As interest in the Ketogenic Diet continues to grow, so does supplementing in order to optimise your health while following this HFLC (High Fat, Low Carb) lifestyle.
While this lifestyle cuts out several food options, it’s considered a good idea to supplement with specific nutrients to avoid some adverse effects such as keto flu and even boost athletic performance with training on the keto diet.
Here are some recommended supplements to consider while following the ketogenic diet.
1.) Magnesium Citrate
Magnesium is a mineral that helps boost energy, regulate blood sugar levels and supports your immune system. (*1)
Research shows that due to reliance on processed food and other factors such as magnesium depleting medications, a large percentage of the general population is at risk of developing a magnesium deficiency. (*2)
On the keto diet it can be hard to get your full magnesium needs due to the nature of magnesium rich foods such as beans and fruits, which are high in carbs.
You can also include certain keto friendly foods in your diet to help boost magnesium levels, such as:
- Swiss chard
- Pumpkin seeds
Additionally, supplementing with Solgar Magnesium Citrate formulation provides magnesium citrate in a highly absorbable form of this important mineral.*
2.) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which benefit our health in many ways.
EPA and DHA have been found to reduce inflammation, lower heart disease risk and prevent mental decline (*6).
Modern diets tend to be higher in omega-6 fatty acids (found in foods like vegetable oils and processed foods) and lower in omega-3s (found in fatty fish).
This imbalance can promote inflammation in the body and has been linked to an increase in many inflammatory diseases (*7).
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.
Additionally, omega-3 supplements can maximize the ketogenic diet’s impact on overall health.
One study showed that people following a ketogenic diet who supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids experienced greater decreases in triglycerides, insulin and inflammatory markers than those who did not (*8).
Those on blood-thinning medications should consult a doctor before taking omega-3 supplements, as they can increase your risk of bleeding by further thinning your blood (*9).
To boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids through keto-friendly foods, eat more salmon, sardines and anchovies.
3.) Vitamin D
Optimal vitamin D levels is important for our general health, which is specifically true for people following ketogenic diets.
The keto lifestyle doesn’t necessarily put you at a higher risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency, but since vitamin D deficiency is common in general, supplementing with this vitamin is a good idea (*10).
Vitamin D is important for many bodily functions, including facilitating the absorption of calcium, a nutrient that could be lacking on a ketogenic diet, especially in those who are lactose intolerant (*11).
Vitamin D is also responsible for supporting your immune system, regulating cellular growth, promoting bone health and lowering inflammation in your body (*12).
Few modern foods are good sources of this important vitamin, as a result many health professionals recommend vitamin D supplements to ensure proper intake.
Your doctor can run a blood test to determine if you’re deficient in vitamin D and help prescribe a proper dosage based on your needs.
4.) Digestive Enzymes
One of the complaints that those who are new to the ketogenic diet experience is digestive discomfort, which is due to the high fat content of this eating plan.
Additionally, though the ketogenic diet is moderate in protein, it may still be a higher amount than some people are used to, which can also cause digestive side effects.
If you’re experiencing digestive issues like nausea, diarrhea and bloating when transitioning to a ketogenic diet, a digestive enzyme blend that contains enzymes that break down fats (lipases) and proteins (proteases) may help optimize digestion.
What’s more, proteolytic enzymes, which are enzymes that help break down and digest protein, have been shown to reduce post-workout soreness, which can be a bonus for workout enthusiasts on a keto diet (*13, *14).