Why does Kuma Shake Contain Sugar?
Put simply, Kuma shake does have a small amount of sucrose (5g) in its 8 oz bottle (which is an entire meal). This is a *trivial* amount and it's quite easy to maintain a budget of below 20g of carbs per day. As for the "why" -- we tried *every* possible way during manufacturing not to use sucrose, but our hand was forced for taste and shelf-stability.
Now for the longer version :)
Although many big keto people tout the mantra "no sugar ever" on keto, this is only approximately true. Since sucrose is a disaccharide of glucose and fructose, 2.5g will be fructose absorbed by the liver and only 2.5g grams will reach the bloodstream as glucose. This amount of glucose will not throw you out of ketosis as your body has two buffers for these small amounts: your liver (hepatic glycogen storage) and your muscles (muscular glycogen storage). So if you're doing any exercise (more intense than walking), there is no interruption after drinking Kuma. This is because your muscles must burn this glucose in anaerobic glycolysis (the respiratory quotient measures this). There is someone that wrote in with their postprandial blood sugar measurements as a comment on their original Amazon review. He found that the rise was insubstantial which is not only due to the low dose of glucose, but also that the 37g of fat in Kuma slows absorption, making its glycemic index trivially small.
Further, there is a fact that most keto people ignore. Protein converts to sugar on average at 20% by weight via gluconeogenesis; thus, eating 25g of protein (a typical smallish serving of meat or fish) would be equivalent to 5g of glucose (the same amount in Kuma Shake).
Putting these two facts together, the truth emerges as to why professional dietitians who prescribe the original ketogenic diet (dating back almost 100 years to Dr. Wilder in 1924) do not pay attention to *anything* but the percentage of calories derived from fat. This magic number is: 90% (which is where the therapeutic "4:1 ratio" comes from) that not only ensures ketogenesis , but also tricks the body into believing it's starving, the engineering problem Dr. Wilder was trying to solve (thus making the diet therapeutic). Kuma Shake does even better than 4:1; it clocks in at >5:1 which means those who are on 4:1 diet have a better budget for their protein.
Furthermore, many people on keto say that the hardest part of following keto is eating high fat while maintaining low carbs. Kuma is a great way to get 37g fat with only 5g net carbs making it a super "fat bomb".
Lastly, keep in mind that table sugar is natural and has centuries of chemical safety compared to artificial sweeteners - an option we did not ever consider! Sugar alcohols such as erithrytol and xylitol were also tried but did not work for Kuma because their taste cannot withstand the FDA's manufacturing regulations for shelf stability. Also, some people have digestion issues with sugar alcohols and we don't want to leave them out of enjoying our product.
We realize this answer still may not satisfy those that have been lambasted with the "no sugar ever" mantra for years. We urge an open mind and dialogue. Our majority women-owned family business team has an experienced registered dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator, a certified personal trainer with an occupational therapy degree and a PhD in Applied Statistics who is a published author on a paper which makes use of the ketogenic diet (which has been presented on a number of keto podcasts). We have been reading the scientific literature for years and discussing it. Einstein said "everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler". The "no sugar ever" mantra is a case of a phenomenon which is actually more complex but forced into something that Einstein would say is "too simple".