The Keto Diet is a very straightforward, simple way of eating & living. It involves removing a lot of carbohydrates from your diet and training your body to use fat as its fuel source. It uses science to achieve success while dieting. Two of the most common questions we get are, what is the ketogenic diet and what ketogenic supplements should I take? We hope to answer those questions while providing a rundown and explanation of the ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic Diet: History & Science
Keto: then and now
While the Keto Diet has recently been gaining traction and popularity, it is not a new diet, nor is it a “fad” diet. Although, in the past ten years, there has been more and more medical research done on the benefits of living a ketogenic lifestyle. The Keto diet dates all the way back to Hippocrates, a Greek physician, who used metabolic changes for treating epilepsy. This grew in popularity again, especially in the 1920’s, when doctors realized chronic illness was dramatically minimized by this way of eating. Scientific and Medical Research is now showing so many more benefits to the Keto Diet that serve the majority of the population. The hundreds of thousands of testimonials don’t hurt the reputation of the Keto Diet, either. This way of living has given people their health, well-being, and their lives back.
“Keto” is short for Ketogenic. The Ketogenic Diet is focused on increasing your fat intake, decreasing carb intake, and moderating your protein intake. This type of eating is fueled on ketones rather than glucose. Ketones are produced in the liver, which cause your body to burn fat as an energy source, rather than just burning up the glucose (carbohydrates & sugars).
KETO = eating a lot of fat. To break it down, of the calories you consume on a keto diet, 70-80 percent will come from fat, 15-20 percent will come from protein, and about 5 percent will come from carbohydrates.
Your body on keto
When people first start a keto diet, many changes inside of the body occur. As your body adjusts and adapts to using fat as energy, you may experience a period of feeling a bit lousy. Many refer to this period as the keto flu. Where you don’t actually have the flu, the symptoms are similar. Headache, nausea, tiredness, and brain fog are a few of the common symptoms. This occurs when you flush extra water and sodium out of your body in the first few weeks of your new journey. As your sodium levels decrease, your potassium levels will, too. This mineral deficiency is one of the culprits of the keto flu. Although it is temporary, it can be very discouraging and unpleasant.
Aside from possible mineral deficiency, with the major change in your eating habits, you likely will not be consuming some of the vitamins and nutrients you typically would on a standard American diet. Between the keto flu and missing nutrients in your diet, you may be wondering what supplements you should consider when thinking about how to fill in the nutritional gaps.
Ketogenic supplements are like any other supplements and work to meet the demands of your body. As you’ll be eating low carb and your body starts using fat as fuel, it’s important to eat ample, high-quality fats. By doing this and adding supplements to your diet, it helps to ensure that your body is getting the correct ratio of nutrients and fats.
Although the list can seem endless, here are the Ketogenic Supplements we suggest looking into if you want to take your diet to the next level while improving your mood, energy levels, and fat loss goals without experiencing the keto flu or nutrient deficiencies.
Sodium, you ask? Isn’t that bad for you?? There is a lot of misinformation about sodium floating around the health marketplace. Where an overabundance of table salt in your diet may negatively impact your health, sodium is essential to your body’s chemistry. If you are practicing a low carb diet and experience symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, headaches, or weakness, your body is likely low on sodium. When you transition to a low carb or keto diet, you may experience dramatic weight loss in the first few weeks. About half of this weight loss is credited to retained water and sodium loss, so it’s super important to make sure you’re getting enough sodium.
Dr. Eric Berg recommends taking an extra teaspoon per day of salt to make sure your sodium levels are healthy. We recommend using Sherpa Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. We like the Sherpa brand, because it is Kosher Certified, Non-GMO, and does not contain any MSG, Soy, Gluten, Dairy, or anti-caking agents. It also includes trace minerals, including Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Iron. Simply add a teaspoon of your Sherpa salt to a glass of water. It’s as simple as that!
When you lose sodium, you will also likely lose potassium. The symptoms are similar to a sodium deficiency, with weakness, constipation, and muscular cramps topping the list. You may also experience irritability and skin problems. It is extremely important to make sure you’re keeping your potassium levels where they need to be, or you may experience heart palpitations, irregular heartbeats, or even hear failure in extreme cases. The good news is, however, that most keto-approved meats and vegetables contain potassium, but cooking them robs the foods of much of the mineral. Some potassium-rich foods that are good in their raw form are spinach, avocado, kale, and mushrooms.
If you aren’t a fan of these foods, or, you want to ensure you’re where you need to be by taking a supplement, we recommend Solaray Potassium Supplement. Solaray’s Potassium Amino Acid Complex has 99 mg of potassium, which can help balance out low levels of potassium. We love that their products are free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and gluten, and they make a great ketogenic supplement.