The Best Protein Shake On A Ketogenic Diet
What are the key elements of a ketogenic diet?
The key element of this type of diet is that hardly any carbohydrates (in fact less than 15 grams) are consumed. Some protein and a great deal of fat are ingested. Ingesting a large amount of fats places the body into a ketogenic state in which the body burns fat for energy, there being too little carbohydrate fuel. The result is weight loss.
The protein factor
Although this diet allows a moderate amount of protein, it is vital not to exceed the intake of protein, because the liver will convert the protein to glucose and use it for energy. Weight loss will not occur as rapidly then. However, it is also important to ensure that there is enough protein in the diet to prevent the body from burning muscle as source of protein. As a rule, 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight is sufficient as a daily intake. For active individuals, 0.9 grams will suffice, too much not being a good thing. Selecting a protein shake that does not exceed the amount of protein is therefore important, especially if several shakes are consumed daily. In addition, if you consume too much protein you may develop kidney damage, taking in too much nitrogen in the amino acids that make up the protein. If you wish to bulk up but not gain belly fat, you should ensure that the shake does not have too many calories which gives no extra benefits. Rather opt for a higher quality protein – isolate protein. This type of protein is more refined, having no unnecessary additives.
The carb factor
For this type of diet to be effective, carbohydrate intake should be less than 50 grams, certainly not more than 80 grams per day. If your carbohydrate intake is less than 30 grams per day the ketosis process will be more effective. Therefore, if a protein shake is used as a meal replacement, a shake should not have more than 10 grams of carbs, thus following a low carb diet.
The fat factor
As mentioned, this diet is based on a high-fat content (up to around 90% of fat). However, most protein shakes are not as high in fats as in protein. Therefore, you could use a low-fat protein shake and add in coconut oil, nuts, or other oils to increase the fat content. Recent research indicates that good fats can be more beneficial for your health. Excess carbohydrates lead to weight gain and raised blood-sugar levels, resulting in diabetes. Fats, however, have not been linked to cancer or weight gain.
The bottom line on the low-carb protein shake
There are various reasons for choosing to go on a ketogenic diet, from simple weight loss to health benefits of controlling epilepsy. Either way, before going on such a restricted diet, speak to your health-care provider and a dietician to ensure that you do not compromise your health. Professionals can guide you on obtaining the best ratio of carbohydrates to protein to fats.
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