They’re making protein-packed everything now, in case you haven’t already noticed. There’s low-calorie ice cream loaded with protein and insoluble fiber, protein donuts that come with their own icings and topping and endless options for protein bars, some of which look suspiciously similar to candy bars. If you spend any time on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a lot of the branding for one in particular that makes higher-protein pancake and muffin mixes. But are Kodiak cakes healthy?
We know you’ve seen their signature bear as you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, or maybe among othr enticing goodies on the shelves of supplement stores like Vitamin Shoppe and GNC. But with so many sponsored Instagram stories and posts filling your feed, how can you actually know that they’re good for you? So, are Kodiak cakes healthy? We’ll explain what you can expect from the social media mainstay before you buy anything.
Wait, what are Kodiak cakes?
If the name sounds familiar but you’re not quite sure what this product is, let us break it down for you: Kodiak cakes is a brand that started out by making high-protein mixes for typically high-carb foods like waffles, flapjacks, muffins and even cornbread, cookies and brownies. Recently they also branched into frozen toaster waffles and flapjacks to make enjoying them easier, and even offer a line of Kodiak cups for eating protein-packed goodies on the go.
Flavors range from dessert-approved chocolate-peanut butter and pumpkin-dark chocolate to breakfast-friendly cinnamon-maple and mountain blueberry. The offers depend on which product you’re looking into, though the widest flavor variety is offered through their line of Kodiak cups.
Kodiak cakes nutrition: what you need to know
First of all, what is healthy? We know that’s not what you want to hear, but many nutritionists and dieticians agree that a healthy, balanced diet makes room for even a little bit of candy, chocolate, or even fried food every now and then. So even if Kodiak cakes nutrition wasn’t ideal, there’s still no reason to avoid adding it into your diet every once in a while. Essentially, even if you’re trying to lose weight, science has shown that the most effective diet is the one you can stick to long-term.
But maybe it’s most helpful to show how Kodiak cakes nutrition stacks up side-by-side with a common household name like Betty Crocker’s Bisquick. When looking at both company’s generic buttermilk flapjack or pancake mix, this is what you’ll see:
The serving sizes are a little off, but if you take an equal serving of each of the pancake mixes, the Kodiak cakes nutrition is only slightly different than that of Bisquick except for one main component: the protein, of course. Kodiak cakes only work out to be lower than Bisquick in carbs by a measly 5 grams (that’s only 20 calories), though it makes those calories up by having 7 grams more protein than the Betty Crocker mix (that’s 28 calories). Calorically, choosing between them is a wash if you’re using the same measurement for each and not the suggested serving size.
So, are Kodiak cakes healthy?
So, are Kodiak cakes healthy, and should I be worried that calorically they’re about the same as Bisquick? First, calm down. There’s room in a healthy, balanced diet for both Bisquick and Kodiak Cakes if you find both appealing for different reasons. And there really are some things going on for Kodiak Cakes that other generic grocery store brands of these mixes don’t offer. But, we want to emphasize here, that means each one is well suited for a different situation, and doesn’t necessarily make one a health paragon and the other a diet don’t.
If you’re asking, are Kodiak cakes healthy, here are highlights you probably want to know: This brand makes their mixes with whole grains and rolled oats rather than bleached white flour. That’s a bonus if you’re looking to sneak more fiber into your diet, which can help boost satiety so you don’t feel like downing the leftover flapjacks or waffles an hour later.
The obvious selling point is the protein, which helps you build lean muscle tissue (which then gives your metabolism a much-needed bost) and also helps you feel fuller for longer, especially when combined with a hefty dose of fiber. But protein and fiber also team up to blunt the insulin spike you get from carb-heavy meals. The muffin and brownie mixes, for example, need sugar to make their chocolate flavor sing — and even whole grain flour is still a carb. By lessening how hard the carbs (which are all turned into sugar in your body) hit your system, the protein and fiber can help you get more stable energy levels, lessen your post-carb crash cravings and weaken your body’s fat storing response to insulin spikes.
For these reasons, there’s nothing wrong with opting for Kodiak cakes. But, and this is important, there’s nothing wrong with Bisquick or other brands that use bleached white flour either. Yes, these use refined carbs, which hit your bloodstream sooner and can spike insulin levels. But you actually want that if you’ve just completed a hard workout and need to refuel your glycogen levels after lifting some heavy weights. It’s all about timing, portion control and moderation — even when it comes to moderation.