Why Everyone On The Keto Diet Needs Supplements
The ketogenic, or keto, diet commonly asks people to eat only around 20-50g of carbohydrates per day. One of the major criticisms of the diet plan is that having such a low carb intake can leave people vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies. Taking some specific supplements can help lower the risk of nutrient deficits.
Foods that are rich in magnesium, such as whole grains, fruits, and beans, are often not consumed in high amounts on the keto diet. Magnesium is essential for metabolism, fluid balance, and bone and muscle health. Anyone not getting enough magnesium through diet alone may want to consider a supplement. Most people should limit a magnesium supplement to less than 400mg per day.
When a person’s body gets used to eating keto, the kidneys may adjust by getting rid of water. This can lead to a deficiency in crucial electrolytes, such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus. And electrolyte drinks are often laden with sugar, making these incompatible with the keto diet. If a person cannot find a keto-friendly electrolyte supplement, consider filling these nutritional gaps by consuming beef or chicken broth to keep salt levels up and eating more potassium-rich foods, such as avocado or cooked spinach.
Because the ketogenic diet centers on fat and protein, which are low in fiber, some people following the diet can have digestive problems. Getting more fiber is the solution. However, fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are often not part of a person’s keto diet. Fiber supplements can be helpful if a person is not eating enough keto-friendly fiber-rich foods, such as nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.
While the keto diet doesn’t necessarily bring a risk of vitamin D deficiency, many Americans have dangerously low levels of this nutrient. Vitamin D boosts the immune system, supports bone health, and improves mood. Few food sources contain adequate amounts of vitamin D, which means many people can significantly benefit from a supplement. Ask a healthcare provider to run a blood test to check current levels before starting a vitamin D supplement.
Benefits vs risk
The keto diet has some health benefits for some people but is not the right diet for everyone. For some people, this way of eating is not sustainable and can lead to irritability, nutrient deficiencies, and yo-yo weight fluctuations. For more information about the risks and benefits of the ketogenic diet, speak with a healthcare provider.