Are Paleo Treats keto?
So...there are 3 parts to this.
First, If we think of the “keto diet” as being a way to get into and stay in ketosis, it turns out that having ultra low carbs doesn’t matter as much as meal quantity, quality, and timing. As Lee has said many times, if you want to know if you’re in ketosis, you’ve got to test it.
If one insists on counting carbs as the only valid measure of keto (which is silly), the Bandito *can* fit into that at 8g of net carbs/7g sugar/13g total carbs, though it’s difficult for most people to manage.
When Lee & I were testing regularly with the LEVL device (an accurate measure of ketosis) we both routinely blew off the charts, and that was when we were each eating at least one Treat per day.
This leads to the second part: No food “is keto”. If eating keto has the goal to keep you in ketosis, there are a wide variety of foods you can eat that may be high in carbs but won’t bump you out, depending on quantity and timing. Eating one meal a day? A little rice at dinner won’t knock you out of ketosis, and neither will a Paleo Treat.
We tested that, and over the course of 2 months neither Lee nor I ever scored lower than 3 or 4 ppm breath ketones on the LEVL, which is basically the beginning of elevated fat metabolism.
Most of the time we were well above that, easily in the 8+ range, which is .5mmol of BHB and the beginning of nutritional ketosis.
Both Lee & I would routinely score in the 18+, which for LEVL is basically so high it can’t accurately score. Just as a bragging point, both Lee & I scored higher than they’d ever seen, and multiple times, up in the 40+ range. The highest we got was 59, and when we scored that the LEVL rep thought our machine was broken. He thoroughly checked it to make sure, found no issues, and decided that we were freaks of nature.
We’re not. In fact, we think of ourselves as normal, even though our lives aren’t when measured against modern behaviors.
I should say that we have more or less devoted our living pattern to being in tune with evolution. We get lots of sleep, almost never wake up to an alarm or go to bed more than 2 hours after sunset, get lots of sunshine, plenty of time outdoors, and a little exercise. We eat twice a day or less with only one of those being a “big” meal.
Our diet is mostly colorful vegetables with small portions (we easily split a palm-sized piece) of high quality meat, we almost never eat fruit, and we drink mega-coffee in the morning, which is when we’d register the highest readings on the LEVL.
As straightforward as all that sounds, we’ve found that most people don’t/can’t do that. For one reason or another they have to eat 3 meals a day, wake up to an alarm, work out super hard, don’t get much sunshine/outdoor time, stress out like crazy, or stay up late with their face plugged into a screen.
Over 10 years of testing, tweaking, measuring, and feeling, we’ve found that it’s the combination of all that that makes a difference; no one thing (by definition) is a panacea.
Those things also take time to sync up and work in your favor. It doesn’t happen in 5 days, and you’ll only really start to reset to your evolutionary standard after a week or so of strict “clean living” (as we define it.)
As an example, most people live in a constant sleep deficit, which will throw every other thing you’re doing way out of whack, although sleep is another animal, something the health community is just now waking up to.
Finally, the third aspect of eating keto: Most people flat out don’t understand it. They take the basic precepts of lower carb and higher fat and twist it to fit their taste buds and fantasy goals. “I’ll eat bacon and butter and just drop weight because it’s magic.” “I’ll eat once a day and feast on Haagen Daz and 2 lbs of steak.”
Those don’t work. Strict keto is a very precise and limiting set of eating recommendations that is appropriate for a very small section of the population, and even at that only for a limited time.
Popular keto is just a trendy diet. Trends “pop” because a group of beautiful and/or famous people get good results over a short period, and their followers jump on the bandwagon of the hacks-tips-tricks penchant that is rampant in this age of super-short attention spans.
This trend creates huge pressure for food businesses to offer a “keto” version of what they’re doing.
When customers walk in our door and say, “I’m doing keto, what have you got?”, it usually means they are focused on the numbers and don’t have a deeper understanding of health. We take time for every customer who asks about it to go through the points above and help them understand WHY they should or shouldn’t be doing keto as well as some of the pitfalls and traps of “eating keto.”
At the end of the day, most of them just want permission to eat dessert. You wouldn’t believe the mental math gymnastics we’ve heard from people who just want to justify eating dessert, as if dessert is an evil thing. Literally, I have heard the following: “Once carbs are double the amount of protein in a food, you can divide carbs by five in order to get the keto count for carbs.”
That mentality isn’t because people are stupid, they’re just desperate to enjoy life, and part of that enjoyment is dessert.
Dessert is our human heritage; we gorged on fruit when it was in season, and our bodies are well equipped *when healthy* to manage a bolus of sugar. By design, it’s OK to eat dessert, and it doesn’t matter if it has high carbs or not AS LONG AS the rest of your life is in healthful order.
That’s the key and a large part of the joyful message we push at Paleo Treats: It’s OK to be super healthy, it’s OK to eat dessert, it’s OK and fun to put both of those things together, and it’s also reasonable to be both healthy and eat dessert on a regular basis over the course of your life.
So get out there and don't worry so much about whether or not you're fitting in to one specific diet. Focus on living a healthy life, and remember to enjoy dessert!
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Nik Hawks helps run the show at Paleo Treats. Fascinated by humans in all their strange glory, Nik is harnessed in and pulling hard in pursuit of excellence with the rest of the PT Crew. Enjoy!
Too much reading...
How about dessert?