The week packs of Keto Chow 2.0+ do indeed come with a scoop for quick and easy measuring. If you have a scale available I do recommend using that for higher accuracy, especially if you are recording your food intake in an app like Cron-O-Meter or MyFitnessPal – the scoop can be off by 2% or more, depending on how packed down the powder is.
Opened bags of Keto Chow do not need to be stored in the fridge… generally (I’ll get to that later). The primary factor determining how long it’s good for is humidity. If you happen to live in an arid climate, you may have bags that are still fresh and tasty after 4-5 months. If you live in Florida, the powder may get clumpy and funky after only a few days. There are a few things you can do to combat the humidity:
- Use desiccant packets (the “DO NOT EAT” things you find in stuff)
- Store your bags in the freezer, not to keep them cold but because freezers tend to be crazy low humidity, and the cold doesn’t hurt either
- Get smaller bags or split up the large bag into smaller bags
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 get into ketosis. I only ever use “whipping cream” when I’m traveling and need to use the Trader Joe’s Shelf Stable Whipping Cream.
Here are the calories and carbohydrate content for a 15ml, 1 tablespoon “serving”:
|fat %||calories||carbs||carbs/400 calories|
|Heavy whipping cream||38||51||0.41||3.22|
|Darigold “Classic 40“||40||60||0.40||2.67|
The ironic thing is all of these have less than 1g per “serving” so they will often label the package as “0g total carbs” even though the half-and-half has nearly 6x as many carbs per calorie. You have to muck around the USDA food database to get the accurate nutrition information.
That’s the beta-carotene (vitamin A) – to keep it from oxidizing, it’s encapsulated. A few minutes after you mix it, the encapsulation dissolves and it releases the beta-carotene which is a dark orange/red color. It’s completely fine and will go away with a quick shake.
MCT oil is cool stuff for a ketogenic diet. Your liver will convert it almost directly into ketones – this can give you an energy boost or more “keto clarity” (the enhanced mental state that accompanies deep ketosis). The extra ketones can also help get you into ketosis faster and potentially raise your tolerance for carbs. MCT oil does not directly help with weight loss though, it’s more of an added bonus if you’re already in ketosis.
MCT oil also is associated with… “the runs” – take more than your body likes and you will spend a lot of time on the toilet. Starting a ketogenic diet can often mess with bowels anyway so I do not recommend using MCT oil when starting Keto or Keto Chow, specifically. If you’ve been doing keto chow for a while then you can start incorporating MCT oil if you like. Most people don’t handle more than 40ml a day even after doing keto for years.
Versions prior to Keto Chow 1.9 had instructions to use MCT oil and you may still find traces of that on the blog and other locations.
If you want to use MCT Oil (which is completely optional and not recommended if you’re just starting) you can use liquid oil or take capsules, the capsules will be far more expensive.
I find it’s hard to find “Heavy Cream” and can usually only find “Heavy Whipping Cream”. Both are quite similar but the “whipping” has some additional emulsifiers that won’t matter. If you have to choose between the two, get the one you want or can find. Be sure to check the label to make sure it has 0g of carbohydrates. Be aware that even though it says it has 0g it actually has 0.48g per 15ml tablespoon.
The vitamins in Keto Chow have enough “extra” to meet 100% RDI for up to 6 months before oxidation lowers the levels. If you’re doing Keto Chow 3x a day then this could be a concern for you, if you’re only doing 1 a day you’re likely fine with powder that’s a year old (or older).
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find shelf stable Heavy Cream in cartons. Australia has some from Devondale, the closest thing I’ve found in the United States is “Trader Joe’s Shelf Stable Whipping Cream” sold at Trader Joe’s. This is what I use when I travel.
There are “Powdered Heavy Cream” products but all of the ones I’ve looked at are not suitable for ketosis.
Are there alternatives to the Heavy Cream? What if I am lactose intolerant? Can Keto Chow be dairy-free?
Heavy Cream is comparatively low in lactose for the amount of calories it contains. It has 0.4185g of carbohydrates per tablespoon (15ml) – if you use 4oz of heavy cream (gets you around 600 calories per Keto Chow meal) you’ll end up with 3.27g of lactose (which is roughly comparable to 2.4oz of whole milk). Many people who have problems with lactose are able to handle the relatively small amounts in Keto Chow without problems, or by using a lactase enzyme supplement. See this post for details.
If you do want to eliminate Heavy Cream there are some options you can try but you’re going to need to do a lot of calculations. I recommend using a tracking app like Cron-O-Meter to figure out how the alternatives will impact your net carbs and other nutrients. Anyway, here are some possibilities you can try:
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Cream
- Coconut milk (doesn’t have very many calories and has many more carbs)
- Cashew/Soy/Almond milk – again, lacks calories and may have high carbs – even unsweetened
- Powdered MCT or Coconut oil
- Melted coconut oil mixed with a liquid oil (maybe avocado or olive) so it remains liquid after refrigeration
- Avocados (blender required)
- One Keto Chow user uses (in each shake) 1/2 avocado, 1 tsp MCT oil, and 1 tsp olive oil
If you want to eliminate dairy entirely then you’ll need to use the Keto Chow Base Powder along with a protein powder that is dairy-free: Egg, Beef or even Soy protein would work.