Keto, or the ketogenic diet, is a diet that’s focused on low-carb, high-fat consumption. It has many health benefits, including weight loss and lower blood sugar for diabetics.
But as much as there are studies that prove the efficiency of keto, there are also some details that people may have questions about.
Because the high-carb foods we forgo are also high in potassium, one of those questions is “How do I get enough potassium on keto?”
That’s what we’ll outline today in this guide, as well as some other helpful knowledge you’ll need to kick off your life on keto.
Potassium and Keto
Potassium is one of the most crucial minerals needed for a healthy life.
In fact, potassium-rich eating regimens have plenty of health benefits, such as the prevention of conditions like osteoporosis and kidney stones, protection against strokes, and reduction of hypertension.
Plenty of the high-carb foods we consume on a day to day basis are also rich in potassium. When we adopt keto diets, our bodies may suffer from a sudden lack of potassium consumption.
That’s why it’s crucial to ensure you’re getting enough potassium if you’re on a keto diet.
Sources of Potassium on Keto
Ensuring you consume enough potassium-rich foods while on keto is crucial to the nutritional balance your body needs.
Thankfully, a keto diet isn’t as restrictive as it seems, and there’s a whole lot of foods you can eat that’ll provide you with your needed daily intake.
These foods come in a wide variety as well, so there’s no risk of getting tired of eating the same thing.
No healthy diet can exist without the inclusion of vegetables! This especially applies to keto diets, because plenty of veggies offer generous amounts of potassium.
Here are some plant-based sources of potassium to add to your ketogenic diet.
- Cooked beet greens (909 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Raw spinach (558 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cooked spinach (466 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Swiss chard (549 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Portobello mushroom (521 mg potassium in 100 g)
- White mushroom (488 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Avocado (485 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Raw zucchini (459 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cooked zucchini (253 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Raw kale (447 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cooked kale (228 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Raw broccoli (316 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cooked broccoli (293 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Peas (240 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cucumber (147 mg potassium in 100 g)
Meat is a great food group to add to a keto diet because most meats have almost zero carbs. This means they’re safe to include in your diet, especially these which are high in potassium:
- Cooked wild Atlantic salmon (628 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cooked yellowfin tuna (569 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Canned tuna (237 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cooked cod (517 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cooked halibut w/ skin (501 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Cooked wild trout (448 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Pork chops, bone-in (374 mg potassium in 100 g)
- Top sirloin steak (355 mg potassium in 100 g)
Nuts and Seeds
Not all nuts and seeds are packed with high amounts of carbs and fat. In fact, some are quite keto-friendly because they offer acceptable amounts of carbs and healthy amounts of potassium.
- Pumpkin seeds (266 mg potassium in 1 oz)
- Almonds (197 mg potassium in 1 oz)
- Hazelnuts (190 mg potassium in 1 oz)
- Flax seeds (56.9 mg potassium in 1 tbsp)
As with most other deficiencies, you could always take supplements to make up for what you don’t have. These supplements can work well with revitalizing your potassium levels.
- Magnesium: found in nuts and seeds and dark leafy greens
- Vitamin D: commonly found in salmon, eggs, and tuna
- MCT (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) Oil: commonly found in coconut oil
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: commonly found in chia seeds, spinach, oysters, and pecans
- Exogenous Ketones
- Electrolyte Supplements
- Greens Powder
- Digestive Enzymes
How Much Potassium Do You Need on Keto?
The recommended daily potassium intake for adults per day ranges between 2,600 mg for women and 3,400 mg for men.
While it might sound like a lot of potassium to consume in one day’s worth of food, it’s not at all impossible, if you make sure to incorporate potassium-rich foods in your daily meals.
This is especially easy to do if you follow custom diet plans.
This custom keto diet offers much-needed information and guidance about ketogenic diets, which may come in handy if you’re a beginner or have a lot of questions.
It takes you through a questionnaire that asks you certain questions about your goals and current lifestyle, such as food preferences.
This helps in the creation of a custom-made meal plan that will not only ease your transition to a keto diet but will also help you stick to it.
Customized meal plans are often preferred by those seeking weight loss because they offer many benefits.
Acting as roadmaps to a healthier lifestyle, these meal plans help you learn portion control, practice craving control and avoid wasting food.
What’s the Keto Flu?
The keto flu also referred to as the carb flu, is a collection of symptoms that you might experience when beginning the keto diet.
The symptoms are caused by your body getting used to a new diet that consists of little to no carbohydrates. They include:
- Muscle cramps
- Poor concentration
- Muscle soreness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sugar cravings
Thankfully, these symptoms usually only last for about a week.
There are methods of keeping the symptoms of the keto flu to a minimum.
They include avoiding intense workouts, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, getting enough sleep, and eating enough fats.
It’s also important that you ensure sufficient electrolyte intake.
Foods that are rich in electrolytes such as sodium and magnesium include seeds, fatty fish, nuts, meats, dairy, and salt. In fact, salting your food to taste is a great way to replenish your body’s storage of the electrolytes it needs.
Supplements to Help with Keto Flu
Supplements are another great way to help you pull through the difficult first phase of the keto diet.
Other than the important supplements suggested earlier in the article, these are some supplements products that you can purchase online to get you started with fighting your keto flu symptoms.
Most supplements are safe to use and often come with directions on dosage levels. However, it’s best to consult a physician first if you suffer from pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or kidney stones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions asked about keto and potassium.
Can a low-carb diet cause potassium deficiency?
Yes, but it’s not the end of the world.
Low-carb diets may result in short-term potassium deficiencies because a lot of the high-carb foods we consume are also high in potassium. When you eliminate these high-carb foods from your diet, your body is ridden of the potassium sources it’s used to.
However, this is easy to rectify as there are plenty of foods that are low or zero-carb and still pack great amounts of potassium.
What are the symptoms of a lack of potassium in your body?
Potassium is a vital mineral that has many jobs for your body, which is why your body will send you lots of signals when it’s not getting enough of it.
Some symptoms of potassium deficiencies include:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Cramps and spasms
- Mood swings
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle aches and stiffness
- Impaired nerve function
- Tingling and numbness
- Shortness of breath
Is there such a thing as too much potassium?
Yes. Too much potassium in the blood is also referred to as Hyperkalemia and it can be as dangerous as potassium deficiencies, if not worse.
There are many symptoms to look out for if you suspect you’re consuming too much potassium. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- A tingling feeling at the tips of your limbs
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Hyperkalemia is a serious condition that shouldn’t be managed without advice from medical professionals.
This condition can only be diagnosed through blood or urine tests, and usually require hospital stays.
Can I be physically active while on keto?
There’s a common misconception that a keto diet is not compatible with an active lifestyle. This is not true, as the increase of ketones can actually improve physical performance.
However, during the first period of getting yourself used to a keto diet, it’s normal to feel fatigued and lacking in energy.
This is why you need to reduce your exercise intensity while your body takes its time to adapt to burning fat.
Potassium-rich foods that are low in carbohydrates come in a wide variety and contain essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
Many of those who have tried a keto diet now praise its effects as a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s necessary to take the time to find a nutritional balance to achieve the maximum benefits a keto diet can offer.