Who else bought into the keto hype? 🙋♀️I was totally into keto for a hot minute a few years ago but damn I’m so glad I learned how great carbs are for my health 💛🍞
Keto is often praised as the savior diet for blood sugar, hormones, and weight loss and honestly it makes my skin crawl because keto is NOT as advertised ☕️🐸
Here’s the big takeaway: Most women NEED carbs to have healthy hormones. While every woman’s carb threshold is going to look slightly different, low carb diets have not shown to be successful for women in the long run #bless
Here are the things that the KETO diet affects in your body:
Research has shown that a ketogenic diet can increase levels of cortisol (stress hormone) because of the high carb restriction. When cortisol stays elevated for an extended period of time, the body is triggered to produce more testosterone, estrogen, and less progesterone, while also increasing the inflammatory response.
High fat low carb diets have been shown to increase estrogen levels and weight gain in female mice (there haven’t been enough human studies on this, but studies on mice are helpful).
High cortisol as a result of a ketogenic diet, can also lead to high estrogen.
When estrogen is too high, it can lead to estrogen dominance – resulting in things like heavy periods, PMS, cysts, heavy flow, and more.
When we increase stress and estrogen production, we may suppress the thyroid and decrease levels of thyroid hormones. Our thyroid is responsible for things like energy, metabolism, weight control, and more. This can make us more prone to weight gain.
While Keto has been praised for blood sugar stabilization for issues such as insulin resistance and PCOS, the increase in cortisol and inflammation may actually worsen these issues longterm. It has also been shown that keto may worsen insulin resistance over time.
Prebiotic foods are arguable more important than probiotic foods for the gut microbiome. Where do we get prebiotic foods? Starches and fiber! A weak gut microbiome has been linked to issues with PCOS and high androgens.
A well balanced diet of all macronutrients is what most women need to have healthy hormones (aka eat some damn carbs girl)!
If losing weight and balancing blood sugar are your goals, girlfriend there are much simpler (and let me say – waaaay more fun aka YOU CAN STILL EAT BREAD) ways to do that! I encourage clients to explore things like:
⭐️Pairing your foods – eating carbs with a protein and a fat to help keep blood sugar stabilized
⭐️Eating more slow carbs – opting for slow burning carbs like sweet potatoes, cruciferous veggies, and oats
⭐️Eating enough – drastically cutting macronutrients out isn’t the cure to weight gain, the body needs adequate fuel to run properly
⭐️Limiting highly processed foods and refined sugars – enough said 👏🏼
Want support with this topic? Join me inside of my PRIVATE Facebook Group Below:
Calee Shea is a Holistic Health Practioner based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is your go-to gal for all things periods, vaginal health, and sex.