Nutrition Labels and Keto: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

Keto Diet: Reading product labels to calculate carbs

Paying attention to nutrition labels can make the difference between success or failure on your keto diet. In this post I’ll explain why that’s the case, and how you can calculate a products “net carbs” to determine whether or not it’s right for you.

Many snacks claim to be keto, or “keto-friendly,” but one look at the nutrition label will clearly tell you that they are going to quickly kick you out of ketosis and possibly ruin your diet. Don’t automatically assume that just because a product is labeled “keto” that it will be a good choice for your specific dietary requirements.

Everyone’s daily total carb counts and goals will vary slightly. However, as a general keto rule, a person’s max carb count is what keeps them in that sweet spot of ketosis. Personally, I try to stay under 10 total grams of carbohydrates per day, so eating a single 10-carb “snack” would be my entire carbs for the day!

When reviewing a nutrition label you want to determine the “net” carbohydrates. This is different than the “total carbohydrates” listed on the nutrition label. To calculate the net carbs of an item, subtract the total amount (usually in grams) of fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates listed on the nutrition label. The result of your calculation is the “net carbs” of the product’s serving size – this is the number that matters when you’re doing your keto carb calculations.

For example, Boca Loca Keto Butter has 8 total grams of carbohydrates per serving. However, once you subtract the 2 grams of fiber, and the 5 grams of sugar alcohols, you’re left with just 1 net carb per serving. As a result, this is about as “keto-friendly” as it gets.

Once you’ve calculated the net carbs of the product it’s time to ask yourself whether or not you can “afford” these carbs in light of your goals and restrictions. Many times, for those on stricter keto diets, the answer is “no.” You’ll also realize that many of the products claiming to be “keto-friendly” are not even close.

Reading nutrition labels is one of the most important skills to develop when living the keto lifestyle. It’s important to do your research, pay attention, and know that you can do this!