Adopting a keto diet means restricting your diet to a smaller range of food groups compared to a normal diet. Eliminating a major food group like carbohydrates, which is what the keto diet aims for, can have a huge impact to your body. This is because carb-rich foods such as grains and fruits contain many of the 28 essential micronutrients. Doing this also means that we are potentially limiting the consumption of a variety of nutrients that our body actually needs.
Micronutrients Focus List for Keto-Lovers
So, what type of nutrients are usually deficient in a keto diet? Here we listed a few of the most important minerals and vitamins to pay attention to:
We need calcium for the maintenance of bone strength, muscle movement, and transmission of information in nerve cells. It is an essential mineral for our body health that also helps blood clotting process and regulate blood pressure. Although many people think their diet provides an adequate amount of calcium, it is often not the case.
When our body lacks calcium, it can cause a reduction in bone strength, muscle cramps, dry skin, brittle nails, or even bone fractures in severe cases.
The USDA’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily intake of 1000 mg.
There are numerous choices for keto-lovers out there who wants to improve their calcium intake:
- Almonds (1 cup) = 243 mg Ca
- Raw Broccoli, Chopped (1 cup) = 43 mg Ca
- Cooked Kale, Chopped (1 cup) = 101 mg
- Cheddar Cheese (1 oz) = 202 g Ca
- Sardines (1 oz) = 108 mg Ca
In addition, you can also take calcium multivitamin supplements. The National Institutes of Health recommends calcium intake to be no more than 500 mg at a time. So, if you are interested in consuming supplements, make sure to split the intake.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is amongst one of the nutrients that are often lacking in a keto diet. It is also known to be an antioxidant vitamin, protecting our cells from oxidative damages by free radicals. Our body also needs vitamin E to boost our immune system and fight bacteria and viruses. It is therefore important to maintain a balanced level of vitamin E to ensure that our body stays safe and healthy. You can read more about how keto diet can boost your immune system here.
USDA recommends a daily intake of 15 mg of vitamin E for adults. If the body does not get sufficient amounts, the immune system may be weakened.
Here are our top picks of vitamin E-rich foods for our keto diet:
- Almonds (1 cup) = 37 mg
- Spinach (1 cup) = 3.74
- Sunflower seeds, oil roasted (1 cup) = 49 mg
But worry not! Eatology’s keto diet is superior at the game, providing you with an average 16 mg of vitamin E, which is more than sufficient!
Potassium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in maintaining electrolyte balance and plasma fluid volume within the body. It is present in all body tissues, and therefore crucial for normal cell functions.
The USDA recommends an intake of 4700 mg of potassium each day. A deficiency in potassium, although uncommon, will cause various adverse health effects including excessive fluid loss and diarrhea.
We have a list of keto-friendly, potassium-rich food choices for you:
- Avocado (½ cup) = 364 mg
- Swiss Chard (½ cup) = 481 mg
- Spinach, Cooked (½ cup) = 370 – 419 mg
- Mushrooms, Cooked (1 cup) = 550 mg
- Broccoli, Cooked (1 cup) = 460 mg
Learn more about our Keto Light Diet here!
1. Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020. Office Of Dietary Supplements – Calcium. [online] Available at: <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/#:~:text=The%20body%20needs%20calcium%20to,brain%20and%20every%20body%20part.>
2. Piste, P., 2012. Calcium and its Role in Human Body. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, 4(2), pp.659 – 668.
3. Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020. Office Of Dietary Supplements – Potassium. [online] Available at: <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/>
4. Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020. Office Of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin E. [online] Available at: <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/#:~:text=Vitamin%20E%20is%20a%20fat,food%20we%20eat%20into%20energy.>