Note: I am not a medical professional, doctor, scientist nor am I a ketogenic diet expert. The goal of this post was to educate myself and reflects my personal opinion, not the opinion of Cocoburg LLC as a whole. I did my best research and fact-checking for accuracy. Take all of this information with a grain of salt, and do what feels best for you! For more information, please read our full disclaimer.
Our customers have been asking about whether our Coconut Jerky can be a keto-friendly snack. For some answers, I turned to health/fitness coach Matthew Tamasi - keto extraordinaire - for the 411 about the ketogenic diet and how Cocoburg fits into the mix. First some background... Matt teaches individuals how to master the four pillars of health: nutrition, fitness, stress management, and sleep so they can improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Some of the fitness goals he specializes in are - lose weight and build muscle on a whole real food diet, lower stress and improve mental health via incremental lifestyle changes, improve sleep quality and recovery so you can feel refreshed each morning and reduce your caffeine intake to increase natural energy without sacrificing performance. Our vegan coconut jerky boasts an impressive, clean ingredient list and a number of health attributes - low carb, high fiber (6 g), paleo, soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, organic and (KETO?!?!). Grab a bag here! What the h$%& is the ketogenic (keto) diet? Simply put, the keto diet is a high fat, low carb diet which puts the body into a state of ketosis. Ketones, are substances made when the body breaks down fat for energy. The process of ketosis metabolizes fat to provide energy, meaning you're burning fat, as opposed to carbs. (Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD an excerpt from Baum, Isodora. "The Pros and Cons of Going Keto." Popsugar Fitness, 26 Jun. 2018, https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Pros-Cons-Keto-Diet-44104824) My first question for Matt was pretty simple...
Meg: "Is Coconut Jerky keto?"
Matt: "A standard daily macro ratio for a keto diet is 0-10% of calories carbs, 15-30% protein and 60-75% fat. A person's carb limit depends on their weight, height, activity level and a few other factors. Generally people stay within the 15-30 grams of net carbs range (NET CARBS = total carbs - fiber) to stay in ketosis."
Meg: "Let's do the math."
Chili Lime Coconut Jerky 9 g carbs - 6 g fiber = 3 net carbs
Matt: "Since your snack is high in fiber your serving ranges from 3-5 net carbs (depending on the jerky flavor). 5 net carbs is on the high end for a keto snack based on the carbs to calorie ratio. The average person eats anywhere from 1500-3000 calories per day depending on their size and activity level. If your carb limit is 20 grams (average for 1,500 cals a day keto diet) or 30 grams (average for 3,000 cals a day keto diet) then consuming 17%-25% of your carbs in a Cocoburg snack, which is 4-9% of your daily calorie intake. This would mean you have to be strict with your carb count the rest of the day to not kick yourself out of ketosis."
Meg: "What benefits have you noticed from following a keto diet?"
Matt: "(1) Elevated Brain Function - ketones can be neuroprotective in the short term by boosting mitochondrial function, which can lead to increased mental performance. (2) Stabilized Blood Sugar - eating a low carb diet reduces blood sugar levels and in turn can improve insulin sensitivity. (3) Fat Loss - when in ketosis, your body is metabolizing/burning fat at a high rate to produce usable energy in the form of ketones. (4) Consistent Energy - on a high carb diet your energy swings are dictated by the rising and falling of insulin levels. A low carb diet keeps you more consistently energized."
Meg: "Is the fat/protein ratio becoming a bigger part of the keto diet?"
Matt: "Most people have protein make up a moderate amount of their caloric intake (20-30%). In regards to the ratio, people are concerned with too much protein converting to glucose via gluconeogenesis, therefore knocking them out of ketosis, but I've found this to be overstated and not an issue."
Meg: "What's the relationship between MCT's and ketosis?"
Matt: "MCT's are definitely useful in keto. They can quickly be converted to ketones - the shorter the fatty acid chain the quicker they are broken down. Studies have also shown they have a thermogenic effect when digested, which can improve metabolism."