Are packaged keto diet foods really ketosis friendly?

posted in: Enhancing Ketosis

This is a tricky question. Some of the largest keto food producers sell products we wouldn’t recommend, despite the “keto friendly” label. 

This is generally due to either sugar-free additives, such as sugar alcohols that have a high glycemic index (see “What are Net Carbs and why do they matter?”) or “carb hiding” by adjusting a serving size to hide the carbohydrates. 

The first one is very prevalent and is a little disheartening.  In fact, we recommend that no one use any “sugar free” products without carefully reading the label.

The three worse offending “sugar free” ingredients:

  • Maltitol
  • hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, or HSHs like polyglycitol
  • non-sugars like maltodextrin

Avoid all of these as much as you can.  Not only do these have a negative effect on ketosis, they can cause gastric discomfort and diarrhea (most sugar alcohols have this side effect, for that matter). 

Maltodextrin, on the other hand, has a high glycemic index (approaching, if not higher than, that of table sugar).  Even though it isn’t a sugar, it will kick you out of ketosis as easily as sugar would.

Never assume anything “sugar free” or “low carb” is actually keto friendly.  Keto dieters are a large market, and there are unscrupulous players trying to cash in on the ketogenic lifestyle by selling foods that don’t help, and may actually hinder, ketosis.  As always, buyer beware.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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