You can still take collagen supplements on the keto diet.

First, how does keto work?

The human body normally prefers to burn glucose rather than fat. If it cannot get enough glucose, which mostly comes from carbohydrates but can also come from protein, it will use fat deposits as its energy source. Burning fat produces ketone bodies in the bloodstream, and this state is called ketosis.

The ketogenic diet – or just “keto” – is a low-carb, diet designed to force the body into ketosis. Some people who have epilepsy find that this diet helps reduce the number of seizures, but many others follow it for its fat-burning potential. The main difference between keto and other low-carb diets like Atkins is that those diets allow protein. Keto allows very little protein because when the body can’t get glucose from carbohydrates, it can make its own glucose from protein through something called gluconeogenesis, and as long as it gets glucose from somewhere it is not in ketosis.

So what does this have to do with collagen?

Collagen is a protein that makes up the majority of your skin, hair, cartilage, and connective tissue, as well as being essential for your gut, bone, and oral health. It’s like a glue that holds most of the body together and gives it elasticity and resilience. Collagen production begins to slow down in your mid-twenties, but it doesn’t start manifesting in obvious ways until later. People in their thirties start to notice “I’m not as young as I used to be,” and older people start to notice wrinkling skin and aching joints.

That’s why some people choose to take collagen peptide supplements in their daily diet. Full-sized collagen fibrils are too big to pass through the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream, but a process called hydrolysis divides the fibrils into peptides that pass through the barrier and recombine into fibrils in the bloodstream, before going off to the parts of the body that need more collagen.

Is that a problem?

So if it’s a protein, doesn’t that mean that even though it can boost important aspects of your health, it’s bad to take collagen supplements on a keto diet? Well, first of all, remember that most diets are about changing the proportions of certain things, not eliminating them. Keto allows a certain amount of protein, though still a lot less than Atkins. And while it’s true that eating massive amounts of collagen would lead to new glucose from all the protein, the amount of supplement you would normally take as part of a daily collagen routine (about 5-10g) is still less than the amount of protein you can have and stay in ketosis.

In addition to collagen not using up your daily protein allowance, you can also have a better chance of staying in ketosis by mixing your collagen dosage with healthy fat foods like butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado.

To learn more about Prisma natural’s supplements, including nutrition labels, visit our products page.

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