Being a pro BMX athlete and multiple brain tumor survivor, currently living with four tumors in my skull today and dealing with multiple concussions over the years, has led me to become passionate about a ketogenic diet and lifestyle. My journey with brain tumors started over 8 years ago, but it wasn’t until the third diagnosis in February 2017 that I got serious about adopting the ketogenic lifestyle whole-heartedly.
That said, there was a lot of challenges with adopting a high-fat & low-carb diet before even transitioning to a full-on keotgenic diet. Beyond the typical obstacles of adjusting to this new way of eating/thinking/living for most of us, getting rid of the sugar addiction/cravings was a huge challenge that took me many years to overcome. Had I found snacks like KNOW cookies in the beginning, I may have been able to stay on track without the sugar/carb binges every so often as I progressed with cutting carbs. In retrospect, I was blindly cutting out carbs with the ignorance of not knowing I had to replace those carbs with even more fat than I was consuming already or not understanding there were sources of sweetness that didn’t have an effect on glucose levels in order to help me transition.
Now that I have learned how to adopt a proper ketogenic diet, and coach clients through their ketogenic journey, finding snacks that are accessible to everyone, especially those that travel as much and even more than I do, is a game changer to staying on track! Testing can play an important role in the beginning stages of a ketogenic diet to learn how your body responds to specific foods and eating windows, but it is also very important to have this data for those with diabetes, seizures, etc. as spikes in glucose could be very detrimental to quality of life. For me, after following a high-fat & low-carb diet for over 5 years and a ketogenic diet for about a year or more now, I use my numbers as data from experimenting time to time and to see where I am randomly.
KNOW Foods cookies are delicious, soft, chewy, gluten & grain free, and are Paleo & Keto friendly. The texture is unlike your typical cookie but it’s a combination of a cookie and brownie. As Lele from Ketofy.me put it, “It’s like if a cookie and a brownie had a baby- this would be it.” So true and they’re amazing! One problem I had was my friends and I ate all the new Peanut Butter KNOW cookies before I decided to test my levels, so I used the double chocolate chip KNOW cookie for testing. That’s a good sign of how good the new Peanut Butter KNOW cookies are! ;)
The first thing I noticed when I looked at the nutritional facts was 26g total carbs and 19g “sugar”. Upon immediately seeing the note on the package “19g sugar? It’s not what you think…18g of those sugars are Allulose, the sugar-free sugar.”, I was still skeptical but pleasantly surprised to learn more about Allulose. Allulose is not a sugar alcohol, it’s a rare sugar that has 1/10th the calories or other forms of sugar. Allulose doesn’t get digested or processed like regular sugar and Dr. Ryan Lowery’s research says you “excrete 90% of the Allulose and it doesn’t have any impact on glucose or insulin.”
My first bite into one of the double chocolate chip cookie was incredible. I couldn’t believe that such a sweet cookie, full of fat, could have no real effect on blood sugar levels. I was also skeptical of the Allulose that contributed to 19g’s of the sugar content labeled on the package! I understand “net” carbs but for the context of people with health related issues stated above, or those new to a ketogenic diet that have yet to full adapt to burning fat and become “keto-adapted”, I always recommend starting with total carb counting. What’s interesting with the KNOW cookies is that the fiber and allulose contributing to the majority of the carb count, the “net” carb is only 3g’s and as I will show you with my readings, it’s safe to say that the “net” carb value is worth tracking and forgetting about the “total” carb count. I will mention this is under the context of 1 KNOW cookie, not 4! :)
Without further ado, here are my testing results!
1pm- 2.9mmo/l (before consumption)
3pm- 2.7 mm/dl (2hrs later)
1pm- 95mg/dl (before consumption)
3pm- 80mg/dl (2hrs later)
As you can see, my ketone levels dropped 0.2 mmol/l, as expected with even a keto-alligned meal, and my glucose actually dropped 15mg/dl! The glucose dropping so much was a surprise but knowing that ketones may help insulin’s sensitivity, and the fact that KNOW cookies are stacked with fat, it makes sense as to why that may have happened.
I started the first test in a fasted state (17hrs from my previous dinner) at 1 pm as well as after a 9am fasted workout. I meant to test 30 minutes after consuming the cookie for both glucose and ketones but I didn’t realize I only had two glucose strips left. I did test ketones after 30 minutes and that’s the first sign of dropping 0.2 mmol/l, which isn’t much of a concern.
From my understanding, ketone readings may be lower in the mornings with glucose levels being higher due to some gluoneogenis and the brain soaking up ketones while sleeping. It’s also my understanding the same scenario may go for well fat-adapted individuals, especially athletes, if they test after a workout (probably even more so if done fasted) due to the muscles and brain soaking up the ketones for use during exercise and not having as many spill over into the blood stream. This is most certainly my experience every time I test after a fast & a fueled or fasted workout and is why I wanted to wait until afternoon to test. I find my testing in the later part of the day gives me a good reading on what’s going on from what I have done leading up to that point and figured I would give it some time for my levels to normalize after my fasted workout.
So, there you have it! KNOW cookies are delicious and as the testing results show, they are keto-approved.