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Convenience Foods on a Ketogenic Diet

sugar, meat sticks, ingredients, sugar free

Nicole Recine RN, MSN, APRN

Transitioning to a ketogenic diet can be a significant lifestyle change if you haven’t had much experience with cooking and preparing meals. It is common to rely on pre-packaged, convenience foods due to lack of time or cooking ability. Furthermore, meals prepared at home are often made with premixed seasonings, bottled sauces or dressings, boxed sides dishes, or frozen entree starter kits. Even salads are available in pre-prepared in bags. I am not here to argue that “processed”, packaged, or pre-prepared foods are always unhealthy or should be avoided.  Outsourcing the preparation of food can be a huge time-saver for busy people, and being on a ketogenic diet does not require you to cook all of your own food at home (although it doesn’t hurt)! It is, however, very important to investigate the ingredient list when purchasing convenience foods, even if the item seems appropriate for a ketogenic diet. Hidden sugars are everywhere. Missing hidden sugars is a common mistake many people make when first starting out on a ketogenic diet.

It is helpful to find companies who make products without adding unnecessary sugars. USWM offers a variety of keto-friendly convenience foods with no added sugars. Let’s compare the ingredients in a few of my favorite USWM keto staples with their mainstream counterparts.

Meat Sticks and Jerky

meat sticks

USWM Paleo Choice Sugar-Free Meat Sticks

Meat sticks and jerky are staples for me when traveling or hiking. USWM sells a variety of meat sticks and jerky with no added sugars. Their beef jerky is made with just two ingredients: beef and salt. Compare USWM’s paleo meat stick ingredient list with the mainstream brand below:

USWM Paleo Meat Sticks:

meat sticks

Mainstream Brand:

meat sticks

USWM uses only pasture raised pork, grass-fed beef, and spices in their paleo meat sticks. The mainstream brand adds three forms of sugar, with the second ingredient being corn syrup. Yuck.

Sugar-free Pork Bacon

USWM Sugar-Free Pork Bacon


Bacon is a keto favorite. It is virtually impossible to find bacon that isn’t cured with sugar. Of course, USWM offers several sugar free varieties including pork bacon, canadian bacon, beef bacon and pork bacon endsCompare the ingredients in USWM pork bacon with the mainstream brand below:

USWM Sugar-Free Bacon:

sugar-free bacon, all natural bacon

Mainstream Brand:


Most bacon is cured in sugar or dextrose (another form of sugar). USWM only uses salt to cure their bacon. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, USWM now offers DIY Bacon that is not cured or smoked. The only ingredient is pork, allowing you to cure it and flavor it however you’d like.

Sugar Free, Pork Breakfast Sausage

USWM Sugar-Free Pork Breakfast Sausage

Pork Sausage

Sausage is another item that usually has added sugar or other starchy fillers.

USWM Pork Breakfast Sausage:

pork breakfast sausage

USWM Pork Breakfast Sausage is made with just pork, salt, and spices. This mainstream brand below has three forms of added sugar.

Mainstream Brand Pork Breakfast Sausage:

mainstream sausage

all natural seasoning, primal palate, ranch

USWM Primal Palate Garden Ranch Seasoning Mix

Spice blends and seasoning packets

Spice blends and seasoning packets take the guesswork out of adding flavor to meals, but they almost always have hidden sugars, starches, or fillers. USWM offers a wide variety of seasonings and spices without added sugars. One of my favorites is the Garden Ranch Seasoning Mix from Primal Palate. Ranch seasoning mix is notoriously difficult to find without added sugars or fillers. Compare USWM’s mix with the mainstream brand below:

USWM Ranch Seasoning Mix:

Mainstream Ranch Seasoning Mix:

mainstream seasoning

Maltodextrin, the first ingredient in this mainstream brand, is a simple starch. It is used in many food products as a filler. It can rapidly raise blood glucose levels if consumed in large enough quantities.

Convenience foods make life in today’s hectic world much more manageable. Making the decision to eat healthier or to follow a ketogenic diet simply means you need to pay a little more attention to detail when including them in your diet. Finding USWM was a game-changer for me. I know their products are made with ingredients I would use myself. Search for more sugar-free convenience-food options from USWM in the heat & serve, jerky & snacks, bacon & sausages, sauces & seasonings, or visit the sugar-free products page for a complete list of all of the items containing no added sugars or sweeteners.

Nicole RecineMeet The Author:

Nicole Recine is a nurse practitioner that specializes in diabetes. Nicole was a featured speaker at the 2017 KetoCon. Watch her KetoCon presentation.