There’s a myth that prepackaged foods and shelf-stable goods can’t be healthy. And that’s because reading the ingredients labels on most of them feels like a chemistry lesson.
From added sugars, sugar alcohols, and artificial sweeteners to fillers, bulking agents, and harmful seed oils, these highly-processed and chemically-derived ingredients hide in even the healthiest-seeming options.
None of them actually fuel better performance or optimal health. So let’s talk about why you should avoid these:
Every ingredient you eat should pull its weight and contribute to your health and wellness goals. The ingredients in this roundup fail on both fronts:
While avoiding “sugar” on an ingredients label is easy, this villain goes by56 other names. You’ll probably recognize the classics like sucrose, fructose, glucose, and high fructose corn syrup. But then there’s:
High sugar consumption is linked with weight gain, obesity, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and more.[*] But reducing your sugar intake with a keto diet could prevent or reverse these conditions.[*][*]
Food manufacturers began synthesizing chemicals into intensely sweet substances as more people got wise to sugar’s dark side. These artificial sweeteners are cheap flavor enhancers commonly found in sugar-free and “diet” foods:
Sugar alcohols are both super popular and highly polarizing in the low-carb and keto world. Because they’re not entirely absorbed in the digestive system (like fiber), many people subtract them from their total daily carbs. Others believe they definitely count.
Sugar alcohols are a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in certain fruits and vegetables (and can also be produced through industrial processes). They’re neither sugar nor alcohol in the traditional sense but hybrids containing both types of molecules.
The most common sugar alcohols include xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, isomalt, and lactitol. Sugar alcohols are most infamous for causing digestive discomfort (bloating, gas, pain, and diarrhea).[*]
The new darling of keto products, allulose is sometimes referred to as a “rare sugar” because it occurs in nature in tiny quantities (in figs, raisins, and maple syrup, for example). However, most of today’s commercial allulose production is derived from the fructose found in corn.
Our bodies do not fully metabolize allulose; it’s absorbed but eliminated largely unchanged. So low-carbers like to subtract it from their total carbs like fiber.
Soluble fibers dissolve in water and break down into a gel-like substance during digestion. They typically help bulk, retain moisture, and add a smooth, creamy texture and mouthfeel to packaged foods. It sometimes also adds sweetness. Since they behave like fiber, many people subtract them from their total carbs.
Soluble corn fiber is derived from corn starch. Up to 92% of corn in the US is genetically engineered, meaning it’s very likely doused in potentially cancer-causing herbicides and pesticides.[*]
Researchers are still investigating the effects of GMO food consumption yet have already noticed higher risks of mortality, cancer, infertility, organ abnormalities, and decreased learning and reaction abilities.[*]
Chicory root fiber (also known as inulin) may contribute to excess gas, bloating, and diarrhea but seems to help many people with constipation.[*]
Soy protein is derived from soybeans. Over 95% of soybeans in the US are genetically modified, making them a high-risk food.[*] Combining this fact with the highly processed nature of soy protein makes it easy to see why studies have connected it with adverse effects like hormonal disturbances, cancer, and organ toxicity.[*]
Seed oils are ultra-processed oils extracted from the seeds of plants using solvents similar to gasoline. They’re cheap to produce yet have an unhealthy ratio of omega-6 fatty acids, which makes them incredibly inflammatory.
The most commonly added seed oils in packaged goods include soybean, sunflower, canola, corn, sesame, palm oil, and palm kernel oil.
Keto Bricks are shelf-stable, gluten-free, prepackaged performance bars that break the mold because they don’t contain any of the ingredients we just spotlighted. They’re a high-quality upgrade to streamline macro-tracking and meal prep while taking the guesswork out of on-the-go snacking.
The top-tier ingredients in each Keto Brick include:
We produce Keto Bricks in-house with complete quality control and ZERO compromises. Whether you use the Bricks as a meal replacement or portion them out to add more healthy fats and protein as needed, you’ll always feel confident in our nutritional profile.
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