Many have found a low carb or ketogenic diet to be beneficial, but the limited range of acceptable foods means it is easy to miss out on essential nutrients especially as one begins to adjust. Nutritional supplements can help fill in the gaps as one transitions to a new diet.
Magnesium – Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays important roles in energy regulation, blood sugar level management, and immune system support2.
Many Americans are already magnesium-deficient, and during a ketogenic diet it may be even more difficult to meet your magnesium needs, as many magnesium-rich foods are also high in carbs.
Supplementing with magnesium can help reduce muscle cramps, difficulty sleeping, and irritability — all symptoms commonly experienced by those transitioning to a ketogenic diet1,2,3. Those following a ketogenic diet may be at a higher risk of developing a magnesium deficiency.
Potassium – Potassium is another essential mineral which is important for muscle contraction as well as fluid and mineral balance. “Fewer than two percent of people in the U.S. consume enough potassium6“.
Transitioning to a ketogenic diet results in increased water loss from the body which means levels of potassium and magnesium can drop as well, leading to symptoms of the ‘keto flu’, such as headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue4.
Omega 3 – Omega-3 supplements can be particularly beneficial for people on ketogenic diets, as they can help maintain a healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratio when following a high-fat diet.
One study showed that people following a ketogenic diet who supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids experienced improved outcomes in triglycerides, insulin, and inflammatory markers than those who did not7.
Digestive Enzymes – One of the main complaints of those new to the ketogenic diet is that the high fat content of this eating pattern is tough on their digestive system. A digestive enzyme blend that contains may help break down foods and optimize digestion.
Taking a digestive supplement that contains a blend of enzymes, which help to break down food, may help relieve digestive symptoms related to transitioning to a keto diet.
Multivitamin – The limited range of food options on a ketogenic diet means it can be tough to meet all of your body’s nutritional requirements. A comprehensive multivitamin can help fill the gaps to support optimal health. There are many multivitamins on the market so it is important to choose a pharmaceutical-grade vitamin that has been therapeutically dosed with essential nutrients instead of a random collection of ingredients.
- Westman, E. C., Yancy, W. S., Jr, Mavropoulos, J. C., Marquart, M., & McDuffie, J. R. (2008). The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition & metabolism, 5, 36. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-5-36 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633336/
- Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients, 7(9), 8199–8226. doi:10.3390/nu7095388 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586582/
- Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 9(5), 429. doi:10.3390/nu9050429 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/
- Manninen A. H. (2006). Very-low-carbohydrate diets and preservation of muscle mass. Nutrition & metabolism, 3, 9. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-3-9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1373635/
- Gomez-Arbelaez, D., Crujeiras, A. B., Castro, A. I., Goday, A., Mas-Lorenzo, A., Bellon, A., … Casanueva, F. F. (2017). Acid-base safety during the course of a very low-calorie-ketogenic diet. Endocrine, 58(1), 81–90. doi:10.1007/s12020-017-1405-3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608861/
- Ware, M. (2018). Everything you need to know about potassium. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287212.php
- Paoli, A., Moro, T., Bosco, G., Bianco, A., Grimaldi, K. A., Camporesi, E., & Mangar, D. (2015). Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3) supplementation on some cardiovascular risk factors with a ketogenic Mediterranean diet. Marine drugs, 13(2), 996–1009. doi:10.3390/md13020996
- Major, G. C., Doucet, E., Jacqmain, M., St-Onge, M., Bouchard, C., & Tremplay, A. (2008). Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite. Br J Nutr. 2008 May;99(5):1157-67. Epub 2007 Nov 1.