Ketogenic diet and fetus development: benefits and risks

The keto diet is currently all the rage. However, many women wonder whether it is good to follow this high-fat, high-protein diet during pregnancy. Therefore, expectant mothers need to be well informed before making a decision.

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet is one of the ways to losing weight. This type of diet has many health benefits. In a ketogenic diet, the body uses fat instead of carbohydrates as an energy source.

Ketosis is a metabolic process often induced by a ketogenic diet, is considered extremely healthy by many proponents of this diet. Other researchers, however, believe it is not advisable to remain in a state of ketosis for too long.

Here are some helpful tips for a healthy keto diet:

The Benefits Of Keto During Pregnancy 

Keto is one of the best ways to lose weight loss. And it can help people recover from certain diseases. People who have epilepsy sometimes notice a decrease in seizures when following a ketogenic diet. And it reduces the risk of developing diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and certain cancers.

These benefits are enough for some to say goodbye to high-carbohydrate foods and commit to the keto diet.

Also, this diet has some benefits for pregnant women. Among other things, it creates an awareness of what you’re feeding your body as a mother. 

Pregnant women are more likely to stick to whole foods of high quality rather than any filler foods. Since excessive weight gain during pregnancy increases the risk of the child becoming obese later on. So a ketogenic diet that focuses on healthy foods can help to give your offspring.

The risks of keto during pregnancy

There is no research or studies on pregnant women that consider the ketogenic diet harmful for your baby. However, there are some significant criticisms against a low-carb diet during this time of change and growth in the mother and baby’s body.

Many lose weight while on a keto diet, and that is usually a very good thing. Pregnant women, on the other hand, should not be losing weight. 

Besides, they need an extra 300 calories more every day, and this is not easy if you strictly follow the keto diet. Insufficient weight gain can endanger the baby and potentially lead to developmental problems and low birth weight.

Certain fruits and vegetables are not allowed in a ketogenic diet, which means that the mother and baby miss out on many nutrients and vitamins found in these foods.

Exhaustion is one of the side effects of ketosis, and for the expectant mother, who is already exhausted due to pregnancy, this can be a real problem.

She may have to sacrifice physical activity that would be beneficial for herself and the baby. However, regular exercise can shorten labor and improve health. Therefore, light to moderate exercise is strongly recommended during pregnancy.

A study conducted on mice demonstrated negative effects. Mouse offspring of mothers who were on a low-carbohydrate diet during pregnancy developed smaller brains. 

They also showed neurobehavioral abnormalities that were attributed to the ketogenic diet. However, since such studies cannot be repeated in humans, it is impossible to be certain whether the effect would be the same.

Bottom line

It is easy to find doctors and scientists who hold either view. Each woman is unique, and her individual needs must be taken into consideration. Anyone who wants to give the ketogenic diet a try should seek medical advice beforehand and start it before pregnancy.