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Do We Need to Take Vitamins and Supplements on the Keto Diet?


  • Do I Need to Take Vitamins and Supplements on the Keto Diet?

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    Some say it is necessary to add pills to the ketogenic diet to get the necessary vitamins and minerals.

    Let's get this straight.

    Is it necessary to take vitamins and minerals on keto (in the form of supplements)?


    Well, that's a relief. Now let's learn more.

    A slightly more detailed answer (and what do I take)

    Supplements on a regular, classic ketogenic diet are optional. We still say that you will not eat only fat, but you will eat meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, nuts, and even berries. They have everything you need.

    There is nothing necessary in rice, buckwheat, and bread that is not in meat and vegetables.

    And I haven't heard from any of the keto diet practitioners, including scientists, that our diet needs supplements.

    Now about me.

    Personally, I only take two dietary supplements more or less regularly, and none of them is related to the fact that I'm on keto:

    Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). This is a vitamin that we produce independently when exposed to sunlight on the skin. Since I live in a region with few sunny days throughout the year and work in an office, I almost never go out in the sun, especially without clothes. So I fill it up with supplements.

    Omega-3 fatty acids. These are vital fatty acids — we don't know how to produce them ourselves. I rarely eat fish, as it is very difficult to find fresh and delicious fish in my region. So here, too, everything is obvious.

    In general, the sun and fish are in my capsules. The evil irony of civilization.

    Periodically, I drink magnesium (in the form of citrate), if there are symptoms of its deficiency — if my leg cramps or my eye twitches. Yes, this also happens.

    This mostly happens after I stop dieting, eat carbs, and get hungry afterwards. This "exercise" helps to wash out minerals.

    And being on the ketogenic diet consistently and without jumps back and forth, I do not drink magnesium, it seems, ever.

    It turns out that my supplements — D3, omega-3, and magnesium — are the main elements that almost everyone is experiencing a deficiency of, regardless of their diet. As you can see, nothing special.

    Well a very detailed answer

    There are vital elements that we need to get with food. They are usually divided into macro - and micronutrients.

    You can read about macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) in another article. Here we will talk about micronutrients — vitamins and minerals.


    Of course, you can write about the importance of some vitamins and list the letters of the Latin alphabet for a long time. But who cares?

    We need practice, not theory.

    So I will repeat what I have already said: eat real food and you will get all the vitamins you need.

    Eat real food

    Do you like meat? Eat more beef.

    Do you like vegetables or are you a vegan? Eat more vegetables. Trim the salads and season them with olive oil.

    But the question of minerals, I still analyze a little more.


    During the adaptation period, you can lose a certain amount of minerals, so it is very important to make sure that you get them from food.
    • Sodium

    Source: table salt.

    We mainly get sodium from ordinary table salt. And I do not get tired of telling everyone about the importance of adequate salt intake.

    Carbohydrates contribute to the retention of salt and water in the body. And when you go on keto, water and salt are more likely to leave your bloodstream.

    And in the early days of switching to a low-carb diet, it's critical to eat enough salt. This will allow adaptation to go much easier — headaches and weakness are often associated with the fact that starting a healthy lifestyle, some people are afraid of salt and stop salting food.

    Don't force the salt into yourself — just don't be afraid to salt to taste. A person on keto needs around 5 grams of sodium per day. So much sodium is contained in about two teaspoons of table salt.
    • Potassium

    Sources: spinach, cauliflower, avocado, fish, meat, almonds.

    Possible potassium deficiency is directly related to the same sodium. When you lose sodium and do not replenish it, the body gets rid of potassium.

    Adequate intake of potassium is considered to be around 3-5 grams per day.

    Meat from animals or poultry is an excellent source of potassium, but there is an important point. If you cook them, most of the potassium remains in the broth. And if you fry, some of the potassium flows out with the juice to the pan or baking sheet.

    In order not to lose precious minerals, make soup from the broth (well, or drink broth). And all that leaked out on the baking sheet when frying or baking, pour on top of the dish.

    As an additive, you can use potassium salt. But only if you are sure that you have a deficit.
    • Magnesium

    Sources: nuts and seeds, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables, fish, meat.

    Magnesium, like other minerals on our list, "leaks" out of us in the first days of the diet. Magnesium is known as a "calming" element — it is taken to make you less nervous, and it is also worth remembering if you have muscle spasms.

    As in the case of potassium, there is a lot of magnesium in meat, but when cooking, a considerable part of it remains in the broth or in the pan. Don't pour it out, use it.

    Try not to lose magnesium from vegetables, too, — eat fresh or, if you have prepared them, do not forget about the remaining water in the container.

    The recommended daily intake is 300-400 milligrams.

    You may not get enough magnesium with your food, and then you may need supplements.

    Some experts say that magnesium supplements should be taken by everyone, regardless of diet, as modern food and water have become impoverished.

    There is some logic in this, especially since magnesium can easily be lacking, and such a shortage can have bad consequences. But it is much more difficult to overdo it, so most people will really benefit from the supplement.

    I wrote above that I myself drink magnesium supplements when I feel symptoms of a possible lack of it (when a muscle cramps). I use magnesium citrate. But it is better not to take citrate on an empty stomach because of the laxative effect.


    Eat low - processed food more often (meat, not just sausages, etc.). And watch your salt intake during the adaptation period - eat soup, broth!

    Additionally, it is not necessary to drink multivitamin and mineral complexes.

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