One of the most common questions we get from our friends and family that want to start (or has just begun) the keto diet is: what do you do for snacks? People often think that going keto / low-carb means giving up their favorite snacks like chips, cookies, cereals and ice cream. But as the keto diet has gained popularity over the years, “keto-friendly” snack options have started to take over the grocery store shelves. We’re not complaining — we love a good cheese crisp and you could turn cauliflower into anything and we’d eat it. But over the years, we’ve started to take notice of some questionable ingredients being added to these oh-so-tempting snack alternatives. We’re here to break down some of the most common sneaky ones, so you can continue to make smart, healthy choices for you and your family.
Sounds exotic, right? Well, these oils aren’t the lovely kind of oils that we like to lather up with while sunbathing on a tropical beach somewhere sippin’ Mai Tai’s. Palm and palm kernel oils are common ingredients in processed foods. Keto or not, flip over your sweet treat or ice cream carton and you’ll likely see palm oil on the label. But the reality of these ingredients can be anything but sweet!
Tropical oils are cholesterol-free, but they’re also super high in saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fat have been shown to raise triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol. No, thanks! Also, palm oil has been linked to mass deforestation around the world.
From avocados to fresh fish, a keto diet is perfect if you’re looking for healthy fats. Sadly, tropical oils don’t fall into this category. The next time you see palm or palm kernel oil on the ingredients list of a keto treat, consider taking a pass to save your body AND the planet. Double win!
This sticky ingredient is a popular thickener in many processed foods (including some keto options). But did you know that this additive can cause some...shall we say, unpleasant symptoms?
Like many additives, xanthan gum acts as an inflammatory, and the impact can be less than yummy in your tummy. Treats containing xanthan gum can leave you feeling gassy, bloated, and experiencing other digestive issues.
That’s just the beginning of the story because xanthan gum can also upset the delicate balance of healthy bacteria in your stomach and even trigger allergic reactions. This impact might be even more severe in those with conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Definitely not our idea of a late-night treat!
You may want to break ties with this additive.
Carrageenan is a highly-processed additive extracted from Irish Moss, a slimy seaweed. Some seaweed-based foods are pretty great for your health, but sadly this bad boy isn’t one of them. Much like xanthan gum, carrageenan can leave your stomach feeling less than stellar.
Bloating and digestive issues might seem bad enough, but some studies suggest that carrageenan can trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and worsen bodily inflammation.
Preventing inflammation is a HUGE priority for many fans of the keto diet. It’s just too bad that an inflammatory additive like carrageenan can sneak onto the ingredients list of some keto food products.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll keep your eyes peeled for this slimy substance during your next trip to the grocery store.
You might recognize this synthetic sweetener from the bowl of sugar packets at your local diner, but we’d advise against tipping some into your morning coffee.
Not only is aspartame present as an artificial sweetener in some keto foods, but it’s also one of the most controversial sugar substitutes available today! Numerous studies have linked aspartame to headaches, migraines, cardiovascular disease and even more severe health issues if you can believe it. A simple search of aspartame studies will show you: some of the health risks associated with aspartame are truly scary.
With so many genuinely great sugar substitutes available for keto fans (including our personal low-glycemic favorite — xylitol), we’re gonna have to take a hard pass on aspartame.
Chances are, if you eat keto and low-carb food products, you’re likely consuming chicory root on a semi-regular basis. Chicory root stems from the dandelion family and is often used as a coffee substitute due to its bitter, woody and nutty coffee-like flavor. Because chicory root is low in carbs and high in fiber, it’s frequently added to keto snacks, bars, breads, and cereals to increase the fiber content and reduce the net carbs.
Chicory root is starting to sound like a superfood; how could it possibly be bad for you? Well, we’re starting to sound like a broken record here — but the claimed dangers of chicory root mainly center around gut and stomach pain — a contradictory statement from health experts that reason it’s beneficial for digestion. While chicory root is often said to help with inflammatory diseases, there are arguments from nutritionists, doctors, and consumers that say it does quite the opposite.
Ditch the bloat & say sayonara to chicory root.
Eating clean ain’t always easy — especially these days when sneaky ingredients make their way onto the ingredient label of our favorite keto snacks and treats. But we’re here to help you through this journey. Mammoth Creameries proudly makes the cleanest ice cream on the planet, 100% free of gluten, gums, stabilizers and other questionable ingredients like the above. If you’re looking for a sweet treat that won’t compromise your health, give us a try! You can find us in a store near you or order directly on our website.
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