December 7, 2022

Snacks and keto

Since the brand name snack is made of wheat flour, the answer is pretty much NO. So why do we crave Cheez-Its and other such ain’t-keto snacks so much? If the body wants it, it should be good for us – right? Time for some nutrition science:

People snack for many reasons: hunger, social/food culture, eating while doing something else, boredom, overeating, and not having enough food. The ancients, lacking extruders and other modern technology, were fond of snacking on the twigs of elm trees and sycamore, which contain salicylic acid – aspirin – to relieve toothache, as well as maple twigs, which have a sweet taste and keep the breath pleasant. 

Just ask yourself this – are you snacking on anything as you read this?

In the U.S., the food and beverage industry spends about $14 billion a year on advertising. More than 80% of this advertising is for fast food, sugary drinks, candy, and other fatty snacks.

A keto diet encourages less snacking on empty calories. Several studies have found that eating snacks when you’re not hungry makes you eat more calories overall. That’s why a keto diet can be a significant factor in weight loss.

The 2020 Food & Health Survey by the International Food Information Council gave some interesting information about what Americans eat for snacks. One-third of the people polled in the U.S. said they snacked at least once a day, and almost a quarter said they did so more than once. Most people snacked because they were hungry or thirsty, wanted something sweet or salty, or because snack foods were easy to get. Lunch is the meal that is most often replaced by a snack, according to 40% of respondents, while 25% said they sometimes don’t eat at all until evening.

Snacking is up

During the COVID-19 epidemic, more people under 35 and parents of children under 18 say they snacked more often than before the pandemic. Over the past few decades, kids have become much more likely to eat snacks, making up about 27% of their daily calorie intake. That’s bad news if it’s something like Cheez-Its or pork rinds. Washed down with a bottle of Dew, no doubt. 

Emotional eaters and people under a lot of mental stress tend to eat more high-energy snacks, especially those with more sugar and fat.

Studies show that more than 30% of children and teens in the U.S. are overweight or obese. They often eat snacks that are high in calories but low in nutrients. That statistic is concerning.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, children don’t get enough calcium, vitamin D, fiber, or potassium. However, they eat a lot of calories, carbs, and sodium.

Snacks like low-sugar yogurt, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, and almonds can help young children and preteens get the nutrients they need while limiting the number of calories they eat.

But is it keto?

The ideal snack for the keto-conscious is dried jerked meat. Of any kind. Suppose you can find it at your store, stock up on biltong.

South Africa and other nations in the southern region of the African continent are the origins of biltong, a type of meat that is cured and dried before being eaten. The word originates from the Afrikaans phrase “bil and tong,” which can be translated as “buttock and strip.”

The most typical components of biltong are meat (often beef), black pepper, coriander, salt, and vinegar. Some brands may also include other components.

A significant amount of time is typically spent allowing biltong to air-dry in the open air. Despite the fact that beef is the most frequently used source of protein, biltong can be prepared from a wide variety of meats, including those of some unusual animals. The consistency of biltong is sometimes described as falling in between the consistency of typical beef jerky and that of Italian prosciutto. 

When it comes to the number of nutrients that it contains, biltong is fairly comparable to beef jerky. Both are low in calories, high in protein, and have a high salt content despite their nutrient density. Sugar is a key distinction in this case. On the other hand, some types of jerky utilize a lot of sugar in their marinade, whereas biltong is created without any additional sugar at all.

This indicates that biltong is often a healthier alternative to consider. However, when sugar-free beef jerky is compared to biltong, one finds that the two are quite comparable to one another.

For most people on a keto kick, once they’ve tasted a strip of biltong they turn up their noses at traditional beef jerky (not to mention Slim Jims!) If your area store does not have a gourmet section that stocks biltong (it can be very pricey), then try looking for some Native American pemmican.