Quest Keto Cups – A real “keto” option?

Quest Keto Cups

Quest Labs is looking to enter the ketogenic market niche with the release of the low carb, high fat Keto Cups.

The protein bar market has become increasingly crowded over the last year. A niche market once dominated by Quest Labs has now saw competition from companies such as Oh Yeah! ONE bar and the up and coming Controlled Labs Venture Bar.

The same innovative minds that helped reinvent the protein bar from a dry, crumbly brick into a moist, delicious treat are now setting their sights on a new niche corner of the diet and supplement market, the ketogenic diet.

Quest Labs recently announced the upcoming release of the all-new Quest Cups, a low carb, high-fat snack for those fitness enthusiasts who eschew carbohydrates for the much more en vogue dietary fats.

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Quest Cups Ingredients

Those familiar with the ketogenic guidelines are well aware of how difficult it can be to find delicious tasting food that also stays within the rigid guidelines of a keto diet. Quest looks to ease the difficulty by formulating a tasty, and convenient, product to help you stay on point and ease your transition into ketosis.

  • Palm Kernel Oil & Palm Oil

    Quest Keto Cups Nutrition Facts

    The new Keto Cups are high in fat, moderate in carbs and low in protein. Is an 11g carb snack truly Keto?

    No, that’s not a typo, there are two types of palm-extracted oil in Quest Cups. Though they both come from the palm tree, the similarities end there.

    Palm kernel oil is extracted from the seeds of the palm tree while palm oil comes from the palm fruit. The other major difference between the two is the content of saturated fat in each type. Palm kernel oil is over 80% saturated fat, while palm oil is only around 50% saturated fat.[1]

  • Coconut Oil

    No fat has become more popular in recent years quite like coconut oil has. Embraced by all diet communities, not just the Paleo and keto crowds, coconut oil is a neutral flavored oil show to be rich in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

    MCTs are a unique form of fat that the body immediately burns for energy as if they were a carbohydrate. Keep in mind this means that it will not be converted to stored fat regardless of how much is consumed or any other circumstances.

    As for it’s benefits in cooking and nutrition, coconut oil, and other MCT rich oils like palm oil, have been found to be successful as an appetite suppressant and weight loss aid.[2]

  • Erythritol

    Quest Keto Cups Ingredients

    No surprise here. If you’re going to have a ketogenic product, you’re going to need fats, and lots of it. Keto Cups uses 3 different types of fats to fuel the keto athlete.

    Fans of protein bars and other sugar-free snacks are well acquainted with erythritol, a type of sugar alcohol used widely in the U.S. and around the world as a food additive. Sugar alcohols are just that a combination of a carbohydrate and an alcohol. They have the same sweetening power as sugar but only a fraction of the calories.

    In fact, the the different types of sugar alcohols, erythritol has the lowest at only .24 calories per gram! You can see why they are so beloved by dieters, but they also benefit those with diabetes as well. Consuming sugar alcohols has zero impact on blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, or triglycerides.[3]

    If an ingredient was this perfect, surely it would be used all over the place wouldn’t it? Well yes, but sugar alcohols come with one side effect. Since the body can’t digest them, consuming high amounts (~50g) of them can often lead to GI distress, bloating, and gas.[4]

    So, a little of these is great, but you may not want to be mainlining sugar alcohols unless you want to walk around sounding like a chorus of horns is always following you.

  • Protein Blend

    Quest Keto Cups Review

    An image from @oppermanfitness’ YouTube channel[6]

    Ketogenic diets are high fat, but they also need some protein along the way to help sustain and feed muscle in the absence of carbohydrates. Quest Cups use a protein blend consisting of milk protein isolate and whey protein isolate.

    Isolates are great options to include for those that are sensitive to lactose as they generally contain >90% protein and have very little in the way of carbs (from lactose) or fat.[5]

    However, don’t confuse the Quest Cups with Quest Bars. Each serving of the cups only contains around 6g of protein, less than half found in a typical Quest Bar.

  • The Rest

    Rounding out the remainder of ingredients are the various flavoring agents, stabilizers, and sweeteners to help give the bars a sweet taste and pleasant texture. Depending on the flavor you can expect to find the likes of cocoa powder, soluble corn fiber, Sunflower lecithin, sea salt, sucralose, and stevia.

Macros

So, you know these bars are intended for the keto-diet market. It should come as no surprise that these are high fat, low carb bars. Each serving (2 cups) will contain roughly:

  • Calories: 280
  • Fat: 27g (21g Saturated)
  • Carbs: 11g (3g fiber)
  • Protein: 6g
Quest Mr. Cheat Clean

Meet the newest superhero on the block…Quest’s very own Mr. Cheat Clean. Fighting away nutritionally void snacks with tasty, macro-friendly fare.

The macros will differ depending on the flavor. On the Quest Labs screenshot below this post, you can see that there are different macro ratios for the different flavors of Keto Cups, ranging from 2.9:1 to 3.4:1, which we believe is the protein to active carb ratio.

Flavors

Here’s the area that garners the most interest from avid Quest bar fans….what and how many flavors will they get to choose from once the Keto Cups hit the store shelves. As always, Quest has several flavors lined up when they go live:

  • Mint Cream
  • Peanut Butter
  • Fudge Cream
  • Vanilla Cream

Takeaway

Ketogenic diets may still seem a little fringe to the majority of the population, but with fats no longer being demonized to the extent that they previously were, expect the keto-lifestyle to experience its 15 minutes in the spotlight just like the Atkins and Paleo diets have in recent years.

Is 11g carbs keto though???

Quest looks to capitalize on the burgeoning market that’s primed to explode in the coming years with the release of a low carb, high fat treat to dazzle the tastebuds of the new diet crowd. Will this help re-establish Quest as a leader in the protein snack market, or will this keto-experiment be just a flash in the pan?

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Quest Labs

Screenshot taken from Quest Labs

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References

  1. http://www.uccs.edu/Documents/danderso/fats_oils.pdf
  2. Clegg, M; Food Sciences and Nutrition; Medium-chain triglycerides are advantageous in promoting weight loss although not beneficial to exercise performance; November 2010
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8039489
  4. http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v61/n3/full/1602532a.html
  5. McDonough FE, et al Composition and properties of whey protein concentrates from ultrafiltration . J Dairy Sci. (1974)
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk_q81Hoa0E
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