Dietary Information When You are Expecting

Every woman passes the important phase of her life when she becomes an expecting mother. Women have a wider role in the process of reproduction and as such during those tough 9 months it becomes necessary that she is being given the utmost care. Because the health of the future offspring depends upon the health of the mother do not neglect your nutrition.

A balanced diet is the main rule for healthy eating when you are expecting that means your diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and hydrating fluids. There are some food habits that could be harmful for your child and those you should avoid.

1. If you love junk food it will give you extra calories without any of the nutritional benefits of healthy food and therefore avoid junk food. Have an apple instead of doughnut.

2. You should totally avoid alcohol and caffeine because these hinder the absorption of two important nutrients (folic acid and iron) that are important during pregnancy and could affect the fetus with long term developmental effects.

3. A healthy diet should have around 20 percent of fat during pregnancy. Fruits have 3 to 14 percent of fat, grains have 3 to 10 percent of fats, and veggies have 1 to 10 percent of fats.   So don”t think you need to consume fat filled food to make sure you get your 20% in.

4. Many of the foods that we eat are full of preservatives, colorings, flavor enhancers and also hormones and antibiotics. These may help in making the taste of the food better but also produce chemical residues and additives most are safe but watch for a few that need to be eliminated from your diet. Such additives include Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that could lead to headaches and stomach upsets. Food colorings that are unsafe are blue 1, blue 2, green 3, red 3 and yellow 6. Also avoid Olestra or Olean, and Saccharin.

5. During pregnancy you are safest sticking with pasteurized foods.   Foods to watch out for which are not always pasteurized include ciders, fresh pressed juices, bottled smoothies, yogurt drinks, raw milk and cheeses.

6. Sea food such as fish is very healthy but you should avoid fishes such as shellfish like oysters that may contain bacteria. Swordfish, shark, tilefish may contain high levels of methyl mercury and could harm the developing fetus. Self caught fishes should be checked if they contain any contaminants and tropical fishes like grouper, and amberjack may contain some harmful toxins. Seared fishes like sushi and sashimi are out of question here.

7. Before taking fruits and vegetables you should wash them thoroughly and simply avoid sprouts that may contain bacteria called E. coli.

8. There is risk in the intake of raw meat and eggs as they may carry illness as such avoid shrimp cocktails, frankfurters, luncheon meats and smoked fish meat during pregnancy.

9. You may think that herbal teas are harmless but even though you need to avoid raspberry tea, co hash, ginseng and green tea that could stimulate contractions; you can take fruit, ginger or mint teas.

10. Never think of dieting during pregnancy but to nourish a healthy, growing baby is your responsibility so forget about high carbohydrates, low fat diet or liquid diets and supplements. You should have three balanced meals during a day. Vegetarian food is safe if you take supplements such as vitamin B12, iron, zinc, folic acid, magnesium, calcium and vitamin D.

11. Avoid poorly packaged or stored foods that could be spoiled or unsafely packed.   You should keep your food safe and thus always go for eating hot food hot and cold food cold. Don”t take foods where the packing has an expiration date and you have crossed the time limits.   You can use your nose to check if the food smells spoiled and if doubt, chuck it. Never take out frozen foods to thaw on the counter all afternoon but you can put them in the refrigerator in the morning and defrost in the microwave just before cooking. Keep your cooking surfaces clean and use smooth surfaces to cut meat.


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