There Is no evidence that a low-carb diet can help you better manage your menstrual cycle, as a diet rich In whole foods, it’s a source of nutrients that may help with cramps and bloat. The low-carb diet Is also low In sodium, which may help with premenstrual bloating. If you’re considering limits on your carb Intake and you need some guidance you can always reach out to me for help I’m always happy to help.
Studies have shown that low-carb diets can cause weight loss and Improve metabolic health. However, even though low-carb diets are great for some people, they may cause problems for others. For example, following a very low-carb diet for a long time may disrupt hormones In some women.
Low-carbohydrate diets — like the ketogenic diet — are effective for weight loss and improving health. They are also especially helpful for anyone who: 1)Is overweight or obese 2) Is sedentary 3) Has epilepsy 4) Has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fibroids or endometriosis 5) Is diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes 6) Has a neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s 7) Has certain forms of cancer 8) Has cardiovascular disease.
A typical low-carb “diet” limits the daily Intake of carbohydrates to between 60 and 130 grams, while a ketogenic “diet” tends to stay below 30 grams of carbohydrates. This Is done by excluding or limiting most grains, legumes, fruits, bread, sweets, pasta and starchy vegetables from the diet and replacing them with added fats, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. When we eat In this way, our bodies begin to change dramatically… especially for those who habitually eat plenty of carbohydrates with each meal.
Not all of these changes, however, are going to be positive just like with any “diet” there are always positives and negatives. First, when carbohydrates are restricted, It Is totally stressful for your body because It must find another way to fuel Itself. This can/will cause side effects, like nausea and headaches, that Is commonly called the “keto flu”. The lack of carbohydrates will also lead to fluid and mineral loss and hormonal changes that can cause health Issues If not addressed.
Ketones And Water Loss
We as humans can handle food shortages with some assistance from liver and muscle glycogen… The storage form of sugar In the body. Once we start a low-carbohydrate diet, our body tends to rely on glycogen for energy. For each gram of glycogen used as energy, twice this mass Is loss In water. This Is because glycogen (as well as all other carbohydrates) retain and attract water. Once the body enters ketosis, the body Is finally able to spare glycogen, but the water loss does not stop. The ketones that are created by the process of fat burning will also lead to more water excretion.
When you are on a low-carbohydrate “diet”, you will have lower Insulin and glycogen levels and higher ketone levels. This will cause your body to retain much less water and fewer minerals than It did before. This Is why It Is imperative to maintain adequate fluid and mineral Intake, especially In the beginning of a low-carbohydrate “diet.”
Low-Carb And No Period
Remember low-carbohydrate “diets” can be a stressor to the body? For women, this Is doubly true. Hormones that start and maintain the menstrual cycle decrease In response to having too few calories, too few carbs, too much stress, or too much exercise. This can lead to amenorrhea, which Is when a woman has no menstrual cycle for 3 or more months. Low-carbohydrate diets also lead to lower leptin levels, a hormone produced by fat cells that regulate appetite In men and women. Studies that were done on women, however, suggest that low levels of leptin can cause Irregular menstruation as well.
How often low-carbohydrate “diets” actually cause menstrual problems Is unclear and not well documented. In general, If you are eating correctly (and enough), you should not have any problems. That said, menstrual Irregularities are something that women should be mindful of while they are on a low-carbohydrate “diet” If the low-carbohydrate “diet” Is causing menstrual cycle Irregularities then It Is best to Increase carbohydrate intake until the menstrual cycle Is back to normal. Experts suggest that women consume around 75 to 150 grams of carbohydrates per day … an amount that may still be low enough to get all of the benefits of a low-carbohydrate “diet.”
Side Note: When I went Vegan I lost my period for 3 months. I took to google and at that time very little Information was around. I remember thinking that being vegan I wasn’t Intaking enough fat and that’s why my period stopped. I upped my fat and my period came back the very next month on time.
For me, my period stopped because I wasn’t Intaking enough fat but for some women, their periods can stop because of being on a low-carb “diet”. If after a few months you haven’t gotten your period or If you feel that something might be wrong don’t hesitate to go see your doctor.
Continued: After understanding how Important carbohydrates are In keeping a woman’s menstrual cycle normal, It Is reasonable to think that restricting carbohydrates during pregnancy will cause problems as well. Studies suggest that this contention Is true. One study concluded that a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet during late pregnancy may program the child to have higher than normal levels of cortisol. This can lead to a greater Incidence of depression, disease, and obesity.
Even though there Isn’t a lot of Information about women being on a low-carb “diet” during pregnancy It Is best to Increase carbohydrate consumption until you are experiencing normal cycles. A pregnant woman and her child may benefit from a slightly higher carbohydrate Intake. A minimum carbohydrate consumption of 175 grams per day Is suggested for healthy child development during pregnancy.
My Opinion: Evidence suggests that women’s hormones are sensitive to energy availability, meaning that too few calories or carbs can cause Imbalances. Such Imbalances can have very serious consequences, Including Impaired fertility, low mood, and even weight gain. However, most evidence suggests these effects are generally seen only In women on a long-term, very low-carb diet (under 50 grams per day). Everyone Is Different, and the optimal carb Intake varies greatly among Individuals. There Is no one-size-fits-all solution In nutrition. Some people function best on a very low-carb “diet”, while others function best on a moderate- to a high-carb “diet”. To figure out what works best for you, you should experiment and adjust your carb Intake depending on how you look, feel and perform.
If you are Interested In learning more about The Ketogenic “Diet” here Is her links to a woman who knows a thing or two about the lifestyle.
How you can Reach her If you are Interested In doing the Reboot or If you have any questions on going Keto for the first time. (Her Facebook) Katherine Serenbetz (@pruvitwithkat) There she posts everything from nutrition, recipes, at home workouts, and one on one consultation about your fitness and nutrition goals.
Her Instagram: pruvitwithkat
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