Here are five ingredients that you should absolutely avoid in a ketogenic diet. These ingredients are low in carbohydrates, so they are commonly found in foods that you might think are ketogenic. They are even found in products identified as KETO. Like snack bars, candies, low carb chocolates, … The problem with these ingredients is that they have an impact on insulin. Even though they are low in carbohydrates, they secrete more insulin than sugar. If you are not careful with these ingredients, you will come out of ketosis and you will not reach your health and weight loss goals .
Dextrose is a simple sugar made from corn. Corn should be avoided in a ketogenic diet, and so are sugar products. Dextrose is a monosaccharide and a natural carbohydrate and it acts like glucose in your body. Dextrose will raise your blood sugar levels, which could eventually lead to insulin resistance and prevent your body from increasing its ketone levels. Therefore, it is important to avoid products that contain dextrose.
The sugar white has a GI of 68
Dextrose has a GI of 100
IG: The glycemic index is an index specific to the food, which measures its ability to raise blood sugar, that is to say the level of sugar in the blood.
Other names used in the ingredient list
- Glucose powder
- Corn sugar
- Rice sugar
- Wheat sugar
- Grape sugar
- Dextrose monohydrate
- Lanhydrase dextrose.
Here are just a few examples of products that may contain dextrose:
35% cream like Lactantia and Nutrilait
Loose coffee creamer at Tim Horton or McDonald’s
Certain table salts
Dextrin is made from starches. Starches are complex carbohydrates made up mostly of sugar molecules. Dextrin is used in a ton of products on grocery store shelves, including soups, keto foods, and even baby food. It is mainly used as a thickening and preservative agent. Why avoid it, dextrin is a synthetic sugar. Regardless of the form, sugar is bad and not compatible with a low-carb diet.
Found in Krisda Chocolate Chips and LILY’S Sugar Free Chocolate.
Maltodextrin is made from starch sources like wheat, corn, potatoes, and rice. It is another of those ingredients that manufacturers use as a filler and preservative because it is cheap. You’ll find maltodextrin in products that you might think are ketogenic.
Here are just a few examples:
Stevia in the raw
Certain spice blends
It is truly surprising that this ingredient can be found in products identified as compatible with the ketogenic diet. Maltodextrin has an extremely high glycemic index. It sits over 110 on the glycemic index , which is more than sugar. This will obviously raise your blood sugar and bring you out of ketosis. Maltodextrin is metabolized faster than sugar.
The monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is found in food in Chinese restaurants, but also in many products found in the grocery store. This product is used by major food companies as a way to intensify your taste buds. This makes the food taste better than it actually is. This product allows food companies to increase their profits at the expense of food quality. MSG is also addictive by directly stimulating the production of serotonin in the body. Monosodium glutamate also increases insulin production by up to 300%. So even if you’ve given up on sugar, processed carbohydrates, and vegetable oils, you’re probably eating foods loaded with MSG that make you secrete a lot of insulins. MSG is found in thousands of products and hides under a different alias. Before I started the ketogenic diet, I had no idea how many seasonings and foods contained modified food starch (another name for MSG).
To avoid displeasing consumers who remain fearful of MSG, the industry is using a strategy to avoid listing it on ingredient lists. Here is the trick used: since glutamic acid is very present in food proteins, it is enough to cut these proteins to release the glutamate. For example, by hydrolyzing (cutting) soy protein, you get the flavor you want. We can then enter “hydrolyzed soy protein” in the list of ingredients and thus avoid writing the scary word: monosodium glutamate!
Other names used in the ingredient list
- Modified food starch
- Modified corn starch
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Sodium glutamate
Found in some cold cuts and sausages. Some seasoning mixes and commercial broths.
Tapioca fibers ( isomaltooligosaccharides ), more commonly known as IMO, are a starch-based syrup rich in maltose. Coming from sources such as corn or potatoes, IMOs are made up of short-chain carbohydrates, which gives them a slightly sweet taste.
Since IMOs are a sweet tasting fiber, they have become incredibly popular for protein bars, supplement powders, and the ingredients of several ketogenic products, but there is a catch: it is not real fiber and cannot be deducted from total carbohydrate.
Recent studies have shown that IMOs have a direct impact on your blood sugar (blood sugar level). Researchers found that subjects’ blood glucose rose rapidly after consuming IMO. At the end of the study, the researchers estimated that IMO had a glycemic index of 35. To put this in perspective, table sugar has a glycemic index of 68.
This means that eating a product that is said to be ketogenic-friendly and contains IMOs could kick you out of ketosis and make it harder to reach your goals.
Several bars identified as Keto for example: