The keto diet — a high-fat diet that keeps your body in a state of ketosis — has its perks. It can help your metabolism speed up, increase your muscle mass and improve your blood pressure — all while helping you lose fat.
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And it’s all thanks to ketosis, which is when your body uses ketones, a fatty acid, for energy instead of glucose.
Keeping your body in ketosis can be hard — doing so includes eating a restricted list of foods like meat, eggs, nuts and fish and avoiding foods like fruit, sugar, beans and high-carb veggies.
And that’s why you’ve probably seen information on keto pills, keto oil and keto powders — as well as keto gummies. These different products claim they help keep your body in ketosis.
Keto gummies are made with exogenous ketones, which is a fancy term for ketones you get from an outside source.
“Your body makes ketones on its own through the foods you eat,” explains registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, LD. “Keto gummies are a supplement that adds exogenous ketones into your body, which may help continue ketosis.”
It’s important to note that keto gummies (or any keto supplement, for that matter) don’t put you in ketosis.
“Keto gummies may help the process of ketosis continue, but you need to be in ketosis first,” clarifies Czerwony.
So, what exactly are keto gummies and should you use keto gummies for weight loss? Czerwony explains the potential benefits of using keto gummies, along with the risks.
Most keto gummies typically contain medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat that help give your body energy, in addition to exogenous ketones.
“Sometimes, keto gummies may contain gelatin or natural sweeteners like Stevia,” notes Czerwony. “It’s not like eating a traditional gummy. It’s not going to have any additional sugars because if it did, then it would throw you out of ketosis.”
So, what should you look for in a keto gummy?
“There are a lot of options available and they all seem comparable,” says Czerwony. “I would suggest opting for something that fits in your budget and buy a small batch at first to make sure you like it.”
Do keto gummies work? There’s limited research on the benefits of keto gummies.
“There aren’t any studies that have shown the long-term effects of keto gummies and if they’re beneficial,” states Czerwony. “That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about it and see what they have to say.”
And it’s worth a reminder that supplements like keto gummies aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Czerwony says potential benefits include:
But, again, whether keto gummies or other keto supplements can actually keep you in ketosis has been inconclusive, according to research.
In fact, one study explains that supplements may increase the amount of ketones too much. Ideally, your body wants to maintain an even level of ketones. And when this happens, your liver may not produce as many ketones naturally, making it harder to stay in ketosis.
Are keto gummies safe? Before you decide to try keto gummies, it’s also worth understanding the potential risks.
Czerwony says those potential risks include:
“You run the risk of GI issues if your keto gummies use sorbitol, which is known as a laxative,” warns Czerwony. “You should be cautious if you’re going try it. Slowly introduce keto gummies to see how you do because you don’t want to all sudden just kind of overdo it and have those side effects and not be very happy.”
And while some people with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney issues may opt to go on the keto diet, Czerwony cautions against adding keto gummies to the mix.
Before you hop on the keto gummy bandwagon, Czerwony suggests looking at your diet first if you’re struggling to stay in ketosis.
“What is the reason that your body isn’t staying in ketosis? Are you overdoing it on carbohydrates? Is it because you’re getting bored? Is it because you’re still hungry?”
Consider making the necessary tweaks to your keto diet so you’re getting enough calories or fiber. Doing so can be a healthier option instead of turning to keto gummies.
“But if you’re following the keto diet, everything seems to be running fine and you want to see a boost to your weight loss, then I think you could certainly try keto gummies,” says Czerwony.
It’s important to do your research and understand the potential risks and potential benefits, while understanding that there’s no conclusive research that keto gummies do in fact work.
But if you want to try keto gummies, make sure you talk to a healthcare provider first. And remember that keto gummies are an addition to your keto diet plan — they don’t replace it. You may only reap the potential benefits if you use them consistently. “If you’re just using them periodically, it’s not going to work,” says Czerwony.