There is a lot of buzz surrounding the keto diet and keto snacks. When Riverside Naturals, a healthy snack food manufacturer based in Canada, developed their GOODTO GO keto snacks, we wanted to learn more. Riverside Naturals emphasizes allergen-free, safe-for-school keto snacks while being a Certified B Corporation with a focus on reduced waste and sustainable business practices.
We chatted with Nima Fotovat, the President of Riverside Natural Foods, to understand more about Riverside Naturals, keto snacks, and healthy fats you can incorporate in your diet.
WEHL: Tell us a little about Riverside Naturals and developing your GOODTO GO keto snacks.
NF: Riverside Naturals is a proudly Canadian, family-owned business. Nima, Salma, and Sahba are siblings with manufacturing running through their veins. Sharing a passion for healthy, natural foods, they began Riverside Natural Foods in 2014 and built the company as an extension of their family. Creating a good work environment was key to their success.
In 2018, Nima began experimenting with the ketogenic diet. Cutting down on carbs gave him more energy and focus. But as a busy entrepreneur, the meal planning and Keto-lifestyle were a challenge. Sensing opportunity in a market with few choices, he began experimenting to create a snack to satisfy his cravings. That’s how GOODTO GO was born. Riverside Naturals also makes MadeGood granola bars too!
WEHL: What is your philosophy on wellness?
NF: Riverside Naturals is proud to be a TRUE Zero Waste business. The Total Resource Use and Efficiency certification gave us the opportunity to understand how materials flow through our Riverside dedicated facilities and identify areas in need of a redesign. It’s one of the ways we continue to demonstrate our responsibility to the social and ecological health of our planet.
WEHL: In what ways have you reduced your waste?
NF: Our silver rating means we divert a minimum of 90 percent of our waste for reuse, recycling, composting and recovery for use in nature or the economy. Our initiatives include having one of our offices go entirely paperless, and expanding and labelling our waste and recycling system to divert efficiently. Certification is a rigorous process, and each year we submit 12 months of data for scientific evaluation by Green Business Certification Inc., a global, third-party credentialing body.
WEHL: Why is it important to Riverside Naturals to make products that are “allergy-free”?
NF: GoodTo Go is a brand that is focused on pure simple ingredients, high fiber, and a low net carb product on the run. Our soft baked bars are grain-free and gluten-free, vegan, keto certified, kosher, peanut-free, and non-GMO project certified.
WEHL: You recently launched a new brand called GoodTo Go which is a keto bar. Tell us a bit about the keto diet and why this keto snack works well with the diet.
NF: The keto diet is a way of eating that mimics the effects of fasting. The real ketogenic diet is not just any ‘low carb’ diet. It is a very low carbohydrate diet that is also very high in fat compared to the way most people eat. The keto diet approach is so low in carbohydrates that it forces the body to switch its fuel source. This big change in the types of foods eaten causes the body to go into ketosis, which means it’s burning fat for fuel instead of the carbohydrates.
GOODTO GO knows sticking to a Keto diet – and even to a low carb diet – requires discipline and meal planning. So, when an energy slump strikes in the middle of a hectic day, you want a Keto-friendly snack that takes zero effort. GOODTO GO uses real, organic ingredients like coconut, cinnamon, and raspberries to make the tastiest soft baked bars. With a whopping 13 g of plant-based fat and just a hint of sugar, they’ll bust any size craving. GOODTO GO ups the pleasure of living an active, healthy life!
WEHL: The keto diet focuses a lot on fats. Why is fat important?
NF: Fat is one of the three main macronutrients, along with two others: carbohydrate and protein. A macronutrient is something we need in relatively large amounts to be healthy. Fat is perhaps the most misunderstood energy source required by the body. Fat is a source of energy and all fats provide fuel for the body in a concentrated form. Fat also helps with the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K. Fat is a component of cell walls and helps keep skin and hair healthy. Fat insulates and protects our bodies and helps maintain body temperature. Humans also need essential fats that our bodies cannot make. Essential fat like Omega 3’s have many health benefits including lowering the risk of heart disease. Last but not least, fat enhances flavour and texture of food that adds enjoyment to eating.
The key is to understand how to choose the right amount of each type of fat.
WEHL: What are the different kinds of fats and what are some of the best/healthiest fats to incorporate into your diet?
NF: Include the healthiest fats in your diet. These are the polyunsaturated fats, especially the essential omega-3 unsaturates which are found in foods like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, arctic char and trout), flaxseed, enriched eggs and walnuts.
Enjoy monounsaturated fats which are also good fats. These healthy fats are naturally found in foods such as olive oil, avocados, seeds, and nuts like almonds, pistachios, pecans and cashews. The makers of GOODTO GO leverage the good fats in almonds by using almond flour as the first ingredient in the bars.
Reduce saturated fat and eliminate trans fat. Saturated fats are naturally found in foods from animals such as fatty cuts of meat, poultry with the skin on and higher fat milk, cheese and yogurt. Saturated fat is also found in oils such as coconut and palm kernel oils. Trans fat is an unhealthy fat used in some commercially baked goods, snacks and fried foods.
WEHL: What do some people get wrong about the keto diet?
NF: The Keto Diet is very strict and, in that, different than just ‘cutting down on carbs’. But – we recommend finding your own preferred path – cutting out refined carbs and sugars is definitely a great thing to do for anybody. Optimal nutrition is an individual topic and what works well for one person is not necessarily the right way of eating for another.
WEHL: Is the keto diet something that’s safe for everyone?
NF: As mentioned above, it works amazingly well for some people and not as great for others. The general idea of cutting out or down refined carbs and sugars and focusing on complex carbs and fiber as your carbs of choice, is a great thing to do for anybody, though!
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