How Much Protein Should You Eat On Keto

Why Gluconeogenesis Is Vital

How Much Protein Should You Eat on Keto? (Protein and the Ketogenic Diet)

On a keto diet, your body uses gluconeogenesis for three primary purposes.

  • Preventing hypoglycemia: Your glucose levels can never drop to zero, even in ketosis. GNG keeps your blood sugar in a healthy range, so it doesnt fall to dangerous levels .
  • Fueling tissues that cant use ketones: There are a handful of cells in your body that can only use glucose to survive, including red blood cells, kidney medulla , testicles, and some portions of your brain. Ketones can cover up to 70% of your brains energy needs, while the glucose from GNG covers the rest. The other organs cant metabolize ketones at all. This is why gluconeogenesis provides them with enough glucose to remain healthy.
  • Resupplying glycogen stores: You can replenish muscle glycogen through the GNG that happens during ketosis at least if youre not a professional athlete or participate in competitions. Glycogen is crucial for muscle recovery after workouts.

If GNG didnt make enough glucose to cover these functions, your body could never make the switch to using ketones for energy because some cells would die, and your blood sugar would drop too low.

Gluconeogenesis makes ketosis possible.

Key Takeaways The Best And Worst Dairy For Your Keto Diet

Dairy follows the same rules as any other food on keto. More specifically, the best keto dairy will have the following characteristics:

  • Very low in carbs
  • High in fat
  • Comes from a high-quality source. In this case, the dairy should come from healthy cows .
  • This is why the top three dairy products youll find in keto recipes and food lists are heavy cream, butter, and cheese. Each one contains only a small amount of natural milk sugars and provides us with a great source of fat.

    In contrast, the worst keto dairy products will contain added sugars . The most popular examples of this are flavored milks and yogurts, such as fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt, squeezable yogurts, yogurt drinks, and chocolate milk.

    That being said, even if you only have zero-carb dairy products, it is still possible to overeat them, gain fat, and impair health. This is why it is crucial to keep your food intake within your daily macro goals to get the results you expect from keto.

    The easiest way to do this is by using the keto app to calculate your macro goals and personalize a daily meal plan for you.

    Please note: For those of you whod like to go 100% dairy-free or experiment with dairy-free keto dieting, make sure to read our dairy-free keto guide first.

    P.S. Have a look at the Keto Academy, our foolproof 30-day keto meal planner. It has all the tools, information, and recipes needed for you to succeed.

    + The food will always fit to your macros and cooking preferences!

    Best Protein Powder For Keto

    Whey protein isolate is one of the best options for supplementation while on the Keto diet. Plant-based and collagen protein have also grown in popularity, and many products market directly to the keto community.

    With a market so saturated, it can be challenging to choose the best protein to help meet your keto goals. Below we explore the key differences between whey, Collagen, and pea protein.

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    Space Out Your Protein And Eat It With Fat

    • Space your protein out throughout the day: Proteins are constantly being remodeled, and the proteins we eat provide the building blocks to support the remodeling, so make sure youâre spreading out your consumption instead of eating it all at once.
    • Eat enough fat: Make sure to add fat to your meals to ensure youâre satiated and donât overeat other macronutrients.

    Consuming adequate protein takes practice and even the smallest adjustments can make a positive shift in your metabolic response.

    Carbohydrate Percentage Of Daily Calories On Keto Diet

    Do You Know How Much Protein on Keto Will Be Effective?

    If you are a beginner and just starting the ketogenic diet, we recommend the minimum amount of carbohydrates for the fastest induction into ketosis. On a 2000 calorie diet, that’s 4% of your daily calories. If you want more information on why such a low amount of carbohydrates is recommended at the beginning, check out our Beginner’s Guide to the Keto Diet.

    If you have been on the ketogenic diet for a month or longer and you know you are in ketosis, you may start to adjust the net carbohydrates. You may be able to eat more if you exercise frequently, especially at high intensity, or simply if you have a higher weight to maintain.

    This is why the carbohydrate macros can range from 4-10% of your daily calories.

    If you are not feeling the benefits of ketosis after a few weeks of being on the keto diet, we have a problem. Somehow you are still eating too many carbs or protein, or a combination of the two. You will need to analyze exactly what you are eating to fix this…carbs are sneaky and protein portions are misleading. More than you think are getting in your diet somewhere…

    Confused on what a net carb is? Check out how to read a nutrition label on the keto diet.

    Carbohydrates should come from low-carb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, and cabbage. Since fiber does not count, you end up being able to eat quite a bit of vegetables if you like, without adding many calories or net carbs.

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    Keto Protein Sources To Avoid

    There are a few foods to avoid / moderate when youre selecting protein sources on keto, including:

    • Processed deli meats that are high in sugar. When in doubt, opt for fresh meat, poultry, and seafood and always check the food label to be sure there arent tons of added sugars that can take you out of ketosis.
    • Breaded meats that are coated in a high-carb batter. You will usually find breaded meats and seafood in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket, so be careful to avoid these as they can pack quite a bit of hidden carbs into your keto diet.
    • Glazed meats and poultry that contain sugary coatings. Conventional glazes and sauces are almost always loaded with sugar, cornstarch, and other carb-laden additives.

    Protein Helps With Fat Loss

    Most people on keto will limit their protein to 30-40 grams, restrict their net carbs to 10-20 grams, then eat an excessive amount of fat. This is a common mistake.

    If your goal is to lose fat, increased protein consumption is a great way to approach your keto diet plan. Heres why:

    • Protein is more satiating than fat
    • Protein is very nutrient-dense
    • People tend to overeat when protein is low

    Additionally, the most effective way to start losing weight on keto is to burn your stored body fat for energy, not the new dietary fat youre eating.

    If you eat too much fat, your body will burn that new fat coming in and wont get the chance to burn your stored fat reserves.

    You can overcome weight loss plateaus by increasing protein and lowering your fat consumption.

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    Can Consuming Such A High Amount Of Fat Give Lead To A Heart Disease Or Cause A Heart Attack

    Fats consist of saturated fats, trans fats, and unsaturated fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. A clean keto diet mainly focuses on unsaturated fats that are present in olive oil, nuts, seeds, salmon, and tuna. These fats are good for health and can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and ensure proper body functioning.

    Saturated fats are known as unhealthy fat and are present in food like butter, palm oil, coconut oil, cheese, and red meat. Trans fats, mechanically made by a process called hydrogenation, are present in baked goods and are also considered unhealthy. Consuming a high amount of trans and saturated fats, typically in a dirty keto diet, can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases .

    If You Are Overweight Use Your Ideal Body Weight Or Reference

    How Much Protein Should You Eat on a Keto Diet?

    If you have well-developed muscles or are close to your ideal body weight, use your real weight to determine the amount of protein you need. But if you are overweight, it will be good to use your ideal body weight or reference weight to avoid overestimating your protein needs, which depend on your lean muscle mass.

    The DRI of protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. That means you can determine your average daily protein intake target by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 0.36 or your body weight in kg by 0.8. For example, a 50-year-old woman weighing 140 pounds in a sedentary lifestyle would have a protein RDA of 53 grams.

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    My Protein Is Higher Than My Fat Recommendation What Should I Do

    You may notice that the percentage of grams of protein you have to eat is much higher and fat is a lot lower than the percentages that are typically recommended for keto. This can happen for two reasons:

  • You didnt convert grams to calories. You must convert the grams of fat and protein to calories and then calculate your macronutrient percentages. Calorie percentages, not gram percentages, are what the recommended keto percentages are based on. Usually, once you account for the fact that one gram of fat has five more calories than one gram of protein the calorie percentages will end up being what you expect from a typical keto diet.
  • Your goals and activity levels require you to eat more protein. Even after you convert grams to calories, you may find that your suggested protein intake is high and fat is a bit low for keto . This commonly happens for keto dieters who lift weights and wont impair your progress with the keto diet.
  • The only problem that high protein intake can cause, however, is lower levels of ketone production. If this is the case for you and you want to maintain a higher level of ketosis, then try decreasing your protein intake to the lower end of the recommended range or restricting carbs a bit more.

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    What Causes Protein To Inhibit Ketosis

    It all starts with the Krebs cycle, that metabolic pathway that converts fatty acids into useable energy. In a normal cycle, fatty acids are broken down into acetyl-CoA. The liver pairs acetyl-CoA with oxaloacetate to complete the cycle and produce ATP energy. Thats basic energy generation.

    Without oxaloacetate, the Krebs cycle cannot continue. Without oxaloacetate, acetyl-CoA has a different energetic fate: conversion into ketones. Where does oxaloacetate come from?

    Carbs, usually. But protein can also be a source. Like carbohydrates, protein has the potential to donate oxaloacetate during the Krebs cycle. The more protein you eat, the more oxaloacetate youll have ready and willing to inhibit ketogenesis. This is how protein inhibits ketosis. Not by increasing gluconeogenesis. Not by spiking insulin.

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    Protein on Keto: Should You Eat More?

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    Is Keto Bad For The Kidneys

    There is a long-held notion among the general population that the kidneys are the major site of protein metabolism and a high-protein diet is bad for the kidneys. This presumption is flawed for several reasons…

    Firstly, protein is predominantly metabolized in the gut since the enzymes that hydrolyze polypeptides into individual amino acids and oligopeptides are primarily located in the stomach.

    Once protein is sufficiently broken down, the short amino acid chains and isolated amino acids may go on to play a myriad of biological roles, such as helping synthesize new muscle tissue, producing neurotransmitters, and providing energy for cells.

    The kidneys arent necessarily involved in protein digestion rather, they help remove the metabolic waste that develops as a byproduct of protein metabolism. In humans, the major byproduct of protein metabolism is ammonia, which is subsequently converted to urea in the liver and then transported through the blood to the kidneys so it can be filtrated and excreted via urine.

    Technically, the urea cycle in the liver is the final point of protein metabolism.

    Thus, the kidneys are like the trash collectors of the body since they pick up this metabolic waste from protein metabolism and help flush it out of the system.

    But before you go and slam another scoop of protein powder, there are some finer points to consider when it comes to a high-protein keto diet and kidney health.

    Can You Eat Too Little Protein On Keto

    As weve discussed, protein is necessary for satiety, helping with weight loss, and maintaining lean muscle on a keto diet. You can end up eating too little protein if you are overly focused on eating fat.

    If youve been on the keto diet for several weeks and are still hungry all the time, youre probably not getting enough protein. If youre not overeating your calories and are not losing weight, you are also probably not eating enough protein.

    The keto diet works for weight loss because of the increase in protein.

    Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and is one of the reasons for the appetite suppression people experience. It can be argued that protein is almost as important as fat while eating keto.

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    Gather Your Details: Gender Age Height And Weight

    The keto calculator takes into account your gender, age, height, and weightto determine your basal metabolic rate , which is the minimum number of calories needed for your body to properly function while resting.

    BMR is calculated through Mifflin-St.Jeor Formula as it is the most precise method .

    • Men: calories/day = 10 x weight + 6.25 x height 5 x age + 5
    • Women: calories/day = 10 x weight + 6.25 x height 5 x age 161

    For instance, If a 35 year old man weighs 90kg and his height is 175 cm. His BMR would be:

    BMR = 10 x 90kg + 6.25 x 175cm 5 x 35years +5 = 1823.75 1824 calories/day

    = 900 + 1093.75 175 +5 = 1823.75 1824 calories/day

    Why are these details necessary?

    • Gender: Men and Women have different body composition.
    • Age: Resting metabolic rate decreases with age.
    • Height and Weight: Unique body composition always needs to be taken into account.

    Is Too Much Protein Keto

    Dr. Stephen Phinney: How much protein should you eat on a ketogenic diet?

    Eating too much protein is one of the biggest concerns for people who are just starting the ketogenic diet.

    After all, the body produces ketones from fat, so you should keep carbs and protein down to a minimum, right? Not necessarily.

    Take the keto quiz

    Carbs are the only macronutrient that can seriously interfere with ketosis, which is why its essential to watch out for hidden carbs and find the carb limit that works for you.

    On the other hand, eating protein wont affect your ketone levels. You can eat high-fat and high-protein and stay in ketosis.

    Thats why many people who transition from keto to the carnivore diet have no problem staying in nutritional ketosis.

    But what about gluconeogenesis ?

    GNG is a real and necessary process that is already happening in your body. Its not the enemy of ketosis. In fact, it makes ketosis possible in the first place.

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    Older Adults And Children Need More Protein

    Children that are still developing have a much higher RDA for protein than adults , which in theory makes a lot of sense considering their higher growth rate.

    As we become adolescents, our protein needs are not as high as childrens relative to our height and body weight. However, our protein needs go up again as we reach old age.

    Health organizations in Europe, the United States, and many other countries recommend at least a daily protein intake of 0.8 g per kg for adults up to 19 years and above. Still, many protein experts think that people older than 65 need at least 1.2 g of protein per kg every day to prevent muscle loss and other age-induced changes.

    In a new study conducted on older women, a daily intake of more than 1.1 g of protein per kilogram was associated with a lower risk of frailty, a condition characterized by weakness, lack of strength, and many other changes common in old age.

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