Protein helps you build muscle and provides lasting energy to fuel your day. A standard ketogenic diet is high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb. Without enough protein in your diet, you risk running into a range of health issues.
So, how do you get more protein on a ketogenic diet? What are the benefits of consuming sufficient protein? What are the possible health consequences if you aren’t getting enough?
What Is Protein and Why Do You Need It?
Protein is an essential macronutrient you must obtain from your diet. It’s made up of over twenty amino acids. Collagen is the most prevalent protein in your body. You have protein in almost every body part or tissue, including your hair, skin, muscle, and bone. Hemoglobin is composed of protein and transports oxygen in your blood. 
According to the National Academy of Medicine, adults should obtain a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight daily (or around 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight). That’s about 70 grams of protein for a 200-pound person.  Some experts believe people often need more protein than the recommended daily value.
You need protein for a multitude of reasons, including to:
Collagen, elastin, keratin, and other proteins form the connective framework of several bodily structures.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Protein?
Because protein is the building block of your skin, enzymes, muscles, and hormones, it’s easy to see how a protein deficiency and a lack of protein in your diet could lead to a whole host of health problems. If you don’t have a balanced diet and you aren’t eating enough protein in your diet, health problems could arise. Around one billion people around the globe suffer from insufficient protein consumption. 
Mild to moderate protein deficiency might result in the following:
For most people living in a first-world country, any kind of protein deficiency is very unlikely. However, adding more protein to your diet can help you feel fuller and can give you the calories you need in your diet without adding carbs.
Top Ways to Get Sufficient Protein on Keto
Some people need more protein than others, such as those recovering from surgery or an injury, athletes, and older adults.  One cohort of researchers and health experts believe animal protein is optimal and more bioavailable compared to plant protein. For example, one study concluded that animal-source protein appeared to benefit postmenopausal women the most. The study found postmenopausal women with a higher protein intake had a 69% reduced risk of hip fractures. 
If you’d like to get more protein in your ketogenic diet, check out these top tips:
Enjoy Protein Snacks
Chow down on protein-rich keto-friendly snacks when you’re hungry, such as boiled eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, nut butter, and beef jerky. Three large eggs give you 19 grams of quality protein and nutrients like choline.
Enjoy canned fish like tuna and maybe whip up a tuna salad, tuna in cucumber cups, or a light lunch like these crunchy chicken cabbage bowls using leftover chicken. Nuts and seeds provide some protein and make a crunchy, filling snack and an ideal replacement for salty carb-loaded potato chips. Full-fat Greek yogurt is a keto-approved high-protein food that contains significantly more protein than a traditional sugar-loaded yogurt.
Add More Protein to Your Keto Meals
Top your salads with protein-rich foods like almonds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and bacon bits. A one-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds provides 6 grams of protein. 
If you’re eating a keto meal of veggies and meat, start by eating a decent portion of the meat (or the tofu, if you’re a vegetarian and soy is your chosen protein source). Starting with protein helps you feel fuller sooner by increasing the production of the gut hormone peptide YY (PYY) that makes you feel full. Protein also decreases your hunger hormone ghrelin. Eating protein before the rest of your meal helps stabilize your blood sugar and insulin levels 
Protein Shakes in the Morning
Most health experts recommend eating sufficient protein in the morning to start your day, so why not go for a protein shake? While many protein shakes on the market contain unhealthy additives and may not be the best choice for keto, you can also find keto-friendly protein shakes and powders to up your intake. Be sure to watch the carbs and sugars. Add your favorite flavors to your protein shake or smoothie using keto sweeteners, berries, almond or coconut milk, and other delicious options. Boost the protein further by adding nut butter and chia seeds or flax seeds.
Have Protein with Every Meal
If you’re serious about boosting the protein level of your diet, make sure every meal includes a high-protein food, such as tofu, nuts, meat, or seafood. Choose larger and leaner cuts of meat to level up your protein intake.
Are You Eating Enough Protein On Your Ketogenic Diet?
What are your favorite protein-packed keto dishes? Share your thoughts and tips with other keto dieters here at Ketogenic.com! Join the Keto Club and stay connected!
Steph Green is a content writer specializing in and passionate about healthcare, wellness, and nutrition. Steph has worked with marketing agencies, written medical books for doctors like ‘Untangling the Web of Dysfunction,’ and her poetry book ‘Words that Might Mean Something.’ In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.
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