3 Most Common Mineral Deficiency on the Ketogenic Diet

Top 3 Mineral Deficiencies on a Ketogenic Diet
Learn How to Fix Them!

common mineral deficiencies

The keto diet is well known for its ability to produce weight loss. It does so through the process of ketosis which helps your body burn fat for energy instead of carbs. But it’s not without its potential downside.

With low-carb diets or keto, in particular, you often cut down on a lot of food groups and types to lose weight which means that you're not only cutting out the bad part but you're also taking out some of the good parts. And, with a shortage of vitamins and minerals, your body in return will feel the effects from it. These effects can make you feel sluggish or tired, and that can be a drag.

But there’s good news! Yes, heave a sigh because, with proper planning and awareness, you can avoid these deficiencies of micronutrients and mineral imbalances or fix them accordingly if they do occur. You can achieve this by taking supplements (see our list of favorites) and eating the right foods that will help you achieve a balanced, healthy intake of nutrients while on the ketogenic diet.

Here’s everything you need to know about the micronutrients, and mineral deficiencies you are more likely to experience while following a keto diet:

1. Potassium

Of course, it can be challenging to get all the potassium you need from fruits and vegetables alone, primarily when you are restricted to keto-friendly foods only. Therefore we recommend NOW Potassium Citrate to make sure you’re getting the potassium you need.

Of course, it can be difficult to get all the potassium you need from fruits and vegetables alone, especially when you are restricted to keto-friendly foods only. Therefore we recommend NOW Potassium Citrate to make sure you’re getting the potassium you need.

Additionally, it’s best to use this supplement alongside eating proper fruits and vegetables. It's as easy as that.

When you lose your body’s stored sodium (which is typical for low-carb diets), the depletion of salt leads to a corresponding potassium loss. A potassium deficiency, also known as hypokalemia, can cause you to feel weakness, constipation, muscle cramps, skin problems, and irritability.

In active people, a potassium deficiency may compromise your lean muscle mass and affect your performance. In more severe deficiencies of minerals like this, you might even experience an irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, respiratory distress, and possibly even heart failure.

Fortunately, virtually all fruits and vegetables contain potassium and other minerals in significant quantities. However, not all of them are permitted on the low-carb diet. Here are some of the best keto-friendly foods and vegetables that are high in potassium:

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    Spinach (1 cup) – 840mg
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    Avocado (1/2 medium) – 500mg
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    Kale (1 cup) 500mg
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    Mushrooms (1 cup) 420mg

2. Sodium

It’s a common nutrition myth that you should avoid consuming salt. However, in truth, you want to avoid consuming too much salt—it’s still one of the essential minerals that should always be in your diet. On the keto diet, if you are fit and healthy, you’ll lose your body's sodium and water in the first couple of weeks. If you’re an athlete, you also lose sodium through your sweat, which only makes the problem more significant.

However, if you are overweight or in poor health, then your body is probably holding onto an abundance of sodium, in which case losing it through a keto diet is helpful in restoring healthy levels. So, how do you tell the difference between a healthy level and a deficiency of micronutrients like sodium?

Symptoms of your body lacking proper micronutrients and vitamin balances from minerals like sodium include fatigue, compromised ability to perform, and headaches. If the deficiency is severe, you may even pass out. Sodium is found in your bloodstream, and if your body loses too much of it, you won't have enough in your reserves to utilize.

During your keto diet, the weight loss in the first few weeks will only consist of half body fat. The other half is water and—you guessed it—sodium. To offset this, aim to consume an extra 1,000-2,000mg of sodium per day through pink Himalayan sea salt, broth or bullion (this would be about 1-2 cups daily), or you can eat shellfish to make up for your body’s lacking mineral intake. If you’re an active person, taking one gram half an hour before a workout will help to offset low-performance effects from the low-sodium intake.

The easiest way to get the sodium you need is, in our opinion, through the pink Himalayan salt. We prefer Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt to help stay healthy during a keto diet. It’s widely available online, and places like Amazon will deliver it overnight.

3. Magnesium

Do you ever find yourself experiencing muscle cramps? If so, lack of magnesium is likely the cause. Magnesium helps to calm your body, keeping your muscles, heart, and brain relaxed. It also is an important aspect of protein synthesis, energy metabolism, blood sugar control, and more than 300 biochemical bodily functions. Lack of sleep, intense exercise, and stress can all contribute to depleted magnesium levels.

You can find magnesium in your diet through dark green vegetables—the darker the green, the more magnesium it has. Some good keto-friendly food sources include the following:

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    Spinach (1 cup) – 157mg
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    Swiss Chard – 1 cup 154mg
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    Pumpkin Seeds (1/8 cup) – 90mg
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    Oysters (about 3 oz) — 80mg

To make it easier to maintain your keto magnesium levels and maintain your optimal level of health throughout your diet, we recommend supplementing these magnesium-rich foods with Dr. Mercola's Magnesium L-Threonate.

The reason why we like the product is that it seems to stave off mineral imbalances which makes being on the keto diet that much easier to handle... You have to gobble it up and off you go. It's also highly recommended by other 3rd party reviewers.

So, What do You Need?

You may have heard how great you will feel on a keto diet—and you’ve maybe even experienced it first-hand. However, mineral deficiencies or imbalances can undermine any positive feelings which is why it’s important to take the right supplements.

To prevent yourself from experiencing that, or to put an end to it if you already are, you should make sure to have the supplements below at the ready. Besides, you can help these mineral supplements do their job well by eating the right keto-friendly vegetables and nuts. With this, you will be able to feel your best while burning fat on your low-carb keto diet.

For Potassium Deficiency

NOW Potassium Citrate

For Sodium Deficiency

Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt

For Magnesium Deficiency

Dr. Mercola Magnesium L-Threonate