Questions regarding the Keto diet seem to be on the rise recently. One of them is whether or not a ketogenic diet can be followed safely throughout pregnancy. Those on the ketogenic diet eat few carbohydrates and a lot of fat. Carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and fruits are avoided in favor of fats and proteins such as cheese, steak, avocados, and others.
However, can we say for sure that it’s safe for expectant mothers to try it? That’s the topic we’ll be covering in this essay. To begin, let’s get a better grasp on the terminology surrounding and underlying the ketogenic diet.
Exactly what does a keto diet mean?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carb eating plan that has been shown to promote weight loss. The diet eliminates most carbohydrates and replaces them with healthy fats. When this occurs, the body’s ability to use fat for energy is greatly enhanced. In addition, the brain can get its energy needs met by ketones produced by the liver.
Can I follow a ketogenic diet safely while carrying a child?
To achieve weight loss while adhering to the ketogenic diet, you must consume 75% of your calories from fat, 15% to 20% of your calories from protein, and only 5% of your calories from carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet recommends a drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake, including those found in sugar and refined grains (like white bread and pasta).
Recent years have seen an increase in the popularity of the so-called “wonder diet,” which promotes itself as a healthy eating plan that can fix, well, almost everything. Millions of people use it as part of their diet all over the world. It’s true that most people, including pregnant women, should probably limit their consumption of simple carbohydrates and sugar.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to be effective, but its high-fat and low-carb content may make you nervous about its long-term safety. We know that even though you’re “eating for two,” you’re still trying to keep up with your weight loss program. You’ve earned my admiration and respect. Is it then okay to follow a ketogenic diet plan while carrying a child? How about we find out?
Is It Safe To Go On A Keto Diet During Pregnancy?
To answer your question directly: no, you should not follow a ketogenic diet while you are pregnant. This eating plan may not be the best choice if you’re expecting a child. Carbohydrates are the most readily available source of energy in the human body. And when carbohydrates are restricted, fat is utilized; this process is called ketosis. This makes it feasible to reduce body fat.
Ketogenic dieters believe they feel more energized, lose weight quickly without feeling hungry, and reduce their chance of developing diabetes. However, high-quality clinical research on ketosis in humans is currently lacking. According to experts, there is still a lot we don’t know about the long-term health impacts of a high-fat, low-carb diet.
It is generally frowned upon to conduct experiments on pregnant women, so no such studies have been conducted. This could be because pregnant women who followed a ketogenic diet had babies with slower growth rates and different patterns of development in key organs and skeletal muscles (like the spine and heart), both of which have been linked to future dysfunction.
Risks involved in going on a keto diet while pregnant.
Women who are expecting should stay away from the ketogenic diet due to the potential dangers it poses.
Fruits provide dietary fiber, which may be lacking in ketogenic diets that don’t include many of them. Constipation is already common in pregnant women, and it has been linked to complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and even premature birth. The risk of disease increases with time for those who consume a low-fiber diet.
2. Nutrient deficiency
Folate is a B vitamin essential during pregnancy to prevent serious neural tube defects in the developing fetus.
3. Low blood sugar level
Keto dieters may have low levels of vitamins A, C and K that are crucial for the health of both the mother and her unborn child. It has also been connected to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in diabetics resulting to weariness. There’s a risk that this will harm both you and the baby.
Experts are uncertain as to whether or not a fetus can develop normally if glucose levels are reduced below the standard during pregnancy. Probably the most important query is this one. During periods of mental and physical development, our bodies benefit most from obtaining glucose from carbohydrates.
Energy for your cells comes primarily from glucose. Reducing your carbohydrate intake will force your body to switch to using fat for fuel. If you burn this fat, you’ll get ketones.
When the blood pH falls below 7.35 and metabolic acidosis sets in, a condition known as “Ketoacidosis” sets in. Because the body uses insulin to regulate ketone synthesis, ketoacidosis can be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes and a medical emergency.
To maintain a healthy pregnancy and baby, pregnant women require an extra 340 calories each day, on average. Consuming calories that are rich in the following nutrients is essential.
The B-complex vitamins; vitamins A, D, and B6.
•Vitamin B12 folate, also known as folic acid.
What should pregnant women eat?
Now that you know that following a ketogenic diet while pregnant is not a good idea, we can move on to discussing what you should eat instead. Make sure you’re getting enough calories by eating foods like bread, breakfast cereal, and white rice to avoid becoming underweight. Being underweight while pregnant poses serious risks to the health of both mother and child.
Make sure you consume plenty of calcium-rich foods, such as milk, eggs, yoghurt, green vegetables, and others, to aid in the development of your baby’s strong bones, muscles, and teeth. In the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, it’s especially important to eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and to drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of water daily.