What is the best diet for pregnancy?

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Are you looking for the best diet for pregnancy?  There are many options out there for a good healthy eating plan.

Before I answer that question though, let’s think about what we mean when we say diet.  If you are referring to a “diet” that is strictly used for weight loss or transforming your body, you are out of your mind.  Do not try to lose weight during pregnancy.  You and your baby both need as many of the right nutrients as possible.  When you diet for weight loss, you can’t help but leave out all of these nutrients.  Now, if you mean diet as a plan of action towards your nutrition, then I can help out.

There are a lot of substances you will want to avoid during pregnancy.  Here is a list of these things:

  • Keep your caffeine intake low.  Try and limit yourself to only 300 mg of caffeine a day.  1 cup of coffee has about 150 mg of caffeine in it.  Don’t forget that chocolate also has caffeine in it.  1 chocolate bar is equal to about 35 mg of caffeine.
  • If you use artificial sweeteners, stay away from saccharin.  The saccharin is able to cross the placenta membrane and could possibly stay in the fetal tissue.  FDA does approve of artificial sweeteners with aspartame, acesulfame-K, and sucralose.
  • Eat 300 mg or less of cholesterol per day.
  • Avoid anything with high levels of mercury for this could cause a problem with fetal development.  Swordfish, shark, and king mackerel all contain high levels of mercury.
  • Don’t eat anything raw.  This is important with things like fish, sushi, oysters, clams, etc.
  • Avoid the soft cheeses like feta or brie.  These cheeses can cause Listeria infection because they are unpasteurized.
  • And of course, no alcohol or smoking of any kind.  Both of these are linked to problems with baby development.

Low carb diets have become quite popular in the past couple of years.  You may be wondering if low carb diets like Atkins or south beach are ok during pregnancy.  So far there haven’t been any studies on the effects of a low carb diet during pregnancy.  So, the actual effects it would have on a fetus are unknown.  A low carb approach is one only used when you are trying to lose weight.  You should eat a well-balanced diet while you are pregnant.

Vegetarians don’t need to stray from their eating style just because they are pregnant.  You and your baby are capable of getting all the nutrients required with a vegetarian diet.  You may need to adjust your diet slightly to make sure you are receiving the right amount of nutrients though.

The right diet for pregnancy should consist of all the essential vitamins and minerals.  Healthy eating during pregnancy can be the difference between a healthy newborn or problems from birth.  Take care of yourself and your baby by taking the necessary steps in nutrition and fitness.

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