Ketosis During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?
Ketosis is a state of metabolism in adults where the energy is supplied to the body by ketones present in the blood rather than glycolysis, where the energy comes from glucose. People often land up in a dilemma while judging whether ketosis is safe during pregnancy or not. The diet of a woman has to undergo certain changes in case she nears pregnancy. However, you should be aware of the effects of ketosis before you opt for such a diet. The body of a woman undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy. Food choices are important when she tries to conceive. Here, you will have a detailed information about ketosis before and during pregnancy. Ketosis before Pregnancy Although people think that ketosis during pregnancy is harmful, in reality, it can help you get pregnant. If you want to draw your energy from ketone particles, you should plan a ketogenic diet. For an ordinary person, it is safe and even women trying to get pregnant can stick to such a meal. These meals are low-carb diets, and people can switch to these diets when they get pregnant. Well, it is important to know that ketosis is safe before you get pregnant. However, the norms are a bit different during pregnancy and you should stick to the rules. Read on to know whether it is safe during pregnancy or not. If you had heard that ketosis is harmful during pregnancy, you might be confusing it with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is completely different from ketosis that we are speaking of here. DKA has no relevance with nutritional ketosis and it is a far more harmful syndrome. It occurs in diabetic people where the level of insulin is not managed properly. It disrupts the balance of acid and base in the body. The level of blood sugar in the case of DKA is around three times the normal conditions. This situation 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 >>
Optimal Diet And Nutrition For Healthy Pregnancy
Oh, pregnancy…. that wonderful time when everyone offers unwanted advice and your body changes in ways you didn’t know possible. Since I’m now in the third trimester of pregnancy myself, and starting to really “feel” pregnant, I thought I would offer my own completely unsolicited advice for a healthy pregnancy. (If you’re pregnant, you are probably getting advice from the grocery store cashier, relatives, and complete strangers, so why not?). I am not a doctor, midwife, or medical professional, just another mom who has been there too! This is only the fifth time I’ve been through all the joys of pregnancy (read about my previous pregnancies here), so I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but thought I’d share what I’ve learned along the way! Healthy Pregnancy Begins Before Conception From experience, I know that the best time to begin a healthy pregnancy regimen is before you conceive. Having a strong nutritional system in place not only increases your odds of healthy conception, but will also help your body handle the transitions of early pregnancy without all the discomfort. For those struggling with achieving a pregnancy, optimizing diet and lifestyle factors can make a tremendous difference in successfully conceiving naturally. Having positive dietary and lifestyle habits in place will also help minimize the discomforts of pregnancy and make sure baby is getting optimal nutrition as well. Pregnancy Nutrition Ensuring optimal nutrition during pregnancy is one of the best gifts you can give your baby. Doctors warn of the foods to avoid (cold cuts, excess caffeine, soft cheeses, alcohol, etc.) but few give detailed advice on what optimal pregnancy nutrition should look like. I certainly had to navigate these waters myself during my first Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should I Eat During Pregnancy?
How many carbs should I eat now that I’m pregnant? A healthy Paleo or Primal diet is naturally lower in carbohydrates when compared to the standard American diet (SAD) and commonly ranges from 10-35% depending on individuals’ needs, goals and preferences. Your carbohydrate needs in pregnancy may need to be altered from its non -pregnant levels, both as your activity levels modify and as your body works hard to grow a new life. In this post, I’ll answer the not so simple question to, “How many carbs do I need when I’m pregnant?” If you are overweight and/or have a diagnosis of PCOS before becoming pregnant, your risk of pregnancy related complications may be diminished by reducing your weight to ‘normal’ levels and learning to control your insulin levels with Paleo eating and exercise. A common weight reduction strategy among Paleo eaters is to adopt a low carb or very low carb (VLC) approach. Reducing carbs when overweight or struggling with metabolic syndrome can be an incredibly effective tool for fat loss and insulin control, however when pregnant, this approach can cause some issues and it’s important not to attempt weight loss when pregnant in order to properly nourish your growing baby. Pregnancy is a natural anabolic (growing) state; the object of the game here is to grow a new life! The body facilitates growth in pregnancy by creating a natural state of insulin resistance thanks to a variety of hormones including a hormone produced by the placenta called Human Placental Lactogen (HPL). To simplify, your blood sugars are naturally higher when pregnant in order to facilitate adequate glucose transfer to your baby. Remember high school chemistry? Sugars move from high concentration (your bloodstream) to low (baby’s blood stream) through the proc Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis, And Is It Healthy?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state. It involves the body producing ketone bodies out of fat, and using them for energy instead of carbs. You can get into ketosis by following a very low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet (1). In addition to fast weight loss, ketosis may have several health benefits, such as reduced seizures in epileptic children (2). Ketosis is quite complex, but this article explains what it is and how it can benefit you. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which fat provides most of the fuel for the body. It occurs when there is limited access to glucose (blood sugar), which is the preferred fuel source for many cells in the body. Ketosis is most often associated with ketogenic and very low-carb diets. It also happens during pregnancy, infancy, fasting and starvation (3, 4, 5, 6). To go into ketosis, people generally need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day and sometimes as little as 20 grams per day. This requires removing certain food items from your diet, such as grains, candy and sugary soft drinks. You also have to cut back on legumes, potatoes and fruit. When eating a very low-carb diet, levels of the hormone insulin go down and fatty acids are released from body fat stores in large amounts. Many of these fatty acids are transferred to the liver, where they are oxidized and turned into ketones (or ketone bodies). These molecules can provide energy for the body. Unlike fatty acids, ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy for the brain in the absence of glucose. Ketosis is a metabolic state where ketones become the main sources of energy for the body and brain. This happens when carb intake and insulin levels are very low. It's a common misunderstanding that the brain doesn't function without dietary carbs. It's true that glu 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 >>
Is It Safe To Go Carb-free During Pregnancy?
It’s hard to escape the no-carb craze. At the grocery store you can find just about anything with a low-carb label, from tortillas to frozen dinners and more. Not since the low-fat craze has a single nutrient been so vilified. Carbohydrates are being blamed for a host of serious medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. But carbohydrates alone are not the culprit. Most Americans eat too many carbohydrate-rich foods that are also high in fat, sugar, and calories. There is much debate about the efficacy of diets such as Atkins, South Beach, and The Zone, but a growing body of research confirms that reducing your intake of high-caloric, refined carbohydrates can improve your health, particularly if you are obese or diabetic. As the old saying goes, “There is a time and a place for everything.” And experts agree that for most women, pregnancy is not the time to place yourself on a low-carbohydrate diet. “It is recommended that half the calories a pregnant woman takes in each day should come from carbohydrates,” says Dr. Hope Ricciotti, MD, an OB-GYN and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Pregnancy Cookbook. “Glucose, which is the byproduct of carbohydrates, is the primary fuel for the baby.” But before you reach for those chocolate chip cookies, remember that all carbohydrates are not created equal. Consuming fast food, candy, cakes, pizza, doughnuts, and soda can lead to excessive weight gain and exacerbate symptoms of gestational diabetes (diabetes developed during pregnancy). Since these foods have little nutritional value, they cannot provide your growing baby with the nutrients, protein, and healthy fat required for optimal development. “Even if you eat horribly the rest Continue reading >>
Testing For Ketones
Copyright © 1998 [email protected] All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your health provider. This particular web section is designed to present more than one view of a controversial subject, pro and con. It should be re-emphasized that nothing herein should be considered medical advice. Contents What are Ketones? What Causes Ketones? The Ketone Controversy Ketone Tests vs. Other Urine Tests Testing and Managing Ketones Kmom's Ketone Story Ketone References What are Ketones? Ketones are formed when your body's fat stores have to be accessed for energy. Normally, you eat food and then the body converts it to glucose/blood sugar for use as energy by your cells. Your insulin is then like a key, unlocking the door to the cell so it can access this blood sugar. In pregnancy, placental hormones make you more resistant to your own insulin (in essence 'warping' the key to the door) and make it harder to get that glucose from your blood into your cells. So while your blood remains high in blood sugar, your cells can be starving. The fetus absolutely must have energy, so if your pancreas cannot make enough insulin to overcome the hormone-caused resistance, the cells start accessing other sources of energy, like fat stores. The by-product of this is ketones. Ketones may be dangerous when pregnant, although this is controversial and still being studied and disputed. There were several studies that showed that babies exposed to a lot of ketones had learning problems and reduced IQ later in life. These have since been disputed by other studies, but just in case, everyone plays it safe during pregnancy, which is very prudent. What Causes Ketones? Ketones usually occur because you are ei 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 >>
Is Low Carb And Keto Safe During Pregnancy?
When Carolina Cartier discovered she was pregnant with twins this past March, she never questioned whether she would continue eating a ketogenic diet. The 31-year-old Seattle area woman had been plagued by metabolic issues literally all her life: precocious puberty at age 3; polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) by age 14; weight gain of 320 lbs (145 kg) on her 6 foot (183 cm) frame and pre-diabetes by her 20s. Her PCOS caused her ovaries to be enlarged and covered in cysts. She was told she was infertile and likely never able to have children. In August 2014, aged 28, her health was so poor that she went on medical disability from her job as a financial analyst. That first month off, however, she discovered and adopted the ketogenic diet. Between summer 2014 and February 2017, she lost 120 lbs (54 kg), experienced her first ever natural menstrual period that gradually established into a regular 28-day cycle; her blood sugar normalized and her ovaries reduced to 3.5 cm (< 1.5 inches) size. Her long-standing depression lifted. While she lost two early pregnancies at the start of 2016, likely because of poor egg quality, she knew she was getting healthier every day. Her positive pregnancy test in March 2017 was a happy surprise, as was the news soon after that she was carrying healthy twins. Except for a bout of extreme nausea and sea sickness for a week on a low-carb cruise early in this pregnancy, she has adhered to the ketogenic diet now through to 20 weeks of pregnancy and counting. She plans to continue this way of eating for the rest of her life. She feels great and looks wonderful; the twins in utero are thriving. “My life is transformed. Why would I even consider abandoning this way of eating when all of my positive health changes, and my pregnancy, I owe to this d Continue reading >>
Gestational Diabetes: Once You’re Diagnosed
If you’re a pregnant woman, probably one of the last things you want to hear is that you have gestational diabetes. Your thoughts might range from, “What did I do to cause this?” to “Will my baby be OK?” First, keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to feel scared and worried. Second, while gestational diabetes (GDM) is indeed serious, remember that, with proper management, you can have a healthy baby. Once you’re diagnosed If you find out that you have GDM, be prepared to learn a lot about diabetes! You’ll likely be referred to a diabetes educator and/or a dietitian. You might also be referred to an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in diabetes and other endocrine disorders. In most cases, you’ll be seen by a member of your health-care team about every two weeks. Be prepared to start checking your blood glucose with a meter, following a meal plan, checking your urine for ketones, recording your food and glucose levels, and possibly starting on insulin. In other words, be prepared to do some homework! Your team is there to support you and make sure that you receive the right treatment. Treating GDM There are a number of ways in which GDM is treated, and they all work together to help ensure that your blood glucose levels stay in a safe range throughout your pregnancy. Remember that the goal is to keep your blood glucose in a normal range; this is because, when blood glucose levels are too high, the extra glucose crosses the placenta to the baby. Too much glucose can cause your baby to be too large, and may cause other complications for both you and your baby during delivery and later on (such as Type 2 diabetes). Nutrition and meal planning. The saying that “you’re eating for two” during your pregnancy is partly correct. You ARE eating f Continue reading >>
Pregnancy Toxaemia And
Contents Industry Background Management Nutrition Animal Health Breeding Fibre Production Fibre Marketing Meat Production and Marketing Pasture and Weed Control Economic Analysis Tanning Skins ketosis in goats The diseases pregnancy toxaemia and ketosis can cause severe problems in goats. While the diseases are clinically different and occur during different stages of pregnancy and lactation, the basis of the disorder is essentially the same: a decrease in blood sugar levels and an increase in ketones. In ruminants, glucose is synthesised mainly from propionic acid (a volatile fatty acid produced in the rumen) and from amino acids. The amount of glucose that is absorbed directly depends on how much dietary carbohydrate escapes rumen fermentation and is digested in the small intestine. This form of glucose uptake varies with different feeds as well as their treatment. Ruminants can use products from rumen fermentation, such as volatile fatty acids, for most of their energy requirements. However, the nervous system, kidneys, mammary gland and foetus have a direct requirement for glucose. During periods of peak glucose requirement (late pregnancy and early lactation) problems may arise due to a glucose deficiency. The incidence of pregnancy toxaemia and ketosis varies with the two main types of goats. In dairy goats with a genetic potential for high milk production, ketosis may be a potential problem; in non-milch goats (Angora, Cashmere and meat) pregnancy toxaemia is more common. PREGNANCY TOXAEMIA Main causes The most important cause of pregnancy toxaemia is a decline in the plane of nutrition during the last six to eight weeks of pregnancy. This places the pregnant female in a difficult situation because the developing foetus imposes an unremitting drain on available m Continue reading >>
Low Carbs And Pregnancy - Part 1
The Great Debate As a prenatal dietitian, I am constantly asked about low carbohydrate diets. Are low carb diets safe during pregnancy? Can a low carb diet help prevent too much weight gain during pregnancy? Are carbs bad for me? The list goes on and on. I know that radio, television, diet books, and magazines have given a lot of attention to the no or low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets. Let's check out the facts: The Truth About Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are the ideal fuel for most body functions. It supplies the body with the energy needed for the muscles, brain and the central nervous system. In fact, the human brain depends exclusively on carbohydrates for its energy. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy products, foods made from grain products, and sweeteners such as sugar, honey, molasses, and corn syrup. The body converts the digestible carbohydrate into glucose, which our cells use as fuel. Some carbs (simple) are broken down quickly into glucose while others (complex) are broken down and enter the bloodstream more gradually. Some glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles for future use. If there is extra glucose, it is converted into body fat. That means the faster that carbs are converted to glucose, the more that eventually converts to fat. The Body's Immediate Reaction To Very Low Carbohydrate Diets When there is a severe deficit of carbohydrate, the body has several immediate reactions. With no glucose available for energy, the body starts using protein for energy. Therefore protein is no longer available for more important functions: the making of cells, tissue, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies; and the regulation of fluid balance. When carbohydrates are lacking, the body cannot use its fat in the correct way. Norma 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 >>
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 >>