Is a Keto Diet Healthier During Pregnancy?
It seems like everyone these days, including our colleagues, friends, and even our parents, is following a keto diet plan. Yes, the world-famous Keto diet trend has spread like wildfire, and we bet you now also want to follow this high-protein, high-fat diet in order to become a healthier version of yourself.
But a burning question in the minds of expecting mothers is this: should it be followed during pregnancy? While that question may or may not have a straight-forward answer, it is good to know the ups and downs of following such a diet plan, especially when you are eating not just for yourself, but also for your baby.
The Recommended Pregnancy Diet Is Different From Keto Diet
During pregnancy, all that your body needs is a balanced diet. You need to add different types of grains, fruits, carbohydrates and protein in your diet in order to meet your daily nutrition requirement. Bear in mind that your caloric requirement also increases during pregnancy. You need to add an additional 300 calories into your everyday pre-pregnancy diet in order to meet your daily nutrition goal.
Other than pre-natal vitamins, a balanced diet should include all those carbohydrates that you are expected to avoid while following a keto diet plan, which is done to maintain a state of ketosis in the body. Ketosis, by definition, is a state during which a person’s body uses fat as a source of energy instead of glucose derived from carbohydrates.
Foods that contain added fats and sugars are still to be avoided during pregnancy as well, because processed food is not categorized as healthy food source especially since your baby demands those essential vitamins and minerals that fatty and sugary foods simply cannot provide.
Ketosis May Hamper Normal Development Of Your Baby
Although there is no scientific data available yet to support this fact, but keeping your body in a state of ketosis is definitely not something that naturally occurs in the body. Through a keto diet, you actually force your body to burn all that extra fat and convert it into energy, which may not be good for the baby as expecting mothers naturally generate a lot of fat in their body to sustain the growth of the fetus.
It is true that our body’s response to different types of diets varies. With a keto diet, you cut down the consumption of all those carbohydrates which your body used to ingest on a regular basis. When your body finds a replacement for these missing carbohydrates as a source of energy, it sometimes undergoes a condition called the keto-flu.
During keto-flu, gastrointestinal disorders may occur and cause an increase in the frequency of vomiting. During pregnancy, a keto diet can cause a significant increase in nausea, fatigue and lethargy, which is not good for fetal development. This keto-flu phase usually passes in a few days’ time, but in the case of pregnancy, this can take much longer to adjust your stomach which is already sensitive during pregnancy.
Keto Diet May Affect Normal Production Of Growth Hormones
Statistical data shows that a keto diet can affect normal production of hormones, which are responsible for our growth and development. Medical practitioners recommend a keto diet for treatment of seizures during childhood. However, one of the side effects that has been reported by the practitioners of a keto diet is that it may result in the stunted growth of children, who followed a keto diet plan with the purpose of controlling their seizures.
Reports have also shown that keto diet consumers also may become susceptible to bone fracture. Also, the decreased production of growth hormones and low carbohydrate intake can seriously mess up the production of optimal insulin levels in the body. Pregnant women already have a heightened risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy, and combined with a keto diet that risk can substantially increase. There is also a greater risk of developing different metabolic disorders when insulin levels in the body are unstable.
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