A ketogenic diet is all about consuming low carbohydrate and high-fat foods.
By this, you increase your ketones levels and get yourself into the healthy ketosis.
A ketosis your metabolic state of burning glucose for energy changes to burning fat for energy.
This makes the actual difference between ketogenic diet and Atkins or other low carb diets, where people usually get confused.
An Atkins diet is simply focused on consuming fewer carbs without any intention of getting yourself into ketosis.
But if I will talk about the keto/ketogenic diet there is one more nutrient which has a very important role on a keto diet, yet misunderstands.
I’m speaking about protein.
Protein is a very essential nutrient for our body and it always has a place on any kind of diet.
You cannot cut down the protein consumptions on any diet whether it a ketogenic diet, an Atkins diet or a regular diet.
Especially on a keto diet, you should consume the adequate amount of protein as it is important for:
- Lowering body fat
- Building muscle mass
- Healthy brain function
- Skin, bone, and muscle health
- Recovering after workouts
But unfortunately, many low carb dieters (keto) think consuming lots of protein on Keto diet can turn into sugar through the gluconeogenesis process and rise in the glucose level will decrease the ketone levels.
But this thought is totally wrong, it's only a myth.
So in this article, I am going to explain you about the consumption of protein on keto diet and answer the most common questions.
- Eating too protein be bad for ketosis?
- Why you should eat more protein on keto Diet
- The best keto protein sources
- How much protein should you consume on keto?
1. Eating too protein be bad for ketosis?
Eating the keto diet, we force our body to produce ketones from fat by limiting the carbohydrate and protein. Right? Well, it is not necessary!
To understand this we should know that carbohydrates are the only macronutrient that directly affects the production of ketones level and decide your ketogenic state.
On the other side consuming protein won't kick you out of the ketosis.
Any keto dieter can eat high fat and high protein diet and keep their self into the ketosis.
That’s why a keto dieter who switches to the carnivore diet doesn’t face any problem in staying in nutritional ketosis.
So what about the gluconeogenesis(GNG) process and rise in the glucose level?
Gluconeogenesis is a very important process which doesn't oppose you to get in ketosis, in fact, it helps to makes ketosis possible.
You might be surprised after reading this but it is true, let me explain to you how it goes.
There are many claims against the consumption of protein on the ketosis because it causes gluconeogenesis.
But this claims against the consumption of protein on keto diet has since been disproven.
To know it well let explain to you how the Gluconeogenesis process works.
Actually, Gluconeogenesis is a process by which liver and kidneys produce glucose from non-carbohydrate sources.
This is a very unique process as our make glucose from non-carbohydrate sources.
Your body uses protein (lactate, amino acids), and glycerol to produce glucose during the body face lack of carbohydrate.
Glucose! This may seem like a problem for keto dieters as they want to raise their ketone level by decreasing the body glucose.
But the fact is gluconeogenesis (GNG) is a very important process and it doesn’t harm the ketosis.
Although you don’t need to have any high carb foods to survive, but if you think you can survive without carbohydrates it is not completely true.
Your body requires glucose and glycogen to keep you healthy it will get this through a process called gluconeogenesis.
So does you gluconeogenesis rate rise by eating lots of protein on keto diet?
No! gluconeogenesis is an extremely stable process it won’t rise the with consuming extra protein on keto diet.
Three Reasons Gluconeogenesis Is Important
- Preventing hypoglycemia
- Fueling tissues that can’t use ketones
- Resupplying glycogen stores
2. Why You Should Eat More Protein On Keto Diet
Below I have listed why you should add an adequate amount of protein to your keto diet.
a) Protein Helps With Fat Loss
If you have adopted the keto diet to lose the weight then you should increase the consumption of protein as because:
- Protein is higher satiating than fat
- Protein is extra nutrient dense
- Individuals have a tendency to overeat when protein is low
Additionally, If you want to lose your weight on a keto diet you need to burn the stored fat rather than only the fat you consume on the keto diet.
If you eat lots of fat your body doesn't burn the stored fat and you won't achieve the weight loss with the keto diet.
So if you want to lose weight you need to raise protein and lowering your fat consumption.
b) Protein Provides Fewer Calories Than Fat
If you compare calories require burning protein and fat, protein uses more calories to burn then fat.
Let it understand by an example: if you eat a 100-calorie course of grass-fed beef then 25% of calories will be used to burn it and only 75% of it will be stored.
Whereas if you eat fat only 2% of it will be used to burn and the rest 98% will be stored as calories.
That explains when you eat fat your all most all calories will be stored whereas in protein you store lesser calories as it needs more calories to burn it.
c) Protein Deficiency Is Dangerous
- Decrease workout performance
- Weaker immune system
- Raised risk of diseases
3. The Best Keto Protein Sources
When you are selecting protein sources then you must have to consider that protein sources are keto friendly (low carb), rich in protein and reasonable.
Here are the some best Keto Protein Sources:
- Poultry, including Chicken Breasts, Quail, Duck, Turkey
- Pork (pork loin, tenderloin, chops)
- Fish (cod, catfish, mahi-mahi, mackerel, tuna, salmon, trout and halibut)
- Shellfish (crab, mussels, oysters, clams and lobster)
- Grass fed, full-fat dairy
4. How Much Protein Should You Consume On Keto
On the keto diet, a dieter should focus to get a majority of calories from fat, some of the calories from protein and very less from carbs.
Here is the how your actual consumption of fat, protein and carbohydrates on the ideal keto diet.
- 75-80% of calories from fat
- 20% of calories from protein
- 5% of calories from carbohydrates
If your main objective of adopting a keto diet is to lose weight then you must have to make perfect balance on the consumption of fat, protein and carb.
By this only you can get the real benefit of the keto diet.
Remember protein is also as important as healthy fats on the ketogenic diet.
It doesn’t take you out of ketosis even it helps the dieter to get in it and make their weight loss successful.
Which are your main Protein Sources on the keto diet? Do let us know in the comments section below.