Healthy Eating | Fit Pregnancy

Healthy Eating

Pregnancy Diet

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.

Top 10 Nutrition Blunders

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.

The High-Fat Legacy

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.

Soy Wonder

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?

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.

The Right Stuff

pregnancy nutrition basics

Best Baby-Builders

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.