The ketogenic diet is making waves, with millions of people losing weight due to its high-fat, low-carb nature.
However, someone may face potential vitamin and nutrient deficiencies by following this diet if not followed correctly. Also, a strict macronutrient breakdown such as 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs can lead to deficiencies.
Read on to find out more about keto supplements and the vitamin and nutrient deficiencies someone may face on the keto diet.
Vitamin and Nutrient Deficiencies on the Keto Diet
Because the keto diet restricts carbs, it also restricts nutrients that come with carbs, such as vital vitamins that are needed for our skin, hair, eyes, and overall function.
Also, the fat intake may not leave room for other foods that can help the body, such as vegetables or fruits.
Continue reading to uncover which supplements you should use to fulfill keto deficiencies and what can happen to the body if you do not.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you mostly eat poultry, eggs, or red meat for your fat and protein, you can miss out on omega-3 fatty acids.
Wild-caught salmon and other fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, but not everyone can afford them regularly.
Fish oils such as EPA and DHA can reduce inflammation and prevent cognitive decline. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include:
- Poor circulation
- Mood swings
- Heart issues
- Mood swings or disorders
- Poor memory
- Dry skin
The best keto supplements are fish oil or cod liver oil.
Because of keto’s lack of fruits and vegetables, especially fruits, people are prone to Vitamin C deficiency.
Vitamin C is vital for our collagen production and protecting the immune system. Symptoms of Vitamin C deficiencies are:
- Bumpy, red, or rough skin; dry skin
- Easy bruising
- Slow to heal wounds
- Painful or swollen joints
- Unhealthy gums and teeth
- Chronic inflammation
You can naturally consume Vitamin C through keto-friendly fruits such as berries and boost your vegetable intake.
However, many people opt for a supplement that allows them to consume 1,000 mg to 1,500 mg of Vitamin C a day.
The keto diet is prone to losing electrolytes found in many carbs such as vegetables and fruits.
Some of the most common electrolytes deficiencies on the keto diet include:
- Sodium: Sodium deficiency occurs when the body does not have enough salts, resulting in impaired cognition and fatigue. Use sea salt or Himalayan salt to supplement.
- Magnesium: A nutrient found in vegetables, fruits, and even dark chocolate—magnesium deficiency leads to difficulty sleeping, muscle cramps, and constipation. Supplement individually or with an electrolyte powder.
- Potassium: Another electrolyte that is needed for proper cellular function, as potassium deficiency can cause headaches or fainting. It is found in milk and potatoes, which are not allowed or heavily restricted on keto. However, it is found in electrolyte powders or select keto-friendly foods, such as full-fat yogurt, nuts, meat, and eggs.
Having electrolyte deficiencies also triggers your body to hold water, resulting in bloating.
If your macros permit, you can drink coconut water. If you can eat fruit within your macros, opt for an orange or banana. Most people restrict fruits using electrolyte powders as a keto supplement.
Eating a 70-75% fat diet may lead to digestive issues, as fiber is found in fruits and plants.
If you lack fiber, it can lead to constipation and an irritable mood.
For some, having a lack of digestive enzymes results in diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
As a result, digestive enzymes may be necessary, or probiotics to help boost gut bacteria.
Calcium is mostly found in dairy or fish, where you can eat the bones, such as sardines.
While you can consume some dairy products on keto diets, such as cheese, butter, sour cream, and more—milk usually has too many carbs for most people on their diet.
Some people may opt for the vegan version of keto or consume dairy due to inflammation issues.
As a result, calcium deficiency may occur, which results in low bone density for the body, including the teeth. Calcium also helps our nerve and muscle function.
The most common keto supplements are a daily vitamin. A stand-alone supplement of 1,000 mg a day is also a solid choice.
The ketogenic diet has various benefits for fat loss and is rich in some nutrients, such as B vitamins, which many people do not get enough of.
Unfortunately, it is a low-carb diet that restricts various foods, requiring keto supplements to cover those deficiencies.
While you can supplement these deficiencies with real food or keto-friendly foods, it may disrupt your macronutrients and cause an imbalance.
As a result, keto supplements may be necessary moving forward to ensure you have enough fat to remain in ketosis and stay fat-adapted for weight loss.