When to Change Your KETO DIET

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 10/04/2023

Ever stood at the edge of a vast ocean, overwhelmed by its depth and breadth? That's what navigating nutrition on a ketogenic diet can feel like. Please don't fret; we're here to steer you through these mysterious waters.

You might ask, "Why does it matter where my vegetables come from?" or "Can I improve digestion with meat?" You're not alone in asking these questions. This journey into optimal keto nutrition will be an eye-opener for many.

We'll explore how soil-based veggies are superheroes of nutrients, why variety is critical even in animal-based foods, and the secret weapon that fermented food can be for those with digestive issues. It's time to take control of your health without feeling lost at sea!

Regarding a ketogenic diet, soil-based vegetables play an essential role. These veggies aren't just low in carbs; they're packed with nutrients that boost your immune system and help you absorb more from what you eat.

Green leafy vegetables

The Power of Phytonutrients in Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are nutrient powerhouses. They're rich in phytonutrients—natural chemicals that give plants their vibrant colors. Studies show that these compounds can fight inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Phytonutrients, like carotenoids with their antioxidant properties, are abundant in leafy green vegetables. So when we talk about eating the rainbow on keto diets, think beyond berries: Get those greens.

The Limitations of Hydroponic Vegetables

Suppose you've wondered why some say hydroponically grown veggies don't taste as good or seem less nutritious than their soil-grown counterparts. In that case, they lack diverse beneficial chemicals found naturally within the soil.

Hydroponics may be a modern marvel for growing food indoors year-round without dirt—but it's not perfect yet.

A study published by ScienceDirect suggests hydroponically grown crops might have lower levels of certain minerals than those grown traditionally in the ground.

That means fewer nutritional benefits for us. So let’s keep digging into our garden plots—and munching on plenty of tasty soil-based veggies.

The Carnivore-Type Ketogenic Diet for Digestive Health

A ketogenic diet typically comprises high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb food items. But did you know there's another type? Enter the carnivore-type ketogenic diet that could help individuals with bloating and gut inflammation.

Incorporating Variety in Animal-Based Foods

Don't limit yourself to beef or chicken when talking about a carnivore-style ketogenic diet. It means embracing variety in your food choices. Organ meats like liver can be an excellent vitamin A and iron source.

Bone marrow is rich in collagen, which supports skin health and joints. Seafood such as salmon provides Omega-3 fatty acids beneficial for brain function. Eggs give essential proteins needed by our bodies.

This way, you keep your meals exciting and ensure all nutritional needs are met despite eliminating certain food groups from your menu.

When following a ketogenic diet, understanding the digestibility of vegetables is crucial. Raw veggies are full of nutrients but can be tough to break down in our guts.

Cooking these plants softens their structure for easier digestion and helps unlock more nutrients. A study from The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that cooking carrots boost their level of beta-carotene, an essential nutrient for eye health.

The Benefits of Fermentation

Fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi introduce beneficial bacteria into your gut, improving digestion and maximizing nutrition intake on a keto diet. They're like little helpers breaking down food, so you get more nutrition bang per bite.

This process is precious on a keto diet where every carb counts - fermentation reduces the net carbohydrate content in veggies by converting some carbs into lactic acid.

Cooked vs Raw: The Digestibility Dilemma

So should we ditch raw salads? Not necessarily. Consuming both cooked and raw vegetables provides diverse benefits - while cooking enhances digestibility and nutrient availability, fresh greens offer enzymes and specific vitamins that heat destroys.

Precautions for Keto Dieters Prone to Kidney Stones

If you have a history of kidney stones and are following a ketogenic diet, it is essential to take extra precautions. Certain foods high in oxalates can increase the risk of kidney stones forming.

Start by limiting high-oxalate foods such as spinach, almonds, and chocolate. Instead, opt for low-oxalate alternatives like cabbage or cauliflower. Check out this guide on low-oxalate diets from The National Kidney Foundation.

Avoid excessive protein intake as it might increase calcium excretion via urine, leading to stone formation. So, balance your macronutrients carefully.

The Role of Water Intake

Kidneys need plenty of water to flush out waste products efficiently and prevent stone build-up. Staying hydrated is critical. But how much should you drink? That depends on factors like your weight and activity level.

An easy rule is the 8x8 rule - eight 8-ounce glasses per day, which equates to roughly two liters or half a gallon. Remember: if you're active or live in a hot climate, you may need more.

Optimal Nutrition Strategies for Keto Dieters with Digestive Issues

Struggling with digestion on a ketogenic diet? You're not alone. Many keto enthusiasts grapple with digestive discomfort, but there are ways to improve this. Preparing or aging veggies can be an effective way to make a difference.

Jars of kimchi

The Role of Fermented Foods like Sauerkraut and Kimchi

Fermentation is an age-old method that enhances the digestibility of foods. Sauerkraut and kimchi are tasty and provide health benefits, such as aiding digestion on a ketogenic diet. But did you know they could also ease digestion while on a ketogenic diet?

These fermented powerhouses introduce beneficial bacteria into your gut, aiding digestion. Moreover, they allow more efficient absorption of nutrients by breaking down food components easier than our stomach acid can.

Balancing Nutrition and Digestibility with Cooked Vegetables

Cooking isn't just about flavor; it’s also about making foods easier to digest. Raw veggies may pack a nutritional punch, but cooked ones often win at being gentler on the stomach.

Tenderizing them through cooking allows better nutrient absorption without causing unnecessary strain on your digestive system.


Navigating optimal nutrition on a ketogenic diet can seem daunting. But remember, the journey is worth it.

Never underestimate the power of soil-based veggies. Their nutritional richness goes unmatched.

Diversifying your animal-based foods isn't just tasty—it's also healthy! Incorporate variety and see how you feel.

Fermented or cooked vegetables? It depends on what your body needs for digestion. Listen to its cues!

Water intake—never overlook this crucial aspect, especially if you're prone to kidney stones.

Aim for health with every bite you take and every meal you prepare because that’s where true wellness begins!

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