Your health is paramount, so if you follow any kind of diet, it’s important to not neglect or exclude the vital vitamins and nutrients your body needs. One popular weight loss diet today is the ketogenic diet, which provides an eating plan that is low on carbohydrates and higher in fat.
Although it focuses on the macronutrients – the carbs, fats and proteins – you also need to be very aware of your micronutrients, which are the vitamins and minerals you consume, or should be!
Those who have tried the ketogenic diet admit to feeling lousy when they start. That’s understandable considering this diet deprives people of many foods they may have eaten regularly before. Perhaps there’s no more cake with the coffee, or ice-cream after dinner. Anyone with a sweet tooth would be feeling the withdrawals!
As you begin to flush out sodium and water when you start, you can expect to feel sluggish and tired, but more than that, your new food choices may also lead to nutrient deficiencies. Don’t expect to immediately get a boost mentally or physically the moment you start the ketogenic diet. While others have achieved this, it may take some time before you finally reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet.
It is also possible that your body will show some initial adverse reactions from following this diet, known to practitioners as the keto flu. These effects will only be temporary and you can expect to enjoy the benefits of the ketogenic diet in no time at all.
Don’t Deprive Yourself of These Vitamins and Minerals
To maximize the benefits of going keto, you should watch out for specific nutrients that your body may be deprived of, because of the food restrictions involved. While your keto food choices are healthy, as they include meat, eggs, nuts, fish and vegetables, you may also need supplementation.
Here are some of the important vitamins and minerals that your body may possibly be deprived of while on the keto diet.
Doctors have told patients to watch their excessive sodium intake especially those diagnosed with high blood pressure. While that is true if you consume a high carbohydrate diet, which is a diet full of sodium laden foods, it is totally different if you follow a ketogenic diet. This is because you are now not eating foods that contain high amounts sodium. Therefore, you need to make sure you get enough sodium in your diet.
Athletes or people who are physically active also lose sodium through perspiration. So they need to watch their sodium intake closely.
When you go on a ketogenic diet, you will not only lose sodium but also potassium. You have to be careful you don’t suffer from hypokalemia or a potassium deficiency, which can manifest in various health problems including muscular cramps, irritability, weakness and even constipation.
Athletes or physically active people should make sure they keep up their potassium as any deficiency will not only affect their performance, but it can lead to irregular heartbeats and heart palpitation.
Getting rid of many carbohydrates in your diet can also cause a reduction in intake of the essential mineral, magnesium. This is an important mineral your body needs. It helps in bone development and protein synthesis. It is also important in controlling your blood sugar and muscle relaxation. You can get your magnesium from foods, such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts, and green vegetables.
Thiamin or Vitamin B1 plays an important role in the development of your brain and in the production of energy. A deficiency in Thiamin can also lead to a depletion in the other B vitamins such as Folic or Vitamin B9. You can get this important vitamin from sources such as chicken liver, macadamia nuts, flaxseed and asparagus.
An iron deficiency is common among many women, however, the problem can get worse for those women who start on the ketogenic diet. Iron is important in the formation of hemoglobin and in providing oxygen to the body’s cells. You can get good sources form keto friendly foods, such as beef, beef and chicken livers, and spinach.
Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Calcium
You need not be on a ketogenic diet to suffer from a deficiency in these vitamins and nutrients. However, a deficiency can become more serious when you restrict your carbohydrate intake. So you need to make sure you eat the foods containing these essential nutrients. These nutrients are important for various body functions and optimal health.
Remember that every time you eliminate certain foods from your diet, you may also be restricting intake of certain minerals and vitamins that your body requires daily. For best results, and to ensure that you do not suffer from the side effects of going keto, make sure any lost nutrients are replaced, either by taking supplements, or better yet, sourcing them from targeted keto-friendly whole foods.