Keto is surging in popularity and for good reason.
It gives you energy, helps you lose weight and if combined with plenty of vegetables it can be super healthy too.
However because it can also be quite restrictive you might be missing out on some important nutrients your body needs which can result in some unwanted side effects.
Because it eliminates entire food groups, taking extra nutrients and supplements can help optimize the nutritional value of this diet so you can reap the benefits and stay healthy.
Here are the most important supplements you should consider taking when you go keto:
#1 Digestive Enzymes
Probably the most common complaint of those who first embark on a keto diet is gastrointestinal problems such as bloating and diarrhea, caused mostly by the high-fat content of the diet which can be as high as 75%.
These side effects are typically transient, but they can be very uncomfortable.
While your body gets used to your new diet and learns to produce the right amount of enzymes, it is a good idea to supplement with a supplement containing lipases, which break down fat, and also proteases, which break down proteins.
Since magnesium is involved in a lot of chemical processes in the body, magnesium deficiency can cause symptoms such as digestive problems, depression, and cramps.
A lot of people are at risk of developing magnesium deficiency, mostly due to eating processed foods and consuming too much alcohol.
People following a keto diet are at an even higher risk since many magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains and bananas are also high in carbs.
A magnesium supplement during keto diet can improve wellbeing, and boost athletic performance.
How much magnesium per day is recommended for keto?
200-400mg or magnesium per day is a good amount.
Calcium is a crucial mineral in the human body, which supports bone, muscle and nerve function.
However, a lot of calcium-rich foods such as milk and yogurt are also high in carbohydrates and are typically avoided on a keto diet.
Keto-friendly foods high in calcium do exist, such as;
- Aged cheeses
- Canned fish with bones
- And other green vegetables.
However, if you dislike these foods or cannot eat too much of them, you can prevent a calcium deficiency during a keto diet by taking a calcium supplement.
What is the calcium rda?
The recommended daily amount for calcium is 1,000mg per day if you are aged between 19-50 with 2,500mg being the upper limit.
#4 Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are important for keeping a healthy heart and brain and reducing general inflammation.
Western diets, which are rich in vegetable fats, are particularly high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega 3 fatty acids.
A keto diet, by increasing the amount of fat, can promote an even unhealthier omega 3 to omega 6 ratio.
To boost your omega 3 intake during a keto diet you should eat enough fish, and take a good quality omega 3 supplement.
#5 MCT Oil
As any keto dieter knows, ketosis is can be difficult to achieve and maintain.
MCTs or medium chain fatty acids are small fat molecules which due to their size can be more effectively broken down into ketones and absorbed into the bloodstream.
MCT oil, typically isolated from coconut or palm oil, can help initiate and maintain ketosis, the state in which your body burns fat instead of sugar.
The keto diet is a great way to remove sugar cravings, burn fat, lose weight and reduce inflammation.
However, the keto diet restricts food groups such as fruits and whole grains, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.
Calcium, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids can prevent this, while supplementation with digestive enzymes will reduce any potential side effects of the diet.
Last but not least, MCT oil can help increase the efficiency of the keto diet, by keeping the body in the state of ketosis.