By Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
Although the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet is currently quite popular, it isn’t particularly new; it has actually been around since the 1940s as a treatment for epilepsy. Recently it has gained popularity as a weight-loss diet. If you decide to follow a keto diet, before taking any dietary supplements, even collagen, it’s important to understand if they are keto-friendly.
First, in case you don’t know, the keto diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The macronutrient breakdown of a standard keto diet is:
Yes, collagen protein is allowed on the keto diet. But not all collagen supplements have the right macronutrient breakdown to fit perfectly into the keto diet. Some products have added flavors or sugar that can increase the carbohydrate content. This means you have to be careful when you select a product to use and make sure it is low in carbs.
There is some controversy about too much protein kicking you out of ketosis. Some recommend limiting your protein intake while on keto for this reason. The concern is that, technically, protein can be converted into carbohydrates through a process called gluconeogenesis.
But although the body can make carbs from protein, it tries to avoid doing this in large quantities. The body needs about 1.5 grams of protein to make 1 gram of carbs via gluconeogenesis. To meet even the most basic carb needs, the body would have to use up a lot of essential protein from your diet or break down muscle. The body tries to spare protein as much as possible; it doesn’t make carbs out of protein when there is too much protein available — only when it needs carbs for essential functions.
A study by the American Diabetes Association found that when subjects were placed on a low-carb fasting diet, the body produced around 50 grams of carbs during an eight-hour period. Of those 50 carbs, only three of them came from the protein that had been consumed during that time. This means there is no real concern about eating too much protein from any source while following a keto diet.
Collagen protein is keto-friendly but, as we mentioned, not all collagen peptide supplements are made for keto dieters. Here are a few tips to find the best keto collagen product for you:
Collagen peptides are a great addition to your keto diet. They can help support skin and joint health, while you work on meeting your other health goals with keto.
Research shows that regular collagen supplementation is required to maintain its anti-aging benefits.