Keto eaters eliminate a lot of foods, so they might be lacking in certain nutrients. We asked the experts which keto supplements they recommend to keep your body functioning at its prime.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are fatty acids usually derived from coconut or palm oil. They are one of several popular keto supplements commonly used by keto dieters. Elroy Vojdani, MD, IFMCP, a functional medicine doctor in Los Angeles, recommends adding a tablespoon or two to a coffee or smoothie in the morning to fuel ketosis and boost mental energy. Indeed, a 2018 review suggests that people who use MCT oil reach ketosis more quickly than people who do not. Plus, people who use MCT oil may have higher levels of circulating ketones in the blood, the review said. “The more circulating ketones you have, the more potential fuel your brain cells have to use when in ketosis,” Dr. Vojdani says.
Taking it in the morning will help you get the biggest benefits from that brain boost, he adds. “It really helps curb appetite, pushing your first true meal into later in the day and potentially amplifying the effect of intermittent fasting if you are doing this alongside keto,” he says. Start with small doses so you don’t cause stomach pain.
This is a type of ketone metabolite—an energy molecule. Your body forms beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) when it’s breaking down and burning fat; people in ketosis tend to have higher levels of BHB. As one of many keto supplements, BHB salts “trick the body and force the brain to lower glucose production and switch to burning fat instead,” says Sarah Peterson, content manager at Perfect Keto. “It would be especially useful when you’re starting keto to ensure a smooth transition.” Learn how to avoid these 10 ways the keto diet can backfire.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Fish oils are one of the most popular keto supplements because they are a rich source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are especially important for keto dieters, says Dr. Vojdani. “One thing we know for certain with ketogenic diets is that if they are higher in saturated fat derived from animals, they have a greater tendency to cause a worsening of cholesterol numbers linked to cardiovascular disease,” he says. “It’s paramount to be sure that your version of keto combats this by increasing your exposure to plant-derived poly- and monounsaturated fats, and clean sources of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids.” Fish oil supplements can cause fishy burps, though, so Dr. Vojdani recommends taking omega-3 supplements in the morning with food to avoid the returning scents.