3 Common Keto Mineral Deficiencies and How to Fix Them!

Written by Lisa J. Brown

March 15, 2021

The Macros:

Maintaining your nutrients while on the Keto diet is as important as maintaining ketosis. Many Keto Dieters are prone to mineral and nutrient deficiencies when they start their diet, due to their body’s reaction to the drop of insulin levels. Other mineral deficiencies, which could have been occurring before starting the Keto Diet, become more important to correct once you are in ketosis. Be careful to be mindful of your mineral levels, and be proactive in instituting healthy habits before the deficiencies become a larger issue.

Mineral Deficiencies

When focusing on your health, it is always important to keep the most well-rounded view. The Keto Diet is no different. It is important that you are not only paying attention to your macros and calorie counts, but to your essential nutrients as well. Commonly, new and experienced Keto Dieters may experience an imbalance or deficiency of key nutrients. This article will take a look at the three most common deficiencies, and how to fix them.

Mineral deficiencies cause nutrient imbalances. These nutrient imbalances can cause some nasty side effects, which are very similar to those you would experience during the Keto Flu. These symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Convulsions or Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Cramping
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Confusion

When starting your keto diet, you will be losing water weight in the first couple weeks. When your body drops the water that it has been storing, it will also Not all nutrient imbalances cause symptoms, but once symptoms start to appear, it could be a signal of a more serious condition or imbalance.

Magnesium

Magnesium is mineral that is essential to your health. It plays an important role in maintaining proper brain function, bone health and muscle activity. It also is essential for protein synthesis and energy metabolism .

Not only are Keto Dieters often deficient in this important Electrolyte, but most humans are. While the current recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults is between 320 mg for women, and 420mg for men, the average US  daily intake is around 250 mg. When you add the initial loss of electrolytes with the water loss at the start of your keto diet, and the changes in your dietary intake, you just may be facing a larger deficit than before.

You can add magnesium to your diet in many ways. Naturally, magnesium is found in foods like nuts green leafy vegetables and milk products.

The most efficient, and common,  of these ways is through a magnesium supplement. While there are many types of magnesium supplements, they all lend themselves to the main goal – adding magnesium into your system. Be sure to do your research to see which types of magnesium supplements are right for you. Adding the right supplement, in the right dosage, can lead to better sleep, constipation relief, and better blood sugar regulation.

Sodium

It’s always difficult to hear that your body may actually need sodium. For years, we’ve been told that salt is bad for us. In fact, when you think of “eating healthy,” do you think of bland, unsalted foods? I know I do.

If you are eating an imbalanced diet, and are overweight, your body is probably holding extra sodium. Processed foods are packed full of sodium, and your body will store this excess sodium in your kidneys.

When you make the switch to the Keto Diet, your body will produce less insulin once you achieve ketosis. This lessening of insulin in your bloodstream will trigger your kidneys to empty its store of excess water and sodium. Essentially, your body will flush the water it has been storing, and your store of sodium will go with it.

Low sodium levels can lead to fatigue, headaches, and decreased physical performance. As your body is depleted of this essential nutrient, you will need to replenish it.

To keep healthy, you’ll want to add 3000-5000 mg of sodium to your keto diet. To put this in perspective, a half teaspoon of salt is approximately 1000 mg. You can do this by salting your meals, drinking bone broth, or eating shellfish. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt is a great source of sodium. Some Keto Dieters will go as far as to drink a cup of water with a half tablespoon of sea salt, to aid in their body’s replenishment.

Potassium

keto supplementsAs your sodium levels drop, your body will be triggered to keep your potassium levels steady, and will release stored potassium as well. Sodium and potassium levels are closely related. When your body is depleted of sodium, the first place it will draw from is your potassium stores. For this reason, when you are low on one of these electrolytes, you will be low on the other.

When you are deficient of potassium, you may experience:  heart palpitations, skin problems, constipation, muscular weakness, depression and irritability, and muscle cramps. On top of that, proper potassium consumption will actually result in a higher decrease blood pressure than completely cutting out sodium. This is why you can consume more sodium, basically salting your heart away, as long as you are consuming enough potassium.

Potassium deficiencies can be restored by eating consuming avocado, dark leafy greens, mushrooms, nuts (in moderation), and salmon. You can also add a teaspoon of potassium salt substitute in a glass of water each morning. The RDA of potassium is 4000 – 5000 mg per day.

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