Wondering how to get enough protein while cutting out carbs on keto? Look no further! Protein is a crucial component of any diet, and it becomes even more important when following a low-carb, high-fat diet like keto. Protein plays a vital role in building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and providing energy to the body. It is essential to consume enough protein on the keto diet to prevent muscle loss and maintain a healthy metabolism.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about protein on the keto diet. We will cover the recommended amount of protein, sources of protein, and how to incorporate it into your meals. We will also touch on the potential risks of consuming too much protein and provide tips for finding the right balance. By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of how to meet your protein needs while maintaining ketosis. Let's dive in!
The Importance of Protein on the Keto Diet
Protein is one of the essential macronutrients that the body needs to function correctly. Protein is used by the body to create hormones, enzymes, and other critical compounds as well as to build and repair tissues including muscles, bones, and organs.
While the body is in a state of ketosis, where it predominantly burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, protein is especially crucial when following a ketogenic diet. It is crucial to eat adequate protein to stop muscle loss during this period since the body may break down muscle tissue for energy.
Also, getting enough protein will help you stay content and full, which is crucial on a ketogenic diet. Because high-protein foods require more time to digest, eating high-carb snacks less frequently can result in less calories consumed overall.
When following a ketogenic diet, it's crucial to choose high-quality protein sources, such as grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, organic chicken, and turkey, eggs, nuts, and seeds. In addition to protein, these sources also offer the critical vitamins and minerals the body needs to function properly.
How Much Protein Do You Need on the Keto Diet?
The amount of protein you’ll need on the keto diet varies depending on a person's age, gender, weight, degree of exercise, and health objectives. For an average adult, 0.8 grammes of protein per kilogramme of body weight per day is generally advised. However, the advised protein consumption may be slightly higher on the keto diet, where the body primarily burns fat for energy, to prevent muscle loss.
On the keto diet, the following variables may have an impact on the amount of protein required:
- Activity level: More active individuals may require more protein to maintain muscle growth and recovery.
- Health goals: Those aiming to gain muscle mass or slim down may require additional protein to support their individual health goals.
- Age and gender: Men and women have different protein requirements, and older adults may need more protein to prevent the natural muscle loss associated with aging.
The standard recommendation for those following a keto diet is to strive for 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For instance, a 150-pound (68 kg) person should try to eat between 82 and 116 grammes of protein per day.
It's also optimal to consume 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal, spreading out your protein intake equally throughout the day. This method can aid in the body's efficient utilisation of the protein and stop muscle deterioration.
In conclusion, the quantity of protein required for the ketogenic diet varies depending on a number of variables, including activity level, health objectives, age, and gender.
Best Sources of Protein on the Keto Diet
For optimal health and wellness on keto, it's critical to find high-quality sources of protein. All of the essential amino acids that the body needs to function at its best are present in high-quality protein sources. Below are some of the top protein sources for people following a low carb or keto diet:
- Grass-fed beef: Grass-fed beef is a fantastic source of protein on the keto diet. Also, it's a good source of heart-healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower inflammation.
- Wild-caught fish: Fish is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. For individuals following a ketogenic diet, wild-caught fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are excellent choices because of their high omega-3 content.
- Organic chicken and turkey: Chicken and turkey are low in carbs and great sources of protein. Choose organic varieties where possible to help avoid hormones and antibiotics.
- Eggs and egg whites: Including all nine necessary amino acids, eggs are a complete protein source. They are a terrific option for the keto diet because they are low in carbohydrates and a great source of healthy fats.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a fantastic keto snacking option because they are packed in protein and good fats. Almonds, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are a few of the greatest choices.
- Low-carb protein powders and supplements: For people who are constantly on the go, protein powders, cookies and supplements might be a great method to increase protein intake while sticking to a keto diet. Choose low-carb options without added sugars.
In conclusion, selecting high-quality protein sources is crucial on keto. Grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, organic chicken and turkey, eggs and egg whites, nuts and seeds, and low-carb protein powders and supplements are a few of the best sources of protein. You can meet your protein needs while also promoting your general health and wellbeing by include these protein sources in your keto diet.
How to Incorporate More Protein into Your Keto Diet
It doesn't have to be complicated to include enough protein in your keto diet. Here are some pointers to help you hit your daily macros:
Aim to include the high-protein foods suggested in the previous section in your meals and snacks when making your dietary selections. For instance, you may top salads with grilled chicken or salmon or eat eggs for breakfast. You may also include high-protein keto snacks like Justine's Keto Protein Cookies!
Choose protein-rich snacks: On the keto diet, snacks are a wonderful way to up your protein intake. A solid supply of keto protein can be found in nuts, seeds, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and keto-friendly store-bought snacks like Justine's Cookies.
Use protein supplements and powders: If you have trouble getting enough protein from whole meals, consider incorporating a protein powder or supplement into your daily routine. Just be careful to pick low-carb alternatives and stay away from ones with added sugars.
Meal prep: Preparing your meals in advance can help ensure that you're getting enough protein on the keto diet. For a quick and tasty method to remain on track, prepare your meals in advance and incorporate high-protein foods such as the ones included above, and keep a list of store-bought snacks like Justine's cookies you can eat on the go.
Here's an example keto meal plan with high protein content:
- Breakfast: Two eggs cooked in coconut oil with a side of sautéed spinach and mushrooms
- Snack: 1 oz. of almonds and a hard-boiled egg
- Lunch: Grilled chicken breast with a side of roasted vegetables
- Snack: Celery stick with peanut butter - or premade keto snacks such as Justine's Keto Protein Cookies.
- Dinner: Grilled salmon, avocado and a side of cauliflower rice
Incorporating high-protein foods and snacks into daily intake your can help you meet your protein needs and stay satisfied on the keto diet. Using these tips and meal plan as a guide, can help you achieve your protein goals while maintaining an enjoyable, healthy and balanced keto diet.
Protein is essential for numerous bodily functions and helps to promote satiety and muscle growth. While it's important to ensure you’re getting enough protein on the keto diet, it's also essential to maintain a balance of macros and not to consume too much protein. Remember, excess protein can be converted into glucose, which may kick you out of ketosis.
We encourage you to experiment with different sources of protein, such as grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, eggs, nuts, low-carb protein powders, and even plant-based alternatives like tofu. Don't forget to incorporate keto-friendly snacks like Justine's cookies to keep your protein intake up throughout the day while you’re busy on the go or just need a little bit of healthy indulgence.
Ultimately, finding the right balance of macronutrients and protein for your unique needs may take some trial and error. Listen to your body, stay consistent, and enjoy the benefits of a well-balanced keto diet!