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Hangry Feb 2, 2020 Ultra-processed “keto” products

In re-launching my cable TV show (“Char Can’t Cook” becomes “Char Can Cook Keto”), I joined a “Keto for Beginners” Facebook group to see what kind of topics they might like explored.

What first struck me was the wide variation in expertise, from quite sophisticated to “What’s a good cornbread recipe?” (Um, no).

The second thing that struck me was how many Keto-branded processed foods they were buying, at places like Aldi and Costco. At first, I was jealous: my small northern town does not have stores that stock “L’Oven Fresh Keto Friendly Zero Net Carbs Bread.”

But wait a minute, Chelsea Malone tells us the ingredients are: modified wheat starch, water, wheat gluten, wheat protein isolate, oat fiber (chicory), vegetable fiber, wheat bran, soybean oil, yeast, vinegar, salt, and preservatives (calcium propionate, sorbic acid).

In a review of the bread from Lisa Freedman: “Simply put: We can see why keto folks like this bread so much! The slices aren’t dense or dry like lots of other options out there. In fact, they’re the opposite — light and moist! (Sorry.) They’re both a little chewy (in a good way!) and the Multiseed has real seeds and a sweet, nutty flavor. The slices are a little smaller than most conventional bread, and the whole wheat is smaller than the multiseed, but it’s still bread! For keto dieters!

“Which brings us to our next point. We’ve gotten a few emails from you guys, so we wanted to take a minute to discuss whether or not these loaves actually count for the keto diet. ‘The bread advertised as keto friendly is not. Whole wheat is not keto. Keto is no grains, starches, sugars or preservatives,’ one reader writes. ‘Keto is not about just low carb, and that bread is loaded in wheat, flours and more. It’s anti-Keto, but yes, low-carb,’ says another reader.

“We hear you! Whether or not the bread is keto-friendly really depends on how strict of a keto follower you are.”

Hoo boy. There’s a lot of nonsense out there.

Another misguided piece of advice is “Don’t buy anything in a package, bottle or can, just shop the exterior aisles.” Okay, I am not pressing my own olive oil.

What I have learned on my LCHF journey is to stop buying things — rice, pasta, bread — and cook whole foods from scratch. That’s not what Commerce wants, though: it wants you to buy this (instead of that) simply by (mis) labeling it as Keto-friendly or Low Carb.

Here’s another Doozie I found:

Walden Farms – BBQ Sauce – Honey – 12 oz

Ingredients: Purified triple filtered water, tomato paste, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, oat fiber, apple cider vinegar, cellulose gel, salt, soy sauce, minced onion, natural flavors, natural spices, sun dried tomato, xanthan gum, propylene glycol alginate, maltodextrin, cayenne pepper, potassium sorbate and sucralose.

Nutrition Facts: Per 2 Tbsp : Calories 0, Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 180 mg (%), Carbohydrate 0 g, Fiber 0 g, Sugar 0 g, Sugar Alcohol 0 g, Protein 0 g.

Who knew tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and minced onion had no calories?  Not me.

Here’s the ad for it on Amazon: “Walden Farms Calorie Free Ketchup has a rich natural tomato flavor made with California sun ripened tomatoes, pureed onions, lemon juice, crushed garlic, apple cider vinegar and more

  • Best quality product
  • Sugar Free
  • Calorie Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Calorie Free
  • No Carbs”

If there’s a Keto-friendly light, fluffy bread and a Low Carb sweet, tasty BBQ sauce, maybe there IS a Keto-friendly cornbread recipe out there, too. Or, hmmm, that might to be too good to be true.

Amazon. From

Freedman, L. (2019.) “We Tried Aldi’s Now-Famous Keto Bread (and Looked into Whether or Not It’s Actually Keto).” From

Malone, C. (2019.) “Aldi Bread: Is It Really Keto-Friendly?” From


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