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If you have recently started the keto diet, you have probably done a total overhaul of your diet. There’s no way to sugar coat it: Following the keto diet is hard work, which is why some people have turned to keto pills and supplements to stay in ketosis, where your body burns fat instead of carbs for fuel.
“While our bodies’ preferred energy source is glucose (the breakdown of carbohydrates), following the keto diet the way it is intended will put a person in ketosis,” says Jordan Hill, RD, CSSD, of Top Nutrition Coaching. “As you can imagine, shifting one’s dietary pattern from a higher carbohydrate intake to a very low one and significantly upping the fat intake can be challenging. Cue the desire to take a supplement.”
ICYMI, the keto diet requires you to cut lots of carbs. Followers of this eating style take in 70 to 80 percent of your daily calories from fat, five to 10 percent from carbs, and 10 to 20 percent from protein. It drives the body to go into a state of ketosis, says Brittany Michels, RDN, LDN, CPT, of The Vitamin Shoppe.
Fun fact: The keto diet was originally used to treat neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, says Michels. But the keto diet has since been used for not only weight loss, blood sugar management, and more.
You should know you shouldn’t rely on supplements alone to keep you in ketosis. “Keto supplements can be effectively used in tandem with following a keto diet,” notes Michels. “They are not meant to replace the diet.”
Meet the experts: Jordan Hill, RD, CSSD, is a nutritionist and certified specialist in sports dietetics.
Brittany Michels, RDN, LDN, CPT, is a nutritionist and trainer with The Vitamin Shoppe.
Hold on, keto pills and supplements? What are those?
Basically most keto supplements, which typically come in powder or capsule form, contain two specific ingredients, according to Wesley McWhorter, RD, a chef and dietitian at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, Texas:
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are predominantly saturated fats that break down in the liver
Exogenous ketones or ketone salts (a.k.a….