The “keto lifestyle” is becoming more and more popular which means many companies are trying to jump on the band wagon and take advantage of this by labelling their products “keto friendly” when they aren’t really keto friendly at all.
Currently there aren’t any specific laws around labelling foods “keto friendly” which basically means anyone can put it on their products. So while I always say “labels are our friends”, you need to make sure you’re looking at, and understanding, the details: the ingredients and the nutritional panel.
You probably already know which ingredients to stay away from – mainly grains (including oats and quinoa!) and sugar,(including coconut sugar, rice malt syrup etc) are the key culprits. Do some googling for more details.
Generally most people following keto suggest avoiding maltitol (a sweetener used in many sugar free and low carb products) because it can affect blood sugars which can affect ketosis (and it is considered unhealthy by many), however it doesn’t impact everyone. So apart from that, ingredients are pretty straight forward depending of course on what style keto you are doing (ie paleo keto, dirty keto, vegan etc). but the nutritional panel however can be very problematic.
Some people count total carbs and some people count net carbs (total carbs – dietary fibre – sugar alcohols).
It is important to be aware that the nutritional panel can vary from country to country. I think one of the most common issues is Australian versus US labels. The Australian “carbohydrate” line is already “net carbs”, meaning the dietary fibre has already been removed (even though you sometimes see the dietary fibre on a separate line). On US labels the carbohydrate line represents “total carbs” so if you are counting net carbs, you need to take the dietary fibre and any sugar alcohols off this total.
When following keto most people need to stay between 20 and 30gm of net carbs a day to stay in deep ketosis so keep in mind that so-called “keto friendly” snack that has 8gm net carbs may not be a great choice.
When it comes to “keto friendly” products, make sure you look closely to tell whether they are actually your friend after all.