The Louwen diet is a special form of nutrition that is primarily used in the last six weeks of pregnancy. On the one hand, it is based on foods with a low glycemic index in order to avoid blood sugar fluctuations before birth. On the one hand, it's about cutting out certain carbohydrates during pregnancy and even not eating any at all in the last 6 weeks mentioned. But why is it so important to protect the body from strong insulin releases during pregnancy? And does the Louwen diet actually make sense?
What is the Louwen Diet?
The diet was developed by Prof. Dr. med. Frank Louwen developed. The German gynecologist and professor was born in 1962. His research focuses on complications of obesity and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. His results in research and practice gave rise to the concept named after him Louwen diet :
From the 32nd week of pregnancy, all foods with a high Glycemic index completely avoided. Wheat flour, sugar, most bread containing carbohydrates, bananas, pineapple, mango, melon and other sweet fruits, sweets, processed foods, sweet drinks, honey and jam are among the taboos in this diet. It is somewhat unclear how it works Louwen diet it looks like with spelled, oats, unsweetened muesli, etc.
These foods have loud GLYX diet table a high glycemic index, but are mentioned in several sources as recommended foods in the Louwen diet. What you can definitely consume are berries, vegetables, legumes, unsweetened dairy products, seeds, nuts and whole grains. In the last 6 weeks before the birth, all carbohydrates should be completely eliminated.
What is the Louwen diet?
The diet of Dr. Louwen is based on keeping blood sugar levels stable so that there are no major jumps. Fluctuations in blood sugar normally lead to increased insulin release because this hormone signals to the body that the excess sugar in the blood is taken to the liver and muscle cells for storage or conversion. The fact is that during pregnancy, less insulin is often released due to hormonal changes. The blood sugar level rises from a carbohydrate meal, but the insulin level does not rise to the desired extent.
This causes the glucose (sugar) to stay in the bloodstream longer and not be transported away properly. In some cases, this can even lead to gestational diabetes.
From around the 35th week of pregnancy, the unborn baby releases the hormone prostaglandin, which also enters the mother's bloodstream. This messenger substance reduces pain sensitivity, shortens the cervix and also helps the cervix open during birth. In the time before the child is born, the receptors for these prostaglandins are increasingly formed, which is why their release begins so early.
To put it simply, the hormone is a natural pain reliever, produced by your own body, especially during birth. What is exciting in connection with blood sugar is that insulin occupies the same receptors on the cells as the prostaglandins. As a result, the blood sugar-lowering hormone has far fewer receptors available to dock in the weeks before pregnancy, which then causes blood sugar levels to be elevated for a longer period of time.
If a lot of carbohydrates are consumed, the hormones become imbalanced, which can lead to gestational diabetes on the one hand, and to a more painful birth on the other, as the prostaglandins can no longer work optimally to relieve natural pain.
The benefits of the Louwen diet
The Diet by Frank Louwen promises that the low-carbohydrate diet - based on foods with low GLYX values - offers the following benefits during pregnancy and during birth:
- Less sensation of pain during birth because the cell receptors for the pain-relieving prostaglandins are free and are not occupied by insulin.
- More energy and less fatigue by avoiding gestational diabetes and keeping blood sugar stable.
- Less inflammation in the body, as prostaglandins also have an anti-inflammatory effect. This also protects and protects the immune system.
- The maturation of the cervix is supported because the prostaglandins also work here by supporting its maturation and also softening the tissue on the cervix.
Guidelines of the Louwen diet – how to keep insulin levels low:
As already explained in the first section, the Louwen diet is primarily based on the glycemic index. So there are many parallels to the GLYX diet. According to Louwen, if you stick to foods with a low GLYX value, it is assumed that you can avoid high blood sugar levels. However, as you can read in more detail in the last Supz article GI GL Link article, the glycemic load that a food has should also be taken into account. The portion size also plays an important role. The table in the last article explains this topic.
It should also be noted that blood sugar can also be kept constant through exercise and high insulin levels can be avoided with pregnancy-appropriate fitness programs, yoga and longer walks.
Exercise during pregnancy would be another relevant topic in itself, but would go beyond the scope here. Pregnancy yoga and specific exercises during pregnancy should definitely be integrated into everyday life. Especially in the area of fitness, many points must be taken into account so that the abdominal wall is not damaged before the birth - consult a personal trainer specifically for pregnant women or the advice of a doctor for advice.