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Nutritional Ketosis

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Ketosis – Key To Human Babies’ Big Brains?

Prof Noakes is on trial for ‘advising’ a mom to wean her baby onto low carb, high fat foods. Could babies’ innate ketosis – a state more often associated with low-carb, high-fat diets – be an arrow in Prof Noakes’ defence’s quiver? By Tamzyn Murphy Campbell BSc, BSc Med(Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics, RD Did you know that human newborns and exclusively breastfed babies are in ketosis? 1 I am a dietitian, with two years of intensive postgraduate training in nutrition, and I didn’t realise this until just over a month ago. The fact that human babies are naturally in ketosis is an inconvenient truth because it implies that ketosis (which also occurs when fasting or eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet) is not only a natural metabolic state for human infants, but that it’s probably beneficial too. Nature seldom does something without a reason, so it’s likely that ketosis may confer some kind of evolutionary advantage to human infants. Research suggests that it may be one of the main factors behind the development of the large human brain. 2 “Nature seldom does something without a reason, so it’s likely that ketosis may confer some kind of evolutionary a Continue reading >>

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  1. LaTisha

    I've been browsing the site and I've read some posts stating that ketones will not effect my breastmilk. Is this true?? (I just need to make sure ) Is it safe to be in ketosis and still breastfeed?? I really really hope so!! My baby is 7 months and although we've cut down nursing since she's been eating solids, I am not ready to completely stop nursing. I was on atkins prior to my pregnancy, I completely gave it up and ended up gaining 66 lbs! (and I thought the 50 that I gained with my 1st 2 pregnancies was bad *lol*) Anyway, I've lost about 46 of those pounds and I am so ready to lose the rest! I miss the way I felt while on atkins but I didn't think I could do it since I was breastfeeding and I had read somewhere that its not known whether being in ketosis is harmful. I never got far enough into the plan to find out what my CCLL is so I do need to start from scratch. Not to mention I'm completely addicted to carbs! Anyway, does anyone have any articles I can read or some really helpful info? Thanks!

  2. Helen H

    Yep, really true. When I was breastfeeding and low carbing, I used to test my milk regularly, with no signs of ketones. I've also asked some of the most qualified breastfeeding experts in the country, and they all assured me that ketones can't pass into breastmilk.
    When you think about it, it doesn't make sense that people who follow a naturally low carb diet couldn't breastfeed without causing harm to their babies. Nature is extremely protective of babies and breastmilk and has designed the breasts to act as a filter for anything harmful.
    Also, bear in mind that breast milk is a high fat food (54% of cals from fat) and that exclusively breastfed babies are in ketosis until solids are introduced. Considering that breastfed babies have higher average IQs than bottle fed ones, it obviously isn't doing them any harm.
    The one study that seemed to indicate that babies didn't like the taste of breastmilk after vigorous exercise, and which has been extrapolated to include ketosis, was a very badly conducted one. They took a group of exclusively breastfed babies, had their mothers do exercise, and then express milk into a bottle so they could see how much the babies drank. Naturally half of them turned up their noses, they knew the good stuff didn't come in a bottle.
    In practise, no amount of vigorous exercise or sweat seems to put off a hungry baby.
    According to my nursing toddlers, my breastmilk, even when I'm in ketosis, tastes like "warm icecream".

  3. .muse.

    Ahh, Helen, it's a shame you don't have a journal, because I've got so many questions I'd like to bombard you with, since you seem to be a plethora of knowledge regarding ketosis & breastfeeding, and I am, as you can see, so close to my duedate and am going to be going back to Atkins, because I don't like how high-carb diets make me feel.
    Anyway, if you ever wanted to pop into my journal and give me some good advice or links for where you've gotten some of your information, or anything of the sort, I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks in advance
    -alden

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