SPECIAL EDITION: OMEGA-3

Omega-enriched shake sets Kickstarter record and boosts keto interest

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Sated's Ready to Drink Keto Meal Shake. ©Sated/Ted Tieken
Sated's Ready to Drink Keto Meal Shake. ©Sated/Ted Tieken
Start-up firm Sated has revealed its new range of Omega oil-infused, ketogenic replacement shakes have set a new one-day funding record on Kickstarter in the first 24 hours, doubling the prior one-day record.

Launched last week, the project’s achievements give some idea of the potential of this product. Described as a “nutritionally complete meal​” in a bottle, Sated’s shakes look to aid consumers who follow a keto diet with a high fat content designed to fuel the ketogenic nature of the regimen.

“The initial funding target of €9,318 ($10,800) was achieved in just over an hour,”​ according to the firm’s founder Ted Tieken. “A new record of €69,021 ($80,000) was also set for a food product on the crowdfunding site in 24 hours.”

A key differentiator of the product is its specific fat blend. Sated ready-to-drink shakes are created with four kinds of healthy fats - olive, flax, coconut and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oils. These sources give the shake its 1:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

In addition, the omega-3 content contained in the shake is equivalent to that contained in 15,441 chia seeds.

When I went searching for research on "optimal composition of fat" for the human diet I found research that argued the human body stores about the same ratio of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fat,” ​said Tieken.

“The logic is:  the body can convert most kinds of fat around to get the composition it wants, if it stores the same thing consistently, it must want to consume the same thing in periods of fat draw down (aka periods of ketosis).

“Then, understanding the mechanism by which the body indiscriminately up-converts short chain omega-3 and omega-6, having a balanced ratio was an obvious move as it helps to balance the pool of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory hormone precursors.”

'Fishy' aftertaste solved

Sated Keto shake nutrtional info

Tieken also commented on the shake’s taste; explaining how they achieved its ‘'slightly less version of brownie batter without any whey-like aftertaste,”​ in the face of the 'fishy' aftertaste associated with Omega 3 and 6.

“The key to not having a fishy aftertaste is using flax oil that has had the lignans removed (so it is shelf stable for much longer than virgin flax oil),” ​said Tieken. “Flax oil tastes a lot less like fish than fish oil.”

“The fat content is also a key part of getting the taste right.  The "whey like aftertaste" is often a dusty, off flavour similar to dry overcooked chicken.  Fat is delicious, and adds a richness to the flavours we couldn't get with just protein alone.”

With the inclusion of both omega 3 and 6 oils, Sated might be tempted to capitalise on the numerous health benefits attributed to their consumption, from their role in boosting cognitive function to maintaining joint health.

“I think healthy fats are absolutely a selling point of the shakes, and as we move from pre-sale to fully on sale we will get into more of the benefits of healthy fats,”​ said Tieken.

“But we're careful to make sure we only make approved food related claims to make sure the product doesn't get classified as a supplement by the FDA.”

Other shake ingredients

Boston-based Sated, who up until June this year were known as Ketolent, also point to the shake’s additional ingredients, which are included to help supplement a keto lifestyle.

In addition to the array of fats and oils, the shake’s protein and mineral content provides as much protein as three eggs, as much potassium as two bananas and more calcium than a cup of milk.

Low in carbohydrates, the shake also includes a blend of four natural sweeteners as well as three kinds of fibre to give the user more fibre than that contained in a bowl of oatmeal.

For Tieken, who started a ketogenic lifestyle in 2014, this dietary routine has been one that he has reaped the benefits from, with research pointing to the keto diet’s role in decreased hunger, weight loss, and physical and mental performance benefits.

However, the diet has had its fair share of criticism that highlight its links to specific nutritional deficiencies, higher risk of kidney damage and cardiac issues.

“The ketogenic diet is one of the most studied diets in existence, due to the long history in treating pediatric epilepsy,” said Tieken.

If there were substantial long-term health risks associated with keto, we would see them in the historical data,”​ he said. “And we don't.”​ 

“The average person who has been on keto for 6 months or longer has lost 43 lbs (19.5kg).  There are definite short and long-term risks from obesity.  

“Keto is hard to maintain (the carb limits are punishingly low), but as yet I see a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt and very little data suggesting keto diets are dangerous.”

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