Fat is in and carbs are out. At least, according to the Keto diet. So what exactly is the keto or ketogenic diet?
A keto diet is a type of diet that strictly follows a high fat and a low carb consumption. To be more specific, you need to reach at least 80% fat, 15-20% protein, and less 5% carbs from your daily calories. Based on studies, this type of diet will not only help you shed off a couple of pounds but improve your overall health as well. However, it requires a drastic transition from the average diet most of us are used to.
What is Ketosis?
The ketogenic diet will replace your carb intake with fat to put your body in a metabolic state or ketosis. At this stage, your body transforms itself into a fat-burning machine and converts it into energy. The fat is also transformed by the liver into ketones which helps supply fuel to the brain and eventually become a source of energy.
Our body normally runs on glucose which is produced during the breakdown of carbohydrates. This method is the simplest way to produce energy. However, when you cut down your carbohydrate intake, your body will automatically seek other sources of energy. Hence, fat replaces the missing carbs and the fats are transformed into ketone bodies to produce energy.
Benefits of Taking Keto Supplements with your Ketogenic Diet
In the U.S., an estimate of 145 million citizens takes nutritional supplements every year. High-quality supplements can help maximize the results of your keto diet. Getting the sufficient amount of nutrients for your body may be challenging especially when you’re on a low carb diet. Basically, that’s where keto supplements come in.
Here are some of best keto supplements and the reasons why it’s important to take these while you’re on a ketogenic diet. We also would like to specially mention the Keto Protein Bar which can effectively support your keto diet by supplying your system with the nutrients it needs in order for your body parts to work properly.
A Keto Protein Bar also helps replenish the body with the lost nutrients to avoid experiencing keto flu. It also assists in maintaining a healthy overall well-being.
1. Take fish oil to maintain a healthy level of triglycerides.
Americans are reported to spend billions of dollars on fish oil supplements each year. Generally, people won’t keep buying something if it isn’t working to their benefit. So, how does it exactly work?
Fish oil supplements are designed and packed in a capsule form. The oils are extracted from the skin and liver of fatty fish which includes sardines, salmon, and mackerel.
This supplement is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which effectively assists in protecting the body from various health conditions and diseases. Since Omega-3’s aren’t naturally produced by the body, you have to source it through your daily diet. Most Americans don’t usually get enough of it in their daily nutrition which now points out to the significance of taking fish oil supplements.
Based on research, fish oil is found to reduce your levels of triglycerides which help store the body’s energy for later use. Triglycerides are an important function of the body and a spike in level may also increase your risk of acquiring a cardiovascular disease. Therefore, regular consumption of fish oil may significantly reduce the number of triglycerides in your body and maintain a healthy level.
In effect, it can also help optimize your keto diet. When you shop for a fish oil supplement, make sure you pick a high-quality brand that contains the recommended daily value of 500 mg. of omega-3 fatty acids. In case you have a high amount of triglycerides in your system, take 3-4 g. of fish oil while following a keto diet. To enhance it further, add fatty fish foods to your menu.
2. Make vitamin D part of your daily diet.
Vitamin D is also an effective supplement for individuals who are on a ketogenic diet. This nutrient can be found on specific foods including fatty fish, certain types of mushrooms, and dairy products including milk and yogurt. The easiest way to get vitamin D is through direct exposure to the sun.
It’s always best to rise early and get your daily morning source of sunshine. However, too much sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer and other skin conditions.
Vitamin D has tons of health benefits most specifically maintaining strong and healthy bones. Overall, it assists in keeping the immune, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular system working properly.
Similar to fish oil, many Americans are also deficient in vitamin D. The Center for Disease Control states that 25% are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. This includes people who are following a keto diet. Therefore, nutritionists strongly recommend keto dieters to take a daily supplement of vitamin D amounting to at least 4000 IU.
In addition, exposing yourself to 20 minutes of sunlight per day can also help your body absorb more vitamin D. Don’t forget to mix vitamin D food sources into your menu.
3. Use spirulina to boost your lipids.
Have you ever heard of the so-called blue-green algae or also known as spirulina? This green substance is yet another supplement that can help maximize your keto diet. Spirulina is highly recognized as a superfood.
Many initially think of it as a plant but it actually isn’t. It is a form of bacterium which is one of the oldest species in the world. Similar to plants, it also uses photosynthesis to produce its own food through sunlight. 50% of spirulina’s content is made up of protein which means it is also packed with amino acids.
In fact, one tablespoon or 7 g. of spirulina has 4 g. of protein. It also contains high amounts of nutrients such as potassium, iron, and magnesium as well as moderate amounts of fiber. Spirulina is also associated with helping lower down your triglycerides and assist in reducing your LDL cholesterol levels. LDL is responsible for transporting cholesterol from your liver to different parts of the body.
Once it oxidizes, it can inhibit cardiovascular function in your body. Therefore, an increase in LDL cholesterol level can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies show that ketogenic diet helps reduce the LDL cholesterol in the body. At the same time, spirulina minimizes the body’s blood pressure.
This supplement is also available in powder form. You can mix it to your keto smoothie or just add it to a cup of water. For individuals who have unhealthy levels of triglycerides or LDL cholesterol, consume at least 4.5 g. of spirulina a day.
4. Take sodium, potassium, and magnesium supplements.
A ketogenic diet is very effective in reducing the body’s insulin level. This is especially important since a lot of Americans are diagnosed with type II diabetes while many are still at risk of acquiring it. Insulin helps lower the blood sugar level by storing the sugar as fat which can be used later for energy. It also helps prevent the body from getting rid of important electrolytes including sodium and potassium.
One of the biggest myths when it comes to health and nutrition is to avoid using salt. However, our body needs sufficient amount of salt. When you’re starting a low-carb keto diet, your body will flush out the sodium from your body. A drop in your sodium level will also decrease the amount of potassium in your body too.
In effect, this will leave your body feeling tired and weak. However, don’t give up because this is just temporary. For highly active people who are on a ketogenic diet, their body might lose twice the amount of sodium as they sweat. The more they sweat, the body retains lesser sodium. Hence, this is not really advisable for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who are looking to improve their performance.
On the other hand, if you’re overweight or have poor health, you probably have too much sodium in your body that you may have most likely gotten from processed foods. People who are low in sodium may feel symptoms such as a headache and fatigue. If your body’s sodium level is too high or low, it can result in damaged cells and tissues.
A keto diet is a great way to improve your overall health. In addition, it is important that you replenish the sodium in your body with a supplement. However, take note that in the first few weeks of your ketogenic diet, half of your weight loss comes from body fat while the other half is from sodium and water. Take at least 1,000 to 2,000 mg. of sodium daily.
Most Americans suffer from high potassium. Therefore, a keto diet can significantly reduce your body’s potassium level. As previously mentioned, when you lose sodium during your ketogenic diet, you also lose potassium. This can produce symptoms of potassium deficiency such as weakness, constipation, muscle cramps, and skin conditions.
If you’re an athlete, a low potassium level can compromise your lean muscle mass and therefore affect your performance negatively. Hence, it’s important to replenish your body with potassium. Although fruits and vegetables may contain huge amounts of potassium, not all are keto-friendly.
Potassium helps build proteins and breaks down carbs. When a keto dieter has low levels of insulin in the body, it can lead to a number of problems. To avoid this, the best way is to add potassium in your diet is through a potassium supplement.
Also, make sure you regularly monitor your blood pressure level. People who undergo a keto diet have typically lower insulin levels. Thus, you need to make sure your body’s potassium levels are sufficient to help your body maintain healthy electrolytes.
Magnesium is another important nutrient where 50% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the bones while the rest are distributed in the tissues and organs. This nutrient assists the body in many ways such as regulating blood glucose, moderating the blood pressure, maintaining proper muscle and nerve function, and producing proteins.
If you’ve ever experienced muscle cramps, it may most likely mean that your body is deficient in magnesium. This mineral is also considered to have a calming effect where it keeps your heart, muscle, and brain relaxed. Aside from undergoing a keto diet, your magnesium levels can also be depleted due to other factors such as lack of sleep, over-exercise, and stress. Plus, a keto diet makes your body diuretic too.
One of the sources of magnesium is from animal protein specifically mussels and oysters. Other magnesium-rich sources include seeds, nuts, cocoa and, leafy green vegetables which all contain moderate levels of carbs. Technically, leafy veggies get their healthy green color from chlorophyll and magnesium is a core nutrient of chlorophyll. Therefore, the darker the leaves are, the more magnesium it contains.
Lack of magnesium is another common health issue among Americans. Survey says that 43% of Americans have a magnesium deficiency. When your body is low in magnesium, you may experience symptoms such as neurological damage, fatigue, and muscle cramps. You can take magnesium-rich sources as mentioned above as well as other food sources including high-fat yogurt, avocados, and low-carb nuts.
Aside from, magnesium-rich foods, you can also get it from a high-quality magnesium supplement. Pair it with a keto diet and proper sleep to maximize the health benefits. Nutritionists recommend women to consume a daily intake of 320 mg. of magnesium supplement while men should take at least 420 mg.
Fatty Liver Disease
When the triglyceride levels in your body are elevated it can clog the liver with excess fat. Once this happens it can lead to a fatty liver disease. When the fat that is stored in the liver becomes over 10% of the liver’s weight, your liver may not function properly. At the same time, it may not be able to metabolize insulin and blood sugar the way it’s supposed to.
A fatty liver disease can result in liver damage if left untreated. The Real Fatty Liver Protector can help your body maintain a healthy liver and prevent liver disease from developing.
Keep your body always healthy and in good shape by following the keto diet and taking these essential supplements.