The ketogenic, or keto diet has been very popular lately, but how well does it mix with postpartum life? If you want to continue breastfeeding, what you eat (or don’t eat) is very important. After all, you are your baby’s only source of sustenance until they transition to solid foods. This article will explore the relationship between keto diet and breastfeeding.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is essentially the new Atkin’s diet – it’s based on a low-carb, high-fat intake that puts your body into a ketogenic state, also known as ketosis. When your body is in a state of ketosis, it uses fat stores for energy instead of glucose. This is a naturally occurring metabolic process, but one that we don’t need to use as often anymore.
The keto diet allows you to limit your carbohydrate and sugar intake to about 5% so that your diet consists of 75% fat and 20% protein. By starving your body of glucose, this diet forces your body into a state of ketosis, so it instead burns stored fat.
Some of the most important foods you need to eat on a keto diet are meat, fatty fish, cheese, butter and eggs – all of which are also great while breastfeeding. To stay in ketosis, you should avoid alcohol, sugary foods, grains and starches, fruits, and unhealthy fats such as mayonnaise and vegetable oils.
There are some possible side effects of this diet, such as “keto flu,” fatigue, muscle atrophy, bad breath, smelly urine, and some digestive problems.
Can Keto and Breastfeeding Coexist?
If you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet, the extra calories won’t stay. They go straight to the person who needs them most – your baby! It is common for breastfeeding moms to lose a few pounds while breastfeeding. In general, it’s not a good idea to diet while breastfeeding. Cutting calories to lose weight can affect your milk supply, and giving your baby all the nutrients they need should be your top priority.
However, the keto diet is different because it emphasizes a high intake of high-fat foods, even if it does reduce carbohydrates. There is no evidence that a low-carb diet will affect your milk supply, although it is important to note that most pediatricians may not recommend anything other than a balanced diet when breastfeeding.
In addition, very low carbohydrate intake while breastfeeding may lead to a dangerous condition known as ketoacidosis. For reasons that are not fully understood, it appears to be associated with metabolic changes and increased nutritional requirements for milk production.
Best Diet for Breastfeeding Moms
Dietary restrictions during pregnancy do not apply to nursing mothers. Here’s what you should eat to keep you and your baby healthy at all times:
- Include whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, pasta, cereal, and oatmeal in your daily diet.
- Eat two servings of fruit per day.
- Eat three servings of vegetables, including dark green and yellow vegetables per day.
- Drink enough water to satisfy your thirst.
- If you don’t eat meat, make sure you eat other sources of iron and zinc such as dried legumes, dried fruits, nuts, seeds and dairy products. If you avoid all animal products, you will need to take B12 supplements to ensure that your baby does not develop a B12 deficiency.
- If you want to drink alcohol, wait two to three hours after each drink (12 ounces of beer, 6 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of white wine) before breastfeeding.
- Include protein foods two or three times per day such as:
The keto diet has its own set of benefits. A balanced diet is even more beneficial. Since your diet is also for your baby, it is recommended that you do not diet until you are done breastfeeding. Get all the necessary nutrients you and your baby need whenever you can.