From the minute you find out you are pregnant most moms-to-be have a number of questions relating to pregnancy nutrition. What foods you should be eating and which foods should you be avoiding as the next nine months progress. Some foods are even better completely avoided. Then there is all those old wives’ tales to sort through and figure out truth from fiction. Let’s try to simplify things at least a little for you in this article.
Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
When you are pregnant, you should try to avoid, even better cut out, sugar and artificial sweetener from your diet. Don’t make the mistake of replacing sugar with Sucralose, aspartame or other artificial sweeteners, which are potent chemicals with questionable health concerns. In fact, there affect on the fetus is not yet established and there is a belief they could pose a health risk to your baby.
Sugar is responsible for a number of pregnancy concerns but the most worrisome is the fast release of insulin in your body. This can result in your pancreas falling short of being able to do its job properly, which in turn leads to an increase in blood sugar levels in the body.
Even if you don’t suffer from high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, if you have a high blood sugar, it can lead to birth complications, a very large baby causing labor problems, and excessive weight gain. If you must use sugar or you want to satisfy a sweet tooth look for raw honey, agave syrup, stevia, etc.
Since caffeine stimulates the nervous system, it is important to cut your caffeine intake. It will also leach calcium, which is necessary during pregnancy. When you are depleted of calcium your baby will also be depleted, and so the fetus will draw on your calcium reserves, which in turn will decrease your calcium more. It becomes a vicious circle. Caffeine is also a diuretic and so there is a danger of becoming dehydrated. This is especially true if you are suffering from morning sickness. Drinking too much coffee can actually result in it crossing the placenta and affecting your baby.
Processed foods contain all kinds of preservatives and fillers, which are not healthy and can affect the health of your baby. They are generally also high in sugar and sodium, which should be avoided. Rather than processed why not opt for whole and organic foods, which are safer and healthier food choices.
Bottom line – healthy food choices lead to a healthier mother and baby.