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Is Keto Safe While Breastfeeding | Hea Boosters

Motherhood is a beautiful journey and like every journey, there are a few ups and downs too. While the euphoria of being a mother is generally spoken about, the lows are hushed down. One of the lows that a new mom may go through is losing postpartum weight. Add new timetables, changing diets, almost zero sleep and stress, the postpartum weight doesn’t do any good to moms. There are several new diets that help in losing some extra kilos and one of them is keto.

The keto diet has been the rage lately and a lot of people have benefited from this but is it safe for breastfeeding moms to consider it? As a mom, it is normal to worry about whether it can hurt your baby or how you will be able to plan your everyday meals. Let me assure you that there is nothing to worry about.

Studies have shown incorporation of the keto diet while breastfeeding is effective and safe, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration when you are trying to do this on a keto diet.

What is a keto diet?

The ketogenic diet is high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrates. Reducing your carb consumption to very low amounts leads to ketosis and this can eventually cause weight loss. Ketosis is the process in which the body uses fats instead of carbs to generate energy.

This combination of fats and proteins also keeps you feeling full for longer. The followers generally eat more vegetables, meat and high- foods like curd, butter, paneer and cream. The amount of sugar, grains, fruits and potatoes are reduced to an absolute minimum (<5% of net carbohydrates per day)

Suggestions for the keto diet:

  • Take your vitamins:
    Multivitamins help in better absorption of nutrients from food and can keep your body away from vitamin deficiencies. Taking supplemental multivitamins can help you fulfil these nutritional needs while you are on keto.

 

  • Start keto early:
    Your body takes time to adjust to any diet that you start following. Keto-adaption is the process your body goes through while learning to burn fat instead of glucose. During these changes, you may feel fatigued, bloated and experience lightheadedness. This is typically experienced during the first week when you switch to keto. You may not want to go through this while you are breastfeeding, so it makes sense to try starting your keto diet in advance of this as far as possible.

 

  • Staying hydrated:
    Moms often forget the age-old advice of drinking water. Staying hydrated keeps you energised, helps in digestion and flushes toxins out of the bladder. Water is also the main component of breastmilk, approximately, 87% of breastmilk is water. Also, foods rich in protein take time to break down and water acts as a catalyst.

 

  • Have snacks ready:
    Your tight schedule may not give you the luxury of rustling up meals in your kitchen all the time and it can be tempting to order in but most of the snacks available outside are high in carbs. Having some dry fruits, smoothie bowls and boiled eggs prepared in advance so you can grab a quick bite on the go. These are easy to make and will help curb the hunger pangs too.


Consume enough vegetables: Vegetables ensure that you get the right amount of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Vegetables are an excellent source of dietary fiber which help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation.

Making a plan or keeping a few keto-friendly recipes handy will help you plan your meals despite a busy schedule. Apps have made it easier for us to track the micro and macronutrients that we consume throughout the day.

There are several benefits of the keto diet apart from weight loss like cutting down sugar addiction and reducing new mom fatigue if it's done right. Just like in any other diet, keto does not have a “one size fits all” concept. Be kind to yourself, keep a check on the signals that your body is sending and try to incorporate the points mentioned above.

Sources:

A study on how the keto diet does not affect breastmilk:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6644245/

A keto diet is high in fat and protein and low carb, advantages and concerns of keto diet:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/

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