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Pregnancy Diet: What to Eat When You're Pregnant

You’re eating for two but what should you be eating? Use our pregnancy diet guide to ensure optimal health for you and your bundle.

Are There Any Pregnancy “Super Foods” I Can Eat?

Brown recommends loading up on these nutrient-rich miracle foods to support baby’s growth and development.


Fish: Low in fat, high in protein, and nutrient-dense, fish should be a staple of every pregnancy diet. Just steer clear of high mercury fish like tuna, tile fish, and king mackerel. For the gastronomically adventurous, try sardines - they're high in omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and protein. If sardines aren’t your speed, wild salmon is another great option.

Greek Yogurt: Packed with more protein than regular yogurt and loaded with calcium, greek yogurt is as delicious as it is nutritious.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: Most veggies and fruits pack a powerful nutrient punch but dark green leafy vegetables offer an unbeatable source of folate, phytonutrients, fiber, and calcium.

Quinoa: Chockfull of B vitamins, fiber, phytonutrients, and protein, quinoa is a grain super star.


Should I Only Eat Organic?

Most newly pregnant mamas starting thinking twice about what they’re putting into their bodies. And many wonder about the safety of conventional produce. What does the research say? Three recent studies concluded that children that have exposure to high levels of common pesticides in the womb have lower I.Q. scores than their peers by the time they reach school-age. Alexandra Zissu, co-author of The Complete Organic Pregnancy, explains that by eating organic “a mom is minimizing her exposure to harmful and potentially harmful chemical residues in her food.”


But eating organic can be expensive and it isn’t an option for everyone. If going totally organic isn’t possible, try limiting your intake of conventional produce that are on the ‘dirty dozen’ list – these fruits and vegetables have high levels of pesticides. “If you find an all organic diet too expensive,” says Zissu, “I'd say to make sure you at least are eating organic/local/careful for meat, fish, and dairy.” Zissu also recommends green markets as an inexpensive alternative to store-bought organic. “Ask questions and you might discover your local farmer isn't certified organic but isn't spraying harsh pesticides or fertilizers either, and just hasn't gone through with the expense of organic certification.” says Zissu.

What Should I Eat to Control My Gestational Diabetes?

The risks associated with gestational diabetes (GD) are many -- miscarriages, preeclampsia, birth defects, and macrosomia (also known as big baby syndrome) but the majority of women who have GD go on to deliver healthy babies. If you have GD, healthy eating habits are a must. The American Diabetes Association recommends nutritional counseling from a registered dietitian to plan a pregnancy diet that takes into account your glucose intolerance, your food preferences, your weight, and other factors. The key to maintaining yours and your baby’s health is controlling your blood sugar. The National Institutes of Health advises women with GD to work with a health care provider to plan an appropriate diet but offers these tips for keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range:


Eat meals and snacks on a regular schedule. Researchers recommend three small-to-medium sized meals and two-to-four snacks a day.

Eat smaller amounts of carbohydrates at each meal. Spreading out your carb intake will limit post-meal blood sugar spikes and keep you on an even keel.

Have a nightly snack. Nosh on a snack of one-to-two servings of carbs before bedtime to keep blood sugar at a healthy level overnight.

More from The Bump:

Healthy Foods for Busy Moms-to-Be

Your Pregnancy Diet: A Starter's Shopping List

Pregnancy Nutrition and Exercise

-- Kelly Alfieri

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