Is Keto Safe During Pregnancy
We just don’t know if keto is safe during pregnancy. Given the limited research, expecting moms should avoid strict keto diets unless their doctor specifically recommends it to treat a medical condition.
For ethical reasons, there’s been very little research on keto diets during pregnancy, but in general, significantly restrictive diets can be dangerous during pregnancy and are usually not recommended. A balanced, healthful diet is always recommended for the health of both you and your baby.
Another important point: It’s not safe to diet to lose weight during pregnancy. With the exception of the first trimester, when some women lose weight or don’t gain due to morning sickness or food aversions, in the second and third trimesters it’s important to gain weight for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Learn more about nutrition during pregnancy:
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Harvard Health Letter. August 2020. “Should You Try the Keto Diet.”
Myth #: Pregnant Women Need To Eat At Least 175g Of Carbohydrates Per Day
Theres absolutely no nutritional reason for a pregnant woman to eat this many carbs a day, none! And, it’s especially nonsensical and counterproductive to eat so many carbs a day if diagnosed as insulin intolerant.
A healthy pregnant woman can eat a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic diet and cut the carbs as mentioned earlier, at least by half of the suggested amount above, while still consuming enough micronutrients to support the health of herself and her developing baby.
Furthermore, and perhaps not much of a surprise, researchers have shown that eating a lower-glycemic diet reduces the chance of a pregnant woman needing to use insulin during pregnancy as a result of GD by half .
Can Ketones In Urine Harm My Baby
Ketones do cross the placenta to the baby and there is some concern that a large amount can affect the baby’s cognitive abilities. Occasional traces of ketones in your urine with no other symptoms is usually OK. However, consistently high ketone readings or symptoms of excess ketones could affect your pregnancy.
There isnt conclusive data on the exact correlation, so routine checking for ketones is not common.
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Is It Ok To Lose Weight In First Trimester
Its common for some women to lose weight during the first trimester due to morning sickness, nausea or through adopting a healthier lifestyle. Small unintentional weight loss in early pregnancy will not cause any harm to your baby.
I Wish I Set Realistic Expectations For Postpartum Life
Heres the thing, ladiesmany new moms just want to get back to a normal routine after baby is born as quickly as possible. We make these grand plans and set really unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Me included.
When my delivery date was drawing near, I made plan after plan and list after list of what my new normal was going to look like once I was a mother to three.
HA HA HA HA
Let me just tell you that none, literally nothing, of what I anticipated life to be like rang true once I was home alone with 3 kids. The meal plans I made for myself, the schedules I laid out on paper, the goals I set for myself went right out the window the first week I was home from the hospital.
When you bring your baby home, no matter which number kid it is for you, its STRESSFUL. Youre tired, cranky, emotional, hungry, mad, sad, happy, in love. Literally all the feels are happening, sometimes simultaneously.
I set some unrealistic expectations on myself and when I didnt meet them, I felt so defeated. I was failing on the very goals I laid out for myself. Add emotional roller coaster to that mix and it was not fun.
Since I wasnt meeting the extreme goals I set for myself, I kind of gave up all together for a while and just went into survival mode.
But heres the thing:
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Is A Keto Diet Good For Gestational Diabetes
Keto is proving to be an effective treatment for regular diabetes. According to this study, Gestational diabetes can be managed and treated with the keto diet. Approximately 10% of pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes, which is a dangerous medical condition and as a consequence, mom and baby may also develop type 2 diabetes in later life. Healthcare providers are beginning to recommend keto for gestational diabetes management, however, further research is needed to determine its effectiveness.
It is important to note that there is a difference between being on a full blown Keto diet and a low card diet. Doctors are more likely to recommend a low card diet than a full blown Keto diet as it may not be good for the baby.
Why Is Ketosis Bad In Pregnancy
Almost everyone regularly enters states of natural ketosis, which isnt dangerous or unhealthy.
For example, when you dont eat overnight for 12 hours, you may begin to use energy from your body fat stores.
This kind of ketosis is normal, even during pregnancy, and nothing to worry about.
Additionally, some women in their third trimester naturally enter ketosis more regularly than the non-pregnant female population due to changes in metabolism and the fetuss growing requirements for fat to help build their brain.
When people caution against ketosis during pregnancy, they are usually talking about one of two things.
The first is diabetic ketoacidosis , which can be particularly harmful to pregnant women, but is caused by insulin mismanagement in diabetic people.
So, this is not something to worry about unless you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
The second reason to not do a ketogenic diet during pregnancy is that you want to avoid weight loss at this time unless under strict supervision of a doctor.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, and many mamas, health professionals, and dieticians recommend keto diets during pregnancy.
In these cases, its unlikely the keto diet was followed to lose weight while pregnant. Instead, its simply a choice based on overall health and lifestyle preferences.
Still, just because some people do fine on keto during pregnancy, that doesnt mean it is a wise option for everyone.
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Risk For Pregnant Women: Saturated Fat
Protein is part of the keto diet, but most keto diets dont differentiate between healthy, lean protein and the kinds with lots of saturated fats like beef and pork. In fact, since fat is so encouraged, the diet can actually lead people to eat more unhealthy meat as well as oils, butter, and lard.
Make no mistake: Healthy fats are essential for your growing baby. But too much saturated fat can cause health problems like higher cholesterol for you, which puts a strain on your heart and therefore your pregnancy.
The keto diet also doesnt stop you from eating processed sandwich meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausages, and salami. These meats have added chemicals and colors that may not be healthy for your tiny, growing baby or for your body.
For some people, the keto diet causes so many side effects that they even have a name for it. The keto flu includes side effects like:
Pregnancy comes with its own side effects, which can include nausea, vomiting, tiredness, stuffy nose, and aches. You definitely dont need to add the keto flu or uncomfortable stomach symptoms to this!
Its not usually considered ethical to use pregnant women as subjects in clinical studies because of the risks. So medical research on the keto diet during pregnancy has mostly been done on animals like mice.
One such showed that pregnant mice that were fed a keto diet gave birth to baby mice that had a larger heart and smaller brain than typical.
Can A Keto Diet Help With Fertility Or Conception
With the rising popularity of keto has come numerous studies investigating whether or not low-carb diets can improve fertility hormones.
Fat is absolutely necessary for reproductive hormone production, as fats are actually the basis for these hormones . This is one reason why women who follow very low fat or restrictive eating patterns may have difficulty conceiving, as the body doesnt have the macronutrients it needs in order to support the reproductive process.
A review of recent scientific research found that there were significant improvements in hormone levels in sub-fertile women who followed a lower-carbohydrate diet.
It is important to note that these studies were not keto-specific, and the women only needed to eat less than 45% of calories from carbohydrates compared to ketos more strict guideline of less than 5% .
Keto takes high-fat dieting to the extreme, with very little carbohydrate and most of your daily energy coming from fat. Including more dietary fat has the potential to aid fertility, but maintaining a very low carbohydrate intake is not necessary to experience benefits.
If youre trying to conceive, its therefore unwise to follow a very low fat, or very high fat diet such as keto.
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Potential Benefit Of The Keto Diet
People arent mice , and its not known if the keto diet would have the same effect on pregnant women and their babies.
The keto diet may be one way to help treat people with epilepsy. This brain condition causes people to sometimes have seizures. And a 2017 case study found that the keto diet might help control symptoms in pregnant women with epilepsy.
Case studies are often tiny with just one or two participants. In this case, the researchers followed two pregnant women with epilepsy. The keto diet helped to treat their condition. Both women had normal, healthy pregnancies and delivered healthy babies. The womens only side effects were slightly low vitamin levels and raised cholesterol levels.
This isnt enough evidence to say that the keto diet is safe for all women during pregnancy. More studies are also needed on how the keto diet helps people with epilepsy and other health condition.
Are Pregnant Women Required To Follow A Keto Diet
Not all diets are suitable for pregnant women. This is because pregnant women typically have different nutritional needs than non-pregnant women. An example of this is the keto diet, which is low in carbohydrates and high in fat. Some doctors recommend that pregnant women follow the keto diet, but others say that women shouldnt follow a diet like this, because it can increase the risk of certain birth defects. Another example of this is when women are on medication that contains vitamin K. This can be found in certain over-the-counter drugs, such as blood thinners, anticoagulants, or supplements. Taking these medications while pregnant can increase the risk of hemorrhaging during delivery. But just because a diet is not recommended for pregnant women doesnt mean that they cannot follow a diet while pregnant. There are foods that you can eat while pregnant that are considered safe for both you and your baby. Here are some common suggestions.: Pregnant women typically have lower body weights than non-pregnant women, which is known as a physiological effect of pregnancy. This means that pregnant women have lower body fat and muscle mass, but higher lean body mass than non-pregnant women. These differences are due to an increase in circulating progesterone and estrogen, and decreased levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor. So, because your body changes during pregnancy, it can also affect the way you should eat. You should focus
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What Is A Normal Range Of Ketones In Urine During Pregnancy
Only your healthcare provider can decide what is normal for you. Generally speaking, ketone concentrations of less than .5 millimolar are considered in a normal range.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Your healthcare provider may monitor your ketone levels if you have gestational diabetes, are at risk for diabetes or have had abnormal ketone levels. Having trace amounts of ketones in your urine during pregnancy isn’t usually a cause for worry. The easiest way to test for ketones is to use test strips that change color when it comes in contact with your pee. In most cases, you can manage ketone levels with diet and lifestyle changes or with medication.
Myth #: Im Lean I Cant Possibly Have Gestational Diabetes
Being overweight can impact glucose regulation and insulin resistance because of the influence of releasing fat-stored hormones in the body, but the inverse doesnt apply concerning thinness being an indicator of metabolic health.
Research has shown up to 50% of women with gestational diabetes dont have any of the classic risk factors, like a family history of diabetes or being overweight before becoming pregnant.
For the sake of due diligence, its wise to request an A1c test in the first trimester of pregnancy, especially given the risk related to the birthing experience and beyond that, even mildly elevated glucose levels in mom may create problems for mom and baby.
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Is It Safe To Eat Keto While Pregnant
Eating Keto while pregnant isnt without its benefits and risks. A great way to circumvent some of its risks would be to try what Dr. Fox suggested above. Only then would you be able to access the benefits that come from Keto. However, lets consider its risks first and see why most doctors dont think its safe to eat Keto while pregnant.
Myth #: Diet Doesnt Change The Risk Of Gestational Diabetes
I dont understand how this one is even a thing. Of course, diet matters! Getting adequate amounts of vital minerals and vitamins is essential and rarely more so than during pregnancy.
Granted, one may be predisposed to having gestational diabetes. However, even if thats the case, nutrition is always a great contributor to the likelihood of developing GD in an otherwise healthy pregnant woman.
Recent studies have even shown that pregnant and non-pregnant women who opt for low-glycemic over high-glycemic vegetables and eat limited amounts of fruits, aid in the prevention of gestational diabetes at considerably higher rates.
Low-GI foods help facilitate a healthy rate of fetoplacental growth and maternal weight gain.
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Can Keto Cause Miscarriages
No research has determined if there is a link between the two.
However, multiple studies have linked the consumption of fruit with increased fertility and lower risk of miscarriage, and fruit is strictly limited on keto due to sugar levels.
Increased fertility and improved hormone levels have been studied when it comes to the ketogenic diet. Still, more research needs to be done on all of these topics.
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During the late stage of pregnancy, a womans metabolism also switches to a catabolic state . This means ketosis is happening more often . Note the frequent occurrence of food aversions and nausea experienced by many pregnant women. This alone will naturally reduce the frequency and amount of food intake, which more easily puts you into ketosis.
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Why People Should Follow A Keto Diet
In the past, ketogenic diets were generally only recommended for a short period of time, such as a month or two, while pregnant. However, many people are now following keto diet longer term, and its becoming a popular diet for women to follow as theyre pregnant. People who are pregnant should eat a keto diet, as long as they dont gain too much weight, and as long as they dont have any medical problems. This is because eating a keto diet while pregnant can be beneficial for the baby. Women who are pregnant can be more energetic and less stressed, as they dont have to worry about gaining too much weight or worrying about gaining too many calories. Some experts recommend eating a keto diet while pregnant because it can improve fertility and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Keto And Pregnancy: Is Ketosis Safe During Pregnancy
Keto and Pregnancy: The Keto Diet has been popular for a while now and its effectiveness in helping people lose weight has been demonstrated time and time again.
The Keto diet restricts the intake of carbs but encourages a high-fat diet. Is the Keto diet safe during pregnancy? As an adjunct treatment for epilepsy or seizures disorders, keto diets have been used since the 1920s.
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Can Women Do Keto While Pregnant
Can women do keto while pregnant? Yes! The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate diet that promotes a higher level of ketosis. This is the natural metabolic state that occurs in the body when it uses fat as an energy source. This state is known as ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body is at least 80 percent fat, so when you go into ketosis, you are very low on carbohydrates and close to 100 percent fat. The ketogenic diet is also called keto. Although you may feel like you are in ketosis when on the keto diet, you cant actually measure your ketosis. Instead, your doctor will check your blood levels to see if you are in a state of ketosis. There are many benefits of ketosis for the pregnant woman, and most of them are the same for the person who is not pregnant. So, if you are pregnant, and you want to achieve the benefits of the ketogenic diet, you are able to do so. This includes less insulin and blood sugar spikes, and lower risk of gestational diabetes. Pregnant women also tend to crave less sweets, which are often high in carbohydrates. This ketogenic diet may also increase your energy levels, which can be very helpful.