The ketogenic diet is one of many trends that has sticking power, gaining popularity and then remaining trendy amongst those desiring to lose weight. When implemented correctly, a low-carb ketogenic diet can do more than simply burn fat — it can help improve your overall health and wellness. There are many benefits surrounding the ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, many first-time dieters tend to neglect the essential vitamins for keto, resulting in vitamin deficiencies. This is where vitamin supplements can lend a hand.
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet (also known as the keto diet) is a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein diet originally designed to help manage medical conditions like epilepsy, obesity and diabetes.
This particular dieting method induces a state of ketosis in which your body converts stored body fat into compounds called ketones —shifting the body's primary fuel source from burning sugar to burning fat.
Different Types of Ketogenic Diets
Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This particular regimen is a very low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet—containing 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs.
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves dieting cycles with periods of high carbohydrates between ketogenic cycles.
Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows the addition of carbs during periods of intense physical activity.
High-protein ketogenic diet (HPKD): This version of the keto diet includes more protein and less fat than the SKD. The ratio is approximately 60% fat, 35% protein, and around 5% carbohydrates.
The SKD and HPKD are the most common ketogenic diets for lifestyle and weight loss, on the other hand, the CKD and TKD are more common among bodybuilders and athletes.
8 Vitamins and Supplements to Support a Keto Diet
Whether following a ketogenic diet to lose weight or to treat a medical condition, your body may require a few extra vitamins and nutritional supplements for support.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in marine-based food sources or supplements such as krill oil and fish oil. Of course, nothing beats eating a fatty fish meal to get your recommended Omega-3 fatty acids, but for those who have trouble consuming fish, Omega-3 supplements are a great way to get those nutrients. Krill oil supplements give you the benefits of a fatty fish diet or fish oil supplement, without the fishy aftertaste.
Vitamin B: The everyday operation of the body depends on the presence of B vitamins. These includes thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folate, and cobalamin. Without them, our metabolism would decrease, slowing several other chemical processes in the body leading to weight gain.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that your body requires for energy. Without it, your body may experience anemia, memory loss, anxiety, and fatigue.
Naturally consuming adequate folate levels can pose a challenge regardless of your dieting regimen, making supplementation necessary for those needing additional support.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps with collagen production, wound healing, iron absorption, and immune function. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that the human body cannot store or produce naturally, which makes a proper diet and supplements crucial to prevent diseases like scurvy. Although vitamin C deficiency may not be the most prominent on a ketogenic diet, the reality is that most people lack optimal levels of vitamin C and could use a daily boost.
Calcium: Calcium is a mineral our bodies cannot produce on their own, so it's important to incorporate calcium through keto-friendly milk options or calcium supplements when dieting.
In order for dairy products to be considered keto-friendly, they should be low in net carbs and sugar to avoid disturbing the body's ketosis state.
Magnesium: It’s the body's fourth most abundant mineral and plays a vital role in regulating the body's heart rhythm, generating energy, and shielding your DNA from harm. Whole grains, dairy products, legumes, and fruit are just a few foods rich in magnesium. However, these foods are generally avoided on a keto diet due to their high carbohydrate and sugar levels.
Potassium: This nutrient is vital for various physiological processes, such as maintaining blood pressure and fluid balance, muscle contraction, heartbeat rhythm, and nerve function. However, too much or too little potassium can be harmful to the body; therefore, monitoring these levels while dieting is essential.
Sodium: This nutrient can play a big role in offsetting the effects of the infamous "keto flu." The "keto flu" is a set of symptoms often experienced within the first week after starting this low-carb, high-fat regimen.
Adequate amounts of fluid and sodium intake can help prevent muscle cramps, headaches, and dizziness that come with the “keto flu”.
If you're not a fan of adding salt to your meals, sodium supplements and electrolyte replacement drinks can contribute to your sodium needs.
Supplements: Another Source of Micronutrients
When nutrients originate from natural food sources, they are much more effective and easier to absorb than taking supplements. However, supplementation can be highly beneficial for some.
Who could benefit from daily supplements?
- Those who may have issues with nutrient absorption
- Someone with a vitamin or mineral deficiency prior to beginning a keto regimen
- Someone older in age (50+)
- Vegans or vegetarians, who may already have dieting restrictions
Changing your diet and eating fewer carbs doesn't mean that you'll automatically be vitamin or mineral deficient, but it can mean your body may need a little extra help. If you're looking for a multi-purpose, keto-friendly product, we recommend our Mind & Body Omega-3 supplement. Kori Krill Oil's Omega-3 nutrients combine plant antioxidants, B12 and Turmeric Curcumin to give your brain and your body an extra nutritional boost while you burn fat.