How a High Fat, High Sugar Diet Could Affect You and Your Baby

Consuming excess fat and sugar during your pregnancy could have some negative effects on both you and your baby—here's what you need to know.

High Fat Diet in Pregnancy HTeam/Shutterstock
We hate to break it to you, but your ice cream habit may be affecting your pregnancy in some negative ways: A new study finds that a high fat, high sugar diet during pregnancy can put both you and your baby at risk of some serious complications down the line.

Researchers observed these results in pregnant mice—with some fed high fat, high sugar diets, and others fed a more balanced diet. The excess fat and sugar can lead to poor metabolic control and increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease later in life—it may even reprogram your body to accumulate more fat, according to their findings, which were published in The Journal of Physiology. Interestingly enough, they also believe that this sort of diet can impact your baby’s metabolic function later in life, even if he or she is born at a normal size.

But while researchers found a straightforward answer to why loading up on sugars and fats could affect a mother's health in these serious ways, the effect on their children was a bit harder to understand. They theorize that diets high in fat and sugar could mess with the flow of nutrients from mother to child during pregnancy.

The takeaway: you just need to maintain balance before, during and after pregnancy. There’s no way way we’re going to tell you to avoid your beloved ice cream at all costs— pregnancy is hard enough, you deserve a treat once in a while—but we will tell you to indulge in Chunky Monkey in moderation. It just might keep both you and your children in the best health possible.