The (in)famous keto diet
Keto: famous or infamous?
So what’s this keto diet everyone’s talking about? Can you lose weight with it? Is it healthy? And should Europe get another Soylent keto shake, made by Queal? Let’s get to the bottom of this!
Let’s start with the basics here. A keto diet (ketogenic diet) is a low-carb diet, mostly used to lose weight. Because the body is deprived of sugar, it starts burning fats and using ketones for energy. Products you see in this diet are basically the ones high on fat and/or protein, and low on carbs. These include most forms of meat and fish, eggs, cheese, and for the fans: the avocado suits the diet perfectly as well.
Originally used to treat epilepsy in children, the keto diet has rapidly become one of the most popular diets to lose weight. It seems the diet scene is changing it’s focus from fat to carbs. Even in the meal replacement world, the keto diet has made its appearance. At Queal we regularly find people requesting a keto shake. Let’s get into it!
Does it work?
Multiple studies show the low-carb diet induces at least as many weight loss as a low-fat diet. Sweden’s Council on Health Technology Assessment even concluded low-carb diets are more effective at reducing weight than low-fat diets, over a short period of time (six months or less). These results don’t lie. It seems the keto diet is very much related to losing weight, but is it healthy?
One of the most commonly referred downsides of the keto diet is the so-called keto flu. No temperature rises though, just a few tiring symptoms. These include fatigue, headaches, a cough, sniffles, irritability and nausea. The keto flu is a reaction of the body getting used to a low-carb diet. When switching diets, the body needs to readjust to the use of fat as a source of energy. This process is more commonly known as keto-adaptation.
One of the main causes of keto flu is the lack of electrolytes in the body. These include nutrients like potassium, magnesium and calcium. Amounts are dysregulated by the keto-adaptation. Most keto diets advise either electrolyte supplements or choosing foods high in electrolytes. Coconut water, for example, is a natural source of calcium, sodium and potassium. Be aware of the amount of sugar the manufacturer may add, though!
Another health issue is ketoacidosis. Being this low on carbs results in most of the body’s energy coming from ketone bodies. These are the alternative source of energy for when carb amounts are low. While ketone bodies are acidic, the body can regulate normal amounts. Prolonged exposure can overwhelm the body though, resulting in ketoacidosis. This happens most in diabetic patients when deprived of insulin, but may also result from a ketogenic diet. The result is a drop in pH of the blood. While diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening situation, ketoacidosis in non-diabetic people (nutritional ketosis) is of no considerable danger. This is because even the slightest amount of insulin triggers a feedback loop preventing the ketone level from getting too high to cause damage.
There are substantial differences in determining whether the overall effect of a low-carb diet is healthy or not. Studies go from promoting the diet’s effect on health to outright stating it’s dangerous. There is no medical consensus on whether the long-term effects are harmful or not.
A few other producers of powdered foods seem to be all over the keto diet. A few well-known brands are Keto Fuel, Keto Chow and KetoSoy. Like Queal, they have a focus on providing you with all nutrients you need. The main difference is the keto shakes are low on carbs and have a higher amount of electrolytes to counter keto flu. Also, Keto Fuel, for example, is customisable. By adding oil, the amount of calories is customisable from 1200 to 2500 a day. This makes it suitable for both weight loss and regular diets.
Keto Fuel is lowest in carbs (5%), followed by Keto Chow (8%) and KetoSoy (15%). Like Queal, they are all powder-based and need an addition of water. However, the keto shakes require adding oil (and cream as well for Keto Chow) to your shake. With Keto Fuel and Keto Chow, this is not included in your order. You have to buy it separately.
Keto & Queal
We are also looking into the possibility of a Queal Keto Shake. Health, especially, is really important to us. We want to make sure our shake would be healthy, and not just focused on losing weight… and we want to make it as convenient as possible, which means: no oil! When researching, we came across some medical alternatives of the keto diet as well. KetoCal from Nutricia, for example, is a nutritionally complete medical keto diet, which uses no oil! Since we know it’s possible, this would be an important feature of the Queal Keto Shake.
Well, what do you think? Should Queal go more into depth on the effects of a keto diet and research the possibilities for a keto shake? Would you be interested? After all, we’re here to help you create a stable diet and improve your life! Leave a comment or add your email in the form below, we’d love to keep you updated and hear your opinion.
Sadly, we are not going to make a keto shake. We have given it a lot of thought and have come to this conclusion.
2 reasons. First of all we found the market wasn’t big enough to invest in a product like the Keto shake. While we want to help as many of you with a healthy diet, a product would have to be profitable for us to keep up the production, of course. Second reason is the fact Queal’s products focus on a balanced and complete meal. While a Keto shake has proven to be quite a good way to lose weight, it is not a complete meal due to the lack of carbs. This is, in our opinion, too far away from the values of our company.
We apologise to those of you who were interested. Of course, we still offer Queal Lite, combining a complete nutrient profile with less calories. We hope our products still satisfy your needs and will continue to do so in the future.