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Navigating Nutrition Labels on Keto

In last month’s article, I discussed the benefits and downsides of tracking on a ketogenic diet. Knowing how much you are eating ensures you are taking in enough calories, which is important because you just don’t get very hungry on keto!

When you begin keto you can use a keto calculator – google the term and you will see many different websites. These calculators will tell you your macronutrient goals, which is how many calories, carbs, protein, and fat grams to consume daily. Often people get off track by focusing on their macro percentages of 5% carbs, 25% protein, and 70% fat. They try to have perfectly balanced meals to keep these percentages at all times.

To simplify this, you need to aim for close to perfect macros by the end of each day. Some meals may be higher in fat than others. You may need to add a high protein, low fat food to hit your protein target, but it is simple to fine tune throughout your day.

In order to track what you’re eating you need to have a solid understanding of how to read nutrition labels. This will help you to recognize what you can and cannot eat, as well as how much.

The main things that you are looking at on a nutrition label is serving size as well as grams of fat, protein, total carbs, fibre, and any sugar alcohols. The serving size is important because you need to ensure you are accurately measuring the food you eat. Any food that you consume will come off your macronutrient goals for the day.

Most importantly, calculating net carbs of a given food should be at the top of your list. Net carbs are calculated: Total carbs – fibre – sugar alcohols. Note that sugar is not the same as a sugar alcohol, which are artificial sweeteners. One gram of sugar is equal to one gram net carb. When on keto you have 20-25 net carbs to eat every day, although actual carb levels to maintain ketosis vary from person to person. In order to maintain your fat burning ketogenic state, you must keep your net carb levels low enough.

Joanna Wilcox is Canadian Health and Fitness Influencer from Woodstock, Ontario.


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