If you want to lose weight, the low-carb ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is very hard to beat. When you cut carbs from your diet, consuming less than 50 grams per day, your body is forced to burn more fat for fuel.
This puts you into a state called ketosis, which is where this diet gets its name. Being in ketosis means your body is preferentially burning fat and is usually accompanied by rapid fat loss.
To stay in ketosis, you need to avoid carbs and eat mostly fat and protein. That means things like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and sugar are off the menu, and meat, fish, eggs, and leafy vegetables become your nutritional mainstays.
You can check you are in ketosis by using keto urine testing sticks or a blood ketone monitor.
However, ketosis is also a fragile state, and it doesn’t take much to kick you out of it. A few hidden carbs or a little too much sugar, and you’ll soon find yourself out of ketosis, and your weight loss will slow to a crawl.
This begs the question, what else can derail your diet, and do vitamins affect ketosis? In this article, we reveal the truth about vitamins, ketosis, and weight loss.
Do Vitamins Affect Ketosis?
The short answer to this question is no, vitamins do NOT affect ketosis. That’s because vitamins (and minerals, for that matter) contain no carbs, sugar, or calories. As such, they have no impact on ketosis.
So, instead of avoiding vitamins on keto, you should endeavor to consume them in abundance by eating plenty of healthy, natural foods, such as leafy vegetables and low-sugar fruit.
Because your body NEEDS vitamins to function correctly!
Vitamins and minerals are the biological sparkplugs that trigger the reactions needed to sustain life.
Without vitamins and minerals, these reactions would happen more slowly or not at all, and things would soon start to go wrong.
For example, your immune system needs an abundance of vitamin C to function properly, and vitamin D is crucial for skin and bone health.
In fact, one definition of vitamins and minerals is substances that, if missing from the diet, will result in illness. So, don’t fear vitamins and minerals on keto; they won’t stop you from losing weight, and they won’t kick you out of ketosis.
3 Vitamins You Should Take on Keto
Really, you need all the vitamins on keto, as your body uses them for the reactions that keep you alive and well. Because of this, you should do your best to include plenty of healthy, natural foods in your keto diet.
That said, there are a few vitamins that are especially useful on keto:
Vitamin D – also known as the sunshine vitamin, your body produces small amounts of vitamin D in response to exposure to the sun. However, if you wear a lot of sunscreen or don’t get out in the sun much, you could be deficient.
Lack of vitamin D can affect skin and bone health, lower sex hormone levels, and lead to lethargy and loss of sex drive. Unless you live somewhere sunny and get out in the sunshine for 30 minutes a day, you probably need a vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin D3 is the best version for raising your vitamin D levels.
Vitamin C – required for healthy immune system function, keto diets can be low in vitamin C because you can’t eat much fruit. Most fruits contain high amounts of fructose, which is a sugar that will kick you out of ketosis.
Lack of vitamin C could impair your immune system, increasing your chances of falling ill. A vitamin C supplement could help bolster your immune system and replace the vitamin C you won’t be getting from your diet.
This will help plug any gaps in your diet, preventing nutritional deficiencies. A simple one-a-day formulation is all you need to top up your micronutrient intake.
Vitamins to Avoid on Keto
While naturally occurring vitamins and minerals are very pure, the same cannot be said for some vitamin supplements. If you read the ingredients label, you may see other compounds and chemicals, including sources of carbs and sugar.
This is especially true in vitamin drink mixes. So, while all vitamins and minerals can be helpful on keto, you need to consider the type of supplement you are using.
Look for products with no sugar or carbs added. That way, you won’t inadvertently exist ketosis after using a vitamin and mineral supplement.
Remember, though, that supplemental vitamins are best taken in conjunction with a healthy diet. Your food should provide you with most of the nutrients your body needs, and supplements are there just to top your levels up.
Keto Diet Vitamin Drawbacks
Really, there are very few drawbacks to taking vitamins on keto. After all, vitamins are natural compounds that are already present in your food. That said, taking more than you need can cause minor health issues.
For example, too much vitamin C can give you a stomach upset, and too much vitamin A can give your skin an orange hue.
However, taken in reasonable amounts, i.e., according to the manufacturer’s instructions, there are no real drawbacks to taking vitamins during the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet is one of the most popular weight loss eating plans around. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not a new, faddy diet. In fact, keto has been in use for over 100 years and was invented by doctors looking for a treatment for adolescent epilepsy.
It turned out that keto was also good for weight loss as well as being an effective intervention for that medical issue.
Interest in keto grew in the 1970s when Dr. Robert Atkins launched his version of the ketogenic diet. The Atkins Diet has been one of the best-selling diet plans for over 50 years, so keto is definitely NOT a new fad!
Cutting carbs is not always easy, and initially, some people experience side effects such as headaches and cramps, which are collectively called the keto flu.
Keto flu normally lasts 1-2 weeks, but the symptoms will disappear once you are in ketosis. In ketosis, most people report having lots of energy, no hunger or cravings, and, of course, rapid weight loss.
On keto, it’s entirely possible to get all the vitamins and minerals you need from low-carb foods. But, if you want to make sure you’ve got all your nutritional bases covered, taking vitamin supplements may be helpful.
Just watch out for hidden sugars and carbs, and don’t fall into the trap of taking more than you need. At best, you’ll just pee away any excess vitamins, but too many vitamins could also make you feel unwell. Visit the Fitness Equipment Reviews homepage for more expert information and advice.