Keto Chow Nutrition

Kids, along with pregnant/nursing mothers are a touchy subject. Speaking legally, children, pregnant, or breastfeeding women should not use Keto Chow. Is it still OK for those groups to use?

The Bair kids (along with many of the kids of our employees, friends, and customers) routinely drink Keto Chow. We find it a bit silly that many people think nothing of feeding their children Mac & Cheese, Doritos, or dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets slathered in sugary ketchup. Somehow, a product painstakingly engineered for nutrition is the one that’s suspect.

I give it to my kids. If you have any reservations at all, show the nutrition and ingredients to your doctor.

You just need to find a suitable source for 1300mg of Omega 3 fatty acids. Most fish oil pills will advertise boldly how much fish oil they have. You have to look close to find the amount of EPA and DHA. With typical fish oil pills, you need 5 a day to get 1300mg. If you want to use a different source of Omega 3 (algal oil, krill oil, etc.), look closely at the label and do the math.

No, but you can if you like. One of the primary goals in designing Keto Chow was to make sure that it is nutritionally complete.

Most people will do 2 meals of Keto Chow and 1 meal of regular keto-friendly food. Others only do 1 Keto Chow a day. Some will mix up Keto Chow to a lower calorie amount so they can have other foods as part of their meals.

First things first: there is some confusion between “Splenda” (that you buy at the grocery store) and pure sucralose. Splenda uses bulking agents so that you can “measure it like sugar” – typically this will be maltodextrin which is simply a carbohydrate and no good for a Ketogenic or low carb diet. The maltodextrin in store-bought Splenda will absolutely spike your blood sugar. Pure sucralose, on the other hand, will not. Even if it did have an effect on blood sugar, there is simply too little of it to have any effect. In Keto Chow, we use 0.08g per serving. To put that in perspective: that is 1/64 the weight of a US nickel. Even 0.08g of actual sugar will only raise your blood sugar by 0.32mg/dL – essentially no effect.

OK, back to the question of why we use sucralose for many of the sweet flavors of Keto Chow. The short answer is: because stevia doesn’t taste very good to the overwhelming majority of our taste testers. Ultimately, stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, or any other “natural sweeteners” are not magical and cause the same reactions in humans as anything else that’s sweet so why not use the best tasting option? We actually paid a 3rd party to do a blind taste test and they confirmed that Keto Chow with sucralose tastes “more natural” than products using Stevia, Erythritol, or Monk Fruit.

  • Erythritol and Allulose would seem a good choice but they DOUBLE the weight and volume of Keto Chow, instead of 21 meals you’d get 10 for the same price and shipping. That sucks.
  • We do have the “Natural Strawberry” that does use monk fruit instead of sucralose. It costs more to produce and doesn’t taste as good (in my opinion).
  • We have the “Base Powder” version which you combine with your choice of flavored/sweetened protein powder – lets you use whatever you’d like. Want to use egg white protein with Stevia? Go for it! You’ll still get all of the vitamins and minerals you’d normally get with Keto Chow.
  • We have 4 savory soup flavors (you mix them hot!) that do not use any sweetener, because that would be gross.

Allow me to quote Julie from the Sofa King Keto Facebook group – she illustrates why we use sucralose really well:

Holy what the hell. Go buy Keto Chow. It is NO joke. I am not a packaged foods kinda gal but needed something to get me back on the Keto track. I was thinking, honestly, “ok, I can choke this down for a couple weeks.” Um. NOT EVEN CLOSE. This shiz is delicious!!! And easy to make! Holy wow!
I bought both the peanut butter chocolate and the raspberry cheesecake. I blended 1/2 c heavy cream and 1/2 cup coconut milk with ice with a scoop of chow. Thick like a milkshake. No weird malt “slim fast” taste.

(Chris here) I personally use Keto Chow for at least 2 meals a day, often 3. Instead of something that I have to suffer through, I want something so delectable that I’m sad when I run out. It should taste so good that I swish it around in my mouth, enjoying the flavor; not plugging my nose and chugging it as fast as possible. And I won’t sell something that’s gross or barely tolerable. It’s gotta be delightful and that’s what you get with sucralose: the best flavor possible. A meal replacement that doesn’t taste AMAZING isn’t helpful in its intended use.

What about the rat studies showing changes in gut bacteria when exposed to sucralose? Humans are not rats. Those rats weren’t consuming acacia gum. Those rats weren’t on a ketogenic diet. Even more important, is the DOSE that the rats received. The dosage is usually expressed in mg/Kg or how many milligrams of sucralose were given per Kilogram of body weight. In the US, it was estimated (top of page 3) that most people consume 98mg of sucralose per day resulting in a dose of 1.6mg/Kg. In a recent study to determine the effects of sucralose, the rats were given an average of 80.4 mg/kg. Let’s see how that compares to what *you* would get by consuming Keto Chow:

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The Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) level for sucralose was set at 5 mg/kg body weight per day (mg/kg/d) (page 10) in the US and 15 mg/kg/d in the EU. So you’d only be close to that using Keto Chow if you do it 3x a day and weigh 100lbs/45kg.

 

You can view the nutrition facts and ingredients for the different flavors of Keto Chow on this page.

As far as allergens go, Keto Chow contains dairy and may contain peanuts or traces of peanuts.

You CAN do it with just water or almond milk if you have a specific reason for doing that AND you are aware that not using fat will prevent the absorption of certain vitamins (A, D, K) and your Keto Chow will not be as filling, meaning it will just be a snack and not a meal. We generally only recommend doing this if you are doing something specific like a Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) and only for a short period of time. What we are trying to avoid is people not using fat because they still have the mentality that fat is bad and needs to be avoided. However, it’s not a good idea if you’re trying to do keto. Keto is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb nutrition plan. It is not low-fat, low-carb.

On keto, you need calories. We don’t recommend having more than a 15% calorie deficit while using Keto Chow. Water, almond milk, and other low-fat/low-calorie items won’t provide sufficient calories. Keto is all about living off fat.

Embrace the fat. Use heavy cream or avocado oil in your Keto Chow and put butter on your steak.

Most of the flavors of Keto Chow provide around 26g of protein per serving. If you’re looking to add additional protein for exercise, hitting a higher macronutrient target, etc. here are some ways to do so:

  • You can mix additional low-carb flavored/unflavored protein powder, or collagen powder into your shakes.
  • Or you can make some chicken breast, steak, bacon, eggs, etc. and eat it.

The Natural Strawberry uses monk fruit as a sweetener

The Savory Chicken Soup, Creamy Tomato Basil, Spicy Taco Base, Beef Soup Base, and Base Powder contain no sweetener.

The other flavors of Keto Chow use 0.08g (80mg) of pure sucralose. Many confuse sucralose with its brand name, Splenda, which contains maltodextrin as a bulking agent. You won’t find any of that in Keto Chow.

You can read more about Sucralose and it’s benefits and issues here. We don’t use any other artificial sweeteners (acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin). We also do not use maltitol or any other sugar alcohol.

In May 2018, we removed Nickel and Boron from the vitamin/mineral formulation of Keto Chow. You’ll find this change on the Keto Chow Change Log where we publicly list what we’ve changed in each revision of Keto Chow.

Nickel and Boron both *might* be necessary for good health (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222322/#ddd00690), but there are no clear results that can be looked at for absolute certainty.

Why do Nickel and Boron remain on the ingredients list? There is still a chance people could get one of the old bags. We would rather lose a potential customer than expose the allergic to nickel, making them ill. We’ll list it on until ALL of the product we have on-hand has switched to version 2.1.2 or newer.

We have a short video that explains what fats you can use.

I actually did a 100-day experiment where I didn’t eat anything BUT Keto Chow and different kinds of fats. The short version is: I like to use butter the best, then heavy cream. You can also use avocado oil, a little MCT oil, even coconut oil if you mix it the same as butter.

So, based on all that, it’s entirely up to you!

Depending on the flavor, Keto Chow uses either milk protein isolate or beef protein and beef bone broth. You can find the amino acid profiles for those on the Keto Chow nutrition page.

There are nine “essential” amino acids. Meaning, your body can’t synthesize them: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine. You can find all nine in both protein-types of Keto Chow.

More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_amino_acid

Keto Chow does not contain rice or soy protein. These tend to have high levels of lead and trigger a proposition 65 cancer warning.

Some flavors of Keto Chow do have plant-based spices, like cinnamon and cocoa powder. They contain enough lead to trigger a “reproductive harm” proposition 65 warning (if you consume 1000 times the amount it can cause birth defects). You can get more details about Keto Chow and heavy metal levels on this page.

Most of our Keto Chow (all of the sweet flavors) uses milk protein isolate. Three of our Savory Soups (Creamy Tomato Basil, Taco Soup Base, and Beef Soup Base) use beef protein and beef bone broth. These are completely dairy-free and suitable for people with milk protein allergies.

If you’re lactose intolerant, we have some customers who can tolerate the milk protein-based flavors when they use these mixing options.

We do also offer our base powder here. It contains all of the vitamins and minerals in Keto Chow minus the protein powder, flavor, and sweetener. That way you can tailor it to your needs.

The primary goal of Keto Chow is very simple: Simply and easily get the best nutrients for humans doing a ketogenic diet. That’s it. All of the decisions we make, so far as to which ingredients we use, derive from that one goal.

The REASON for that most important factor is also equally simple: Our founder (Chris) uses Keto Chow for most of his food (and sometimes ALL for 100 days, seriously!). When the person in charge of formulating the product LIVES for months exclusively on it, they quickly make decisions to better the product’s taste and nutrition. It’s a bit of a selfish thing, but something that we think more companies should try it. This is why we use the forms of vitamins and minerals that are best for humans:

  • Vitamin D3 instead of D2
  • Vitamin K2 (MK-7 to be specific) instead of K1
  • Retinol instead of Beta Carotene (vitamin A)
  • Methylated folate instead of Folic Acid for everyone with MTHFR (plus methylated B12)
  • Magnesium Malate instead of Magnesium Oxide
  • Selenium, and more – you’ll find additional details at https://www.ketochow.xyz/nutrition/

Many of the vitamins are derived from animal sources, from specially bred single-cell organisms, or even synthesized in a laboratory. From our perspective, the specific manner in which an ingredient is made is less relevant than it’s purity and quality. Also, how beneficial that specific form is to humans. Again, that’s what happens when the person formulating it doesn’t want to get a vitamin deficiency.

So the answer to the questions of “Is Keto Chow ‘organic’?” (and we’re talking the common contemporary usage here as opposed to the actual meaning of “contains carbon”) or “Is Keto Chow ‘GMO’ free?” would be: As a whole? No, it’s neither “organic,” nor GMO-free. There are some ingredients in Keto Chow that would qualify for those label claims.  However, we aren’t interested in not using the best, most nutritious ingredients we can find to make that claim. It would be a disservice to our customers that rely upon us for the highest quality nutrition possible.

Having products that are “Organic” or “GMO-Free” are very important to many people. Caring about your health is a great thing! Our research directs us to put actionable data and science above philosophy. This, unfortunately, means that if you only purchase “organic” products, this isn’t the best option for you.

The only official statement we can legally give is the disclaimer at the bottom of the Keto Chow site:

The content of this website is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader. If you are on any medication, please consult with your family doctor before starting any new eating plan. Keto Chow is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. Pregnant or breast feeding women should consult their health care professional before consuming.

Take a printout of the nutrition and ingredients to your doctor and have a discussion with them. Not a “sit there and listen to them” but working together to determine what will work for you. To my knowledge, there’s nothing specific to Keto Chow that would be any more detrimental to mother or child than a typical keto diet. The real question to ask is the safety of a keto diet during your pregnancy/nursing. The internet is not the place to make that determination. The only issue we have heard reported is: don’t use MCT oil while nursing. Not that it is bad – it just tends to make babies mad. There are some amazing resources over on https://www.reddit.com/r/KetoBabies/

Keto Chow is likely vegetarian, but it’s decidedly not vegan. There are a few ingredients that pose a problem:

  1. Keto Chow contains Vitamin D3, derived from lanolin harvested from the coats of sheep. This undergoes steps of chemical transformation to create Vitamin D3. Generally, that makes it not considered suitable for a vegan diet.
  2. The vitamin K2 contains material derived via fermentation by single-celled microorganisms.
  3. The protein powder comes from dairy.
  4. Depending on where you get your Omega 3s, that usually comes from fish oil (though you can get it from algae oil).

To the best of my knowledge, everything else is vegetarian (though decidedly NOT vegan).

Maybe. I don’t really have a clear answer on this one. All of the ingredients (listed below) are at least pareve. Except for the milk protein, which is obviously dairy. The same is true for Halal.

  • Protein Powder – Dairy – OUD3-5C9EEBF
  • Acacia Gum – Pareve – OUV3-VF0MR80
  • Choline L-Bitartrate – Parave, Kosher except for Passover – SK8XW6BMRI0
  • Cocoa Powder (for those flavors containing Cocoa) – Kosher including Passover – OUW3-2CD9F3C
  • Magnesium Malate – Parve – KFT8V290Q23
  • Potassium Chloride – Pareve – OUW3-F9D118B
  • Potassium Citrate – Pareve – OUW3-H4RSA9C
  • Flavoring – Pareve – OUV3-EAC5BAA
  • Sucralose – Pareve – OUV2-6A7E924
  • Vitamin pre-mix – Pareve – OUV3-DRXBFVB
So, in the end, it appears to be mostly kosher and halal (except the fish oil capsules which contain gelatin) but I can’t guarantee it is.

Generally, women have a lower Base Metabolic Rate compared to men. If you’re using the keto calculator, then you should already have a good idea of your daily calorie target. That should be the only change you would need to make.

There are other considerations to make on a ketogenic diet as a woman (menstruation and hormone levels can make progress…weird?). The ladies over at https://www.reddit.com/r/xxketo/ have some really good resources and are super nice and helpful. There’s also https://www.reddit.com/r/KetoBabies/ for pregnant and new mothers doing keto.

We recommend you allow your Keto Chow shake to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight. Allowing it to sit removes a harsh vitamin/metallic taste (30-45 minutes), and eliminates a lot of the saltiness (2-3 hours). As a result, you improve taste and texture.

Drinking immediately after mixing doesn’t hurt you, or cause you to lose health benefits.

Whipping cream can work, it just has a lower fat content. Lower fat content means more lactose (sugar) which will make ketosis more difficult. Half-and-half has an even lower fat content and really a lot of sugar that will likely guarantee you won’t achieve ketosis.

Here are the calories and carbohydrate content for a 15ml/1 tablespoon “serving”:

fat %caloriescarbscarbs/400 calories
Skim Milk0.0850.7658.35
2% Milk1.9880.7338.40
Whole Milk3.2590.7231.47
Half-and-half11.5200.6513.13
Light/Table cream19.1290.557.51
Whipping cream30.9440.444.05
Heavy whipping cream36.1510.433.34
Darigold “Classic 4040.0600.402.67
Butter81.11020.010.03

Interestingly enough, all of the creams have less than 1g of carbs per “serving” so the package will say “0g total carbs” – even though the half-and-half has nearly 4x as many carbs per calorie compared to heavy cream. You have to muck around the USDA food database to get accurate nutrition information.

There are several key differences between 1.5 (the version you can make yourself) and 2.0+. Some are also differences from 1.5 to 1.9.

  • A custom-made vitamin and mineral pre-mix. This replaces several ingredients (the vitamin pill, Calcium Phosphate, Vitamin K, Choline L-Bitartrate, Calcium/Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3). There’s also more Magnesium. Other vitamins and minerals have also been adjusted above minimum levels to optimal levels, and optimal forms for bioavailability.
  • Additional Potassium to comply with the new US dietary requirements.
  • Better Magnesium source that makes is a lot easier on digestion.
  • Protein Isolate which has significantly lower carbohydrates compared to the concentrate/isolate/hydrolyzed protein blend used in 0.7-1.9. Most flavors are only 0.56g net carbs before adding any heavy cream.
  • Custom made flavors. Earlier versions used off-the-shelf protein powder with flavoring. Using our own makes the flavors more stable and lowers the cost.
  • Eliminated 2 sweeteners: AceK and Stevia
  • Mixed and packaged in a different facility. All of the flavors (except Chocolate Peanut Butter) are now completely peanut-free and safe for people with peanut allergies.

It’s a bit of an involved subject, but here’s the short version.

We don’t recommend having a caloric deficit higher than 15% off your BMR. For example, if you need 1875 calories a day, you need at least 85% of that from food (1593 calories). If you go lower than that, you risk crashing your metabolism and going into starvation mode. This will stall ketosis, and it’s subsequent fat. Our bodies are smart and know to reduce output when faced with too large of a deficit.

If you dive deeper into the science of it, you’ll also run into issues of high fasting insulin that keeps fat cells from releasing energy, even with low glucose levels. Thus you end up with no glucose, no fat, and no ketones to run your cells and everything slows down.

Keto Chow is designed to provide 1/3 of what your body needs in every serving, including sodium. Unless you have a rare, specific medical condition, it will not negatively affect you.

Interestingly enough, the recommendation that people limit their salt intake isn’t based on good science. New data and studies show that you’re more likely to encounter problems from consuming too little salt! There’s a lot more data about all of this on these sites:

  • https://www.dietdoctor.com/the-truth-about-salt
  • https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180809202057.htm
  • https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)30467-6/fulltext
  • https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/08/10/spoonful-salt-makes-blood-pressure-go-down-13289
  • http://2ketodudes.com/show.aspx?episode=71
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lpH06ely7E

Above all, on a keto diet, you need a LOT of sodium. Failure to get sufficient salt will leave you with an electrolyte deficiency commonly referred to as “keto flu.” Many find they feel their best by adding sodium above and beyond what Keto Chow has.

Keto Chow (prior to version 2.0.2) contained soy lecithin. However, that has been replaced with sunflower lecithin, so Keto Chow no longer contains any soy ingredients.

Some simple math will solve this dilemma. Take your daily calorie target and divide it by two. You can then use our How To Chow graphic. This will help you determine how much fat you need for half of your daily calories in one shake.

The aim of Keto Chow is to be nutritionally complete with 1/3 of ALL your nutritional requirements. This includes vitamins, electrolytes, protein, fat, fiber…ALL of it.

Keto//OS is a mixture of exogenous ketones. You drink it and you’ll have ketones in your body regardless of actually being in nutritional ketosis or not. For people doing keto to treat a disease like epilepsy, cancer, or Alzheimer’s; or for people doing elite-level athletics – exogenous ketones can be very useful. For most of us, they’re of limited use. You’re not “in ketosis” unless your body is producing ketones by itself. If you do want to use exogenous ketones, I would recommend checking out Perfect Keto or other products not sold via Multi-Level Marketing.

If you’re curious, I’ve compiled a comparison of the various Keto “Meal Replacement” products available: https://www.reddit.com/r/keto/comments/6wjthf/comparison_of_keto_meal_replacement_options_costs/

Keto Chow is at the top with a cost of around $11 per 2000 calories. Keto//OS is at the very bottom at $250.00 for 2000 calories.

There is a more in-depth analysis of the different options on https://www.ketochow.xyz/2018/10/comparison-of-keto-meal-replacement-nutrition-costs-net-carbs-fat-and-more/

Keto Chow does not contain resistant starch. It is interesting for a ketogenic diet, but the acacia gum in Keto Chow meets many of the benefits.

Starting with version 2.5.2 of Keto Chow (full change log here), we switched to using Redmond Real Salt in Keto Chow.

  • Real Salt tastes better than typical table salt
  • Real Salt is mined in Utah, just a few hours away from Keto Chow HQ
  • Real Salt has a lot of cool trace minerals that add to the flavor
  • …but Real Salt has a lot of cool trace minerals and some of that shows up like sand at the bottom of your bottle

So, lots of pros, with that one con. Most people will notice the bit of reddish “sand” at the bottom of the bottle and it’s not a big deal, but if you have a thicker viscosity (either you use less water, use heavy cream instead of butter, or you thicken the shake using a bit of gelatin/guar gum/xanthan gum) or take a drink IMMEDIATELY after shaking up your Keto Chow, you may get some of those un-dissolved minerals in your mouth. It’s harmless (actually it has some added iron and some manganese which your stomach acid will dissolve) but can be annoying to some people.

To mitigate the issue:

  • Wait a minute after shaking up Keto Chow before drinking. Around here we tend to habitually give it a shake before taking a swig but that’s really not necessary since Keto Chow doesn’t settle or separate like most drinks (again: habit!) You’ll see the minerals settle to the bottom pretty quickly.
  • If you tip the bottle back to get the last few drops, depending on how quickly you tip it and at how much of an angle, you may get a large quantity of the minerals. We notice this happens a lot when we dump a Keto Chow into an ice cream maker to whip up some soft-serve. The fix is to take a few more seconds to slowly pour the bottle.

Keto Chow is certified as gluten-free.

Since wheat is not good for ketosis, nothing in the mixture contains wheat (or corn, or rice, or any carb source). All of the ingredients used in Keto Chow are certified gluten-free. The facility we use for packaging is gluten-free as well.

The different flavors of Keto Chow have various ingredients for flavoring, here are some of the major allergens and which (if any) flavors have them.

Gluten and wheat

  • All flavors of Keto Chow are gluten-free and wheat-free.

Soy

  • All flavors of Keto Chow are soy-free.

Peanuts

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter

Nutmeg

  • Eggnog
  • Pumpkin Spice Caramel

Tree Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts, etc…)

  • Aside from nutmeg, all flavors of Keto Chow are tree nut-free.

Dairy

  • All but 4 flavors HAVE dairy proteins, the dairy-free flavors are: Base Powder, Creamy Tomato Basil, Spicy Taco Soup Base, Beef Soup Base.

Eggs

  • Eggnog

Fish

  • All flavors of Keto Chow are fish-free.

Lupin

  • All flavors of Keto Chow are lupin-free.

Shellfish and Mollusks

  • All flavors of Keto Chow are shellfish-free.

Sesame

  • All flavors of Keto Chow are sesame-free.

No. The Banana flavor uses 100% artificial flavoring. Similar to banana-flavored Runt candy or Laffy Taffy, for example.

Currently, Mocha is the only flavor of Keto Chow with added caffeine (95mg). It also contains instant coffee powder and cocoa powder. In total, Mocha contains approximately 110mg of caffeine per serving.

Here is a breakdown of the other Keto Chow flavors that contain trace amounts of caffeine:

No other flavors of Keto Chow contain ingredients with caffeine (Chocolate Toffee does not contain any cocoa powder).

The number of calories in each meal depends on the amount of fat you add. Use the How to Chow graphic below as a guide for measuring with heavy whipping cream, butter, or avocado oil. You can also check out the Custom Calorie Calculator, and our preparation instructions page.

Yes! Time-restricted eating is another name for intermittent fasting. You limit your mealtimes to fall within a designated window, and fast outside that window. You can use Keto Chow as a meal replacement during one (or more) of your scheduled meals.

We mix and package Keto Chow in a peanut-free facility. We mix and package the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor at a facility several miles away to avoid contamination. Therefore, Keto Chow is safe for peanut allergy sufferers (except for the Chocolate Peanut Butter).

Keto Chow is an ultra-low-carb meal replacement shake mix, to help you maintain nutritional ketosis. Combine it with a fat source of your choice (heavy cream, butter, oil) and water. One shake provides a third of your daily vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, electrolytes and more. It creates a meal replacement that is nutritionally complete.

People usually compare it to a “melted milkshake” though you can go full-on “frosty” by blending with ice or mixing in an ice cream maker.

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