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Home Keto Diet Keto for Women: How It Can Benefit Women’s Health and Wellness

Keto for Women: How It Can Benefit Women’s Health and Wellness

Keto for Women How It Can Benefit Women's Health and Wellness

The ketogenic diet is popular with good reason. Keto dieters comprise men and women, but does the keto lifestyle affect these populations differently? This article details the role of keto in women’s health for a better understanding of how the diet works.

Keto diets have a strong reputation for promoting weight loss. Additionally, the low-carb, high-fat diet has links to other health perks, such as blood sugar control and decreased risk of heart disease. Subsequently, various reasons can lead an individual to try the keto diet.

Still, you might wonder if the keto lifestyle is for you. It’s not unusual to have questions, and a frequently asked question is about the effects of keto on men and women. As a woman, will the ketogenic diet impact you differently? Is it just as effective as it is for your male counterparts?

Keep reading this article as we explore the benefits and risks specific to keto women.

The 5 Benefits of the Keto Diet for Women

Benefits of the Keto Diet for Women


Are you thinking about trying the keto diet? If so, it can help to know the advantages. Whether you want to lose weight or strengthen your metabolic health, there are some considerable benefits.

Here are five things women can expect from eating keto.

#1 Weight loss

Weight loss is the reason most women try keto. The careful control of macronutrients pushes you into a fat-burning state of ketosis, where the body runs on its stored fat instead of glucose from carbs. The diet naturally reduces daily calorie intake, resulting in noticeable weight loss.

Women have a larger body fat percentage than men, meaning there is more fuel to run off during a keto diet. That means your body will have more fat to convert into energy. Whether you’re just starting your fat loss journey or you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, keto can help.

#2 Blood sugar regulation

Women who wish to improve blood sugar regulation often favor the keto diet because it cuts out high-carb foods. This prevents large fluctuations in blood glucose, helping to return high blood sugar to healthy levels. Studies show it can significantly improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.

Another bonus is that it can have positive effects on lipid profile control, increasing HDL cholesterol and decreasing LDL cholesterol levels. Too much cholesterol in your blood can build up in your blood vessel walls, resulting in cardiovascular disease and stroke.

#3 Improved insulin sensitivity

The keto diet might help women improve their insulin sensitivity. The hormone insulin is responsible for various metabolic processes. It allows the body’s cells to absorb blood sugar for energy use and fat conversion. It also directs the liver to store blood sugar to use later.

By reducing the amount of sugar and insulin in the body on keto, women will likely resolve PCOS, fertility, or insulin issues that may have prevented previous weight loss on other diets. For some people, insulin resistance may improve quickly after beginning the keto diet.

#4 Hormonal balance

Many women face hormonal imbalances, but low-carb diets, like keto, can help to restore and rebalance hormones. Refined carbs and extra sugar can wreak havoc on women’s reproductive hormones. However, keto can help to eliminate these problems and return to healthy levels.

You might find yourself regaining control over your hormones and feeling better overall in the process of keto.

#5 Better cognitive function

It’s not all about fat loss and reducing body weight. Research suggests that a low-carb, high-fat diet can support cognitive impairment prevention and improve cognition. Ketone bodies provide the brain with a steady energy supply via ketogenesis and gluconeogenesis processes.

Keep in mind that you may experience brain fog at first. It’s a common symptom of keto flu and typically results from the sudden withdrawal from carbs. It is, however, a normal and temporary response from your body as it transitions to an alternative way of processing.

So those are the big positives as to why you, as a woman, should start keto. But what about the negative effects? What should you be aware of or watch out for as a woman on keto? Keep reading.

Risks of the Keto Diet for Women

Following any diet with a strict set of rules poses potential health risks. Even with nutrient-rich keto meals, it’s still possible to experience some adverse effects. Understanding these factors is vital to ensure it is the right move for you before embarking on your keto journey.

Below, we detail four risks associated with the keto diet for women.

#1 Hormone imbalance

Hormone imbalance

While keto can create a hormonal balance, it can also cause an imbalance in some women. In these cases, adverse effects like weight gain, period problems, and trouble sleeping may arise.

Hormones fluctuate much more in females than they do in males. Reproduction, stress, and metabolism all play a factor in destabilizing hormone levels. Keto can be a dramatic change for the body and can throw hormones for a loop early on.

In your prime baby-making years, you may experience lower estrogen levels on a keto diet. You’ll want to watch this, as low estrogen levels can lead to a lower sex drive, vaginal dryness, and disruptions in your sleep and mood. This is likely caused by the lack of highly-processed foods in your new, healthy diet.

If you’re in menopause or the time right before it, your estrogen levels may be higher than usual on keto. This can be a good thing since female estrogen levels naturally decline during this period.

Keep an eye on your cortisol levels as they may rise on keto. Cortisol is a stress hormone that goes nuts when it notices there isn’t enough glucose on hand to react to the stress you may be going through.

#2 Periods


The symptoms of your period can make it challenging to stick to your keto diet. It’s not just the food cravings that will weigh you down, either.

Electrolyte imbalances can quickly take your average period headache and turn it into a full-blown keto headache party. Also, the pain and discomfort from bloating combined with difficulty digesting keto foods rich in fiber may knock you off the keto wagon. 

Preparing to accommodate your period ahead of time can help mitigate the misery that comes with periods on keto. You can follow some simple steps to stay on track, like keeping properly hydrated, getting enough rest, and planning keto-friendly snacks to curb cravings.

#3 Risk of carb crash

Risk of carb crash

Practicing the keto dietary pattern means eating fat in high amounts and significantly cutting down on carbohydrates. However, eliminating all carbs right away can be a little riskier for women. Women need to ease into carb restriction to master the ketogenic process. 

Dropping too many carbs and calories too quickly can shoot you into starvation mode, where your body will start to store fat instead of burning it. You’ll need a few net carbs in your diet if you’re very active and exercising often, if you are in a weight-loss stall, or if your body is in the stage of perimenopause or menopause.

#4 Pregnancy and breastfeeding


Keto can indeed help boost fertility and balance reproductive hormones, but the jury is unsure if maintaining a keto diet through pregnancy and breastfeeding is good for you. That’s because the diet is highly restrictive and may result in a deficiency of essential nutrients.

Plus, more research is necessary to conclude its long-term effects on human health.

While carrying and caring for a child, your body needs tons of extra nutrients and calories. We’re just going to go ahead and say that you should not be on a keto diet while pregnant or breastfeeding. It is too risky, and the pros do not outweigh the cons here.

 Always consult with your doctor during this time to ensure the safety of you and your child.

Does Keto Works the Same for Men and Women?

The keto diet offers positives to both adult populations. Both men and women can succeed in losing weight by reducing their carb intake and increasing their fat intake. They can also benefit from better overall health, from stable blood sugar levels to enhanced brain function.

However, men and women have naturally different makeup, and that means the keto diet can deliver some sex-specific results. Body composition is a defining factor. Men typically have more lean body mass than women, while women tend to have more fat mass than men.

A benefit for women following keto is that their extra fat stores can make it easier to become fat-adapted. Fat-adapted refers to your body’s long-term ability to burn fat for fuel. Women can eat fewer calories and operate properly as the body continues to run off excess stores.

In addition, the location of body fat stores usually differs. For example, men are more likely to accumulate stubborn belly fat, whereas women are more prone to fat gain around the hips and thighs. Of course, every individual is unique. Men can still develop thigh fat and vice versa.

There’s also the difference in hormones and reproductive needs to consider. These factors contribute to the effectiveness of keto. A clear outlook can help you create a keto meal plan that suits your individual needs.

You should determine the appropriate number of carbs, healthy fats, and adequate protein intake for your body type. It’s easy to experiment and tweak keto recipes to make the diet safe and effective.


Keto shows promise for women’s health. It can be particularly beneficial for those wanting to lose weight or decrease heart disease risk factors. Just remember, it’s not all fat-burning and high energy. The diet does have its limitations, and women should always err on the side of caution.

Many women have keto success stories, but it won’t suit all women. Some prefer to follow a more balanced diet with fewer restrictions. Ultimately, you need to find a healthy eating pattern that works for you.

Doctors do not recommend keto for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is also unsuitable for women with eating disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and certain health conditions.

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

Keto for Women How It Can Benefit Women's Health and Wellness

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