The correlation between the keto diet and women’s health is an exciting topic and one that’s only beginning to emerge in the science arena. The keto diet can have immense benefits for metabolic health, weight loss, skin and yes, even hormone balance, but there are some unique considerations when it comes to women.
Personally, I can’t say enough about how the keto diet, and specifically High Fiber Keto, has benefited my overall health by reducing inflammation and helping me to feel more balanced in my day to day life, even with so much on my plate as an entrepreneur, author, and mother of four.
High Fiber Keto is my version of the keto diet that was developed over several years of personal experimentation, working with women like you through my coaching programs, and hundreds of hours interviewing experts about the microbiome, high-fat diets, and specifically how the keto diet can support women. High Fiber Keto is not the average keto diet that simply tells you to avoid higher carb foods. Instead, it focuses on food quality in which you eat an abundance of good fats, high-quality proteins, high fiber plant foods like non-starchy veggies, uses targeted supplements like Pre-Biome, all while moving your body in gentle and effective ways.
I’m excited to announce that this entire system and 22-day meal plan will be available in my new book: High Fiber Keto.
Although High Fiber Keto is where I always recommend women start with their keto journey, it is important to keep in mind that although there are some commonalities among women, every woman is unique. After you have the basics under your belt and have begun to adopt keto-specific daily habits, you can begin to experiment with the diet plans for women that work best for you, your life and your individual health goals.
There is truly no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to keto for women. I know this statement can sound frustrating when you are looking for answers to your women’s health concerns, but I assure you that personalizing your diet is a good thing! It simply means that throughout your life different things will work at different times and the keto diet can be an incredible foundation and tool in your life. It also helps you to view keto not as a diet or crash weight loss plan, but as a lifestyle that you can build to support you over the long-term.
Keto Diet and Women’s Hormones
Using the keto diet for a woman’s hormone balance can be an incredible tool and can help support multiple hormone systems. Let’s discuss a few.
When you think of women’s hormones, sex hormones are at the top of the list. These include estrogen (3 types: estradiol, estriol, and estrone), progesterone and yes, even testosterone. Interestingly, the body manufactures sex hormones from cholesterol, so a high-fat ketogenic diet supports hormone production from this perspective.
In my study of this topic, I’ve discovered that many women who experience the symptoms of sex hormone imbalance, such as PMS, irregular menstrual cycles and low libido, see improvements by adopting a High Fiber Keto lifestyle. This is likely due to the increase of healthy fats in one’s diet, eating more nutrient-dense foods, ditching the sugar and processed foods, reducing systemic inflammation, and having more balanced blood sugar. Likely more than one factor plays a role.
Since all hormone systems are connected, it is impossible to discuss women’s hormones and sex hormones without also mentioning the role of adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones, and insulin that helps to regulate blood sugar.
In some cases, when a woman doesn’t see a hormonal improvement from High Fiber Keto, I suggest digging deeper into these areas. If a woman is under a lot of stress (or recovering from a particularly stressful time) or has underlying hypothyroidism, a keto diet may need to be modified, at least to start. One way to do this is through Keto Cycling, where you cycle in and out whole food carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, rice, lentils, and fruit. This allows the body to benefit from the keto diet, without putting too much stress on a sensitive system.
My favorite way to Keto Cycle is by following my Fat First, Carbs Last rule. This rule requires one to eat a High Fiber Keto breakfast and lunch (or just lunch if you are intermittent fasting that day) and then having a portion of whole carbs with your dinner meal. You might do this daily, a couple of times weekly or even monthly according to your menstrual cycle.
When it comes to the ketogenic diet, it is important to consider your own health needs, especially as a female. Hormones play a significant part in our body’s functions, so using the keto diet to assist in creating balance can become a very helpful tool. Whether you use keto cycling, high fiber keto, or other approaches to keto, I know you’ll find this lifestyle beneficial.