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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Keto Diet arrow Can You Do Keto While Pregnant? No and Here's Why

Can You Do Keto While Pregnant? No and Here's Why

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Written by Thalia Oosthuizen
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: September 25, 2023
3 min read 1292 Views 0 Comments
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Your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates during ketosis. Is this process safe for pregnant women and what is considered as a healthy diet during pregnancy?

can you do keto while pregnant

Keto diets are very popular all over the world, but is it good for pregnant women? Are you pregnant and following a ketogenic diet but want to know what effect it will have on you and your baby? 

Let’s look at all the aspects involved to make sure you do the right thing.

Ketogenic Diet While Pregnant: Is It Safe?

Unfortunately, it is not safe to follow a keto diet while pregnant.

There are a number of risks involved when you are on a keto diet while pregnant, which indicate that it is not safe for you and the baby. We will take a look at the reasons why you should not even consider doing keto during pregnancy.

Let’s start with the fact that you will have shortages of certain minerals and vitamins while on a keto diet, which are necessary for your baby. Keto stands for ketosis, which is a state your body moves into, and that can be accomplished with higher fat and lower carbohydrate intake.

When pregnant, you need a lot of fiber, iron, and vitamins which can be found in many vegetables and can help reduce your chance of gestational diabetes. A keto diet will deprive you of the necessary fiber you need for your baby, which may also lead to constipation in pregnant women.

While this is only the beginning, let’s take a look at other negative impacts the keto diet can have on pregnant women.

Low-Carb Keto Diet While Pregnant

Eating a low-carb, high-fat diet while expecting is not the healthy way to go both for the mother or the baby. 

The baby will need all the nutrients provided by high-carb food to grow healthily and stay healthy during the pregnancy period.

A diet without enough complex carbs will deprive the baby and mom of the necessary folic acid and other vitamins. The low-carb keto diet is based on high protein levels, which will not be the best for the overall health of the baby, especially in the third trimester.

A developing fetus needs around 75 grams of proteins per day, and exceeding that could cause health problems for the baby. It is better to eat nutrient-dense foods like lean protein and complex carbs that can be found in colorful foods, fruits, and vegetables.

Grains are also a good source of the right nutrients needed by the growing fetus and the mom. Be sure you avoid processed grains as much as possible. Pregnant women should not lose weight, which is one of the reasons ketogenic diets are a bad idea. Healthy eating should be more important than weight gain during this time.

Your daily calories should exclude sugary cereals, unhealthy fats, and high-fat foods in general, like full-fat cream. These can result in gestational diabetes.

Can Pregnant Women Drink Ketones?

No, pregnant women should not drink ketones.

Ketones are formed in the body when there is a shortage of carbs and are used to deprive the liver of carbohydrates. This will decrease the level of insulin production, which is not good during pregnancy. It can affect the baby’s growth, organ development, and may cause diabetes.

Drinking ketones while pregnant is not good for the baby and may have long-lasting negative health conditions for the child and the mother. It is also known that high levels of ketones in the blood mean that there is a shortage of insulin in your body. During pregnancy, this can affect embryonic growth.

There is also not enough research concerning the effects of ketones on babies, so you should avoid it completely for both your and your baby’s health. 

Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

A healthy diet and good, healthy activity go hand-in-hand for a safe pregnancy unless doctors suggest otherwise. Still, eating a well-balanced diet during pregnancy can only be good and healthy for the baby and the mom.

It is always good to eat well and sleep enough. You shouldn’t lose weight during this time. There are many free diets you can follow available on the internet, but pregnant moms should consult their doctor before following any of them.

Make use of a well-planned system that includes the best diet for you and your baby and the safest combination of exercise and prenatal vitamins. This can be done by joining the fitMom program which comes with a wide range of plans that will suit you.

A Word From Nutritionist

Eating healthily and having a well-balanced diet for you and your baby is the best thing you can do. A diet that includes complex carbohydrates and not too many proteins while containing all the needed vitamins should be considered.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, combined with whole grains and other vitamins enriched natural foods such as nuts, can keep you going. It will also help you have the necessary strength and energy to carry you through this ever-changing period.

Conclusion

Following a ketogenic diet is not safe during pregnancy. 

Instead, go on a nutrient-dense diet (this is a more healthy pregnancy diet), eat healthy fats, stay away from saturated fats, and do exercises tried and tested by many pregnant women out there. This will help reduce your risk of gestational diabetes. You should also stay away from high-intensity workouts, such as running.

Also, don’t forget to take a prenatal vitamin or two – it’s what most doctors recommend. If you ever have doubts about your health or weight, don’t hesitate to visit your doctor, especially during the first trimester. 

Written by Thalia Oosthuizen
Thalia has always wanted to be a writer, starting her first local newspaper at the age of 11. She also has enjoyed a passion for health and fitness since a young age, playing many sports through her schooling career, and still enjoys biking, running, and swimming today. She studied English Language at University for 3 years, developing a passion for spelling, grammar, and research. She now has over 10 years of experience writing, proofreading, and editing, and has paired this with her love for health and fitness by writing health content.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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HR_author_photo_Thalia
Written by Thalia Oosthuizen
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: September 25, 2023
3 min read 1292 Views 0 Comments
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