Is protein powder a healthy addition to a ketogenic diet?

Whether you already know the ins and outs of the keto (ketogenic) diet, or are just starting to explore its benefits, you’re likely coming across a lot of information about this increasingly popular diet! With all this information, knowing which foods to eat (and not eat) on keto can be confusing. You may be wondering: Should I have protein powder while following a ketogenic diet?

What is the ketogenic diet?

Put simply, the ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, high fat, and moderate protein diet. The extreme carbohydrate restriction of the ketogenic diet is similar to that of the Atkins diet, though the two diets differ in their approach to fat intake. The ketogenic diet centers on the idea of reaching a metabolic state called “ketosis”, where the body is said to increase its efficiency at burning fat for energy.

What are the benefits of following a ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet has been linked to benefits ranging from weight loss, reduced blood sugar levels, heart disease risk prevention, to diabetes management. In the 1800’s, the ketogenic diet was used to manage diabetes, and in 1920 it was used in children with epilepsy who were not responding to medications. It is even being tested and used for cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Which foods should I eat on a ketogenic diet?

There are many different ways to “go keto”, but all versions share the common element of carbohydrate restriction. In general, those on keto reduce their carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams a day. To put that into perspective, many people who are not following a ketogenic diet consume upwards of 225-325 grams of carbohydrates in their normal diet.

The general breakdown of calories per day on a ketogenic diet is as follows: 70-80% of calories from fat, 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates, and 10-20% of calories from protein. Unlike many diets that encourage a more drastic increase in protein consumption, the keto diet limits protein intake to a moderate amount, as too much protein is thought to prevent ketosis.

Is protein powder good for a ketogenic diet?

Protein powder can be a great way to give your body the protein it needs on keto. Protein powder blends that are low in carbohydrates (1-2 grams), and contain 20-30 grams of protein are best for those on keto. While many protein shakes don’t contain much fat, you can easily add fat to your daily shake by making a smoothie that includes coconut oil or nuts.

Disclaimer: Gainful does not necessarily advocate for the ketogenic diet for our customers. There is still conflicting research as to the nutritional effectiveness of following this diet. We recognize that what works in terms of diet for one person may or may not work for another. We encourage our customers to consult with a physician or dietitian before starting any new diet plan.

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