A Keto Diet for Beginners

  • Nature's Source

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits.

In fact, many studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health (1).

Supplements To Take on Keto

Do You Need Supplements on Keto? It depends on your nutritional needs, the intensity of your Keto diet, your hormonal levels, and even the time of year.

Most people, for instance, will benefit from taking electrolytes on Keto. For some, there is no benefit.

Dietary composition also matters. If you’re regularly eating salmon and sardines, you’re probably consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids to skip the fish oils.

The overarching principle is to get as many nutrients as you can through food, then make up any shortfalls through supplementation.

Let’s start with perhaps the most common Keto shortfall: Electrolytes.

 

Electrolytes:

Electrolytes are minerals—sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and bicarbonate—that conduct electrical charges in your body. They literally help power your nervous system.

Of the main electrolytes, Keto folks are often deficient (or inadequate) in sodium, potassium, and magnesium. There are two main reasons for this:

  • By lowering insulin levels, low-carb diets increase sodium and potassium excretion through urine.
  • Low-carb diets are naturally low in sodium, potassium, and magnesium-rich foods. (Sometimes calcium-rich foods too, if dairy is eliminated).

So fewer electrolytes in, more electrolytes out. It’s a recipe for deficiency. Unfortunately, this deficiency can lead to “keto flu” symptoms like headache, fatigue, cramps, irritability, and insomnia.

To get enough electrolytes, eat electrolyte-rich foods like leafy vegetables, drink bone broth, use the salt shaker, and supplement.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, most commonly found in marine life, have a wide range of functions in the human body, from regulating inflammation to supporting cognitive health.

You’ve probably heard of EPA and DHA, the two primary omega 3s.

In Keto dieters specifically, omega-3 supplementation reduced triglycerides, insulin levels, and several inflammatory markers compared to controls.

Your omega-3 strategy will also depend on your fatty fish intake. A can of sardines, for example, has about a gram of omega-3s, and this needs to be factored in.

Finally, for the vegans among you, you can also get EPA and DHA from algae-derived sources.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 regulates over 1,000 human genes. It’s so important, it’s considered a hormone!

According to one estimate, about 50% of the global population are deficient in vitamin D. This should be taken seriously, considering vitamin D deficiency has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmunity, and—incontrovertibly—bone density issues.

In Canada, we don’t get enough exposure to the sun, taking vitamin D3 is an affordable way to support your health, Keto or otherwise.

 

Greens Powder

Vegetables, organ meats, and other nutrient-dense foods can help you cover your micronutrient bases through diet. You will need 8 servings of organic fruits and vegetables to meet the requirements.

 

Life doesn’t always allow for all those veggies. And when it doesn’t, consider taking a well-formulated greens powder.

Think of greens powder as insurance against micronutrient deficiency. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, iodine—even small deficiencies in these nutrients can cause big problems down the road.

Keto Tips and Tricks

Although getting started on the ketogenic diet can be challenging, there are several tips and tricks that you can use to make it easier.

  • Start by familiarizing yourself with food labels and checking the grams of fat, carbs, and fiber to determine how your favorite foods can fit into your diet.
  • Planning out your meals in advance may also be beneficial and can help you save extra time throughout the week.
  • Look into healthy frozen keto meals when you’re short on time
  • Alternatively, some meal delivery services even offer keto-friendly options for a quick and convenient way to enjoy keto meals at home.
  • When going to social gatherings or visiting family and friends, you may also want to consider bringing your own food, which can make it much easier to curb cravings and stick to your meal plan.

If you have questions regarding keto diets and nutritional needs, speak to one of Nature’s Source and Nature’s Signature experts who can help you as well as guiding you to health practitioner who can help.

1. Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 2092-2107; doi:10.3390/ijerph110202092