The Ketogenic diet is a fantastic way to shed a few pounds.
Being high in fat, moderate protein and essentially outlawing carbs is a great way to lose weight.
Drastically reducing the amount of sugar in your diet results in your body beginning to burn fat for energy.
While on the keto diet, many foods are excluded for being too high in carbohydrates, such as fruits, grains and certain vegetables, and this can lead to deficiencies that negatively impact your health.
Below are seven essential supplements to keep you healthy on Keto:
Electrolytes are essential minerals that support musculoskeletal health and include sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
While on the keto diet, it is very common for the body to have very low levels of these minerals and, as a result, experience symptoms such as muscle cramps, headaches and fatigue as well as the keto flu.
In order to reduce these symptoms and ensure continued health, you can either take dietary supplements or actively try to incorporate foods rich in these minerals into your diet.
For instance, bananas are high in potassium but due to their high carb content they are not normally eaten on the keto diet.
Potassium, instead, can be introduced from foods such as avocados or fish.
Likewise, magnesium rich foods include chia seeds, hemp seeds, and spinach.
However, if these are not to your taste, dietary supplements are available.
Pink Himalayan salt is full of sodium which can help to relieve headaches and fatigue associated with the keto flu.
Fiber is an essential part of any diet and lack of which can lead to bloating and constipation.
It is found in green vegetables but also in whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fruit (not consumed on the keto diet).
While eating a good amount of green, low carb vegetables is the best option.
There are also fiber supplements like psyllium husk available, which provide your digestive system with what it needs to function correctly and keep you healthy.
#3 Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and hormone that is normally generated through the exposure of ultra-violet radiation (sun) exposure to the skin.
In addition, it is also available through some food sources such as salmon and herring and through fortified foods such as cereals and milk.
Fish is not always to everyone’s taste and such fortified foods do not fit into the restrictions of the keto diet.
Moreover, with more and more people entering sedentary office-based jobs, we are not always getting enough sunlight to be able to generate all the vitamin D that we need.
With these points in mind, it may be important to consider taking an oral vitamin D supplement to ensure plasma levels don’t dip outside the normal range.
#4 MCT Oil
MCT oil, an acronym for medium-chain triglycerides, is an oil comprising of relatively short fatty-acid chains derived from mostly coconut oil and palm oil.
These triglycerides are easily and rapidly metabolized in the liver to form ketone bodies which are consequently used to generate energy.
Adding this supplement to your diet is an excellent way of increasing the amount of circulating ketone bodies in the blood and maintaining the state of ketosis.
Given how difficult it is to achieve a state of ketosis, and adhering to the strict diet requirements, taking MCT oil ensures the body remains in ketosis and allows for small deviations from your keto diet. Importantly, MCT oil has an additional benefit; it has also been shown to improve the gut microbiome and in this way, improves overall metabolic health.
MCT oil is odorless and flavorless so it is easy to incorporate into drinks such as smoothies, coffee or juices.
#5 Exogenous Ketones
While ketones that our bodies generate from metabolising fats are termed endogenous ketones, those which we consume from our diet ready to be used are called exogenous ketones.
Exogenous ketones can be bought in the form of salts which are the ketones bound to sodium, potassium or magnesium and come in a powder form which is dissolved in a liquid to consume.
They may also be bought in the form of a liquid, known as ketone esters.
These supplements mimic ketones and ensure your body remains in a state of ketosis as weight loss continues even when you deviate from your diet slightly.
As an added benefit to these ketones, that have been shown to directly suppress appetite by decreasing the amount of the hunger-stimulating hormone, ghrelin, in blood plasma which in turn promotes further weight-loss through the reduction of food consumption.
Probiotics are foods that contain live bacteria and support the existing gut bacteria.
Having a diverse population of good bacteria has been related to an array of conditions, from depression to obesity itself.
While the most well-recognised probiotics include yogurt, more appropriate probiotics for those on the keto diet would be Kimchi (Japanese fermented cabbage dish) or Kombucha (fermented black tea).
Neither of these seem particularly appetizing, but both are rich in flavour and excellent for your overall health.
#7 Greens Powders
Greens powders are a mix of up to 22 dehydrated and powdered vegetables which can be mixed with water and drank in order to give you a concentrated amount of your daily vegetable requirements.
Alongside vegetables, these powders also contain digestive enzymes, water-soluble vitamins, inositol, and liver-supporting enzymes making them an excellent choice for getting as much nutrients and minerals as possible.
Each serving is only 40 calories and low in carbs (so don’t worry about over-indulging!).
Moreover, they can be taken with or without food, they are great for when travelling, and they provide an immune boost.
All of the above are essential supplements to support your health, and many are great even for those not on the keto diet as they promote overall health and well-being.