4 votes

Magic Spoon Review: Keto-friendly cereal alternative?

Note: there's a number of disclaimers I feel I want to include regarding "miracle" diets, direct-to-consumer businesses, health benefits/risks of dieting, etc but it'd get too long to put them up here. I'll add a comment with that stuff. Also, no one is paying me to say anything here.

I decided to write about my experiences with different low calorie/diabetic-friendly/keto food options. Let me know if this is at all helpful to you :)


Magic Spoon

This is that unavoidable direct-to-consumer business; you may have been bothered w/dozens of promo codes for their cereal across various podcasts, YouTube videos, and Twitch streams. I have been on a ketogenic diet for a long while (and have had success with it*), and saw that Magic Spoon is low carb and comparably low in calories compared to other sugary cereals.

I bought a variety pack with 4 boxes for ~$40 including shipping w/promo code. $10/box is pricey, but since I used to be a cereal lover, I figured it might be worth having it to scratch the itch. All of these I had with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk (<1g carbs.) I can't really tell a flavor difference between almond milk and low fat milk. Whole milk sells for about $3 in my market where as almond milk is about $4. Note: I am easy to please, I definitely don't have a "refined" palate. Now to the boxes:


Peanut Butter

I think maybe my expectations were off for this. I'm not a sommelier, so I'll describe flavors best I can in common folk language. This is just not good. At all. The taste is peanut-buttery, but has an overwhelming salty flavor. There's also this off-note that tastes like artificial sweetener. Texture-wise really adheres to your teeth. I finished the bowel, only because I didn't have enough time to pour a new one before work. It's been a few weeks, and I still haven't touched the box (aside from a small bowel to write this review.)

Rating: 1/5


Fruity

I had pretty low expectations from the previous box, and some anxiety about having potentially wasted $40 on food I won't eat. The smell when I opened the box was immediately that of fruit loops. I noticed the shape of the cereal was the same as the peanut butter ones. Fortunately, these didn't glue themselves to my teeth in quite the same way that the PB flavor did, but I still used my tongue to dislodge it from a couple of molars at the end. This tasted quite close to fruit loops, but overall is a unique flavor. I quite enjoyed this flavor. This cereal can sit in the bowel for some time before becoming soggy; a good quality since I typically take my time and browse Reddit/HN in the mornings while slowly working on a bowel of cereal before work. Flavor is a half-step down from fruit loops, but a step up in consistency.

Rating: 4/5


Frosty

When I tried this, this was the best keto cereal I've tried. I'd say it's the best cereal I've ever had, but that title still belongs to Reese's Puffs. It's hard to describe the flavor, something like Lucky Charms if you had a high-number of mash-mellows, but far more substantial. It isn't an especially complex flavor; it's just a "frosted" flavor that seems perfectly balanced in both flavor and consistency. Following the trend of other cereals, it doesn't get soggy fast, which I appreciate. Doesn't really get stuck in the teeth.

Rating: 5/5


Chocolate

This will be a short review: not great. It tastes like Cocoa Puffs, if they very obviously had substituted artificial sweetener for sugar. Maybe that's your thing, but I wasn't a huge fan of Cocoa Puffs in the first place. Not offensive, I'll probably finish the box when I run out of other things to eat, but not great.

Rating: 2/5


Conclusion

This scratches that craving for cereal that you miss out on when you go on a low carb diet. If you are on keto, you should note the cereal is relatively high in protein (around 13g per cup) where total fat is only 8g per cup. I'll probably purchase again, but I'll do a custom bundle next time w/fruity, 2 frosty, and maybe a different interesting flavor as a fourth.

7 comments

  1. [6]
    monarda
    (edited )
    Link
    I don't know if this is the place for it, but since you seemed to be in a place of "this has worked for me, but not be best for you," I thought it might be the place to put this. I've never...

    I don't know if this is the place for it, but since you seemed to be in a place of "this has worked for me, but not be best for you," I thought it might be the place to put this.

    I've never understood the keto diet because I come from a farming background, and ketosis is a bad thing that can happen in dairy cows. It's possible that lactating and to be lactating cows share no physiological similarities to humans, but I'm skeptical and think their there are similarities.

    Here's an overview of ketosis in dairy cows: Ketosis in Cattle:

    I don't necessarily think that a keto diet is bad for humans, but I also don't think many humans realize that ketosis is a thing that has been researched and shown to be bad in certain mammals.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      Well, to be frank, I think very few people on a keto diet are actually in kitosis. You have to be very strict with your carb intake and consistent in order not to break it and most people are not...

      Well, to be frank, I think very few people on a keto diet are actually in kitosis. You have to be very strict with your carb intake and consistent in order not to break it and most people are not that strict or consistent (drinking after work? lol). However, they will still have a variety of a beneficial effects just from cutting processed carbohydrates. Additionally, you're probably just going to be on a caloric deficit from having to be very conscious about eating patterns, eating being much more of an ordeal (e.g if you want to snack you need to first think about whether what you're craving has carbs and at that point it's just too much work I'll go back to what I was doing), and the meals being less energy dense, as well as not spiking blood sugar.

      That being said, cows are fundamentally different than humans. Cattle are grazers, and their digestive system is built for that. When a cow is undergoing ketosis, being something that will graze on grass or grain in farming situations, that's very different than an omnivorous human that's scarfing down steaks instead. The cows just aren't eating enough, rather than having their diet being proportioned differently.

      4 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        I tend to agree with you about people not actually being in ketosis. I think for most people the actual benefit you have is from cutting out sugar.

        I tend to agree with you about people not actually being in ketosis. I think for most people the actual benefit you have is from cutting out sugar.

        2 votes
      2. RNG
        Link Parent
        A lot of folks on keto regularly measure their ketones and use apps to track their macro-nutrient levels. In my personal opinion, I think the strongest mechanism keto has for weight loss is simply...

        Well, to be frank, I think very few people on a keto diet are actually in kitosis. You have to be very strict with your carb intake and consistent in order not to break it and most people are not that strict or consistent (drinking after work? lol)

        A lot of folks on keto regularly measure their ketones and use apps to track their macro-nutrient levels. In my personal opinion, I think the strongest mechanism keto has for weight loss is simply lower caloric intake. I think any elimination diet causes the person dieting to think harder about what they eat which I think just naturally leads to lower caloric intake. Anecdotally, keto replacements tend to be lower calorie and more filling (just imho) compared to their alternatives.

        Lots of claims are made that there are additional, special mechanisms exist that cause fat to burn more effectively in ketosis, but I'm not sure if any of these have any merit.

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      RNG
      Link Parent
      There's a growing body of evidence that ketogenic diets are effective for treating both type-2 diabetes/pre-diabetes and obesity [1]. There are also some downsides: it may be detrimental to bone...

      There's a growing body of evidence that ketogenic diets are effective for treating both type-2 diabetes/pre-diabetes and obesity [1]. There are also some downsides: it may be detrimental to bone density, as one recent study of rats given a ketogenic diet showed an overall lower bone density compared to the control [2]. Additionally, research shows that when you first start a ketogenic diet, your LDL may spike, and you run a higher risk of hypoglycemia (esp for type-1 diabetics) [3].

      This is why it is important to consult your doctor before starting any sort of diet. For me, the risks posed by obesity and pre-diabetes outweighed the relative risk posed by switching to a ketogenic diet. This risk calculus can also change over time, and is different for different individuals. Now that I'm no longer in an overweight BMI, it may not be long before it's time for me to leave keto.

      As far as ketosis being a disease, that doesn't appear to be the case for humans. I'm not a biologist, but I assume that may have to do with the differences in herbivore nutrition mechanisms vs our mechanisms. A number of human cultures, most notably the Inuit people, have lived long healthy lives for centuries off of meat-only diets (as vegetation is scarce in the arctic) [4].

      [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8280429/

      [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6425126/

      [3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29737587/

      [4] https://escholarship.org/content/qt8wz5h9kp/qt8wz5h9kp.pdf?t=q3sb1q

      3 votes
      1. monarda
        Link Parent
        I don't have the time at the moment to follow your links, but I will! I did however want to let you know that I appreciate your having conversation and providing additional resources for me to...

        I don't have the time at the moment to follow your links, but I will! I did however want to let you know that I appreciate your having conversation and providing additional resources for me to look at. Most of what I think about the keto diet has to do with "feelings" so I'm totally open to learn more.

        With not having looked at your links, I'm wondering if lactating women, or to be lactating women are represented? You don't have to educate me - I will follow your links tomorrow.

        2 votes
  2. RNG
    Link
    A few disclaimers I felt I wanted to add: The keto diet is not a miracle diet. There's no good evidence you'll beat calories-in/calories-out. It also comes with a host of potentially dangerous...

    A few disclaimers I felt I wanted to add:

    The keto diet is not a miracle diet. There's no good evidence you'll beat calories-in/calories-out. It also comes with a host of potentially dangerous side-effects. There's basically no evidence that it does any of the things so-called "keto gurus" claim it does. A specific, harsh diet that limits both protein and carbs has shown to help with epilepsy, but this isn't the "keto diet" that people online talk about. There's no evidence this "increases your cognition", "boosts your immune system", or "prevents cancer."

    You should actually talk to your primary doctor if you are concerned about your weight or overall health. I decided to start keto because type-2 diabetes runs in the family, and my A1C levels put me in pre-diabetes. Not only did this fix my levels (and ensured my blood sugar essentially never spikes), but it consequently caused me to drop a ton of weight, on a scale I just wasn't expecting (somewhere around 20lbs in the first 2-3 months.) This is great for me as my weight was my primary risk factor for developing diabetes.

    Anecdotally for me, as someone who spent years on a low calorie diet (and tracked it with various apps,) keto feels like magic. Weight, even when I've eaten what I know is way to many calories, just continues to slip off, nearly a year after starting. I honestly only get hungry once a week or so; I just have cravings, not that sick pit of emptiness that used to happen between meals on my low-calorie diet. That diet was only successful when I was disciplined on what I ate and my workout routine. I've neglected my workout routine, eat a lot of snacks, and still lose weight on keto.

    I did use a number of tools to assist in moving over to this diet: ketone test strips, MyFitnessPal Pro (tracks macros), and relying on a massive specialty supermarket aimed at a millennial audience nearby that offered keto versions of basically everything I craved (assuming I was willing to pay the price.)

    Feel free to ask any questions or let me know if this was useful for you :)

    1 vote