef, cage-free eggs, and avocado. And for a power-packed lunch, a Chicken Protein Bowl (S$19) or a Zoodle Beef Bolognese (S$18) is just the ticket. Check out our review here.
Kitchen by Food Rebel is located at 28 Stanley Street, Singapore 068737, p. +65 6224 7088. Open Mon-Fri 8am–6pm, Sat 9am–3pm. Closed Sun.
The Living Café
From refreshing soups to lettuce buns, The Living Café offers a plethora of raw food goodness for the low-carb diner. Keto-friendly picks on the menu include the Cauliflower, Almond & Mint Salad (S$22.50), a Middle Eastern treat tossed with fresh herbs and pomegranate, and the creamy Veggie Nori Roll (S$13.50), which comes with an optional meaty boost of free-range chicken or salmon.
The Living Café is located at 779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758, p. +65 6468 4482. Open Mon-Tues 10am–7pm, Wed-Fri 10am–8pm, Sat-Sun 9am–8pm.
You’ll find keto fuel aplenty at Plentyfull, where all dishes are made from scratch with wholesome ingredients like grass-fed beef and preservative-free produce. With a market table-style lunch spread to pick from, along with a juicy array of small plates like Charcoal Grilled House Bacon Cubes (S$10) and Grilled Prawns in Spicy Garlic Oil (S$14), it’s easy here to mix and match your proteins and fats. Check out our review here.
Plentyfull is located at 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-79/80 Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596, p. +65 6493 2997. Open daily 10am–10.30pm.
This Keong Saik eatery is big on clean, plant-based foods which give you that healthy afterglow. While you won’t get your meat fix here, you’ll find plenty of keto-friendly veggie options on the menu. The signature Afterglow Kimchi Avo Rolls (S$14) is filled with healthy fats like almond sushi ‘rice’ and avocado, while the Zucchini Linguine with Walnut ‘Minced Meat’ (S$20) will satisfy all your carb-less pasta cravings.
Afterglow is located at 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131, p. +65 6224 8921. Open Mon-Sat 12pm–10pm. Closed Sun.
Hans im Glück
Get naked with bunless burgers at Hans im Glück. This charming burger hotspot is known for its beefy, delightfully messy burgers, which you can have on sourdough, multigrain bun, or sans bun if you’re ditching the carbs. Pack in the good fats with the Avocado beef burger, topped with aged cheddar cheese and luscious avocado cream, or the Sommernacht, dripping with brie and grilled vegetable tartare.
Hans im Glück has outlets in Vivocity, Raffles Place, Boat Quay, and Orchard Road. Click here for more location info.
Bakes and Snacks
Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it keto? Singapore’s first fully keto bakery, Seriously Keto, offers a wide range of delicious yet diet-friendly bakes, made with almond flour, Swerve sweetener, and French butter. The result is KetoBuns (S$8.90 for 2) with a perfectly fluffy texture, luscious zero-sugar cupcakes in flavours like red velvet, and even Thai iced tea (S$6.50) which hits the sweet spot.
Seriously Keto is located on 32 Seah Street, Singapore 188388, p. +65 9838 4047. Open Mon-Sat 10.30am–6.30pm, Sun 10.30am–2.30pm.
Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes
With Delcie’s keto-friendly sweet treats, you hardly need mourn your ex- sugary loves. This confectionery whips up nutty ice-cream cakes with a carb count of only 7g, along with a scrumptious range of cookies and chocolate bars. Delcie’s even does a healthy interpretation of the beloved Ferrero Rocher, with the Vegan Keto Rochers Chocolate Gianduja Balls (S$60/16-piece box).
Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes is located at Blk 34 Whampoa West #01-83, Singapore 330038, p. +65 6282 2951. Open Tues-Sun 11am–8pm. Closed Mon.
Recreating something as light and fluffy as Japanese cheesecake seems impossible without regular flour and sugar, but Kekito Bakery pulls off this feat perfectly. Its specialty Japanese Yuzu Cotton Cheesecake (S$32-S$95) is a featherlight concoction of low-carb flour and natural sugar substitutes, weighing in at only 1.3g net carbs per slice. You can also indulge in a matcha-flavoured version, or the heavier, creamier Original Rare Cheesecake (S$46-S$79.50).
Kekito Bakery is located at 809 French Road, Kitchener Complex Mahota Kitchen, Level 3, Singapore 200809, p. +65 8774 7237. Open daily 10am–9pm.
Snacking is almost synonymous with high-carb unhealthiness, but BenBanter is trying to change that. This keto-powered snack brand offers an incredible spread of grain-free and sugar-free crackers, bars, and granola. Crunch down on their zingy Keto Cheese Puffs (S$35 for a box of 10) or Cayenne Pepper Seeded Crackers (S$11.50) the next time your diet-killing cravings strike.
SuperPop’s mission is to get you popping the good fats with nutrient-dense, sugar-free snacks and desserts. Decadent delights include the Goldenspice Chia Pudding (S$6.80) and the Intense Choc Fudge (S$6.80), a velvety fudge ingeniously made from avocados and cocoa butter. Pizza lovers can even put together your own pie with their almond-flour Cheesy Pizza Base (S$12.90). Check out our interview with SuperPop founder Clara See here.
SuperPop products are available online.
Top Image: Plentyfull