Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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Rest easy, all you pregnant vegans and vegetarians out there: Medical experts, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dietetic Association (ADA), have given you the green light to continue your current way of eating— as long as it’s well-planned. “You can have a healthy pregnancy on such a diet,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., an ADA spokeswoman who sees pregnant vegetarians in her private practice.
“You just have to do it right.”
As you know, folate, fiber and iron are essential nutrients for you and your growing baby. What you may not know is that you can get all three by eating chives. Or, how about adding figs to your diet to boost your calcium intake?
From traditional meals with family to laid-back gatherings with friends, this time of year is a minefield of social activities centered around food and drink. “Most people hang up their diet hat during the holidays because they feel they can get back on the program later,” says Elisa Zied, M.S., R.D., an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips. But when you’re pregnant, you don’t have the luxury of giving up a healthy eating plan—even for a few weeks.
It may be tempting to trash your healthy eating habits during pregnancy. After all, you’re going to get big no matter what you eat, right? Not so fast. Experts say that making nutrition mistakes during pregnancy not only robs your baby of crucial nutrients, it also sabotages your own short- and long-term health. Make pregnancy an opportunity to improve your health, says registered physician assistant Amy Hendel, author of 2008’s Fat Families, Thin Families.
If you want your baby to develop healthy eating patterns, don’t load up on cheeseburgers and milkshakes while you’re pregnant. Research on rats found that a high-fat prenatal diet produces permanent changes in the offspring’s brain that ultimately lead to overeating and obesity. Study author Sarah F. Leibowitz, Ph.D., says that triglycerides, unhealthy fats that are elevated in the blood after high-fat meals, stimulate brain chemicals that cause us to eat more. In her study, she fed pregnant rats a high-fat diet, then replaced it with a normal diet just before they gave birth.
Almost every other first pregnancy in our circle of friends and family has produced a girl. Somehow, though that wouldn't technically affect our odds, it just seemed more likely that there would finally be a boy on the way. And because we've watched so many people bring girls into the world, as soon as we found out we were pregnant we began studiously visualizing a boy just in case.
Are you gonna eat that? That's a bag of Cheetos and an apple fritter. My God, girl, what are you thinking? That's what you brought to your labor room for nourishing sustenance during one of the biggest physical endurance events of your life? You're joking, right? You're not actually going to wash it back with diet orange soda. Heh heh. That's funny.
pregnancy nutrition basics
Every year, scientists uncover information about the critical role nutrients play in the mental and physical development of the fetus, including their ability to reduce the risk of birth defects and disease in newborns. Prenatal vitamins can help, but they can’t do the job alone, which is why your diet is so important.
Meeting all your nutritional needs during pregnancy can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. These quick snacks help you fulfill your pregnancy requirements for important nutrients such as calcium, folic acid, protein, iron and fiber. A light nibble between meals will help keep your energy, plus help quell nausea.
If you’re like many pregnant women, you vowed to eat healthier the minute you found out you were expecting. You may have even started making a mental list of nutritional do’s and don’ts: Eat more calcium-rich foods, get more protein, cut out the caffeine and junk foods. Healthy eating habits on your part will set the stage for your baby to grow into a strong child and adult and
ultimately reduce his risk for certain diseases. Scientific research continues to show that a prenatal diet rich in
It's late. You're starved. You see the closest pair of Golden Arches and make a beeline. When you’re pregnant and working, it’s tempting to zoom through a drive-through and pick up something fast, but such a meal probably wouldn’t offer the good nutrition you need.
We all have memories of growing up with the four food groups, but since the development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid in 1992, we’re getting used to this improved concept of eating. The whole idea of the pyramid is that its shape guides you to the healthful number of daily servings of foods in each category: more from those foods at the base, fewer as you move up.