Starting the keto diet or any low carb diet requires the right plan. You need to know what to expect and how to go about eating each day as you start working towards ketosis.
Whether you want to start the keto diet to become a healthier person or specifically for weight loss, there are plenty of things you should keep in mind. Here are some of the main things beginners starting the keto diet should know.
Understand Net Carbs, Not Just Carbs
The keto diet is a very strict low carb diet allowing you to eat no more than 20g to 30g of carbohydrates per day. However, many beginners only see this number at carbs and don’t look at the net carbs.
Since some carbs, such as fiber and non-digestible sugar alcohols (erythritol) don’t become absorbed by the body, they don’t count in your overall carb count.
Instead of focusing on limiting carbs, make sure you’re looking at your net carbs. This makes it easier to eat things, such as leafy green vegetables without feeling like your carb count is getting out of control.
Coconut Oil is Your Friend
You will likely see the letters M-C-T together when you start looking into the keto diet. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which is a type of fat found in coconut oil.
This specific fat is quickly absorbed and delivered to the liver of your body. It can be used for energy quickly or converted into ketones. Some studies have suggested taking a coconut oil supplement or eating coconut oil is one of the best ways to increase your ketone levels.
Increase Your Salt Intake
Salt gets a bad reputation in most health circles, but it’s a very important substance for the human body. When you start practicing the keto diet, you need to make sure you get enough sodium or salt in your diet.
A high carb lifestyle will lead to higher levels of insulin. When this is the case, the kidneys will start to retain sodium, which can lead to many health issues.
However, switching to the keto diet means a much lower consumption of carbohydrates. With a lower-carb diet, the kidneys won’t retain salt the same way and you will need an extra three to five grams or 3,000 to 5,000 mg of sodium each day.
Some of the best ways to get healthy salt into your diet include:
- Using Himalayan sea salt in your water
- Eating salted macadamia nuts
- Eating celery and cucumbers
- Drinking organic bone broth
Take a Magnesium Supplement
The keto diet doesn’t include foods rich in magnesium, such as fruits and beans. This incredible mineral helps support the immune system, regulates blood sugar levels, boosts energy, and helps with sleep.
When on the keto diet and taking a magnesium supplement, it’s less likely that you will suffer from what’s known as the “keto flu”. A magnesium supplement between 200 and 400 mg taken daily may also provide benefits, such as:
- Reduced muscle cramps
- Easier to fall asleep at night
- Less irritability
- And More!
These benefits were found in multiple studies (1, 2, and 3) and most beginners to the keto diet struggle with muscle cramps, sleep, and irritability.
Know Which Supplements are Best
When you’re new to the keto diet, you’ll likely run into plenty of companies trying to sell you a number of supplements. Make sure you know which supplements are best for beginners.
As mentioned above, a magnesium supplement is a good start. A few other good supplements for beginners on the keto diet include:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid or Fish Oil Supplement
- Vitamin D
- Grass-Fed Collagen
Taking the right supplements may help ease the symptoms of switching to the keto diet. In addition, the right supplements will help support your body and get you into ketosis faster and easier.
If you’re looking to create the perfect supplement for the keto diet, BioThrive is here to help. We provide contract manufacturing and private label options for all types of health supplements. Our team of experts will help you create the perfect formula to support beginners on the keto diet with the right supplements branded specifically for your company.