Is Keto Diet Safe For Pregnant Women?

Keto Diet for Pregnant women

Before answering this question, we have to know the meaning of keto diet. Keto diet short for ketogenic diet is a diet that involves eating 75 percent of your daily calories count from fat, 20 percent from protein and only 5 percent from carbohydrate; it is what I call a high fat and an almost nonexistent carbs diet. People normally start keto diet to maintain a particular weight or to attain a particular weight. 

The principle of keto diet is to deprive the body of glucose which it makes use of for energy and it’s gotten majorly from carbohydrate, Then the body source for an alternative way of getting that glucose by breaking down body fat called ketones and converting it to glucose which it makes use of especially the brain. 

The brain needs the steady supply of glucose every day, and it can’t afford to have it, if deprived of it’s normal source of glucose, it looks for other ways and which of cause is through fat. Constant use of fat for energy by the body will lead to rapid weight loss.

Keto Diet and Pregnancy

Let’s come back to the question ‘is keto diet safe for pregnancy? The answer is No, during pregnancy you are not just eating for yourself but also for your baby. Carbohydrate is very important and a supplier of energy for baby and that is why keto diet is a no-no

Carbohydrate is made up of starch, sugar and fibre and is the main source of energy during your pregnancy; carbohydrate is broken down to glucose which passes through the placenta to the baby. It also contains many essential nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, folate, which are what your baby needs for proper development.

Pregnant women that are into keto diet are exposing their child to many deformities like slower growth, smaller brains, smaller heart and many more. In keto diet, you eat lots of meat and fat but about 20grams of carbs a day. A small apple contains 24grams of carbs, that means the amount of carbs you eat a day isn’t even significant to the smallest of apple.

Carbohydrate is made up of starch, sugar and fibre and is the main source of energy during your pregnancy,  is broken down to glucose which passes through the placenta to the baby. It also contains many essential nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, foliate is part of the important -nutrients-you need when pregnant for the proper development of your baby.

Nutrients You Need When Pregnant and Why?

Keto diet during pregnancy automatically leaves the mother and child nutrient deficient, here are some important nutrient needed by for a healthy mother and baby.

  • Vitamin A- visual healthy, immune function.
  • Vitamin D – bone metabolism, regulation of calcium and phosphate equilibrium, baby skeletal development.
  • Vitamin E- healthy skin, reduces the risk of placenta eruption.
  • Vitamin b12 – formation of red blood cells, normal functionality of the nervous system.
  • Folic acid – help prevent major brain and spine defect, cell development and tissue formation.

Yes, we know that these nutrients can be gotten from prenatal vitamins, but it is better you get it naturally from food, and when pregnant your body needs a higher dose of these vitamins for proper development of the baby.

Keto Diet and Fertility

Some people claim keto diet help increase the chances of getting pregnant because it balances your weight, there is no medically solid proof to back that notion, and you can’t just depend on a what a couple of people are saying. In fact, when trying to get pregnant, your body needs a couple of important vitamins and mineral to make you more fertile and keto diet might actually slow or prevent it, these vitamins and minerals include foliate, vitamin D, E, C, DHA iron etc.

Research Done On Keto Diet and Pregnancy

  • According to a study published by BMC pregnancy and childbirth, a research was conducted on a pregnant mouse placed on a ketogenic diet, and it was found that the embryo possessed a  relative larger heart but the smaller brain, smaller pharynx, cervical spinal cord and hypothalamus which can lead to organ dysfunction and potentially behavioural changes in postnatal life
  •  A 2015 research found that a pregnant mouse on keto has a higher chance of giving birth to babies with a high risk of anxiety and depression when they get old.


During pregnancy, you and your baby need as much nutrient as you can get for proper health development and eating fruits and vegetables guarantees that. Inasmuch as you want to maintain a healthier weight during pregnancy, always check with your doctors before changing your diet or embarking on a new diet plan. Always remember that you are not just eating to stay healthy, you are also eating for the healthiness of your baby.