When keto is on the table, carb counts can be the judge, jury and executioner. After just a short time on a keto eating plan it becomes second nature not to consider them food. If this is you, then avoiding them becomes dietary daredevilry with good-cop bad-cop lines drawn in the sand. With such a rigid take on food, it can be very easy to overlook a deficiency that creeps up on you silently then jumps out to give you a serious health scare. Heart stopped. Energy sapped. Skin poor. To stay balanced, carbs shouldn’t be demonized. Instead, they do hold plenty of health benefits that you could be missing out on if you allow yourself. Some of the most common deficiencies can be nutrients you’ve never heard of and below is a list of the three most important ones you need to be the healthiest person you can hope to be.
This is your energy vitamin, but it may also help you fight off carb cravings because it doubles as neurotransmitter that can regulates happiness in your brain. It’s found in abundance in legumes, citrus fruits, banana and wheat. Yep, all the carb heavy things you probably avoid. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to eat plenty of folate by simply going green. Aim for at least 2 cups of leafy greens each day, they won’t blow out your carb totals for the day and will only make you feel more prepared against the lure of the bakery.
This is probably the first vitamin you heard about when you were a kid because it was front and center of the orange juice box. Without it, you’ll end up like an 1850’s pirate, riddled with scurvy and dumb enough to rob gunships. Vitamin C is easy to get but it likes to sugar coat itself in fructose which does daily carb totals zero favors. Oranges, kiwi fruits, papaya and strawberries are the usual culprits but try to shift away from these high fructose options and stick to more nutrient dense low carb options. These includes foods such as bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas and kale. They don’t pander to your sweet tooth but get the job done just as well as that box of OJ.
This is one of the most underrated minerals you can include because there’s ever a test for body and mind, selenium gets the job done. It boosts your immunity, protects against disease and puts the CPU in your skull on an auto upgrade loop. Trouble is, long term ketogenic diets can lower your levels and the best sources are things like enriched pastas or Brazil nuts that are loaded with outlandishly high levels of calories and carbs. Aim for foods such as tuna, beef, egg and sunflower seeds to keep yourself in ketosis.
Its wise not to let deficiencies slowly get the better of you to the point where you’re starting to feel the negative effects. Carbs do have nutritional value that can contribute towards a balanced diet. That said, you don’t need them to optimize your health. You should rather make a point to eat the foods that prevent these deficiencies from the get go. Take stock of your risks. Employ actions that heal and look to eat yourself into the best possible health.