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The unconventional ketogenic diet has swept the whole world with its proven health benefits and weight loss success rates. Who would have thought that a diet that’s high in fat and oil would help you to lose weight?? Not only does the keto diet effective in losing weight, it can also help those suffering from epilepsy, diabetes, Lyme disease and anxiety.
However, before you jump on the Keto diet bandwagon and ditch effective dietary supplements that are effective for weight loss, there are safety issues that you need to be mindful of especially if you are pregnant. If you are expecting a little angel soon and are planning on going keto, here’s what you need to know.
Some doctors don’t recommend the keto diet during pregnancy
Quite a few doctors believe that the risk of harming the baby from being in prolonged maternal ketosis during pregnancy is too high. The baby’s brain may not fully develop, and the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida is also high.
The amount of fat consumed and the lack of carbohydrates are other reasons why doctors do not recommend the keto diet. Carbohydrates are essential for prevention of nausea and lethargy during pregnancy.
Potential organ dysfunction
There was a recent study done on the effects of a ketogenic diet during pregnancy in mice. It resulted in alterations in embryonic organ growth that “may be associated with organ dysfunction and potentially behavioral changes in postnatal life.” While these studies were done on mice and not humans, these kinds of studies do have a measure of translatable consequences for us humans.
Differences in opinion
However, there are women who have given birth to perfectly healthy babies under the keto diet. Dr. Michael Fox from Jacksonville Center for Reproductive Medicine says that the ketogenic diet is completely safe for pregnant women. He argues that “women in ancient times were certainly ketotic during pregnancy.” For 17 years, he’s had hundreds of patients “who have been completely ketotic throughout pregnancy without any untoward effects.”
What doctors do agree and like about the keto diet is how it promotes the importance of consuming a lot of greens and veggies while you’re pregnant. Eating vegetables during pregnancy allows healthy birth weight of babies and reduces the risks for diseases and long-term health implications.
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In conclusion, we simply do not have all the data yet to judge if the keto diet is 100% safe for pregnant people. Again, if you are an expectant mother, consult with your doctor first before trying this diet.
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