The keto diet is one that massively restricts carbohydrates and trains the body to burn fat as fuel. In this way, it's been successful as one of the best ways to lose weight. It's gained attention for its ability to increase focus and energy as well as treat certain illnesses.
At the same time, it's not recommended by a lot of health professionals - it's even opposed by some. Finally, with a very restrictive diet, comes the possibility of missing nutrients. That's where marketers and supplement makers come in.
The question we want to ask is, are they worth it? Or, is it all marketing magic and fake news?
What Happens in Ketosis?
Keto is short for ketosis, it's the state where your body burns fat. At this stage, you're not eating fruit or anything with carbs or sugar. Some people worry that this could cause not just fat to start burning, but nutrient deficits to start building as well.
According to some experts, medium-chain triglycerides, omega-3 fatty acids, collagen, magnesium, fiber, and more start to fall to lower-than-acceptable levels in the body. However, what's the truth of that?
If you've done Keto, then you might know what the Keto-Flu is. In short, it's your body's reaction to losing valuable nutrients and cutting away much of its usual food groups. It mimics the flu and can last for days if the person eating Keto isn't careful. This is what many uses to justify their use of supplements. However, is it needed?
Using Supplements With Keto
First, always talk to a doctor before a change in diet. It's vital to talk to someone who can know your history and work with you to find the best solution to reach your goals. However, if you're on the keto diet, then chances are you could use a supplement.
Those on the keto diet must avoid a rather lengthy list of foods that normally contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
- Fruit (whole, dried, smoothies, juices)
- Grains (rice, pasta, bread, muffins, oatmeal, cereal, pizza)
- Vegetables (potatoes, yams, peas, corn, artichokes, parsnips, yuca)
- Legumes (any bean)
- Dairy (milk, soft cheese, yogurt)
- Drinks other than water, tea, or coffee
While you should also avoid all types of unhealthy sugar (think soda, dessert, or candy) on this diet, we know those aren't good for us anyway. It's the above list that contains many essential nutrients. What should you talk to your doctor about starting?
Since you'll be cutting so much out of your diet, a catch-all vitamin might be a great idea. Ensure that you find one with all of the B vitamins that you could be missing in your carb-free diet. For the best results, take it with a meal in the morning.
If you were big into dairy but hated cheese, then it might be time to take a calcium supplement. While meat does have natural calcium, it might not be enough to keep your bones healthy. Canned fish does have calcium, as does salmon. However, a supplement could be cheaper and more exact.
Fiber and carbs go hand in hand when it comes to what's in something. Fruit, beans, and certain vegetables all have high amounts of both fiber and carbs. As such, making sure that you stay regular could rely on an added supplement.
Last on the list, a mixture of sodium, potassium, and magnesium. When you start Keto, you'll lose more water weight than normal, meaning these electrolytes will be needed in high supply. Since Power aid is off the list (too much sugar), a supplement could help you stay balanced.
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