The Keto Diet and Vitamin B [Top Tips]

  • Date: April 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Just because you have restricted the number of carbs that you are eating, does not mean that you have to miss out on vitamin B in your diet. Read on the find out more about the keto diet and vitamin B, including our favorite keto friendly, vitamin B rich foods.

Vitamin B and Keto

As we have said, this diet is all about restricting food groups and specific fruits and veggies to keep the carb count low only to maintain or establish metabolic ketosis, so keeping and maintaining proper Vitamin B intake becomes critical

Do not worry; the majority of the keto diet plans offer sufficient Vitamin B, but if you wish to add more for optimum health, you can take B-complex supplements. 

Why Do We Need Vitamin B on Keto?

The prime goal of having a keto diet is to force your body to burn the stored fat for fuel, as opposed to carbs (carbohydrates) which the body has adapted to burn. To optimize this type of activity, one needs to have a healthy functioning liver as this is where B12 is stored

For more on the keto diet, check out our keto beginners guide.

When the human adipose tissues get dissolved, they turn into tiny globules and enter the bloodstream. Once they enter the main bloodstream, they go with the flow and pass through the liver.

The liver uses its amino-acid-made enzymes, vitamins, and minerals from transforming the toxins into easily excreted substances and converts them into ketones.

Ketone bodies replace glucose (carbs) as the primary food source on a keto diet.

Now you know why Vitamin B is so crucial in the keto diet. 

How Much Vitamin B Should I Be Getting on Keto?

If you want to enter ketosis, following the ketogenic diet is the best option by far.

A ketogenic diet is all about limiting the consumption of carbohydrates to just 20 to 50 grams a day and consuming items that contain fat such as fish, meat, eggs, etc. 

You can take Vitamin B12, which is one of the best keto supplements. You consider taking this if you happen to be vegan!

One should have at least 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B. Sometimes it is not easy to keep track, but do not worry if you take slightly more Vitamin B.

Symptoms of Too Little Vitamin B on a Keto Diet

Suppose you think you are running low on Vitamin B on your keto diet. In that case, you are much more likely to experience symptoms such as:

  • insomnia
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • muscle pain
  • upset stomach
  • depression
  • your hands and feet going numb

Some may even experience confusion, loss of appetite, weakness, memory loss, and heart problems. 

Symptoms of Too Much Vitamin B on a Keto Diet

Consuming Vitamin B in excessive or negligible amounts can have side effects. Consuming food items that are overly rich in Vitamin B can cause serious problems

Here are some signs that indicate you have taken way too much Vitamin B. Yes, you will experience headaches, brain fog, flu-like keto-flu, and nausea. 

Not just these, excessive consumption of Vitamin B can raise your blood sugar levels, cause skin flushing, and can potentially damage your liver.

How to Get Vitamin B on Keto

If you wish to minimize the consumption of carbs and maximize your vitamin B intake, plenty of foods can help you

Consumption of lobster, broccoli, chicken, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds can help you get more pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

To get biotins (vitamin B7), you can prepare a diet using cheese and cauliflower. 

Or, if you are fond of eggs, avocados, and liver, you can eat those without hesitation as they contain both biotin and pantothenic. 

You can get thiamine (also known as vitamin B1) from pecans, pork, peanuts, nuts, chicken liver, flax seeds, asparagus, and macadamia.

Folic acid (vitamin B9) is found in spinach, romaine lettuce, avocado, asparagus, etc. Other rich sources of folate are crabs, salmon, lamb, etc. 

Again, leafy greens are always a rich source of Vitamin-B and have fiber content, which helps prevent constipation. 

Keto Foods that Contain Vitamin B

If you are looking at how to get Vitamin B on keto, there are some great options to help you out. 

Here is our list of keto foods with Vitamin B –

  • Red meat (beef, lamb, pork) – rich in Vitamin B
  • Offal meats and Liver – rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin B 
  • Oily fish – rich in Vitamin B and Vitamin D
  • Almonds – Rich source of Vitamin E and Vitamin B

The fact that you are on a keto diet, and are eating a balanced diet, should not lead to a vitamin B deficiency in its own right. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of nutrient deficiency, please seek medical advice.

Check out our article on common side effects that you can expect from the keto diet.

For more on supplements you may need on a keto diet, check out our article – Do I Need Supplements On a Keto Diet? It will take you through what supplements you may want to consider on a keto diet, including our best keto supplement recommendations.

More importantly, we will take you through some of the common supplements that are frequently recommended but are not necessary.

Final Thoguhts

The Keto diet itself, if balanced should not lead to a vitamin B deficiency. Check out the foods we have recommended above and ensure that these are incorporated into your diet to ensure that it is balanced to try and prevent any health conditions from being nutrient deficient. 

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