So you’ve heard all about the Keto diet and you’re ready to try it out. According to the International Food Information Council 2021, four in ten people follow some kind of eating plan. But where do you start? And more importantly, what do you need to know before starting a Keto diet?
In this guide, we’ll explore the risks and benefits of Keto for women, and we’ll give you tips on how to get started on the diet, what to eat, and how to avoid the dreaded Keto flu. So whether you’re just getting started or you’re already well on your way, keep reading for everything you need to know about the Keto diet for women.
What Is the Keto Diet and Is It Safe for Women?
The Keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that has been gaining popularity in recent years. The goal of the Keto diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis. In this state your body uses ketones produced from fat for energy instead of glucose produced from carbohydrates. According to a 2019 study , your body enters a ketosis state when you restrict your net carbs to about 5-10% of your daily calories.
Some women are hesitant to try the low-carb diet because they’re not sure if it’s the right fit for their needs. So is the Keto diet safe for women? Yes, the Keto diet is safe for women. Many women have found success with the Keto diet in terms of reducing body weight and improving their health. However, it’s important to note that everyone’s body is different and results may vary.
Benefits of the Keto Diet for Women
The ketogenic diet is an extremely popular diet plan that has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years. And for good reason – the Keto diet offers a wealth of benefits for both men and women.
But when it comes to the Keto diet for women, some specific topics don’t apply to men. Here are just a few of the benefits that women can expect from following a Keto diet:
Keto Helps You Lose Weight
One of the primary benefits of the Keto diet is fat burning. When you’re in ketosis, your body is burning fat for energy instead of carbs. And since women tend to carry more body fat than men, they often see more dramatic results when following a Keto diet especially if combined with regular physical activity.
A 2018 study with 960 women who had a BMI of 30-43 kg/m2 showed that those on Keto diets lost around 0.9 kg more than those on other low-fat diets at 12- 24 months.
Keto Diet Gives You More Energy
Today I went for a walk then I checked my smart watch. I realized that I had walked 6 kilometers and I still felt energetic! Many people don’t feel energetic enough after a long day and this can impact your family life. Following a Keto diet not only helps you lose weight; it also helps you feel more energetic throughout the day. This is because your body is now running on its own source of energy, rather than relying on carbs which can leave you feeling tired and drained.
Keto Reduces Inflammation In Your Body
Women are especially prone to inflammation, which can lead to a number of health problems. Inflammation can come from lots of different places, like when you hurt yourself or when you’re sick. But did you know that inflammation is one of the leading causes of death around the world? Yup, more than half of all deaths are caused by diseases that have something to do with inflammation. This is according to a 2019 study done by David Furman et al. Some examples are ischemic heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and autoimmune and neurodegenerative conditions. The Keto diet can help to reduce inflammation in the body, leading to improved health overall.
Keto Improves Your Blood Sugar
The Keto diet can help improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes according to a 2005 study that found that the Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet (LCKD) significantly improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Most participants were able to discontinue or reduce their diabetes medications. Haemoglobin A1c levels decreased by 16% from baseline to week 16. By reducing carb intake and increasing fat intake, the Keto diet can help in blood sugar regulation and improve insulin sensitivity.
Keto Improves Your Mental Clarity
Some people following the Keto diet report improved mental clarity and focus, possibly due to the brain’s increased reliance on ketones for fuel instead of glucose.
Keto Diet May Improve Your Brain Health
One possible benefit of the ketogenic diet is that it may improve brain function in people with neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. The diet has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in people with epilepsy, and a 2021 study done by Nicole Jacqueline Jensen et al, has suggested that it may also improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Keto Diet May Lower Your Cravings
Some people may find that the Keto diet helps to reduce cravings for sugary and high-carbohydrate foods. One possible reason for this is that the ketogenic diet can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance, which can lead to reduced food cravings for sugary and high-carbohydrate foods. Additionally, the high-fat content of the diet may help to increase satiety and reduce overall calorie intake.
Additionally, a 2015 study found that Keto dieters had suppressed appetite and this is helpful in making people avoid overeating
Keto Diet May Reduce Ovarian or Endometrial cancer
Keto and cancer treatment is another important topic in metabolic health. A 2020 study shown that Keto diet can help some people with cancer by reducing the body’s production of glucose, which cancer cells often rely on for energy. When the body is in a state of ketosis, it turns into fat burning machinery for fuel instead of glucose, which may help to slow the growth of cancer cells. In addition to potentially helping to slow the growth of cancer cells, the ketogenic diet may also help to improve quality of life for people with cancer by reducing symptoms such as fatigue and nausea.
The Risks and Side-Effects of Keto for Women
The Keto diet is a popular choice for losing weight, and it can be very effective. However, as with low carb diets, there are risks and side effects to consider before starting a new diet. The main risks and side effects associated with the Keto diet are:
It May Be Difficult To Maintain Keto In The Long-term
The ketogenic diet can be challenging to maintain in the long term for some people. It requires careful planning and tracking of your food intake to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients and staying in ketosis. Some people may find it difficult to stick to the strict carbohydrate and protein limits of the diet, particularly if they are used to a diet that is high in carbohydrates.
Keto Dieters Can Have Increased LDL cholesterol But In The Short Term…
A recent 2021 study with women assigned 4-week Keto diet suggests that unhealthy Keto diet may increase your LDL cholesterol (“bad”) cholesterol and reduce HDL (“good”) cholesterol. One of the effects of the ketogenic diet is an increase in LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, in the short term. This increase is thought to be due to the high fat content of the diet, as dietary fat is a major contributor to LDL cholesterol levels. Eating unhealthy Keto foods such trans fats and saturated fats from grain-fed animals can cause health problems such as heart disease and can increase your cholesterol levels. However, while the ketogenic diet may increase LDL cholesterol in the short term, it has also been shown to increase HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, in the long term. This is thought to be due to the weight loss and improved blood sugar control that often result from following the diet. In addition, eating healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats or grass-fed meat is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
It May Be Difficult To Meet Nutrient Needs In Ketogenic Diet
Keto diets can be low in certain nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which can lead to deficiencies if not properly planned. A 2019 study of 12 weeks found nutrient deficiencies in obese adults following a Keto diet. Some of the nutrient deficiency found were calcium, potassium and iron. On a Keto diet it is difficult to meet the recommended intake of certain vitamins and minerals, particularly those found in carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. These include vitamins C, E, and K, as well as potassium and magnesium. They’re generally limited or eliminated on a Ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic Diets Can Affect Your Social Life
Imagine going out with your friends to a party and there are cakes and, cookies and soft drinks served. Well this foods are high in carbohydrates and sugars which are detrimental to your health. The strict nature of the Keto diet may limit the ability to participate in social activities that involve food, such as going out to eat or attending events with food. This may cause social isolation and strain relationships. Additionally, family and friends may not support your diet choices. The diet may also require significant planning and preparation, which may be time-consuming and inconvenient.
It’s important to be aware of these risks and side effects before starting the Keto diet, so that you can make an informed decision about whether the Keto diet is right for you.
You May Be At Increased Risk of Osteoporosis
A 2005 study report that people with osteoporosis has passed the 200 million mark. Keto dieters may be at risk of osteoporosis due to its low intake of fruits and vegetables, which are important sources of bone-healthy nutrients such as potassium and vitamin K.
What You Should Eat or Avoid on Keto Diet
On a Keto diet, women should aim to consume mostly healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein, and very few carbohydrates.
Here are some general guidelines for what women should eat and avoid on a Keto diet:
Foods to eat:
Healthy unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado oil, and avocado are a key part of the Keto diet. These fats can be used for cooking, as spreads, and added to meals and snacks.
Women on a Keto diet should aim to consume moderate amounts of protein. Good protein sources include fatty cuts of meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood.
Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and other non-starchy vegetables are an important source of nutrients on a Keto diet.
Foods to avoid:
The Keto diet is a low-carb diet, so it is important to avoid foods that are high in carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, and sugary foods like cakes and cookies.
Fruits are generally high in carbohydrates, so it is best to avoid them or consume them in moderation on a Keto diet
Managing the “Keto Flu”
One thing that women may experience when getting started on Keto is the “Keto Flu”, which includes dizziness, fatigue and other symptoms as a result of the abrupt change in your body’s metabolism from burning carbs to fat. However, there are several things that you can do to help manage this transition period.
First, drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. This will help flush out toxins and replenish your electrolytes as your body adjusts to the new diet. Additionally, taking electrolyte supplements like magnesium, potassium, and sodium will also help replenish lost minerals and reduce fatigue.
Additionally, you should focus on getting adequate sleep each night since it can help stabilize hormone levels and hormones can dramatically alter how your body reacts to Keto. And lastly, make sure you don’t overexert yourself during this transition period. This means taking it easy at the gym and avoiding any strenuous activities until you’re fully adjusted to Keto.
If You Belong To The Group Below Or Have The Following Conditions Then Avoid Keto Diet
Expectant and Breastfeeding women
The ketogenic diet, has been shown to be effective for weight loss and other health benefits. However, it is important to note that the Keto diet may not be suitable for everyone, including pregnant and nursing women.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding require a balanced and nutrient-dense diet to support the health and development of the growing fetus and infant. The Keto diet is low in carbohydrates, which can be a source of energy and nutrients for both the mother and the developing baby. Additionally, the Keto diet may be low in certain nutrients, such as fibre and certain vitamins and minerals, that are important for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Two studies done in 2013 and 2015 found birth defects and anxiety in mice being fed on a Keto diet.
For these reasons, it is generally recommended that pregnant and nursing women avoid the Keto diet. Instead, they should focus on eating a varied and balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Type 1 diabetes
The Keto diet may be difficult to manage with insulin dosing. A 2021 study found an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis in people with a Keto diet. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for people with Type 1 diabetes, and the body needs a certain amount of carbohydrates to function properly. When carbohydrate intake is too low, it can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and other complications. It can also be difficult for people with Type 1 diabetes to maintain tight blood sugar control on a ketogenic diet, as the diet can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
The high-fat content of the Keto diet may worsen pancreatitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas. High levels of ketones can be toxic to the body and may contribute to the development of pancreatitis. Additionally, a ketogenic diet may increase the risk of developing pancreatitis in people who have underlying conditions that affect the pancreas, such as high triglycerides or obesity.
The high-fat content of the Keto diet may worsen liver function in individuals with liver disease. A study in 2021 accumulation of cholesterol in the liver of Keto dieters. The liver is responsible for converting excess amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. The Keto diet has moderate protein, which can increase the production of amino acids and may further strain the liver. The liver is responsible for breaking down and processing fats, and a high intake of fats may put additional strain on the liver.
The moderate protein content of the Keto diet may worsen kidney function in individuals with kidney disease. A 2021 study found that Keto diet aggravated kidney dysfunction in rats. When the body breaks down protein, it produces waste products that the kidneys must filter out of the blood and excrete in the urine. In individuals with kidney disease, the kidneys may not function properly and may not be able to effectively remove these waste products from the blood. As a result, high protein intake can put additional strain on the kidneys and may worsen kidney function.
People With a History of Eating Disorders
The Keto diet is highly restrictive and requires strict adherence to certain food groups and macros. This rigid approach to eating may trigger disordered eating behaviours in individuals with a history of eating disorders. The emphasis on weight loss as the main goal of the Keto diet may lead to negative body image and unhealthy weight control behaviours. The restriction of certain food groups may lead to a fear of eating certain foods, leading to a preoccupation with “good” and “bad” foods.
Ketogenic Diets and Menstrual Cycle
The ketogenic diet, also known as the “Keto diet,” is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has gained popularity in recent years as a weight loss and health improvement strategy. One potential side effect of the Keto diet that has garnered attention is its potential impact on the menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle is the monthly process that a woman’s body goes through to prepare for pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can affect a woman’s energy levels, mood, and appetite. Some research has suggested that the Keto diet may disrupt the menstrual cycle and potentially lead to irregular periods or amenorrhea (absence of periods).
There are several possible mechanisms for why this may occur. One theory is that the Keto diet may cause a decrease in the hormone leptin, which is involved in the regulation of menstrual cycles. Another theory is that the Keto diet may cause changes in the body’s energy balance, leading to disruptions in the menstrual cycle.
Low Carb Diet and Menopause
Menopause is when a woman’s reproductive years come to an end. It’s a natural, biological process that every woman goes through. It is a normal part of ageing and occurs when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and fertility. Menopause typically occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can occur earlier or later depending on a variety of factors, including genetics, medical history, and lifestyle.
During menopause, many women experience physical and emotional changes due to the decrease in hormone levels. These changes can include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, and decreased libido. Some women may also experience memory problems, weight gain, and changes in skin and hair.
There is limited research on the effect of the Keto diet on menopause. However, some studies have suggested that a low carbohydrate diet may have beneficial effects on menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, and mood.
One study found that a low carbohydrate diet led to a significant reduction in hot flash frequency and severity in postmenopausal women. Another study found that a low carbohydrate diet improved sleep and mood in postmenopausal women with insomnia.
How Does Ketogenic Diet Affect Women’s Hormones?
The ketogenic diet, or Keto diet, is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has been studied for its potential health benefits. Some research has suggested that the Keto diet may have an effect on hormone levels in women, although more research is needed to fully understand the potential effects of the diet on hormones.
Estrogen is a hormone produced by the ovaries and its an important hormone that plays a role in many bodily functions, including menstrual cycle regulation, bone health, and cardiovascular health
When starting Keto diet, the bodies of both males and females can be stressed as the body adjusts to a new source of energy which is fat instead of glucose. Stress stimulates production of cortisol which produces more body fat. High body fat percentage increases estrogen levels. When the body enters ketosis, the estrogen levels are restored to normalcy.
One thing to keep in mind if you’re in or nearing menopause is that your estrogen levels are going to be naturally lower than usual according to a study. Because of this, a high-fat diet like Keto can actually be helpful in restoring it to normalcy.
If you’re in your reproductive years and following a ketogenic diet, it’s possible that you may experience a decrease in estrogen levels. This can be attributed to the elimination of processed foods that are high in soybean oil from your diet. It’s important to be aware of this potential drop in estrogen, as it can lead to decreased libido, vaginal dryness, and disruptions in sleep and mood.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. It plays a variety of roles in the body, including regulating metabolism and the body’s response to stress. Some studies have found that the Keto diet may lead to an increase in cortisol levels. This may be due to the body adjusting to Keto diet and increased need for glucose (a form of sugar that is the primary energy source for the brain and body). When carbohydrates are restricted, as the body may compensate by releasing more cortisol to help increase glucose production.
Increased cortisol levels can lead to several health issues such as Skin problems, such as Insomnia, acne or thinning skin, and Mood changes, such as anxiety, depression, or irritability.
Overall, it is important to note that the Keto diet may have different effects on hormone levels in different people. If you are considering starting a Keto diet, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any potential effects on your hormone levels and how to manage them.
Tips and Tricks to Help Women Stay Successful on Their Keto Journey
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced one, understanding the ins and outs of the diet is a great way to help you stay successful on your journey. Here are some tips and tricks to stay motivated and reach your Keto goals:
Gradually cut out processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats from your diet. It’s been shown to ease into it, as abruptly adopting a Keto diet can be overwhelming.
Having an organized meal plan will help keep you on track. Plan out your meals and snacks for the week, making sure to include a variety of low-carb veggies that are high in fibre, healthy fats such as avocados and nuts, and lean proteins like fish and chicken.
Track your progress
Keep track of your weight loss progress by writing down meals in a food journal or tracking macros with an app. This will help you stay accountable for your dietary choices and monitor how your body is responding to them.
Have fun with it
Experiment with creative recipes by substituting ingredients like cauliflower for carbs. This will help keep meals interesting and make the whole process more enjoyable.
Complement your diet with regular exercise
The combination of dieting and exercising together can help you reach your goals faster! Good luck!
Starting a new diet can be challenging, so it can be helpful to seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare professional. You may also want to consider joining a Keto support group or online community for additional guidance and motivation
What Results Can Be Expected With Keto?
When following a Keto diet correctly, you can expect to see some great results in just a few weeks. Weight loss and better control of blood sugar are two of the most common benefits. Additionally, some women may experience increased energy levels due to increased fat intake and decreased cravings for sugary and processed food. Many women also experience improved mental clarity, better digestion, fewer headaches, more balanced hormones and healthier skin.
Furthermore, the Keto diet has been studied for its potential benefits for reducing inflammation in the body, improving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and autism, reducing blood pressure and combating hormonal imbalances. While all of these are potential benefits, it’s important to remember that different bodies respond differently to this diet so it’s important to track your progress as you get going on the Keto diet.
In conclusion, Keto diet has gained popularity for its weight loss and blood sugar control benefits. However it may not be suitable for everyone, such as expectant and breastfeeding mothers. It is important to be aware of the potential risks and challenges, and to follow a healthy and balanced version of the diet.
Women may be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of the ketogenic diet, such as an increased risk of nutrient deficiencies and disrupted menstrual cycles. It is important for women to pay close attention to their nutrient intake.
Kindly note that the information in this page does not substitute for medical advice and they’re intended for general information on Keto Diet for Women. Contact a qualified healthcare professional for advice before starting a new diet or have any pre-existing health conditions.