Keto To Go

This article was originally published in Optimum Wellness, Summer 2019, p. 11

One of today’s major diet trends is cutting carbohydrates. This may be for weight management, improved fitness, mental clarity or to manage health issues, dietary intolerances or allergies. Among the low-carb eating approaches, the Ketogenic diet is getting the most attention this year as a new generation explores how to reduce carbohydrates to such a low level that the body burns fat for energy instead of sugar found in grains, starchy vegetables, fruit and sweets.

If this sounds familiar, it is. The Atkin’s Diet of the 1990s followed the same principle. In fact, it’s still possible to find Atkin’s products to support a low-carb eating plan. Atkin’s convenient frozen meals, snack bars and protein-rich shakes are readily available, as are new Slim Fast Keto meal shakes and snack bars. More recently, gluten-free and grain-free diets, paleo plans, and an embrace of good fats from grass-fed butter, coconuts, avocados and nuts are also fueling a broader interest in the many keto products appearing on grocery shelves.

New products that meet ketogenic diet requirements offer benefits to those not necessarily following that strict regime. Consuming less sugar, more protein and good fat is a goal for many. The sugar alcohols (xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol) and high-intensity sweeteners (stevia, monk fruit, sucralose) used in many sweetened keto products may be less appealing to some but the popularity of Halo Top, Enlightened, Breyer’s Smart Carb and other low-carb ice creams indicates broad acceptance by those eager for a treat that fits their eating plan.

For protein seekers, tasty, keto-friendly meat, cheese and egg snacks abound. EPIC offers portable meat bars, pork and venison bites, and meat sticks, all made from humanely raised animals. Southern Recipe Small Batch Pork Rinds are an updated version of the classic crunchy snack that comes in bold flavors including Korean BBQ and Blackberry Habanero. Bone broth now comes in heat-and-sip cups from brands like Nona Lim and in instant stick packs from LonoLife. Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Collagen powder can be added to smoothies for a quick nutrition boost. Peckish hard-boiled egg kits offer several seasoning pack options, upping the flavor experience of this everyday high-protein, low-carb staple.

Friendly and filling fat comes handily from a host of cheese, nut and seed foods. ParmCrisps and Sonoma Creamery Parmesan Crisps offer thin, crispy real cheese wafers that are also popular with gluten-free cracker seekers. Nut butters with low or no sugar also fit the bill as do Dang Keto bars made from almond butter, coconut and cocoa butter. Look out for pili nuts, a buttery rich nut from the Philippines, that are entering the keto snack space. Pili Hunter makes pili butter squeeze packs and seasoned sprouted pili nut assortments but the nut, which resembles Brazil and macadamia nuts, are delicious on their own. Koia Keto meal replacement beverages use coconut milk, MCT oil, and plant protein and fiber in its indulgent-flavored shakes.

 The keto diet isn’t for everyone but check out new keto products for nourishing ingredients that are packaged for easy nutritional access.

Kara Nielsen