Things Everyone Is Doing Wrong About the Keto Diet — And How To Do It Right


Your electrolytes are not in balance

Your nutritional needs change drastically with keto. Sodium becomes a critical nutrient, as do magnesium and potassium. “At least in the early stages of the keto diet, you’ll pee more,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, a naturopathic physician, nutritionist, and author of The magnesium miracle. “One of the main electrolytes lost through urination is magnesium.” She adds that it’s an energy mineral, which will help you burn fat and lose weight.

dr. Dean suggests preventing a magnesium deficiency by staying well hydrated. She also recommends adding salt and magnesium-rich foods or a magnesium supplement to your day. Foods high in magnesium include almonds, spinach, avocado, and Swiss chard.

A bunch of fresh green asparagus on green background.Roman Pyshchyk/Shutterstock

You are eating the wrong vegetables

Many vegetables are high in carbohydrates – they do not fit into an ultra-low-carb diet. These are potatoes, of course, but also yams, corn, peas and carrots. The best options for keto dieters are asparagus, peppers, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens, and zucchini. “What’s hard for a lot of people to understand when they start a ketogenic diet is that you can’t really eat much [certain] vegetables,” says Mancinelli. “If you’re keeping carbs super low, you need to limit veggies — which goes against everything you know about how to eat healthy and lose weight.”

Dieters and healthy eaters are programmed to have vegetables with every meal to meet their daily plant quota. However, Mancinelli says the cumulative total can break your daily net carbs. “The carbs in all those veggies add up,” she says. “A few carbs here and there with cheese, nuts, and seeds, and you can really miss the mark for ketosis.”

Cashew nuts in white cup on a beige background.9 kilos/shutterstock

Your fiber intake is too low

While focusing on fat, protein, and carbohydrates, you should also make sure you’re getting enough fiber. “People often assume they should only eat things like meat and butter on the ketogenic diet,” says Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, associate professor and director of Public Health, Prevention, and Health Promotion at the University of Arizona College of Medicine at Phoenix. . “You have to make sure you eat enough vegetables, because you need the fiber.”

Specific fiber goals depend on your overall intake, current weight and intentions to lose weight. Nuts, seeds, avocado and pumpkin are fiber-rich foods that are high in fat, but lower in carbohydrates. “I see so many customers opting for high-protein, high-saturated fat, and no-carbs,” says Sunny Brigham, a board-certified nutritionist with a private clinic in North Texas. “They get constipated because they’re not getting enough fiber.”

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