My Low Carb Twin Pregnancy Journey
I realize this is much different than my regular food based posts, but none the less one that has raised many an inbox question. I just reached the halfway mark of my pregnancy with what we now believe to be two baby girls. We are so thrilled! We are expecting fraternal twins which means they are not identical. Basically two babies sharing the same birthday, but unique in every other way. We can’t wait to meet them! It was really funny and ever so slightly ironic that I had to test oodles of recipes for my recipe book in my first few weeks of pregnancy. YES! Nausea and new recipes… fun! But as they say, all is well that ends well. 1. WHY DID I CHOOSE TO CONTINUE WITH A LOW CARB LIFESTYLE DURING MY PREGNANCY? My family has been on a fully integrated low carb lifestyle for just over 18 months now. It is our new normal. It is our lifestyle. We cannot imagine feeling tired, emotional and hungry all the time anymore, so for me it made perfect sense to keep doing what is obviously working for my body. BUT the fact that I am also making decisions for someone else’s body… it made me ponder if I’m doing the right thing for them? I found confirmation after confirmation once I stopped reading pregnancy sites and shifted my research to what babies need for healthy growth. I devoted an entire chapter in my book to this. Basically, I looked at my entire nutritional regime and could not think of a time in my life that I actually ate a better amount of nutrients and less junk. I figured… our girls do not need junk like preservatives, colorants, enhancers, modified starches, hormone filled GMO Soy or GMO wheat. Sugar is void of any nutrients and really is the weakest form of energy so… not needed! I was shocked to see that most recommended pregnancy diets actually promoted Continue reading >>
Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet During Pregnancy On Embryonic Growth In The Mouse
Go to: The increasing use of the ketogenic diet (KD), particularly by women of child-bearing age, raises a question about its suitability during gestation. To date, no studies have thoroughly investigated the direct implications of a gestational ketogenic diet on embryonic development. To fill this knowledge gap we imaged CD-1 mouse embryos whose mothers were fed either a Standard Diet (SD) or a KD 30 days prior to, as well as during gestation. Images were collected at embryonic days (E) 13.5 using Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) and at E17.5 using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). An anatomical comparison of the SD and KD embryos revealed that at E13.5 the average KD embryo was volumetrically larger, possessed a relatively larger heart but smaller brain, and had a smaller pharynx, cervical spinal cord, hypothalamus, midbrain, and pons, compared with the average SD embryo. At E17.5 the KD embryo was found to be volumetrically smaller with a relatively smaller heart and thymus, but with enlarged cervical spine, thalamus, midbrain and pons. A ketogenic diet during gestation results in alterations in embryonic organ growth. Such alterations may be associated with organ dysfunction and potentially behavioral changes in postnatal life. Keywords: Ketogenic diet, Low-carbohydrate diet, Embryonic development, CD-1 mouse, Mouse imaging, Optical projection tomography, Magnetic resonance imaging An illustration of the animal-to-animal variation within the SD group at E13.5. The coloured traces are outlines of all linearly-aligned individual SD images, and the white region is a mask of the final average image. Click on the image to see a larger version. Embryonic size difference at E17.5. (A) A consensus average of all E17.5 embryos constructed using the SD and KD MRI embryo im Continue reading >>
Is Keto Safe During Pregnancy? Nutritionists Don't Recommend It
When you find out you're pregnant, a million questions pop into your mind. If it's your first pregnancy, two million questions pop into your mind. One of the most common questions about pregnancy is whether or not you can keep your diet the same as it was before pregnancy. This is an especially important question to ask if you've been on a low-carb diet such as keto. You need to know: is keto safe during pregnancy? According to the official keto website, the keto diet is a low-carb diet where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy rather than carbohydrates. Much like other low-carb, high-fat diets, the keto diet promises significant results when it comes to weight loss. But can a diet that recommends 20 grams or less of carbohydrates a day help provide proper nutrition for you and your baby? According to nutritionist and health coach Erin Lorrain, the answer is no. Lorrain isn't a fan of the keto diet for regular women, let alone pregnant women. "The keto diet essentially tricks your body into thinking you're starving, causing your body to go into ketosis," Lorrain says. She goes on to explain that when you eat carbohydrates, your body produces glucose and insulin — two substances you need to survive. "Glucose and insulin help control your energy levels," Lorrain says. "And in order to maintain a healthy, balanced, diet, you should have healthy, balanced levels of glucose and insulin." This means you shouldn't survive solely on carbohydrates, but you shouldn't cut them out, either. Just like glucose is one of the main sources of energy for your body, glucose is a main source of energy for your growing baby, according to a study done by Yale University. The study goes on to state that to heavily restrict any source of energy during your child's dev Continue reading >>
Guest Blog Post: Is It Safe To Go Low Carb During Pregnancy?
Today my friend and colleague, Lily Nichols, a fellow registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, shares her insight on carbohydrate-restricted diets during pregnancy. This is a controversial topic that I believe deserves more attention and investigation, which Lily does brilliantly in the following article. Is It Safe to Go Low Carb During Pregnancy? With the wide adoption of low-carbohydrate diets, many people question if they are safe during pregnancy. While quite a few women use a lower carbohydrate diet to conceive (since they are especially useful for women struggling with infertility), most medical professionals discourage women from continuing this diet during pregnancy. I find it ironic that if you tell your doctor that you plan to eat low carb during pregnancy, they’ll say it’s unsafe, but if you say you plan to eat a diet based on fresh vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and a little fruit, they’ll encourage you to stay the course. The controversy over the safety of low carbohydrate diets in pregnancy stems primarily from misconceptions around ketosis. It’s incorrect, but widely accepted, that ketosis during pregnancy is harmful to a developing baby. When I first dove into the research, I was shocked to find that studies on healthy, non-diabetic pregnant women (eating a “regular” diet) show a marked elevation in ketones after a 12-18 hour fast, which is akin to eating dinner at 8pm and having breakfast at 8am (or skipping breakfast entirely). What’s more interesting is that pregnancy actually seems to favor a state of ketosis. Compared to non-pregnant women, blood ketone concentrations are about 3-fold higher in healthy pregnant women after an overnight fast. And in late pregnancy, metabolism shifts to a state o Continue reading >>
Is A Ketogenic Diet Safe For Pregnant Women?
A very high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet (as the ketogenic diet is) is generally safe for everyone. It’s been a natural part of life (at least parts of the time) for as long as humans have been around (think eskimos living for decades on basically just seal meat). There have been zero studies showing that any amount of dietary carbohydrate is “necessary” (which I find somewhat surprising, to be honest). That’s the “easy” part of this question. There are a couple of other things though, such as, “What foods should I try to avoid while I’m pregnant?” or “Can I go through a pregnancy and not gain more than X pounds by limiting my diet?” that get you into danger. The macronutrient ratios in the ketogenic diet are totally safe and will not prevent you from having a happy and healthy pregnancy. If you start trying to restrict salt content, or restrict calories a lot, or don’t drink enough water, or eat way too much protein because you don’t want to eat fat, or any number of the other mistakes that a lot of people starting the ketogenic diet fall into, then you are obviously in a much worse spot than the average person. So I would probably not necessarily *start* a person on the KD if they were pregnant just because I’ve seen so many people screw up basic things when they were starting out, but if someone is fat adapted already and wanted to keep that up during the pregnancy, I’d say kudos. * And just for completeness I should note here that I’m not a medical doctor and don’t play one on the internet and you should consult a medical professional before making important life/health choices - (List Of Low-Carb Doctors) Continue reading >>
Is It Safe To Go On A Low-carb Diet In Pregnancy?
You shouldn't go on a low-carb diet, or follow a restrictive or weight-loss diet, while you're pregnant. This is because we can't be sure that diets are safe for you or your baby. Going on a low-carb diet while you're pregnant may affect your baby's weight, and how she develops. It may also prevent you both from getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Drastically reducing or increasing the amount you eat may even increase the likelihood of your baby having weight problems as she grows up. Low-carb diets, such as the Atkins, South Beach and Dukan diets, may increase the levels of toxic chemicals (ketones) in your blood. These acids remain when your body burns its own fat. The same applies to any other diets that cut out food groups. Low-carb diets tend to be high in fat, and may also restrict the amount of fruit, vegetables and fibre you eat. You may deny yourself and your baby important vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and calcium. It's also unlikely that you'll be able to sustain these diets in the long term. Fans of low-carb diets say that carbohydrate-rich foods are fattening. But gram for gram, carbohydrates contain less than half the calories of fat. Low-carb diets also tend to be high in protein, which can cause side-effects such as tiredness and bad breath, as well as increasing your risk of getting kidney stones. Dietitians agree that you should base your main meals on starchy foods, with about a third of your plate being carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain or wholemeal carbohydrates when you can, so opt for wholegrain pasta and rice, and wholemeal bread, over their white equivalents. Wholegrain carbohydrates are a good source of energy, fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins, which are all important during pregnancy. And high-fibre foods can help to Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Faq: All You Need To Know
Below is an list of the most commonly asked questions about the ketogenic diet. Simply click on the question you're interested in and it will take you right to the answer. If you have any more questions, please let me know by leaving a comment and I'll add it to the list! KetoDiet Basic Facts Foods & Diet Plans Health Concerns Troubleshooting 3 free diet plans to help you kickstart your diet, lose weight and get healthy Recipes, giveaways and exclusive deals delivered directly to your inbox A chance to win the KetoDiet app every week KetoDiet Basic Facts Why is it that conventional diets don't work? Most of us would say we get fat simply because we get lazy and eat more. But what if it's the other way round? What if we just get fat and as a result we eat more and become lazy? For the last decades we have been given wrong advice about nutrition and effects of fatty foods on putting on weight. What if the main problem is that due to our modern diets we cannot satisfy our appetite? A study on this subject concluded with a surprising result: the fatter people get, the more inactive they become, not the other way round. And what if the interests of the authorities offering advice are influenced by economic reasons? To learn more about this, I recommend you watch The Food Revolution on Youtube Ketogenic diets are, in fact, closely related to the Paleolithic diet. Both exclude carbohydrates and aim at eating real food. Today carbohydrates make the majority of our diet and have significant implications for our health including hormone balance. For example, insulin, which is responsible for storing fat in our body, is greatly affected by excessive carbohydrate consumption. Carbohydrates are without doubt the most fattening element in our diets. Based on studies performed over th Continue reading >>
Is Safe While Pregnant And/or Breastfeeding?
KETO//OS is quite safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It is recommended to choose the caffeine free Keto//OS and drink plenty of water. Ketones naturally exist in the body, and are created as a normal process of fat metabolism. KETO//OS simply provides these ketones from an exogenous source, but they have the same beneficial impact. However, if you suffer from any medical conditions, it is always safe to consult your health care provider prior to starting any new nutritional supplement. 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 >>
Overweight And Pregnant: Why Bmi Matters
What extra pounds mean to you and your baby. Overweight women who want to get pregnant soon might want to reconsider their timing: A higher BMI is associated with an increased risk of fetal death, stillbirth, and infant death, according to a JAMA review examining 38 studies on the topic. Researchers suggest women take these findings into consideration, if they're planning to conceive. "Doctors have long known that very obese women risk pregnancy complications, but research indicates that even women who are not hugely overweight have elevated risks," says Hugh M. Ehrenberg, M.D., of Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, the author of a different study on obesity and pregnancy, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The list of potential complications is formidable: hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia, gestational diabetes (which can lead to overly large babies), C-sections and postoperative complications. There's more: A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a woman who is overweight before becoming pregnant is two to three times more likely to have a baby with heart abnormalities, spina bifida or other birth defects. Another study links excess weight and obesity to lower levels of the lactation hormone prolactin after childbirth, which may explain why overweight women tend to stop nursing earlier than average-weight women. To prevent such problems, a woman should, if possible, be at or close to her ideal weight when she becomes pregnant. Sometimes losing just 5 to 10 percent before getting pregnant is enough to decrease her risk factors. But since not every pregnancy is planned, many overweight women want to know whether—and how—they can safely deal with their weight while pregnant. The 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 >>
The Paleo Guide To Ketosis
Ketosis is a word that gets tossed around a lot within the Paleo community – to some, it’s a magical weight-loss formula, to others, it’s a way of life, and to others it’s just asking for adrenal fatigue. But understanding what ketosis really is (not just what it does), and the physical causes and consequences of a fat-fueled metabolism can help you make an informed decision about the best diet for your particular lifestyle, ketogenic or not. Ketosis is essentially a metabolic state in which the body primarily relies on fat for energy. Biologically, the human body is a very adaptable machine that can run on a variety of different fuels, but on a carb-heavy Western diet, the primary source of energy is glucose. If glucose is available, the body will use it first, since it’s the quickest to metabolize. So on the standard American diet, your metabolism will be primarily geared towards burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel. In ketosis, it’s just the opposite: the body primarily relies on ketones, rather than glucose. To understand how this works, it’s important to understand that some organs in the body (especially the brain) require a base amount of glucose to keep functioning. If your brain doesn’t get any glucose, you’ll die. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need glucose in the diet – your body is perfectly capable of meeting its glucose needs during an extended fast, a period of famine, or a long stretch of very minimal carbohydrate intake. There are two different ways to make this happen. First, you could break down the protein in your muscles and use that as fuel for your brain and liver. This isn’t ideal from an evolutionary standpoint though – when you’re experiencing a period of food shortage, you need to be strong and fast, Continue reading >>
Can You Eat A Ketogenic Diet While Pregnant?
Ketosis is a state of metabolism that is completely safe for most adults. However, if you’re pregnant you may be wondering if ketosis and the keto diet can fit into this phase of your life. In particular, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe for you and your baby. Pregnancy and Ketosis Interestingly enough, because most pregnant women experience frequent vomiting during the first 3 months of pregnancy… they tend to end up in ketosis anyways, regardless of their diet. In addition, the nausea, lack of appetite and food aversions can make many women eat very little during the first months of pregnancy. The first thing to understand is that ketosis is not an abnormal state for the body. In fact, we all produce a small amount of ketones during the night. But when following a keto diet, your body produces more of it. But the case is different when there is a new life growing inside you. In order to push your body into ketosis you need to follow a very low carb diet. Limiting your carbs to 20-30 grams per day jumpstarts your body into producing ketones. Ketones are the end products of fatty acid metabolism – when the body breaks down fats for fuel. In a non-pregnant state, the body will normally adapt and start using ketones for brain activity and for energy. And the ketones are expelled through the urine. During pregnancy though, ketones can cross the placenta boundary. How ketones affect your baby In spite of the potentially positive effect of ketosis, it has long been known that maternal ketosis (due to hunger or gestational diabetes) is associated with less favourable fetal outcomes. A study concluded that a keto diet during pregnancy may lead to changes in the growth of fetal organs. These changes may be linked with organ dysfunction as well as possible change Continue reading >>
Wheat Belly For A Marathoner And Pregnant Mother
Chris shared her unique story of being ketotic while following a Wheat Belly wheat/grain-free lifestyle during endurance training/competition and pregnancy. “I did Wheat Belly/ketogenic diet for Boston [Marathon] last year and it was so effective in increasing endurance. There was never a reason to fuel, except for hydration. “Now 6 months pregnant with my 4th and this is the first time I’ve been wheat-free and on a ketogenic diet for pregnancy. The results so far are amazing: no crazy emotional mood swings, no out of control hunger, no crazy weight gain and the baby is growing beautifully. My midwife is basically dumbfounded. “I think the biggest change in this pregnancy over my last 3 is that my husband tells people he can’t believe how nice his wife is this time. I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life, so having that under control with food is profound. Who knew after growing up a carb-loving vegetarian that I’d feel better removing grains/carbs, eating healthy fats and, of course, meat. “The result: rarely hungry, no crazy anxiety, weight is always stable, lots of energy and a little less money as nutritious dense food is more expensive.” I have previously discussed how endurance athletes are increasingly recognizing that the process of fat burning is a far better method of sustaining energy during endurance exercise than carb loading (not to mention that carb loading is intrinsically detrimental to health and accelerates conditions such as cataracts, deterioration of joint cartilage, and dementia). But I’ve not discussed the effects experienced during pregnancy. Chris’ experience is consistent with what my friend and fertility specialist, Dr. Michael Fox describes: fertility restored in many infertile women, dramatic reduction in morning si 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 >>