Many of you will have heard of the keto diet. The ketogenic principles involve food that is moderate in protein, high in fat, low in carbohydrate and very low in sugars, which are of course the fastest-absorbing type of carbohydrates. A usual keto diet ratio for the macronutrients is calories from protein 30%, fat 60% and 10% for carbohydrates.
On a typical diet of 2000 calories, this means 150g of protein per day, 50g of carbs and 130g of fat.
The nice folk over at Keto Supplements UK recently sent me a selection of their snacks for me to try. Here are my thoughts.
They supplied biltong from three different suppliers, plus some low carb bars and a couple of supplements. Let me talk about them in order.
The biltong first. As you may know, biltong is air-dried sliced meat that is a great source of protein.
Usually beef and sometimes with flavouring adding during the drying, I’ve always seen biltong as my number one healthy snack. It’s South African in origin, which is where the word comes from.
The biltong supplied comes from three different manufacturers. Ember, with no flavouring added to their British and Irish sourced beef, The Biltong Factory with a Sweet Chilli flavouring added, and finally St Marcus, who point out that their beef is grass-fed, and provided three flavours – unflavoured (Original), Peri Peri and Chilli Chutney.
As you would expect, the macros on all three are similar, showing a massive percentage for protein. A bag of St Marcus Original or Peri Peri is 60 calories, with a protein/fat/carb split of 83%/11%/6%. For the Ember brand, the total is 65 calories, and the relevant split works out to be 84%/15%/1%. I suspect the difference comes from a small amount of brown sugar and honey listed in the ingredients of the St Markus, which are missing on the Ember, although of course even with this added all those low-carbohydrate numbers are well within the keto guidelines.
Interestingly, the numbers are rather different for the St Markus Chilli Chutney flavour – it’s still 60 calories per bag, with the split as protein 76%, fat 11% and carbs 13%. Just a little high on the carbs for the purest form of keto diet, but still great numbers on the protein front. I assume the extra sugars come from the chutney which forms 8% of the ingredients of this flavour alone.
Finally on biltong, and the Biltong Factory brand, the overall calories number per bag is 107, with the split is protein 67%, fat 21% and 12% – again there are sugars listed in the ingredients. A key reason why the calories are more per bag here is due to the pack size – it’s a 40g bag here rather than 28g or 30g with the St Marcus and Ember.
I’ve been having one bag per day as my mid-afternoon snack, and I like them all. The original can be a bit dry for some people, and the chilli ones may be felt to be a little on the sweet side. However, I liked varying across all the flavours and brands to get a slightly different taste each day.
Now, the bars. They are branded ‘Battle Bites’, and I sampled two flavours – the Glazed Sprinkled Donut, and the Mississippi Mud Pie. The calories in each are around 220, which is comprised 40% protein, 27% carbs and 33% fat. Notable is that there is a very low sugar content – entirely in line with Keto principles – of 2.5 or 3g (which works out to only 5% of the calories).
These kind of numbers put the products in a very competitive and growing market sector, with some big names there already, such as Carb Killa, PhD and Fulfil. The first difference – and a big plus in my opinion – is that the Battle Bites come as two separate portions. This makes it very easy to have half now, and half later. I often feel like a high-protein snack of around 100 calories, and this fits that bill easily. From a taste and texture point of view, they are a softer feel and taste more like a cake than the others I’ve mentioned; there’s no chocolate (or more accurately, chocolate-flavour) coating as you find with some of the others. The Mud Pie is a dark throughout and has cocoa powder as a key ingredient, while the Donut one (which really should be spelled Doughnut but I guess I’m old) is lighter in both colour and texture. These products are good additions, adding further choice to this market sector.
Finally, the two supplements. I have just started taking the Immune System Boost supplement and there is a month’s supply in the container. It contains many of the minerals and vitamins I would expect to see, including Vitamin D and Zinc. If I get through the next month without catching a cold, flu or worse, then I’ll be happy.
Finally, the fat burner, called UltraBurn. Again, it has what I would expect to see – relatively big portions of Caffeine, Green Tea and Chromium with a couple of the B group vitamins in large amounts. The caffeine content is 225g per serving which is more than most so-called energy drinks, and with added minerals too. I’m planning a video workout series in the Summer this year, so I think I’ll save these until then – if I look lean on those videos, then I’ll put some of that down to this.
I hope that’s of interest, and thanks again to Keto Supplements UK for sending them to me. If you’re interested, they can be found on https://keto-supplements.co.uk