Are suppliments a must and if so which ones do you suggest?


I have seen many articles on the net that suggest using electrolyte supplements and omega-3 ones on a keto diet. Are these supplements necessary? Can they be replaced by food, and how much food? Lastly, if supplements are necessary, which ones do you suggest?

Thank you very much, as always, for your support; this community is amazing!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #2

My bias is that a healthy diet requires no supplementation, unless someone has a medical condition that causes a specific problem.

As far as electrolytes are concerned, salt requires attention, because lowering insulin allows the kidneys to return to a more normal excretion rate for sodium, which is faster (that is, elevated insulin promotes sodium retention, so lowering insulin to a normal level allows more sodium to be excreted). So people starting a keto diet generally have to work a bit to keep their salt intake up. However, this has the benefit of promoting better regulation of magnesium, potassium, and calcium. So expensive electrolyte preparations are probably not necessary, but people on keto have been known to have a specific need sometimes for either magnesium or potassium. Too little sodium causes the symptoms known as “keto flu” (not to mention constipation), whereas too much sodium can cause diarrhoea. So if you avoid either of those extremes, you should be fine.

The main problem with ω-3 and -6 fatty acids is simply that a diet rich in processed foods and seed oils contains an astounding overabundance of ω-6 fatty acids, which is inflammatory at that level of intake. It is impossible to get enough ω-3 to balance out the ω-6 intake. The challenge thus becomes that of lowering ω-6 intake to a reasonable level (which is very small). And that is best accomplished by eliminating seed oils (soybean, cottonseed, corn, canola, grapeseed, etc.) from the diet. Processed foods contribute greatly to our seed oil intake, as well, so a diet exclusively of whole foods is going to be much better in this regard.


Thank you very much for your insights! Really useful!


I won’t tell you what is right and healthy but I dislike supplementing anything so I don’t do it. Maybe magnesium if I get cramps but that’s a few pills per year so quite negligible. There is a big individual factor, that’s sure. We don’t eat the same or the same amount, some people need more sodium than others (I eat as much as before keto and probably way less than on high-carb as I ate so much more food there. but I never measured it. while many others need extra sodium on keto. and there are some carnivores with exactly zero added sodium…) etc.
I don’t worry about omega3/omega6, I eat very much omega6 as I can’t avoid that (my overwhelmingly major meat item is pork and meat is my main item anyway) but it’s not nearly as bad as someone eating seed oils. My body is quite happy if I mostly avoid plants and eat plenty of protein so I do that and don’t worry about the rest. I surely don’t eat bad compared to even health-conscious people who can afford good food… But we will see what future will bring.

(Susan) #5

The amount of magnesium in plants depends on how much is in the soil. We grow many of our own vegetables and have been told that magnesium in the soil is low in our area. Therefore, I take either magnesium citrate (250mg) or magnesium glycinate (200mg) every other day, with a multivitamin (sort of just in case) and calcium (since I’m a post-menopausal woman) every other day. I take a little extra magnesium if I’m constipated or have muscle cramps in my calves at night. If I forget the magnesium, I do get cramps.
I also put a lot of salt on my food. I like it that way. I didn’t know any of this when I first started eating keto and had really bad ‘keto flu’ that I suspect was from insufficient electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium, etc.)
Most magnesium in your body is inside the cells, so measuring the amount in blood doesn’t tell you anything. Fortunately, your body will tell you if you are low in magnesium with constipation and/or leg cramps mostly at night. (Very painful.)
It’s easier for your body to get rid of a little excess electrolytes than hang on to them if there’s not quite enough, so err in the direction of too much (within reason.)


Supplements (as a whole) are necessary, if you want to be optimal at least, I’d almost argue healthy. The whole “I get everything in my diet” is a make believe fairy tale that died a long time ago. Our veggies are grown in either nutrient deficient soils, growing media that has nutrients, but it’s all fortified in, then you’re fighting pesticide use, whether the grower uses it directly or not, it’s in there! Our meat isn’t what it should be, even grass fed beef, their grass is grown in soil, and that soil is outdoors, it’s got bad stuff in it too.

So you’re either supplementing vitamins, minerals, electrolyte, or things to detox your body from everything that wound up there that shouldn’t be, again, from a prospective of being optimal.

On the electrolytes, keto has a diuretic effect, so all the salts don’t hang around which is why so many up the dose and don’t have problems, same goes for highly active and athletic types. Omega 3’s are also typically very low in people, unless you eat a lot of fatty fish, I don’t.

To cover your bases, everybody could use a good Multivitamin, preferably with the higher bioavailable forms in it, most of the planet is Vitamin D and Magnesium deficient.

I haven’t used Cronometer in a while, but it had a thing where if you went through and set your Vitamins/Minerals to all the targets you were shooting for, it could recommend foods to actually hit those targets, problem is weirdo meals that you’d wind up with, and being a Keto’r, how many of those foods would you not be able to eat in the first place?

If you really want to see what’s going on for you, land on a routine, and then after 3mo or so do a Vitamin/Minerals test and/or an Omega one. See what your routine is actually doing for you. I’m a big fan of don’t guess, test! You may realize you need more of a couple things, or less! Works both ways. I take a LOT of supplements, but always looking to reduce redundancies when I can, that’s just a waste of money if it’s not doing anything for me. But if it is, then I’m all about it.

(Geoffrey) #7

Everything you are saying makes perfect sense to me so do you have any suggestions on a good multivitamin with higher bioavailability?

Is this done through a blood test? If so do you have ask for a specific vitamin and mineral test and omega test? I haven’t heard of an omega test. What is it exactly?