Nutritional Ketosis FAQ

 Written by Dr. Steve Phinney and the Virta Team

Have a question we haven’t answered? Email us your question at faq@virtahealth.com.

What is nutritional ketosis?

Nutritional ketosis is a natural metabolic state in which your body is fueled mainly by fats and ketones, instead of carbohydrates (glucose).
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How do I get into nutritional ketosis?

Nutritional ketosis happens when dietary carbohydrates are significantly reduced (<50 grams per day) and the body’s production of ketones increases to maintain a blood level at or above 0.5 mM.
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How can I tell if I’m in nutritional ketosis?

Ketone production in the body is a very natural process that can be measured at home by a medical device such as the Precision Xtra meter or KetoMoJo meter.
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What is “keto flu” and how do I avoid it?

The ”flu-like” symptoms that some individuals experience when starting the ketogenic diet is due to the body’s response to carb restriction.
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Should I take vitamins or supplements on a ketogenic diet?

It is well known that whole foods should be emphasized over dietary supplements because essential vitamins and minerals found in foods are usually better absorbed than those found in supplements.
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Can I be vegetarian and still do nutritional ketosis?

Absolutely! While 10-20% of your daily energy need should be coming from protein, you can meet this need by consuming high protein, vegetarian and keto friendly foods.
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Can I be vegan and still do nutritional ketosis?

Achieving nutritional ketosis while being a vegan is possible but this style of eating will be restrictive and require a large amount of pre-planning.
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Do I need to eat vegetables on a ketogenic diet?

In addition to getting fiber, there are many other reasons to consume vegetables.
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Do I need fiber supplements on a ketogenic diet?

There are clear benefits from fiber consumption for bowel function and blood sugar control in people consuming a diet high in carbohydrates.
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How do I break a weight loss plateau on a ketogenic diet?

There are small dietary changes you could consider, which may help push past a true weight plateau.
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How should I interpret and apply CGM data?

The use of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) serves a variety of purposes and depends on the individual.
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Is dietary fat burned before stored fat on a ketogenic diet?

For regular dietary fats, once they are digested, they enter the circulation and participate in what is called ‘fatty acid turnover’.
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Is fat the most satiating macronutrient?

Satiety is very subjective, so it’s hard to measure it precisely
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Can I use olive oil as a cooking oil?

Every oil or fat has a temperature range within which it performs best and a point at which it begins to breakdown (smoke point).
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What causes muscle cramps on a ketogenic diet?

Cramps may occur for a variety of reasons. A mineral imbalance may manifest in physical symptoms like cramps and is often resolved by magnesium supplementation
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What can I eat at a Chinese restaurant on a ketogenic diet?

You can ask for steamed versions of some dishes and then add soy sauce, which fits within the guidelines of a well-formulated ketogenic diet.
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What do I do if I get diarrhea on a ketogenic diet?

Diarrhea is not a common side effect of a well-formulated ketogenic diet. If it occurs, it likely due to well-intentioned but incorrect food choices.
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Have a question we haven’t answered? Email us your question at faq@virtahealth.com.