Ever feel like you need to be a chemist to read a nutrition label these days? Seriously Nutrition is Confusing AF and it’s not because you’re thick… There are just a lot of different ingredients going into our foods… and the science behind food technology has become as advanced as nutrition technology… except food technology advances are not always in our favour… a lot of times the ingredients that are developed to make foods last longer on the shelves may not have the same increased longevity effects on our body… go figure…
My name is Joe Rogister and I’m a nutritional Therapist and a founder of keto evolved… In this video we will give you the basic knowledge on reading labels so that you can rock a keto lifestyle… and as you spend more time with us you will learn heaps about how to protect your health and the health of your families… So please feel free to invite people to share this video with them, like this video, and subscribe to our channel for all the free resources you need to achieve everything you want with your health…
Now… Let’s start to make sense of some of the confusion surrounding what’s important (and what’s not) when you read a nutrition label on the keto diet.
Check out the Serving Size to avoid overconsumption.
While the serving size is pretty straightforward, it can often be overlooked. Sure, you picked up a snack that only has one carb per serving (yay!), but what exactly is the serving?
If you come across a bag that has a small consumption size or lots of servings per bag, proceed with caution – especially if you have the tendency to mindlessly snack. You could quickly max out your allotted carbs for the day and kick yourself right out of ketosis with that second handful.
Don’t stress about Calories too much.
As opposed to what you’ve probably been told to believe, calories don’t matter…
Just kidding, kind of… though it’s kind of true for keto. The number of calories (so long as it’s not something astronomical) won’t play much into the endgame of keto. So, bye-bye, 100-calorie packs!
Aim for high numbers in Total Fat.
Given keto focuses on high-fat, low-carb, you’ll be fine with really any foods with medium- to high-fat contents. That said, you’ll still want to look out for trans fats unless you’re finding them in grass-fed animals or dairy products. Otherwise, they could be harmful to you no matter what diet you’re following.
Keep Cholesterol concerns at bay.
The consumption of red meat, cheese, eggs, butter, and of course, bacon, will have the cholesterol numbers jumping out at you on nutrition labels. Never fear! Cholesterol is totally misunderstood and can actually be a good thing. In fact, 75% of the cholesterol in your body is made by your liver and your diet has little effect on cholesterol levels. So don’t fret over the cholesterol count as it’s bound to be higher on your favourite keto foods.
Stick with Sodium for keto flu-fighting benefits.
While other diets may steer clear of sodium, it’s important on keto as it’s a source of electrolytes, which can help alleviate the keto flu should you come to experience it. You should aim for about 3-5g per day and add some salt to meals when you can. You could even consider carrying around a salt grinder or salt packets to add sodium on the go!
Look closely at Total Carbohydrates.
Total carbs are arguably the most important part of the nutrition label to pay attention to. In general, most keto eaters keep their carb count below 20-40g each day.
There are two methods of counting carbs, total and net:
Counting using the total is pretty self-explanatory where the total number at the top is what you get.
For net carbs, you subtract the dietary fiber count and sugar alcohols (if any) from the total carbs to give you the net carbs of the food in question.
Regardless of total carbs and net carbs, you’ll always want to keep your sugar intake as low as possible.
Pick products with a moderate Protein amount.
Since protein isn’t really the focus of keto, you’ll want to keep your intake to a moderate amount, or simply keep it in line with your macros. If you’re not sure what your macros should be, some of these apps that we love have built-in macro calculators and make the keto diet even more manageable!
Glance at Additional Nutrients for valuable extras.
Time for the bonus round! Near the bottom of the nutrition label, you’ll see an assortment of vitamins and minerals that can be found in your food. Typically, these are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron. If you see products that list out Magnesium, Vitamin D, or Potassium, pick ’em up since they help boost the nutritional value of keto and can reduce the symptoms of the keto flu.
Ignore the Daily Value Percentages.
Now, for all those percentages in the side column. The assumed daily percentage breakdown is based on the diet guidelines listed in the footer, NOT in your own macros. The diet they’re based on isn’t anything close to the concept of keto at all, so ignore those numbers entirely and stick to your own macros instead.
But never ignore the Ingredients.
Read this part of a nutrition label carefully for keto! Anything that says sugar and that means anything with an OSE on the end like fructose or sucrose, honey, or syrup should be a red flag, though artificial sweeteners can sneak into your favorite products without you even knowing it. You should try to avoid or limit sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, neotame, saccharin, or advantame. Instead, opt for natural alternative sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, Erythritol, or Xylitol — here’s a full list of our favorites!
You’ll also want to look out for starchy fillers by avoiding the basics like corn, flour, oats, potato, quinoa, rice, soy, and wheat. Same as with sugar, starches can work their way into foods under other names, so also avoid ingredients like barley, bran, cornmeal, cornstarch, farro, millet, sorghum, and others.
Also my 2 least favourite insulin spiking ingredients for 2021… maltodextrin and maltitol… just avoid them.
When all else fails, stick to whole foods like low-carb vegetables, keto cuts of meat, or anything in our food list in our meal plan, our ultimate guide to keto or any of our rocking keto recipes! All free to our community… subscribe to us here and dm us on Instagram and we’ll hook you up with all the resources you need to get keto adapted…. Crush your keto goals and rock a keto life…