Low Carbohydrate Diets And Breastfeeding
Article written by Dr Susan Tawia, Manager, Breastfeeding Information and Research team, for the January 2017 health professional member eNewsletter. Low carbohydrate (carb), high fat diets continue to be popular and women of reproductive age are following them. They will often change their diet to a more ‘conventional’ one during pregnancy, but are often keen to return to a weight-loss diet, that they have had success with, after the pregnancy. So, what do we know about the effect of low carb, high fat diets on breastmilk composition and on the metabolism of the breastfeeding woman? The lack of research on this type of diet, and the possible effect on breastmilk composition, breastfeeding women and their infants, was highlighted by both breastfeeding experts and dietitians in 2004 (Heinig & Doberne, 2004; Wood & Hilldebrandt, 2004) at the height of the popularity of the low carb, weight loss diet advocated by Dr RC Atkins — the Atkins diet. Research on low carb, high fat diets has been undertaken, but surprisingly, only one study has been done. Mohammad, Sunehag, & Haymond (2009) looked at maternal breastmilk production, infant intake and maternal glucose metabolism and broadly looked at the macronutrients in breastmilk. Two moderate hypocaloric diets (1785 ± 22 kcal/day) were assessed in a cross-over design: seven, healthy lactating mothers and their infants were studied on 2 occasions in random order for 8 days separated by 1 to 2 weeks. On one occasion, the subjects received the low carb, high fat (LCHF, 30% of energy as carbohydrate and 55% as fat) and on the other occasion received the high carb, low fat diet (HCLF, 60% of energy as carbohydrate and 25% as fat). It is important to note that the amount of carbohydrates consumed during the LCHF was around 150 Continue reading >>
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 advantage to human infants. Research suggests that it may be one of the main factors behind the development of the large human brain. ” A word on ketones and ketosis Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses fat as fuel in preference to carbohydrates – as occurs when fasting or eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The body makes ketones from fat, when dietary glucose (from carbohydrates and sugar) is low. Ketones can be used as fuel to produce the energy your body and brain needs to function. The human brain only has two options for fuel: glucose or ketones. The other body orga Continue reading >>
The Basic Ketogenic Diet
Note: Please note that if you are interested in a Ketogenic Diet used to treat Epilepsy or Pediatric Epilepsy, please start at Johns Hopkins who are the pioneers in this field. The wikipedia page for the Ketogenic Diet diet also has information on the diet as it relates to treating epilepsy. The diet below is simply for rapid and effective weight loss and uses a 1 to 1 fat to protein ratio rather than the 4 to 1 fat to combined protein and carbs ratio of the Ketogenic Diet pioneered by Johns Hopkins used to treat epilepsy. [wp_ad_camp_3] Disclaimer: I am neither a doctor nor self proclaimed nutrition expert so please consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any action that affects your health and wellbeing. After finishing Gary Taubes latest book, which seems to have rapidly become the cornerstone of a new approach to nutrition, I’ve become very interested in the Ketogenic diet. The speed of weight loss I’ve seen is incredible and my energy level has remained high. The science behind a ketogenic diet is solidly backed up by Taubes research published in “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why we get fat“. According to Taubes’ research, it may also be the only way for people who have become severely insulin resistant, to effectively lose weight. The Ketogenic diet has always lived on the fringes of diet lore and has been seen as extreme. But the reality is that the low glycemic index diet (Low GI Diet) is effective because it is close to, but not quite, a ketogenic diet. Other diets like the South Beach Diet are also only effective because of the reduction in carbs and consequently insulin levels. The science behind this diet looks solid and it is part of the massive shift in nutrition research we’ve seen in the last few years. Prominent sport Continue reading >>
Keto During Pregnancy
I get a ton of emails a few months after these consults telling me that they are ecstatic and are now pregnant but are wondering on what to eat now. As if this diet of REAL food would be harmful to a fetus. There are many reasons why to not add in certain foods like gluten and dairy. Many times when cravings get the best of pregnant clients and they consume these foods, the auto-immune response can result in a miscarriage. But even if the clients are committed about staying away from gluten and dairy, they often worry that too low of carbs is bad for the fetus. You will never find evidence of this, but you will read it all over the web. The information that clients read have a few flaws: 1. A huge mistake is when people and doctors compare benign dietary ketosis to diabetic ketoacidosis. You can produce ketones in a starvation state. So instead of using a well-formulated low carb diet, they starved pregnant rats to get them into ketosis. The flaw in that evidence should be obvious. 2. The last form of this “evidence” is when they sliced up the brains of rat fetuses and saturated them in ketones. What happened was that the brain cells lived but it stopped producing new brain cells. This is thought to be evidence that ketosis causes retardation. Now let’s dive into the facts. The lean human body is 74% fat and 26% protein by calories. Fats are a structural part of every human cell and the preferred fuel source of the mitochondria, the energy-burning units of each cell. A fetus naturally uses ketones before and immediately after birth. Many studies done on pregnant pigs that are placed on ketogenic diets have fetuses with “increased fetal brain weight, cell size and protein content. In the early stages of pregnancy there is an upsurge in body fat accumulation, whic Continue reading >>
Babies Thrive Under A Ketogenic Metabolism
Some people, even some scientists who study ketogenic metabolism, have the idea that ketogenesis is somehow abnormal, or exceptional; an adaptation for emergencies only. We disagree. One reason we think a ketogenic metabolism is normal and desirable, is that human newborns are in ketosis. Despite the moderate sugar content of human breast milk, breastfeeding is particularly ketogenic. This period of development is crucial, and there is extensive brain growth during it. Although the composition of breast milk can be affected by diet , it is reasonable to assume that breast milk has always been ketogenic, and this is not an effect of modernisation. When the brain is in its period of highest growth, and when the source of food is likely to be close to what it evolved to be for that period, ketones are used to fuel that growth. If nothing else, this suggests that learning is well supported by a ketogenic metabolism. It is also consistent with the ability of ketogenic diets to treat a variety of seemingly unrelated brain disorders and brain trauma. Newborn infants are in ketosis. This is their normal state. Breastfeeding is particularly ketogenic (compared to formula feeding). Breastfeeding longer (up to a point) is associated with better health outcomes. This suggests the hypothesis that weaning onto a ketogenic diet would be healthier than weaning onto a high-carb diet. (Mark-up ours) Human babies are in ketosis Soon after birth, human babies are in ketosis, and remain so while breastfeeding . They use ketones and fats for energy and for brain growth. When this has been studied, in the first couple of hours after birth, babies aren't immediately in ketosis. There is a short delay . During that brief period before ketogenesis starts, lactate (confusingly not to do Continue reading >>
Breastfeeding & No Carb Diets
Video of the Day Cutting carbs or calories suddenly can cause your milk supply to dwindle, leaving you struggling to make enough breast milk for your baby's needs. Some moderately low-carb diets have multiple phases, so you might be able to skip the ultra-restrictive early phases and try a diet that gives you some healthy carbs and enough calories to maintain milk production. Aim for slow weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week and avoid dieting at all until around eight weeks after your baby's birth. At this point, your milk supply is fully established, so dieting won't derail that process. When you embark on a drastic diet, your body's fat stores may release stored toxins that could get into your breast milk. If your diet restricts carbs, you could also be missing out on vital nutrients that your body needs to support your own and your baby's health. Women on an extremely carb-restricted diet often begin to produce types of chemicals called ketones, and it is unknown whether ketones can get into breast milk or whether they are a danger to a nursing baby. Continue reading >>
I Am Breastfeeding My Baby And I Want To Lose Weight. Is A Low Carbohydrate Diet Safe For A Breastfeeding Mother?
Many women are anxious to get back in shape after childbirth, but we must remember that pregnancy weight wasn’t gained overnight, and won’t disappear quickly, either. It is wise for mothers to wait until two months postpartum to purposely lose weight, as the mother’s body needs time to recover from childbirth and establish a good milk supply. Many mothers find that by following a sensible diet they are able to lose weight steadily while breastfeeding. Anyone who wants to start a weight loss diet should consult with their physician to rule out any health problems that would contraindicate the diet. If a breastfeeding mother is interested in any type of weight loss diet, there are several factors she should consider. Nutritional balance-- A breastfeeding mother should receive adequate and balanced nutrition, for her breastfed baby’s sake, and the sake of her own health. Otherwise, she risks depleting her body’s nutritional stores. A malnourished mother may have inadequate levels of vitamins A, D, B6 and B12 in her milk, and may risk decreased milk supply. Hunger-- Inadequate caloric intake results in feeling weak, tired, and drained. When a mother feels this way, taking care of a baby is very difficult, and these very real feelings can result in lowered milk supply and inhibited milk ejection (letdown) reflex. The Subcommittee on Nutrition during Lactation advises breastfeeding mothers to take in 1500-1800 calories per day. Rate of weight loss-- Gradual weight loss has not been found to affect either the mother’s milk supply or the baby’s health. However, there are documented concerns when a breastfeeding mother loses weight rapidly, defined as more than a pound (.45 kg) per week. Toxins, such as environmental contaminants PCBs and pesticides, are stored in Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Can a Newborn Baby Have Diabetes from Mother?
- Weight Watchers Jumps Eight Spots To #3 Best Diabetes Diet And Retains Top Spot As Best Fast Weight Loss Diet In 2018 Best Diets Report
Safe Dieting While Breastfeeding
For a new mom, weight loss after delivery of her child can be an important goal for a mom's self-esteem and happiness. But for moms who are breastfeeding, it is important that weight loss occur slowly and in a healthy manner. Below, I provide a few comments on three of the more popular diet plans, specifically regarding how to implement them in a way that is safe for breastfeeding moms and for their new babies. Here are the three that I've selected to touch on for this post: Atkins South Beach Weight Watchers Weight Watchers... This diet is by far the most appropriate and healthy diet for breastfeeding women of the three discussed in this blog post... Breastfeeding moms SHOULD NOT participate in the first phases of this diet due to the fact that low-carb diets can cause mom’s body to release ketones that could pose risks for a baby. [Ketones are chemicals made when the body does not have enough insulin in the bloodstream. Serious illness and even comas can result when ketones build up too quickly in the bloodstream.] Phase 1 NOT RECOMMENDED for Breastfeeding Women The Induction Phase is meant to kick-start the weight loss process by burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Phase 2 NOT RECOMMENDED for Breastfeeding Women Phase 2 of the Atkins Diet is an "Ongoing Weight Loss Phase" designed to keep carbohydrate consumption low (25 grams/day) so that fat continues to be burned. Phase 3 Breastfeeding Women May Begin the Diet at this Phase and eat a Well-rounded Diet Atkins' Pre-maintenance Phase helps the dieter lose the last 10 pounds towards their goal. Phase 4 Breastfeeding Women May Engage in this Phase The Maintenance Phase. Visit the South Beach website This diet has three fundamental phases for moms. If you are breastfeeding, DO NOT engage in Phase 1. Skip Continue reading >>
Atkins For Breastfeeding Mothers
For new mothers, losing weight is probably the furthest thing from their minds and in my opinion, this is exactly as it should be. I think that in our culture mothers are sometimes expected to bounce back to ‘normal’ as though nothing has changed! In reality, everything has changed and you have a lot more important things to think about in those first few weeks or months. As well as getting to know your baby, establishing breastfeeding, adjusting your sleeping patterns and often your expectations you need to try to give yourself time to rest and recover. However, at some point when you feel ready to begin losing the baby weight and you have consulted with your doctor, the Atkins Nutritional Approach is an excellent choice. This is true no matter how you feed your baby but when breastfeeding there are some extra considerations so I’ll focus on these for this article. Won’t breastfeeding make me lose the baby weight? While breastfeeding certainly helps with losing the baby weight more quickly, it’s not a magic fix. Just as you cannot ‘out-train a bad diet’ you can’t ‘out-breastfeed a bad diet’ either! There are many many regular gym goers and marathon runners that are overweight proving that exercise alone will not make you lose weight. In the same way, it stands to reason that if your diet is not good, the extra calories needed for breastfeeding will not make you lose the baby weight either. Should I wait until the baby is weaned? Sometimes you may see the advice to wait until the baby is weaned before starting a diet. However the World Health Organisation say: “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.” Obviously, the deci Continue reading >>
Low Carb Diet While Breastfeeding: Is It Safe For New Moms?
Carbs still have a bad reputation in the dieting world, so it’s not surprising that many new mothers think that cutting out carbs will help them lose the baby weight quickly. While there are many effective and healthy low-carb diets out there, they aren’t all safe for a breastfeeding mom. The biggest concern is that carbohydrate restriction could interfere with your milk supply, so let’s take a closer look at the risks and benefits to a low-carb diet while breastfeeding. The Potential Risks of a Low Carb Diet While Breastfeeding The La Lech League has done a good job identifying the risks of cutting carbs while breastfeeding. Here are some of their concerns: Restricting carbohydrates can cause a mother to lose weight rapidly, and rapid weight loss is generally not advised while breastfeeding. It could interfere with milk supply when taken to the extreme. Low-carb diets can put you into a state of ketosis, which means that ketones are potentially included in your breastmilk. Little research has been done on the impact of ketones on a growing baby, so this is a big reason most professionals recommend that breastfeeding mothers include healthy carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their meal plans. Dieters often increase the use of artificial sweeteners when cutting carbs. While there is no scientific proof that these sweeteners are dangerous while breastfeeding, many mothers choose to stay away from them. There are some natural sweeteners that are approved for a low-carb diet, so you may want to stick with those! The La Leche League also points out that low-carb diets are generally higher in protein and fat than is recommended for breastfeeding mothers, but they also point out that this isn’t a major concern. You do need protein while breastfeeding, a Continue reading >>
Babies In Ketosis
This post topic was inspired by the following article: Ketosis - key to human babies’ big brains? It is hosted on Tim Noakes' website and written by one of his associates in nutritional information misdirection, Tamzyn Murphy Campbell, RD. I'm going to address this misdirection and the disturbing parts of this article vis a vis Campbell in a future BabyGate Files, but for now I want to discuss the role of ketones in metabolism. In doing so, I'd also like to explain my somewhat cryptic recent post on heating my kitchen. (I've C&P'd that entire post to the end further down in this one, so if you don't wish to go to another page, you can just scroll down to The Kitchen Heating Analogy). I'm going to structure this post a little differently than most and get to my point, then provide the back up information. Let's see how this goes. The major source (6 of 12 numbered citations, 1 of 6 unique sources) for her article is: Survival of the fattest: fat babies were the key to evolution of the large human brain (2003) Stephen C. Cunnane, Michael A. Crawford (I'll call this C&C) In this paper, they make the following points: Human babies have higher body fat than other mammals and this may be as a source of ketones in early infancy. Infants have slightly elevated ketones (mild ketonemia) regardless of feeding status which differs from adults who only have elevated ketones when food is restricted (no details here). Glucose is the primary fuel for the human brain Ketones are an alternate source of fuel when glucose is less available Ketones "appear to be" an essential fuel for the midterm fetus, and may provide as much as 30% of the developing brain's needs Ketones are both an energy source and carbon source for fat and cholesterol synthesis in the brain. Campbell relates these so Continue reading >>
Is It Safe To Quit Sugar When You’re Breastfeeding?
We get asked a lot of questions from mothers trying to juggle their sugar-free and healthy-mum hats while breastfeeding. So we reached out to our go-to dietitian Kate Callaghan, to address them for us. First and foremost: Is it safe to quit sugar when you’re breastfeeding? Yes, you definitely can, however you will need to be mindful of adding foods in as you take others out to ensure you are obtaining sufficient calories to keep your milk supply (and energy levels) abundant. So as you will be removing a lot of packaged and processed foods, be sure to bump up your intake of healthy fats and proteins, as well as loads of fresh veggies – both non-starchy (such as broccoli, kale, mushrooms, capsicum) and starchy (potato, sweet potato and parsnip). Of course we also recommend you work with your health practitioner to ensure the choices you make are informed and safe. Does eating sugar affect my breast milk? While eating sugar may not change the composition of your breast milk, or pass through to your baby, filling up on these “empty calories” can displace more nutrient-dense foods – such as vegetables, healthy fats and proteins – and can negatively affect your energy levels. Breastfeeding requires a lot of energy (about an extra 500 calories per day), so you want to make sure you are getting as much “bang for your buck” as possible. Choosing higher calorie, higher nutrient foods, such as avocados, starchy veggies, eggs, coconuts and nuts (to name a few) will help keep your breast milk supply plentiful, and will also help you, as a new mum, feel better overall. Can my sugar habit turn my baby into a sugar addict? Yes there is research to suggest that what mum eats can affect the flavour of the breast milk, which can potentially set up food preferences later in Continue reading >>
A Beginner’s Guide To The Ketogenic Diet: An Effective Way Of Optimizing Your Health
Many Americans suffer from various chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and the main culprit is usually the food they eat. The standard American diet contains excessive amounts of protein and carbohydrates, neither of which is good for your health because it eventually causes you to develop insulin and leptin resistance. As a result, you gain excess weight, develop inflammation and become prone to cellular damage. To avoid this problem, significant changes in your diet are necessary, and the best way is inducing your body into a state of nutritional ketosis, a condition where your body burns fat as its primary fuel instead of sugar. In order to reach nutritional ketosis, you must follow a ketogenic diet. But what exactly is a ketogenic diet? This guide will tell you everything you need to know about a ketogenic diet – how you can apply it to your lifestyle and what positives you can reap from it. The Various Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet is a dietary approach that focuses on minimal carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and high healthy fat consumption — the three keys to achieving nutritional ketosis. In fact, it’s what I recommend for most people who would like to optimize their health. There are many reasons why you should try a ketogenic diet. It can be very beneficial for people suffering from chronic conditions, or for people who would simply like to be healthier than their current state. You’ll be excited to know that a ketogenic diet can help with the following: • Weight loss If you’re trying to lose weight, then a ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to do it, because it helps access your body fat so that it can be shed. Obese people in particular can benefit from this method. In one study, obese test subjects were Continue reading >>
Here’s What Research Says About Keto While Breastfeeding
Did you know that soon after babies are born they enter a natural state of ketosis? Yep, you read that right — research shows that newborn infants are in ketosis and remain in this normal, healthy state while breastfeeding[*][*]. Furthermore, research confirms that breast milk from healthy mothers is actually made up of 50-60% fat, and the cholesterol in breast milk supplies babies with almost six times the amount that most adults consume in their diets [*]. So, if babies are naturally born in ketosis and benefit from using fat and ketones for fuel, then why would it be an issue for a breastfeeding mother to follow a ketogenic diet/lifestyle? What Does the Research Say About Keto While Breastfeeding? Unfortunately, the current scientific literature surrounding the ketogenic diet and breastfeeding is extremely limited. However, one study performed in 2009 compared a low-carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diet to a high-carbohydrate, low fat (HCLF) diet in breastfeeding women[*]. Results from this study showed the following: Regardless of the diet, daily breast milk production and daily infant breast milk intake remained the same. Neither diet had an effect on milk lactose or protein concentration; however, milk fat concentration and the energy content of milk were higher during the LCHF diet than the HCLF diet. Infants’ energy intake (kcal/day) was higher during the LCHF diet than during the HCLF diet. The estimated average maternal energy expenditure and the sum of maternal energy expenditure plus milk energy content were higher during the LCHF diet than during the HCLF diet. Based on these results, researchers concluded that breastfeeding mothers could lose more weight while consuming a LCHF diet than a HCLF diet without affecting milk production and still supplying the Continue reading >>
Breastfeeding Mom On Banting (lchf) Diet Almost Dies
A Swedish mother developed a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis as a result of a low-carbohydrate diet (LCHF) - or Banting diet - while she was breastfeeding. In a medical report, published on 1 October 2015 in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, authors Louise von Geijer and Magnus Ekelund discuss the case of a 32-year-old woman who arrived at a Swedish hospital suffering from nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, trembling and extremity spasms. Read: Patrick Holford warns that Banting is dangerous Ketones can be poisonous The woman, who was breastfeeding her 10-month-old son, had no family history of diabetes. She had started a strict LCHF diet (aka Banting diet), with an estimated carbohydrate intake of less than 20g per day, 10 days before admittance, lost 4 kilograms and had felt growing malaise. Ketoacidosis normally affects people with diabetes and occurs when sugar cannot be used by the body because of a lack of insulin. Fat is then used for fuel, and acidic waste products called ketones build up in the body. High levels of ketones in the body can be poisonous. Read: Diabetic ketoacidosis According to the authors, ketoacidosis can on rare occasions be caused by a low-carbohydrate diet. This was, however, to their knowledge “the first reported case in the literature of ketoacidosis in a non-diabetic patient, associated with a combination of low carbohydrate, high fat diet and lactation”. The report mentions that “ketosis during lactation is a well-known phenomenon in lactating cattle and is well described in veterinary literature”. In humans, however, non-diabetic ketoacidosis is usually caused by starvation where “lack of glucose can force the body into ketogenesis, causing a metabolic acidosis”. Read: Why you may not lose weight on the Tim Noa Continue reading >>