Is A Carnivore Diet Safe During Pregnancy?

2 years ago
Is A Carnivore Diet Safe During Pregnancy?

High-quality food and intake of adequate nutrition are essential during pregnancy. Though it is crucial to follow a diet for a healthy lifestyle, how safe is it to follow any diet during pregnancy? Especially if you are on a carnivore diet, is it safe to continue with it during pregnancy?

Today in this article, we will discuss the benefits and risks associated with the carnivore diet during pregnancy. 

Carnivore Diet During Pregnancy

The carnivore diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet with all the essential nutrients required for your body. Although it is a highly nutritious diet, there are no evident or substantial studies to tell whether it is entirely safe to undertake an all-meat diet during pregnancy. 

During pregnancy, your body undergoes several changes. Also, there are few ethical and physiological concerns that do not recommend following any strict diet during pregnancy. Testimonials by some people indicate that they had no complications during the pregnancy following a carnivore diet. However, we cannot claim that it is 100% safe for pregnant women as there is no supporting scientific evidence. 

Some studies suggest that there is an increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, thyroid, and others later in life that originate during pregnancy. Hence it is essential to follow the doctor’s advice during this period.

According to some experts, low-carb diets such as the carnivore diet and the keto diet are very healthy for pregnant women; ketosis helps improve fertility, reduces morning sickness, and helps in normal delivery.  

However, some studies, reports, and testimonials of keto, paleo, and carnivore diets, which are generally low carb, high protein, and fat diets, seem to have no risk during pregnancy. 

Can I switch to a Carnivore Diet While Pregnant?

If you are looking at a lifestyle change to limit your weight gain and lose weight, pregnancy is not the right time to start. During pregnancy, you may have hormonal and many other changes in your body; if you start a carnivore diet, you might feel more fatigued and tired. Also, the keto flu in the initial days might get tough during the pregnancy. 

You may consider a carnivore diet if you have already tried keto, paleo, or low-carb, high-protein diets. But start slowly, and you can gradually turn it into a strict meat diet. 

Many experts, nutritions, and dietitians suggest not to try any new diets during pregnancy because any sort of diet may affect your nutritional status and might be detrimental to your baby’s health.

How to Maintain a Carnivore Diet During Pregnancy?

If you are already a carnivore for quite some time, then you would be enjoying the advantages. Your body might be entirely adjusted to it after the initial adaptation; you feel very healthy with the carnivore diet. 

The adaptation period is one of the tough time for the carnivore people to get through; during this period, you might feel;

  •  Increased appetite
  • Constipation, nausea, and diarrhea
  • Sometimes decreased appetite because of slow digestion

During pregnancy, your body metabolism changes; you might have pregnancy cravings, and you would be struggling to figure out how much meat to eat per day. With time you will understand how to manage, how much to eat and what to eat.

It’s essential to have sufficient vitamins, nutrients, and minerals in your diet during pregnancy. Let’s see the necessary nutrients needed during pregnancy and how you get them through a carnivore diet.

Important Nutrients During Pregnancy

During pregnancy and lactation, your body needs various nutrients. It is essential to know whether your diet provides you all the vital vitamins and minerals. 

Let us understand how you can get all the nutrients needed during pregnancy through the carnivore diet:

 Nutrients                       Carnivore sources
1         Vitamin A & Beta Carotene             Fish oils, eggs, meat, and liver  
2Vitamin EChicken thigh and chicken breast
3Vitamin CSupplements 
4Thiamin/B1The liver has the highest amount of Thiamin
5Riboflavin/B2Eggs, kidney, liver, and milk
6Niacin/B3Meat and meat products 
7Pyridoxine/B6Beef and meat products 
8Vitamin B12Meat, poultry, (shell)fish, eggs, milk, 
9Folic Acid/FolateBeef liver 
10Calcium, Iron, and ProteinRed meat, liver, and seafood
11ZincRed meat, crab, eggs 

These are important nutrients that contribute to the wellness of both you and your baby. 

Nutrients You Might Lack in a Carnivore Diet

There are some nutrients you might lack during the all-meat diet;

Vitamin C

During pregnancy, you need sufficient amounts of vitamin C. The carnivore diet lacks vitamin C. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, plays a vital role in defense against increased oxidative stress during pregnancy. Due to the oxidative stress, pregnant women may get exposed to the continuous attack of free radicals, which can be detrimental. Lack of antioxidants can result in complications during pregnancy. 

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in scavenging reactive oxygen and nitrogen. Studies suggest that it helps to reduce the complications such as pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and maternal anemia during pregnancy

Antioxidants are naturally present in fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. You can find the antioxidants from your carnivore diet through lean meat, poultry, and eggs; each kind has different vital functions. However, the requirement for antioxidants is more during pregnancy; hence you might have to take supplements. 

Folate and Folic Acid 

Many studies suggest that folate and folic acids are essential during pregnancy; lack of these compounds might lead to birth neural tube defects. It’s crucial to have folic acid-rich foods. Doctors even recommend folic acid supplements during pregnancy. 

Studies also suggest that folic acid is required for DNA replication and a wide range of enzymatic reactions, including amino acid synthesis and vitamin metabolism. During pregnancy, the requirement of folic acid increases as it is required to develop the fetus.

Folic acid-rich foods include;

  • Citrus fruit (orange juice)
  • Spinaches and other leafy green vegetables
  • Bread, rice, and pasta
  • Cereals
  • Beans and legumes
  • Asparagus, broccoli, and beets

Benefits of Carnivore Diet

The carnivore diet has most of the essential nutrients required during pregnancy and post-pregnancy.  

Carnivore Diet Increases the Iron in Your Body

During pregnancy, around 50% of blood circulation is increased in your body to support the development and oxygenation of the fetus. Deficiency of iron might lead to anemia and causes fatigue during your pregnancy. It may also lead to premature birth and pregnancy complications.

Carnivore’s diet is rich in iron content; you can boost it more by adding extra organ meat such as livers to your diet. 

Carnivore Diet Keeps You Healthy

A strict carnivore diet helps you to stay healthy by helping you cut down all the sugars, processed meat, foods, and refined carbs.

A wide range of foods in a carnivore diet has most of the required vitamins and minerals for you and your baby to stay healthy.  With a carnivore diet, you can maintain a healthy weight, and you will not be obese. Excess weight gain is a common problem during pregnancy, and obesity can cause significant health problems. 

Final words

Pregnancy conditions and problems vary from person to person. Some of the experts suggest that a low-carb diet might lead to neural issues in the baby. It’s better to take advice from your doctor. 

Also, it is crucial to cook correctly, avoid grills or processed meats. Meat, fish, and poultry should be cooked well to get the right nutritious food. Consuming uncooked meat might cause severe health problems for you and the baby.

Pregnancy is the most sensitive phase of your life and following a restricted diet might not work for everyone. Listen to your body needs, eat healthy food, and follow an active lifestyle. If you are following any restrictive diet, make sure you get all the needed nutrients to keep yourself and the baby healthy. 

Dr. Rashmi Byakodi is a health and wellness writer who aims to spread awareness about health through her words. With her medical background and a passion for writing, she has been creating health content on various platforms. Dr. Rashmi believes that with the right knowledge and a healthy lifestyle, we can combat many health issues, and she strives to spread the same through her blog posts. 

Find her on LinkedIn, Quora, and Pinterest.

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