Pregnancy --What to Eat

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July 18, 2012, last updated July 1, 2014

By Alex Elson, Contributing Columnist and Susan Callahan, Health
Editor


If you're pregnant, chances are you have a lot more to think
about than what you're going to eat today. But studies show that
your choice of food may be the most important thing you can do
to improve your baby's health and of course to keep yourself
healthy during these next 9 months. What are the ideal food
choices for a pregnant woman? Are there really "best" foods to
eat during pregnancy?

At any given time, about 4 million women are pregnant in the US.
According to the U.S. Census, anywhere from 4 – 4.5 million
women give birth in the United States every year.  And,  there are
over 83 million mothers living in the U.S. right now, and
approximately 1.7 billion mothers worldwide, according to a UN
study.


Ideal Diet During Pregnancy

We have examined research from around the world to identify
the foods you should eat while you're pregnant. Here is our Top
10 list:



























1) Polyunsaturated Fats – Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room
temperature.  Olive oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil are all examples.  
According to a study conducted by the Obesity Prevention
Program at the Harvard Medical School in 2008, polyunsaturated
fats are a good replacement for saturated fats, especially during
pregnancy.

In contrast, saturated fats are solid at room temperature --think
butter, lard, etc. The study indicates that saturated fats should be
actively avoided during pregnancy, and although the over-
consumption of polyunsaturated fats should be avoided as well,
foods like salmon, herring, walnuts and sunflower seeds are
beneficial when consumed in moderation.



2) Carbohydrates – When eating for two, carbo-loading is a
logical way to make sure that everyone is getting their fair share.
Again, over-eating carbs can certainly have negative
consequences, but according to the same Harvard study
referenced above, adding a little extra pasta to your diet is a
good idea during pregnancy.



3) Fibers – The helpful folk at Harvard also included an analysis
of the impact that fibers have on pregnancy, and, sure enough,
they are good for you too. Stick with oats, beans and berries and
you will have not only a tasty, but also a healthy pregnancy.

Fiber is the best natural remedy for constipation. About 1 in 4
pregnant women suffers from constipation, according to a 2007
study led by Dr. C.S. Bradley of the University of Iowa Carver
College of Medicine.



4) Fruits and Veggies – One of the most compelling and most
commonly-referenced phenomenon with regards to diet during
pregnancy is the study of wartime births in Holland during WWII.
During a wartime famine, women were not eating a proper diet
during their pregnancy, and as a result the society experienced
an increase in birth defects and fatalities. A study conducted by
the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2008
cross-referenced this data and found that fruits and vegetables,
which have a high count of micronutrients, are highly beneficial
during pregnancy.



5) Meat and Dairy – The researchers in the study referenced
above came to the conclusion that micronutrients, in any form,
are beneficial to pregnant women. With that in mind, meat and
dairy, which both contain high counts of micronutrients, are
logically beneficial for mothers-to-be. It should be noted, that like
carbs and polyunsaturated fats, meat and dairy should be
consumed in moderation.



6) Liver – According to a study conducted by the Kashan
University of Medical Sciences in 2012, low levels of hemoglobin
were connected to low birth weight in newborn children. In
order to keep that baby hearty and healthy, pregnant women
might want to eat hemoglobin-heavy liver.



7) Protein – According to study conducted in 2012 by the Institut
de la Recherche Agronomique in France, protein levels should be
closely monitored during pregnancy. Using piglets as the sample
populations, researchers found that both high-levels and low-
levels of protein resulted in birth retardations. When the mothers
were fed a steady 12% protein diet, newborn piglets were more
likely to be born in good health.



8) Folic Acid – According to a study funded by the German
government in 2012, folic acid supplements should be taken by
expectant mothers both prior to and during the first trimester of
pregnancy. If supplements aren’t your style, try high-folic acid
foods such as spinach and asparagus.



9) Iodine-rich Foods – The same German study referenced above
was, unsurprisingly, rather efficient. Not only did the researchers
determine that folic acids are a plus during pregnancy, but iodine
supplements or iodine-rich foods are beneficial as well. Foods
with high iodine counts include: cranberries, potatoes and
Himalayan crystal salt.



10) Oily Sea Fish – Although the name may be slightly off-
putting, ‘oily sea fish’ were proving to be beneficial by the
German researchers, who must have been very busy in June of
2012. Their inclusive studied also concluded that the likes of
Atlantic blue fin tuna are a good choice for pregnant women due
to their high counts of omega-3 fatty acid and Vitamin A and D.



Pregnant women have a variety of options when it comes to
compiling an exciting and satisfying diet and simultaneously
giving their unborn child the best chance at a healthy start. My
personal favorite: A salmon entrée braised in a light cranberry
sauce and fried in a pan with liver from the local butcher; a tall
glass of milk; a side of asparagus; a few supplements on the side,
and,  
voila, you’ve got yourself a pregnant woman’s all-inclusive
dinner. Enjoy.




Related:  
Normal Blood Sugar During Pregnancy /High Blood
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Is it Serious?
Ideal Diet to Prevent Preeclampsia / Blood Pressure -What It
Means /Blood Pressure Chart / Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics /
Ideal Breakfast for Hypoglycemia /Foods That Shrink Your
Waist/ Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure
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