Then, pregnancy is undoubtedly the most controversial aspect of the ketogenic diet. This situation is confusing because there are no scientific studies with which to support arguments for its recommendation. The fear of putting at risk the health, even the life, of a baby with tests on a high fat diet is a limitation for the performance of reliable studies.
In contrast, many women are willing to tell their positive experience by following a ketogenic diet, even when they were pregnant.
However, more and more obstetricians and gynecologists are not afraid of the ketogenic diet.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The goal of this diet is to ensure that your body gets into ketosis, the metabolic state in which you extract the energy of fat, thanks to the ketone bodies.
How do we get into this metabolic state called ketosis?
There are two ways to get into ketosis:
- Prolonged fasting for one or several days (method not recommended, at least not for long time).
- Limit carbohydrate intake (ketogenic).
With the ketogenic diet you force your body to catabolize fats to obtain the necessary energy. That is, once the glycogen stored in the liver and muscles are consumed as fuel (this in a day) the body looks for a new source, the fats accumulated in the adipose tissue. Ketones bodies are formed for this to happen.
This metabolic process brings benefits to your health, including fertility.
However, there are no uniform criteria regarding the benefits of the ketogenic diet during pregnancy.
For some doctors the answer is a resounding NO; for others it is advisable, since it could help to prevent pregnancy problems related to high blood sugar pressure and obesity.
However, observational studies and case studies are beginning to be carried out more frequently, and more and more doctors are doctors are interested in this program and in the possible benefits it brings to the pregnant woman and the baby.
Dr. Fox recommended starting the program two months before conception; in this way, the hardest stage of the diet –the adaptation process-, is overcome before and for the beginning of pregnancy the woman will already be in ketosis.
Likewise, he recommends not fasting; on the contrary, the pregnant woman must consume food every two hours, but high-fat foods such as nuts, butters, cauliflower, avocado, cream cheese, meat, fish and eggs.
According to Dr. Michael Fox, this type of feeding reduces the rate of miscarriages, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and morning sickness.
In the same way, Dr. Robert Klitz of CNY Fertility, together with fertility clinics in New York and Florida, also recommends the ketogenic diet (a low-carb, high-fat diet) to optimize the quality of pregnancies and improve fertility.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is more common in obese women and those with a family history of PCOS.
Ketogenic diet or keto diet is especially effective for the control of polycystic ovary syndrome because it helps to control insulin levels in the blood reliably and consistently.
In 2005, a small study was conducted with 11 women with polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. These women followed a ketogenic diet for six months. Five of them completed the study. These 5 women lost weight, improved their hormonal status and showed a reduction in the amount of body hair. Two of them could get pregnant even when they had previous fertility problems.
As a result, it allows you to ovulate regularly and have a normal menstrual cycle, while minimizing or eliminating other symptoms linked to PCOS.
When following a diet of this type, remember that your body changes its main source of energy (glucose) thanks to ketone and, in addition, goes through a difficult adaptation process; therefore, your pregnancy could be affected.
Following a ketogenic diet can be safe during pregnancy if you take into account the experience of those women who have followed this diet and the opinion of the fertility doctors, gynecologists and nutritionists who recommend it.
On the internet, there are multiple blogs that show opinions of women who continued their ketogenic food program throughout pregnancy and even during breastfeeding, and claim not to have felt discomfort; on the contrary, they point out the great benefits of this diet, which includes getting pregnant after multiple miscarriages.
The best thing is that you act with prudence and moderately limit your carbohydrate intake during pregnancy and lactation.