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The Ketogenic diet has gained popularity because it promotes general health and sustainable
weight loss. Although most people reap the benefits of the Keto diet, there may be factors that
can come to play when going on the keto diet. One of these factors is gender. Women are
impacted differently by changes required by the Keto diet than men. However, most of these
differences are not sufficient to make the Keto diet unacceptable for women. Although pregnant
and nursing women should avoid going on the Keto diet, since they need carbohydrates to
sustain their fetuses and infants, most women can do quite well consuming fewer carbohydrates
and increasing fats.
Keto and Hormones
Women are often vulnerable to hormone fluctuations on the monthly basis and throughout their
lives. During puberty and menopause, the body experiences significant hormonal changes.
Likewise, menstruation can be associated with hormonal imbalances that can lead to
moodiness, acne, cramps and other problems. One of the benefits of the Keto diet is greater
hormonal balance.
When women go on traditional weight loss diets, they may be missing the right kinds of fats. A
lack of fat in the diet can cause irregularity in periods, moodiness and mental fogginess. Eating
healthy fats from dairy and meats can help ease PMS symptoms and can help you feel more
focused.
Depression and Stress
Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men. Some of this may be due to
hormonal changes and lifecycle events, but one thing that is unhelpful to many women who may
be vulnerable to depression is a low-fat diet. Many symptoms of depression begin in the brain.
The brain is comprised of cholesterol and fat, and eating the right kind of fats nourishes the
brain. One of the reasons it is difficult to stick to a low-fat diet is that it inadequately nourishes
the body and can lead to feelings of depression and frustration. Although cholesterol has been
given a negative reputation, it is required for proper hormonal, brain and nerve functioning. The
Keto diet increases levels of good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol. As a result, the Keto
diet provides enough healthy fat and cholesterol to reduce the likelihood of depression in
women.
Stress affects everyone, especially in the fast pace of modern living, but stress can be
particularly problematic for women because of the hormonal fluctuations associated with the
menstrual cycle and because women are often find themselves juggling work and childcare.
Some have expressed concern about the Keto diet, because of its tendency in the first phases
to increase the production of stress hormones. Suddenly cutting down on carbohydrates can
cause the body stress before it transitions to breaking down fats into ketones to fuel the body.
Although, for the short-term, the body may be under stress on the keto diet, in the long-term,
cortisol levels fall. A significant advantage provided by the Keto diet once ketosis has begun is
that it can strengthen the HPA axis that governs stress hormones. This HPA axis is comprised
of the pituitary and adrenal glands and the hypothalamus. Ketosis can cause the hypothalamus
to work more effectively and can make the release of stress hormones more moderate and
consistent.
Nutrients on Keto
Women have different nutritional needs than men do. They need to consume more calcium and
magnesium during adolescence and again in their late thirties before the onset of menopause.
Before menopause has begun and throughout this phase, women gradually lose bone mass
and in some cases, can develop conditions such as osteoporosis in advanced age, which is
characterized by brittle bones. Low-fat diets may restrict consumption of dairy, which is one of
the best sources of calcium and magnesium. The Keto diet, on the other hand, encourages
eating full-fat dairy products which nourish the bones. In addition, many vegetables are
restricted on the Keto diet because of their carbohydrate content. However, leafy greens, such
as kale are encouraged on Keto, because they contain very few carbs. Leafy greens are also a
rich source of calcium and iron.
Many women are also consistently lacking in iron, which nourishes the red blood cells. Women
are more likely than men to develop anemia due to pregnancy and the loss of blood during
menstruation. The emphasis on iron-rich meat on the Keto diet can help make up the iron
deficit. In addition, leafy greens are rich in iron and can provide energy.
The Keto diet can also improve absorption of nutrients, which is good news for women who may
be lacking in calcium and iron before starting Keto. Since many vitamins and minerals are fat
soluble, the amount of fat eaten on the Keto diet can improve the absorption of these nutrients.
In addition, the intermittent fasting recommended on Keto can help make absorption of nutrients
when eating is resumed more efficient.
Keto and Fertility
The Keto diet may be the right choice for women with fertility issues. Conventional weight-loss
diets that demand a drastic cutting of fats can actually threaten fertility. In addition, dramatic
weight loss can interfere with the ability to conceive, and since Keto focuses on balance, it may
be easier, in the long run, to heal fertility problems on the Keto diet. The stress the body may go
through at the beginning of the Keto diet may temporarily make fertility fluctuate, but once you
are in ketosis, these issues are likely to fade.
The Keto diet is significantly beneficial to women and can help create hormonal balance,
promote weight loss and improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Many women who
have had issues with periods in the past and severe PMS may find relief from extreme
symptoms on the Keto diet. In addition, Keto provides many of the nutrients and fat that may be
missing from other diets. The consumption of fat and protein can help regulate moods and
hormones and can reduce stress in the long term. In addition, the Keto diet can promote weight
loss, prevent severe illnesses and contribute to long-term health.