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Thread: Warning against Ketogenic diets during pregnancy page 3

  1. #21
    gcbcb's Avatar
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    I would find this much more compelling if the linked studies had actually examined the effects of low blood sugar on the development of the fetus. The speculation on a link between ketones and epigenetic programming is an interesting thought, but I don't see any evidence that it's actually true. Which is important when it comes to making scientific claims.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_h View Post
    There was an awful event in World War II known as the Dutch Hunger Winter which as a combination of a German embargo on food imports and a brutal winter. A lot of people starved. Women who were pregnant at the time did give birth to children with altered gene expressions, who much later in their own lives are far more likely to be overweight. The foetus gets signals about what sort of a place the world is like to try and survive in, and when the mother is starving the baby will have a tendency to store every bit of fat it can during later life, even when food is available.

    Now full on starvation is certainly not the same as Ketosis, but it seems plausible that there's is some overlap there. An adult body copes fine with moderate Ketosis, but I think a foetus may well see that as a sign that food is scarce.
    Not that I disagree, but isn't it also just as likely that those parents who went through periods starvation would make sure that their children then grew up (in more plentiful times) "knowing the value" of food and cleared their plate, never wasted food, etc. which could also make them much more likely to be overweight as adults.

    To a much lesser extent, I've often wondered about the impact of seeing the news footage of the Ethiopian famine in the 80's on Westerner's eating habits. I know it was always used as a tool to get us to eat all of our dinner as kids "think of the starving children in Africa and how grateful they'd be for the food you don't want!". I know a number of friends who seem to have taken that to heart and to this day still have trouble leaving food even when they are so stuffed they feel sick and who often cite the starving children response.
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  3. #23
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    Another interesting study of low carb diets during pregnancy for pups.

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/116/10/1938.full.pdf

    Showed that going on a very low carb diet early in pregnancy caused the pups to be smaller, and have less glyogen stores, and that was only for the beginning of the pregnancy..

    Personally I wouldnt take the risk.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by activia View Post
    Personally I wouldnt take the risk.
    I wouldn't either.

    I'm no where near pregnant but if I were, I wouldn't do much macro analysis at all -- one's focus is quite well spent on the simple notion of eating non-garbage. I bet any baby would appreciate organic, pastured, and non-industrial foods, whether thats a yam or an egg or a carrot or a blackberry--and even that level of purity is pretty extraordinary.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by activia View Post
    For this you want your blood sugar in that ideal range 61-79....although who knows exactly. Personally what makes sense to me is you would not be in ketosis MOST of the time but still maybe on lower end of the carb range around 100g, maybe at most 1 day a week you would, as well as one day a week being high... but thats just my opinion...I dont think we can know this for sure.
    my kids are all well passed gestation. preggos generally crave carbs anyway so it all makes sense.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misabi
    Not that I disagree, but isn't it also just as likely that those parents who went through periods starvation would make sure that their children then grew up (in more plentiful times) "knowing the value" of food and cleared their plate, never wasted food, etc. which could also make them much more likely to be overweight as adults.
    I know I sound vague, because I'm some guy on a forum, on the internet, who heard stuff, and can't remember where or give a link, but I think it was determined that there was a physical manifestation in those babies, more than just a changed attitude to food.

    I know Dr Karl Kruszelnicki who does general science Q&A on the radio here in Australia has mentioned it, but I've come across the info elsewhere too.

    Searching now I found this abstract of a study on babies born after that famine: The Dutch famine and its long-term consequences for adult health

    Again, I don't want too sound alarmist by equating Ketosis with life threatening starvation. Maybe moderate Ketosis is fine during pregnancy, but the risk/reward doesn't add up to me. Even if the risk is tiny, what are the potential benefits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orchid
    I'm no where near pregnant but if I were...
    I didn't know there were degrees of pregnancy Good to know you don't even have trace elements of baby in you

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_h View Post
    I didn't know there were degrees of pregnancy Good to know you don't even have trace elements of baby in you
    I hope not! That might suck right about now. (No offense to potential children of mine down the line...)

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misabi View Post
    I've often wondered about the impact of seeing the news footage of the Ethiopian famine in the 80's on Westerner's eating habits. I know it was always used as a tool to get us to eat all of our dinner as kids "think of the starving children in Africa and how grateful they'd be for the food you don't want!". I know a number of friends who seem to have taken that to heart and to this day still have trouble leaving food even when they are so stuffed they feel sick and who often cite the starving children response.
    I totally agree. There is this wrong-headed notion that it is less wasteful to consume food (you dont physically need) rather than leave on the plate food (you don't physically need). When, no, its wasted either way, technically. The problem is food distribution imbalance...and by the time the overabundance gets to your plate, its already happened. So, you don't _have_ to make yourself sick on top of that.

    And I'm sure any starving person wouldn't give a rat's ass whether or not you made yourself a little fatter that day on their behalf.

    I was taught to clean my plate; and since we're talking about my children now, I'll say that I won't make them.

  9. #29
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    Even Robert atkins used to advise against vlc (ketosis) during pregnancy. It would be crazy to risk it.

  10. #30
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    Um, folks--nice theorizing, but really there is no problem with ketosis during pregnancy as long as you are getting enough calories and nutrients. Fetuses and babies thrive on ketones. Babies brains need healthy fats for development.

    Read this:Ketogenic Nutrition: Ketones fuel fetal development

    Also, I work with pregnant moms and many I have talked to have been LC during pregnancy with zero problems for moms or babe. In fact, the moms I know who ate the lower carb diets had the least amount of morning sickness and other pregnancy issues. Here's a story for you:Paleo from Pregnancy | The Primal Parent

    Even some calorie deficit in the first trimester doesn't seem to be a problem (morning sickness anyone?) since our bodies are designed to make sure baby gets sufficient nutrition & will rob mom's nutrient stores to do so. Assuming mom has sufficient nutrient stores, of course!

    I do not mean to imply that you need to go low carb during pregnancy or to be in ketosis! Simply that neither is a problem as long as the diet is nutrient dense and calorie sufficient overall.

    When moms come to me for nutrition coaching, if mom has been on a SAD diet, I suggest that she will want to focus on creating gut health & replenishing her nutrient stores for at least a year before conceiving. I do not recommend low carb, unless mom is having issues with a higher carb diet.
    Last edited by Dragonfly; 03-07-2012 at 03:20 AM.

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