RESEARCH uncovers the health risks a low carb diet can have on your baby.

According to a recent study published in the journal Birth Defects Research, women with a low carbohydrate intake are 30 percent more likely to have babies with certain birth defects.

In the study, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill looked at data from more than 11,000 mothers who delivered during a 13-year period.

“We found that women with low carbohydrate intake before conception had a higher risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect compared to other women,” lead researcher Tania Desrosiers, PhD, MPH, of UNC’s Gillings School of Public Health tells Parents.com.

“This is significant because it points to a potential opportunity to prevent some birth defects in the future.”

“As a scientific community, we’ve wondered if low-carb diets could lead to meaningful reductions in folic acid intake that could in turn lead to an increase in the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect,” Dr. Desrosiers says. “This study is the first to investigate this question directly.”

“Pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant should have a conversation with their health care provider about their diet and any special eating patterns they might practice, and continue taking a vitamin every day before and during pregnancy that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid,” Dr. Desrosiers says.

Dr. Desrosiers recommends that “all women who are capable of becoming pregnant take a vitamin containing at least 400 mcg of folic acid every day, whether or not they’re trying to get pregnant.”

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  • The only logical reason for a low carb diet would be if you had diabetes but you still have to eat a balanced diet. Sometimes supplements are a must even if you don’t even you aren’t pregnant. Also there is “good” and “bad” carbohydrates so you eat plenty of good carbohydrates and avoid the bad ones.


  • Personally I think low carb is better then low fat or low protein, certainly when pregnant. But in the end carbs, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals are all important in our diet.


  • I couldn’t have given up carbs while pregnant for anything.


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