There’s a lot of controversy at the moment surrounding the idea of doing the ‘keto’ diet while breastfeeding. Some people say it’s harmful to milk supply, while other studies are showing the opposite.
What is the keto diet anyway?
For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s a low-carb, high fat diet. The basis of the diet is to get the body into a state called ‘ketosis’, where the body burns fats for its fuel instead of carbs. This is done by eating a very low carb diet, so essentially cutting out fruits, grains, sugars, and replacing them with high fatty foods, meats, avocados, coconut oil, and vegetables. There’s been a lot of controversy around if it’s actually good for you or not, but like everything in life -- what works for one person is different from another. So take it with a grain of salt!
Regardless of the lack of scientific studies regarding the subject at the moment, some of you will probably be fully against it, while others will do it anyways. At the end of the day, every woman has a completely unique body, and what works for one person won’t work for the next, and vice versa. If you do decide to do the keto diet while breastfeeding, here are some helpful tips to cultivate more ease and benefit fully from the diet.
High Quality Fats
Many people think ‘how can a high fat diet be good for you?’ Especially after fats were demonized for many years, many people might wonder if ‘good fats’ even exist. Well -- yes, they do. In fact, fats are crucial to living a healthy lifestyle, and if you ingest the good fats, it’s very healthy for your body. Not only are healthy fats good for your heart, lowering blood pressure, and reducing risk of disease, but they also help you lose weight!
And since you won’t be consuming many carbs on a keto diet, you’ll want to ensure to consume plenty of fats to supply you with lots of energy, not only for yourself, but for your baby.
Some good healthy fats to consume on the keto diet include coconut oil, MCT oil, avocados, grass fed beef, ghee, raw milk, and fatty fish.
You’ve probably seen or heard about the ‘bulletproof latte’, as it’s been quite a trending fad now for a couple of years. A bulletproof latte became popular around the same time as the keto diet -- and is good not only for those doing the keto diet, but also for those doing intermittent fasting. A bulletproof latte mainly consists of the coffee base, MCT oil, coconut oil or ghee, a dairy free milk of choice or heavy cream, and maybe a few spices to taste. You can find hundreds of different recipes on the web, but the basis of the latte will always be high fat, low carb, and built to provide you with plenty of fat burning energy throughout the day.
Bulletproof coffee is known to come with many benefits, including:
- Mental clarity and focus
- Sustained energy without a crash
- A good source of healthy fats and antioxidants
Many women might wonder if drinking coffee is okay while breastfeeding, which is a whole other can of worms to open. But below I’m providing you with my favorite bulletproof latte recipe. This recipe contains a lactation boosting powder, which contains potent ingredients that help reduce inflammation, stress, lack of sleep, and also supports her to increase lactation. Here's a recipe to try.
- 8-12 ounces of freshly brewed coffee
- 1-2 teaspoons of grass fed butter or ghee
- 2 teaspoons MCT oil
- 1 serving of a lactation booster powder
Add all of the ingredients into a blender, blend for 10-15 seconds, and serve.
Especially for new moms, it’s absolutely crucial that you stay hydrated to avoid depleted milk supply. One of the most common reasons for producing insufficient breast milk is dehydration, and since the keto diet makes you excrete more water, it’s of utmost importance to consciously hydrate.
Electrolytes and Minerals
The low-carb, high fat keto diet encourages the body to lose water weight. While less water weight seems like a win, one should also be cautious about extra side effects that come with it such as lost minerals and electrolytes. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium and the three main minerals you’ll want to consciously intake more of, whether in a supplement form, eating mineral dense veggies, or adding electrolytes to your water. Ingesting these minerals will also help prevent any terrible side effects which many experience in a keto flu.
Lots of Fiber and Veggies
You can do the keto diet a couple ways -- you can eat lots of bacon, cheese, and heavy cream. Or, you can eat tons of vegetables, antioxidant rich berries, fatty fish, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. While many people will say the keto diet isn’t healthy -- it’s probably because they’re eating incorrectly and using the keto diet as a cop-out way of indulging in heavy meats and cheeses. Especially for breastfeeding Moms, it’s important to consume important phytonutrients and antioxidants found in green vegetables. Take a greens supplement or powder in a daily shake or smoothie to ensure you ingest enough veggies.
Low Carb Instead of No Carb
Instead of following the strict keto diet, you could start by trying a lower carb diet. While you might not attain full benefits of reaching the state of ketosis, you can still shed some unnecessary baby weight and benefit from switching out bready-sugary carbs for vegetables.