The ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate intake. Going on the ketogenic diet helps your body get into the state of ketosis, where the body runs on fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. Because the ketogenic diet may restrict your food options and change your food intake, dietary supplements may help you if you are on the keto diet. Keto vitamins and minerals are not necessary, but taking them will provide many health benefits on top of the benefits that come from the keto diet.
What is the Keto Diet?
On the keto diet, your body runs on fat for fuel. The body needs fuel to run. Usually, the body relies on carbohydrates for this. Carbohydrates are turned into glucose molecules for an easy source of energy. However, when carbohydrate intake is low, the body starts looking for alternative sources of energy to use. Since the ketogenic diet involves eating high amounts of fat and low amounts of carbohydrates, the body starts to look for other sources of energy because the keto diet is used to get into ketosis. On ketosis, your liver produces ketone bodies, which are used for energy.
People choose to go on the keto diet for many reasons. There are many health benefits of going on the ketogenic diet. For instance, going keto can help you lose weight and control your blood sugar.
What are the Risks of Going on the Keto Diet, and How Can Vitamins and Minerals Help?
Going on a ketogenic diet may restrict your food options and change your intake. These dietary limitations can be made safer if you take vitamin and mineral supplements. If you do not want to take supplements, it is possible to choose to eat food rich in vitamins and minerals that you may lack when on the keto diet. However, taking vitamin and mineral supplements may make sure that you get the same amount of vitamins and minerals everyday.
Taking supplements on the ketogenic diet is not necessary. However, choosing to take supplements may provide you with additional health benefits on top of the benefits you get from doing keto. Taking supplements can ensure that you still meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirement intake.
The ketogenic diet comes with side effects. Taking supplements may help you minimize your chances of getting these side effects, as most of these side effects are caused by deficiencies in vitamin and mineral intake.
Here are some common side effects you may experience if you go on the ketogenic diet:
- bad breath which may taste fruity
- dry mouth
- increased energy
- increased thirst
- frequent urination
- reduced hunger
You may also experience the following side effects on keto:
- digestive issues, such as constipation and diarrhea
- insomnia or waking up at night
- short-term decreases in physical performance
- short-term fatigue
- weight loss
Keto vitamins and minerals to improve your health
Electrolyte Supplements, which refer to Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium
Electrolytes help your body control your nerve and muscle function. On the ketogenic diet, your electrolytes may be diminished through frequent urination. Taking electrolyte supplements will help replenish your body’s electrolyte levels.
Calcium does not just help you have strong bones. Calcium also helps your blood clot properly, and helps with muscle contraction.
Magnesium helps with many cellular functions. Magnesium boosts your energy levels, helps regulate your blood sugar levels, and supports your immune system. Since plenty of food with high amounts of magnesium can also be high in carbohydrates, it may be difficult to get sufficient amounts of magnesium on the ketogenic diet. The daily recommended intake of magnesium is 200 to 400 milligrams a day. Taking supplements with magnesium can help with improving the quality of your sleep, reducing your fatigue, reducing your irritability, and reducing muscle cramps.
Potassium helps your body maintain normal blood pressure, regulates fluid balance, and regulates your heart rate. Increasing your potassium intake can help some symptoms of going on the ketogenic diet such as constipation, fatigue, and headaches.
Sodium helps your body with nerve and muscle function, as sodium helps your body retain water and other electrolytes. Sodium can help improve your blood pressure. Increasing your sodium intake can help some symptoms of going on the ketogenic diet such as constipation, fatigue, and headaches.
Taking enough fiber will help you avoid constipation. If you do not take enough fiber, you can be at risk for heart disease and obesity. On the ketogenic diet, you may eat less fiber than usual if you get your fiber intake from carbohydrates.
Iron helps your cells function properly. If you do not take enough iron, you may feel lethargic and look pale.
MCT oil or medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fat that is broken down and used as a source of energy for your brain and muscles. Taking MCT oil can increase your fat intake and help you stay in ketosis. Taking MCT oil can improve cognitive functioning, increase satiety and help weight loss.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids helps lower your risk for heart disease and helps reduce inflammation. Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help your body maintain a healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
Vitamin D improves your bone health and immune system. It helps you absorb minerals. You can get vitamin D by spending more time outdoors under the sun. However if you do not live in a place with sufficient sunlight, vitamin D supplements are an available alternative.
Are You Considering Going on the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is not for everyone — what may help someone may hurt or be detrimental to someone else. While going on the ketogenic diet is generally safe, there are some risks associated with it. Ketosis can affect people differently. To be on the safe side, consult your doctor or healthcare provider if you are considering going on a ketogenic diet. Do not go on the ketogenic diet unsupervised.
Consult a doctor or healthcare provider before going on the ketogenic diet if you are any of the following:
- you are breastfeeding
- you take medication for diabetes
- take medication for high blood pressure
- you are pregnant