Keto is the hottest diet trend and Ketosis is the ultimate goal of the ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which fat (instead of glucose) provides most of the fuel for the body. Before jumping on the keto bandwagon, learn how ketosis can affect female hormones.
Balances The Female Hormones
On a keto diet, roughly 75 percent of your calories should come from fat sources. Make sure to choose healthy options such as avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, butter, olives and olive oil, and other high-fat foods. Good fats play an essential role in producing and maintaining hormone balance because they are the building blocks for estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Dietary fats, when consumed on a low-carb diet, increases FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) levels and decreases testosterone levels. FSH is known to help your eggs mature and regulates the menstrual cycle.
Nutritional ketosis spurs more estrogen production. Higher estrogen levels suppress the thyroid in women, which can lead to weight gain.
A diet that’s full of refined carbohydrates causes blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that regulates your blood sugar, and when it’s out of whack, it can negatively impact a woman’s reproductive hormones. Ketosis keeps your blood glucose and insulin to low but healthy levels. This prevents insulin resistance and helps with infertility and PCOS.
Boosts Skin Health
High-carb foods increase androgen levels. This increases sebum production and inflammation- a huge promoter of acne. By reducing dietary carbohydrates on Keto diet, your sebum and acne production also reduces.
Excess sugar intake leads to a process called glycation. This process weakens collagen and leads to the development of wrinkles, lines, and saggy skin. As the keto diet is very low in carbs and refined sugars, it reduces an increase in blood sugar levels and boosts skin health.
Include foods that contain an abundance of micronutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish lower skin inflammation and also reduce damage from UV exposure.
Reduces Menopause Symptoms
Woman technically reaches menopause when she has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can be very difficult on a number of levels. Although each woman’s experience is different some of the most common symptoms of menopause are-
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Weight gain, especially around the middle
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Poor memory, ie, “brain fog”
A major benefit of being in ketosis is suppression of appetite, which may be due in part to lower ghrelin levels. This way, the keto diet helps in weight management. Women can also reduce their frequency and severity of hot flashes by following a very-low-carb diet that provides the brain with ketones it can use as fuel. Ketosis decreases and stabilizes blood sugar and insulin levels. This will have a positive impact on mood by providing your brain with a stable source of energy. Thus being in nutritional ketosis is an effective strategy to alleviate many of these symptoms.
Eases Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS is a combination of symptoms (mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression) that many women get about a week or two before their period. Inflammation can wreak havoc on the hormonal system and cause fluctuations in the hormones that could lead to massive PMS symptoms. But in a state of ketosis, the blood gets flooded with ketones. And ketones are not only a fantastic alternative energy source to glucose, but they’re also anti-inflammatory. This way, ketosis can help fight some of the PMS symptoms.
By Dr Seema Nanda
Refer to her blog for more updates on Health and Wellness.