The Ketogenic diet is a proven method to help your body burn off excess body fat without having to cut fatty foods out of a diet. Because of this, many of those who either struggle with other diets or otherwise aren’t interested in missing out on their favorite meals tend to gravitate towards it.
Just because the Keto diet works, however, doesn’t mean that the transition into it won’t be difficult or otherwise limiting.
Triggering ketosis in your body is crucial to the Keto diet, and to do so, you’ll need to drastically limit and control the amount of food that you eat. This limited diet often leaves nutritional gaps that tend to trigger negative effects on the body.
If you’re transitioning to the Ketogenic diet, taking the following five vitamins will help you fill in those gaps and keep healthy and happy moving forward. The easier the transition to ketosis is, the more likely you will be able to stick to your diet and lose those excess pounds.
1. Vitamin D
Triggering ketosis will require you to severely limit the amount of carbohydrates you consume. This limitation will often remove foods rich in vitamin D—an important, fat-soluble vitamin that’s required for strong bones.
Vitamin D is often found in fruits like oranges. Drinking a cup of orange juice is something few people regard as an unhealthy habit, but when maintaining ketosis, the carbohydrate count can often cause most to avoid this drink rich in vitamin D.
Taking vitamin D supplements will help keep your bones healthy and ward off the dreaded “keto flu,” which tends to come on as a result of deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D.
Another interesting way you can absorb vitamin D is to simply step outside. We know now that exposure to the sun will help your body naturally generate vitamin D. If the cost of supplementing this vitamin and other nutrients becomes too high, perhaps a run on an empty stomach can both trigger ketosis as well as generate enough vitamin D for another day.
2. Vitamin A
While far less popular and recognized as vitamin D, vitamin A is another essential nutrient that tends to reside in foods that a Keto diet typically tries to avoid.
Vitamin A is found in dairy products like milk, eggs, and cheeses, but dairy products are a high source of carbohydrates, and should be limited in a keto diet. However, it is important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin A. Running a vitamin A deficiency can place you at risk of diarrhea and similar bowel problems, as well as place you at higher risk for a myriad of other infectious diseases.
Vitamin A supplements are some of the easiest to pick up over the counter, so be sure to stop by your local pharmacy if you find that your diet lacks this essential nutrient.
3. Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is a part of the vitamin B-complex, which encompasses a host of substances that promote enzyme growth and general immunity. While grain rich foods contain a vast quantity of B vitamins, they are also high in carbohydrates, which a keto diet aims to avoid. Another source of B vitamins is from foods like fish that are both high in protein and healthy fats like omega-3. Most fish and seafood is perfectly acceptable for the Keto diet—but this won’t cover the entire complex.
Vitamin B12 specifically helps with neurological development and blood cell formation. A lack of vitamin B12 can lead to several issues that range from numbness in the hands or feet, and even anemia.
“Keto flu” as it is often referred to, can result from a lack of vitamin B12 alone and is only further escalated by the lack of other vitamins on our list. If there is only one vitamin you need to subsidize while switching to a Keto diet, it’s probably vitamin B-12.
4. Vitamin C
Much like with vitamin D, vitamin C is found in citrus plants like oranges and other fruits. Ketogenic diets tend to recommend avoiding these foods entirely, so replacement of vitamin C is important for the prevention of scurvy.
Unlike many of the nutrients listed here, there is an easy way to get enough vitamin C in your diet without the need for pills or other supplements.
Bell peppers and green peppers both contain high amounts of vitamin C, and in most cases, contain even more of the vitamin than an orange. Bell peppers are also condoned and outright recommended by experts in the Keto diet, so there’s no danger in incorporating this spicy plant into your daily routine.
Otherwise, vitamin C is easily purchased either separately or mixed into multivitamins in pharmacy stores across the country.
5. Vitamin K
While vitamin K is not actually potassium, as many would like to believe, this macronutrient is vital to your body’s performance and aids in the prevention of Keto flu.
Getting this amount of vitamin K on a Keto diet will certainly pose a unique challenge, and most accomplish this by eating large amounts of leafy greens like spinach and kale. For those who would rather stick to the more filling meals, however, there are a large number of keto supplements that will either match or exceed the amount of vitamin K you need to stay healthy.
While vitamin supplements can aid in the transition to ketosis, they aren’t the only supplements you need to be on the lookout for a while you begin this lifestyle change. Minerals like potassium, sodium, and magnesium are required by the body to properly function, as well as limited in saturation in food commonly recommended by Keto advocates.
In general, you’ll need to keep a tight lid on your nutrition, macros, and calories as you make the transition. Much of the time, Keto flu is brought on by a lack of either the five vitamins listed above or the many minerals your body needs to survive. The sooner you replace a vitamin or mineral, the easier your journey with Keto will become.
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