Is it safe to do the keto diet during pregnancy?
A ketogenic diet, or simply keto diet, is well-known for its low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein food intake. Many people are giving this diet a shot because aside from weight loss, it offers other benefits, too. But there are many questions about this type of diet, including its effectiveness in pregnant women. So, is the keto diet and pregnancy a good mix? Let’s find out.
What is the ketogenic diet?
This type of diet allows the body to be in the metabolic state called “ketosis” where the body trust ketones, or fats, for an energy fuel source. Originally, or if your body is not in the state of ketosis, it takes energy from glucose.
If you decide to start on a keto diet, the first enemy that you will encounter is the withdrawal-like symptoms that comes with it. It referred to as keto flu. Symptoms such as a headache, dizziness, and diarrhea starting to show once you started the diet. However, this is not always the case for different people. Some people go in the keto diet without having experienced any kind of symptoms, while others have to suffer the keto flu for the first few weeks.
If you are familiar with coffee addicts who withdraw from it, you know that the avoidance of caffeine makes their life hard. Primarily, they begin to experience pain in their heads. This is because of withdrawal symptoms. Stopping yourself from consuming something that your body used to will disturb its system.
The same thing goes with keto flu. If you are a person who is used to eating a high amount of carb, lessening it might be a problem in a few days. However, as your body adapts into it, the symptoms of keto flu will fade as well.
Keto Diet During Pregnancy
Is the keto diet safe for pregnant women?
The issue that this article will discuss is about the controversy of the effect of a keto diet to pregnant women. For instance, how safe it is to go on a keto diet while you are pregnant? Is it safe at all? Is there any side effect to consider? If none, what are its benefits?
Generally, the health of mother and infant is vital during pregnancy. This is why mothers have a strict during this period. The diet is set to avoid any complications both to the mother and infant, resulting for positive delivery.
But what about keto diet?
Several doctors may recommend low-fat consumption plus plenty of healthy grains, vegetables, and fruit. So, if a mom declares, “I’m in a keto diet” most doctor might be hysterical. The mother is harming the life of the unborn child! According to some research on mice, keto diet may result in many harmful conditions including organ dysfunction and smaller brain development, leading it to neurobehavioral changes once the mice hit adulthood stage.
Sound alarming? Not exactly. As far as I know, we only have two legs (not four). We are not mice.
There are still no scientific studies conducted to prove what keto diet can do during pregnancies. However, there are experts and individuals who are well-known of what the two can result in. For instance, these individuals experience eating low-carb during pregnancies, but are extremely comfortable with it, and will recommend it.
Dr. Maria Emmerich, a diet doctor and a ketogenic expert, has a statement that real food will not harm the fetus. She has counseled numerous pregnant women to be in a ketogenic diet.
On the other hand, Dr. Michael Fox, a fertility specialist, stated that keto diet during pregnancy is practiced by women during ancient times. Thus, it is completely safe to be in keto while being pregnant. In fact, Dr. Fox recommends the keto diet to all his infertile patients and even with his patients that are pregnant. Most of his patients, continue being on the keto diet long after their pregnancy, and they never had any unwanted effects.
What Dr. Fox recommend is to be in the keto diet 2 to 3 months before conception. This period is enough for the body to adapt to the new energy fuel source before pregnancy. What he suggest for pregnant women is to frequently eat low-carb and high-fat food every two hours upon waking up – and no fasting allowed. He even provided a handout of food that they may eat such as unflavoured pork rinds, canned and fresh fish, celery, nuts, cucumber, and many others.
According to Dr. Fox, the keto way of eating reduces gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, miscarriage cases, and morning sickness. Nausea caused by pregnancy is the body’s reaction when the pregnancy hormones cause insulin resistance to increase.
One of Dr. Fox patients testifies a success in her pregnancy after doing the keto diet. In her previous pregnancy, she experiences extreme vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarium. The incident led her to multiple hospitalizations and she had to decide to terminate all the six pregnancies. But upon following Dr. Fox’s advice regarding keto diet, her 7th pregnancy is considered a success. She had no nausea all over.
Dr. Robert Kiltz is also a fertility specialist. For the last five years, he recommends keto diet to patients who want to improve their fertility and pregnancy. If he may be asked, human bodies do not need any carbohydrates.
Additionally, a book written by Lily Nichols, a dietician, explains the misconception about pregnancy and ketosis. Ms. Nichols dedicates a whole chapter just to elaborate on this topic. She may not be a professional if she had not helped hundreds of pregnant women regarding gestational diabetes (GD). GD, as Ms. Nichols explains, is the carbohydrate intolerance of pregnancy. It is a pregnancy issue that needs attention, most especially if pre-diabetes is undiagnosed prior to learning that a woman is pregnant.
Finally, mothers experience the full benefit of a keto diet after pregnancy. For instance, Jill Kingsley already tried two high-carb pregnancy diet, but on her third pregnancy, she switched into a keto diet and find that it is more advantageous than her former diet. Previously, she experienced extreme nausea, but after switching to a keto diet, not more 24 hours and her nausea vanish.
Mesa Arizona has an almost similar case. His previous pregnancies come up with issues such as extreme nausea, high blood pressure, infections, bloating, and swelling. But after trying the keto diet, she found out that her body needs more fat and protein than carbs.