Keto Diet - Which vitamins?: Dear all, I've... - Healthy Eating

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Keto Diet - Which vitamins?

Cricket23 profile image

Dear all, I've been looking into following the Keto diet. Most places I look say that you shd take magnessium, potassium and calcium. Looking further, there seems to be 4 types of magnessium!

So, my question is, quite simply what shd I take and why.

Thanks for your help.


23 Replies

Hello Cricket23 with magnesium supplements there are different types the cheapest being magnesium oxide which we only absorb a little of the Mg and Mg oxide acts like a laxative.

So the most absorbable Mg is citrate and chelated Mg and Mg is absorbable by the skin so you can buy Mg Oil or better still make your own by buying Mg flakes and dissolve 100g of Mg flakes in 100 ml of boiling water and then when it’s cooled rub a little on your skin and this is also good for aching muscles and doesn’t upset our stomachs.

With calcium most calcium supplements are calcium carbonate whose molecules are 100,000 bigger than than calcium in food so again very little is absorbed and our kidneys have to work hard to remove the excess, you can get food grade calcium supplements but they are expensive so it’s good to look at foods that are high in calcium like the little sesame seed as sesame seeds in Tahini are a great source of calcium.

I would always try and get nutrients from my food rather than supplements so I hope that this helps.

Jerry. 🌈😊

Cricket23 profile image
Cricket23 in reply to

Thanks Jerry, that’s very helpful, esp the bit about calcium. I wasn’t aware of that

There's no need to take supplements with a low-carb diet. It's inherently healthy and contains all the micronutrients that you need as long as you do it properly. Unfortunately there's a lot of rubbish written about keto and it's hard to separate out the dross.

I'll just say first that remaining "keto" is not necessary for most people. Exceptions would be people with Type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, or coeliac disease and similar: these people can benefit from sticking to very-low-carb for extended periods of time. For most people, "keto" is a very short phase (10-20 days) which gets your body rapidly adjusted to a low-carb lifestyle. After that, you can start re-introducing moderately carby foods (although staying away from things like bread, pasta, rice and the like) until you're somewhere around 50-100g net carbs per day. This allows you to eat pretty much anything, and it's key to getting a proper micronutrient intake.

Bottom line is that your plate should be mostly full of vegetables, with meat, eggs, and dairy according to taste. If you focus on minimally-processed, tasty foods rather than chemistry, you're pretty much guaranteed to get it right.

Having said all that, it's probably worth adding some low-sodium salt (ie., a mixture of KCl and NaCl) to your meals during those first few days - not because the diet is deficient, but because you'll excrete a lot of water during that time and experience a certain amount of electrolyte imbalance. The feeling is not dissimilar to a hangover. Adding sodium and potassium can help; calcium you should be getting from dairy, and magnesium from green leaves such as spinach.

If you're interested, there's a low-carb group on HU, here:

Thanks, some good stuff here. Thanks for the link as well

in reply to TheAwfulToad

Oh hello!! Yes please!! I have been looking into keto too and people have been saying no fruit bacon and eggs for breakfast and I can't imagine ever eschewing veggies. I also haven't heard anyone talk about being able to eat carbs occasionally ...this is exactly the kind of keto that would make sense for me. I could never give up fruit and veg and like a lot of them. So what your saying is you can go on a carb fast and then when yoir body has had a chance to recover from the carb overload of general modern life it can better cope with carbs?? In moderation I suppose. so this would mean I can eat hummus ...I have the chronometer app which I find useful but any time I tried a no carbs day ..I think its 25grams a day allowed. I could never manage it even with no visible carbs...I'd have hummus or some cabbage and my allowance was used up. And I thought dang I can't eat that small an amount of veg it just didn't seem possible. So where can I read a guide that's not all about the bacon and never touch an apple again type of keto you're talking about. Is there a book by someone I could read about it or a youtiber I could learn from? Thanks so much! God this place is amazing I need a notebook to keep up with what I am learning here!

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to

As mentioned ... there's an absolutely astounding mountain of crap written about 'keto', most of it coming from dieticians in the form of strawman attacks (ie., they paint low-carb diets as nothing but bacon and steak, and then comment dolefully that bacon and steak isn't a very enjoyable or healthy diet).

I didn't bother counting carbs when I did my keto phase. The general (modern) advice is to simply avoid all visible carbs, focusing on green veg and some source of fat (dairy, meat, eggs, or added oils). You do need to avoid things like hummus ... but only for those first couple of weeks. After that you can start to (slowly) reintroduce them. Same thing with fruit and other "carby" vegetables like carrots, sweetcorn, onions, etc etc.

The 25g thing is really just a rule of thumb that's guaranteed to work. In reality, anything below 50g seems to work for nearly everyone.

Some people do get a bit obsessed with staying keto, but it's really quite pointless ... again, for most people. Carb tolerance seems to vary widely in the population at large, but broadly speaking, as long as you don't go back to the typical carbs-with-everything diet, you'll remain slim. A maintenance low-carb diet looks pretty much the same as everyone else's, minus the bread/pasta/rice/potatoes.

If you want to buy a book, anything by Drs. Volek and Phinney would be a good choice. You can also have a look at, which is really simple to follow (they have paid plans, but all the important stuff is free).

Super, thanks! As a newbie to Keto, I’m being pretty strict at the moment, and am actually enjoying being creative in terms of meals and recipes. I will want to be more flexible down the road and I think the avoid spuds etc is good advice. Cheers. C23

Pebbles77 profile image
Pebbles77 in reply to Cricket23

I hope it's clear that keto, for most people, is a short phase of 2-3 weeks and you can then gradually move to a liberal low carb diet. The keto phase sort of cracks your dependence on loads of carbs and cuts the cravings.

Yeah, that's a thing people say. Do you have any evidence that it's advisable or any dangers from sticking to keto? 🤔

Just that it's not necessary. Most people find it very restrictive: no need to be over-restrictive if you can have a good outcome in terms of weight and health without

Cooper27 profile image

Magnesium citrate is the most absorbable form, but can upset the stomach. If it does upset you, try magnesium malate.

From the list you give, it sounds like you're being encouraged to up your electrolytes? They can drop during initial phases of keto. You might like to look out a keto friendly electrolyte drink to have on hand, in case you get a bit headachey. You can also get electrolytes from including sea salt in your diet.

Typically everyone these days benefits from magnesium supplements, as our soil is quite deplete, so you'd benefit from getting these anyway.

Cricket23 profile image
Cricket23 in reply to Cooper27

Thanks very much. Have just purchased some electrolyte powder

Terminology: those are minerals, not vitamins.

Processed food is full of salt. Even traditional bread has more salt per slice than a small packet of crisps. And insulin retains salt in your body. So when you go low carb, your salt (and other electrolytes) plummet, which as TheAwfulToad says, can lead to symptoms of keto flu. And cramps. I had terrible cramps for quite a while when I went low carb. I supplemented magnesium with a pinch of nasty tasting Epsom salts (because I had some in the house, and suffered from a paralysis of choice when looking at all the options), and sodium/potassium via lite/lo-salt in my coffee. I have given up the Epsom salts, but included plenty of leafy greens which should cover magnesium. I haven't stopped with the salt in my instant coffee, because I like the taste!

in reply to Subtle_badger

Weirdly cup of cocoa with a pinch of salt and whatever fat milk or whatnot you like... Its bloody amaxing. Loads og magnesium and its my go to drink now because I like a hot drink and need electroyles and magnesium to keep my ticker good ... And can't drink tea coffee so was getting dehydrated ...can't have sugar... So there ya go ya can try that and see if it floats yoir boat. I thought it was the best hot drink I've had.

Yes, indeed, minerals not vitamins. Not sure I fancy salt in my coffee.

me neither :)

I did that when I had a bout of food poisoning a few weeks back. It helped, but it wasn't my idea of good coffee!

I guess it wasn’t your ‘cup of tea’! 😜

I find that magnesium tablets really upset my stomach. I then found BetterYou products. They make body butter/body lotion/bath flakes etc. etc all of which contain magnesium chloride. Some of their products also contain calcium. When you use the products, the magnesium is absorbed through the skin and does not affect the stomach. I have now been using these products for a few years. Worth a try if magnesium tablets upset your stomach.

If you like olives, they are a useful and tasty source of good fats, salt and calcium and they are low carb.

Great, thanks!

Magnesium because we are all depleted of it and it works along with other things like calcium phosphorous and potassium sodiam vitimin d etc. All of which apart from potassium you get in meat so assuming its meaty keto you might need that to balance out might not get enough potassium and calcium from meat either ..I mean in relation to phosphorous which comes with them in meat. So its a balancing thing I'd say. Just a guess. The different kinds ofmagnesium are just the kind of combination they're in ...oxide or chloride sitract or taurate...the magnesium is bound to other elements to form a salt...I think magnesium in a pire form ignites on contact with air if I am remembering my kiddies science kit correctly which I may well be thinking of potassium...anyway they aren't stable alone so they have other things attached to form salts... The amount of elemental magnesium varies ... Like h20 water has 2 oxegen in its overall some compounds have more magnesium and some less ...and some are better absorbed by the body and some are cheaper... I take cheap but I have to take more of cheap because it doesn't absorb so well. Taurate I've read from lots of people is the best kind. Citrate I've read both that its well absorbed and that its badlt absorbed. Oxide and chloride are cheap so I asuame they're not so great. That's what I've got. I would like to try keto too as carbs are not digesting well especially bread. But probably not full on keto as I'm not sure I'd be able to not eat lots of vegetables.

Cricket23 profile image
Cricket23 in reply to

Thanks very much, very informative.

Thanks for your responses folks. I was getting a bit of so-called 'Keto flu', and so based on your replies and some other research, I bought a tube of this: Rival Sports Fuel Electrolyte Powder 250g Unflavoured Sugar Free, Vegan, Keto Friendly - 312 Servings per tub Made in The UK, from Amazon.

It's great. I take some in the morning with 500ml of water and some more in the afternoon. I certainly noticed a tremendous difference.

BTW, first week on Keto and already lost 5 pounds in as many days. I guess a lot is water, but I'm pretty pleased and my energy levels have increased.



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