Low-Carb Diet Effects in Pregnancy

Low-carb diets have gained popularity for individuals desiring to lose weight. The popular Keto diet is one that is high in fat, and low in carbohydrates. Its popularity is driven by the fact that individuals can lose significant amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time. When we consume a diet that contains carbohydrates, the body relies on glucose (sugars) for energy. When glucose is not available, the body relies on stored fat for energy, which is broken down in the liver. When carbohydrate intake is drastically reduced, the body will go into ketosis, due to the fact that the body produces ketones from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

Those that are following a low-carb diet cut foods such as breads and cereals from their diet. Many carbohydrate-containing foods are fortified with folic acid. Before and during pregnancy, folic acid is important in reducing the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly. For a woman who is pregnant, or may become pregnant, it is important that she is consuming enough folic acid. If she is avoiding foods that contain carbohydrates, there is an increased risk that her baby may be born with a neural tube defect.

A baby’s brain and spinal column develop during the third and fourth week after conception, before a woman may know that she is pregnant. If you are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, it is important that you are receiving the recommended amount of folic acid through your diet and supplementation. Talk to your physician or midwife about the benefits of taking a prenatal vitamin before you are pregnant, as well as maintaining a healthy diet.

Your healthcare provider should guide you through your pregnancy, and through the childbirth process. If you, your loved one, or your child sustained an injury because of the negligence of your doctor, you may be entitled to compensation. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced birth injury attorney, please call Crandall & Pera Law at 877-955-0020 or fill out our contact form.

 

Dukhovny, S., & Wilkins-Haug, L. (2018). Open neural tube defects: Risk factors, prenatal

screening and diagnosis, and pregnancy management. UpToDate. Retrieved from

https://www.uptodate.com