The Big Problem Costco Shoppers Have With This 'Keto-Friendly' Bread

The ketogenic diet can be quite strict when it comes to foods you can and can't eat on the plan. If you've ever followed it, chances are you have become very good at reading food labels to discern ingredients, particularly when it comes to net carbs, as it's a large part of the diet and being able to reach the state known as ketosis (when your body burns fat for fuel). 

Lately, there have been some foods marketed as keto-friendly that might contain ingredients some followers would choose to avoid. For example, a recent post by Instagrammer @costcobuys shows bread and buns from the brand Natural Ovens Bakery that are labeled "keto-friendly" in big bold letters. The packaging touts 0 grams of added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and 0 grams of net carbs (thanks to the dietary fiber that nets it out). However, while some users have been scouring their local Costco stores in vain trying to find these bread options, others are taking issue with the marketing and argue that these products aren't keto-approved at all.

One commenter called out the items, saying they're "definitely not Keto," accompanied by a thumbs down emoji, while another took issue that the bread's label that says it contains wheat and modified wheat starch. As they note, "Keto does not contain any of that. It's important on the diet to check ingredients. A lot of the products that say 'keto' are not always keto, they're trying to get you by just slapping the word on there."

Is Natural Ovens 'keto-friendly' bread the real deal?

As with most things, uncovering the truth is a bit complicated. However, the fine line may come down to whether you're following a "clean" or "dirty" keto plan. As U.S. News describes the difference between the two, "If you're following a clean diet, that means you're avoiding processed foods, whereas a dirty keto diet is one that doesn't focus as much on whole foods, but rather seeks to adhere only to the macronutrient ratio – that is, the ratio of fat, protein and carbs – of the diet." 

So, if you're following a "dirty keto" plan (or if you're diabetic like one Instagram follower pointed out), then this bread could be a fine option for you. If you're adhering to a strict "clean keto" diet, then this probably isn't the best choice. In addition to the wheat and wheat starch, the bread also contains soybean oil, which one Instagram commenter called "one of the worst things you can eat" on the diet. 

Unfortunately, "keto-friendly" still doesn't have a universally-agreed-upon meaning, so until it does you'll just have to take the branding with a grain of salt and read food packaging labels carefully in order to make your own decision.