Diet And Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
Healthy eating can help mums-to-be feel good and also gives essential nutrients to the baby in the womb for growth. As per nutritionist in India, an appropriate blend of all the five food groups makes a balanced diet:
- Vegetables and legumes
- Bread and cereals
- Milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Meat, poultry, fish, and alternatives
Pregnancy Diet Tips
As per the dietitians in India:
- For the growth of the baby foods containing protein plays a significant role. Eggs, meat, chicken, fish, milk, nuts, cheeses, beans, and legumes are all rich sources of protein.
- 6-8 glasses of water every day can help a lot during pregnancy as fluoride is present in most town water, which aids in developing durable enamel to the growing baby’s teeth. A pregnant woman must stop the use of some water supplies, such as tank water, which does not have fluoride.
- A pregnant woman might feel more hungry than usual, but this does not mean to ‘eat for two’ even if the woman is expecting twins or triplets.
- Avoid snacking foods that are high in fat and sugar. It is advisable to have a healthy breakfast every day.
- Rather than cutting out all the favorites, eating healthily habitually means just varying the quantities of different foods one eats so that the diet is varied and balanced.
- Women need to be careful with their diet if they develop gestational diabetes.
Healthy Eating Tips
As per doctors recommendations, the following are healthy eating tips during pregnancy:
- Vegetables and Fruits : Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits will provide vitamins, fiber, and minerals, which prevents constipation and aids digestion. Eating a variety of either fresh, canned, frozen, juiced, or dried vegetables and fruit a day helps a lot. One must wash fruit or vegetables carefully before eating to avoid infections or other risks. One can eat vegetables raw, but after washing them well to get the benefit of the nutrients, they contain or can cook vegetables lightly in a small amount of water.
- Starchy foods (carbohydrates) : One of the essential sources of fiber and vitamins are starchy foods. Starchy foods are also satisfying without containing too many calories. Starchy food includes breakfast cereals, bread, rice, potatoes, maize, oats, millet, yams, sweet potatoes, and cornmeal. Every meal must contain these foods as the central part.
- Proteins : Fish (avoid fish that is high in mercury), meat (except liver), eggs, poultry, beans, nuts, legumes/beans are excellent sources of protein. A pregnant woman must eat some protein every day. One must choose lean meat, and cook it using only a little fat. It is advisable to ascertain that eggs, poultry, etc are cooked all the way through. One must ensure there should be no pink meat.
- Dairy foods : Dairy foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are vital because they contain calcium and other nutrients, which is very necessary for the growth of the baby. One must prefer the reduced-fat varieties wherever likely.
- Avoid alcohol : Alcohol can cause huge harm to the unborn baby a lot. Whether a woman is planning a pregnancy, already pregnant, or breastfeeding, there is no safe level of alcohol. Hence it is recommended to quit drinking as it is the safest option.
- Limit foods that are high in sugar, fat, and salt
- Foods like salad dressings, chocolate, crisps, pastries, high sugar sweets, oils, cake, ice-cream, fizzy drinks, puddings, etc. are likely to spread fats. A woman must eat only a small amount of these foods. Weight gain, obesity, and tooth decay are the result of these foods as it contains sugar, and sugar contains high calories without offering any other nutrients. The risk of an increase in the amount of cholesterol in the blood is very high because of saturated fat, which leads to the chance of developing heart disease. A pregnant woman must try to cut down on saturated fat.
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