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Cravings ’ Category
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Put down those Doritos and read this! The foods you’re eating during pregnancy and while breast feeding are shaping the way that your unborn child will eat for years to come, according to a new study. That’s right—bad eating habits form in utero.
Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research organization in Philadelphia, found that babies’ taste buds are directly linked to what their moms ate while pregnant with them. So if you’re eating a diverse and varied diet, your child will eventually be a less picky eater, who is open to trying new things. Your good habits are being passed down to them, and that will show in how they eat as toddlers and later on as adults.
But your bad habits are being passed down as well. A study conducted at the University of Adelaide in South Australia found that if you are eating sugary or fatty foods, your child will actually have cravings for those foods and form an emotional attachment to them. Moms who ate Froot Loops, Cheetos and Nutella during pregnancy had children that built up a tolerance for those foods, so that they needed more of them to get the same gratification from eating them. That is how researchers believe the US’ obesity epidemic all started (70 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese).
According to the New York Times, “researchers believe that the taste preferences that develop at crucial periods during infancy have lasting effects for life. In fact, changing food preferences beyond toddlerhood appears to be extremely difficult.” So when you tell people you’re “eating for two,” you really are—not the amount of calories for two people, but you are choosing what your baby will be eating for the rest of his or her life. Just think about that the next time you have a craving! Of course it’s fine to indulge every now and again (here are some ideas for doing that the smart way), but know that your eating habits do have long-term effects on your little one, so choose your meals wisely!
Test your Pregnancy Nutrition IQ here.
TELL US: What foods have you cut out while you’re pregnant? What are your healthy indulgences?
Image of pregnant woman eating a salad courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Childhood Obesity, Diet, Fit Pregnancy, Food, Healthy Eating, Healthy Pregnancy, Junk Food, Obesity, pregnancy, Pregnancy Diet, pregnant | Categories:
Cravings, Healthy Pregnancy
Friday, October 11th, 2013
When you’re pregnant, your OB tells you all of the things that you can’t eat—and soft, unpasteurized cheeses are right at the top of the list. As my doctor was running down the list of noshing no-nos, I wondered, How bad could cheese really be for you? But being the goody-goody, by-the-books type I would never break the rules if it could possibly harm my little peanut. So I said buh-bye to my beloved Brie, Feta and Queso Fresco.
Now after reading this horrifying piece in The Daily Mail, I’m so glad I didn’t take the risk. Twenty-five-year-old mom-to-be Vanessa White from Las Vegas is thought to have contracted tuberculosis after eating unpasteurized cheese from abroad, which caused her to go into premature labor. And now for the really sad news: She and both of her daughters ended up dying. Because. Of. Cheese!
How could someone die from dairy? It sounds impossible, mind-blowing even. Well, it truly is dangerous. Unpasteurized soft cheeses may contain dangerous bacteria including the one that can cause fatal tuberculosis, and another one called Listeria, which can cross over into the placenta and lead to infections or blood poisoning in the baby, or even miscarriage.
If you don’t know much about listeria, get educated now! According to the FDA, symptoms of Listeriosis can take days or even weeks to appear and may include fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, and loss of balance. Often the pregnant women who are infected don’t even feel sick, so they are passing the infection on to their unborn babies without even knowing it.
While Listeriosis is still pretty rare in the US (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 1600 illnesses and 260 deaths occur annually in the US due to Listeriosis), the sad fact is that it really does happen, and it wouldn’t seem all that “rare” or “unlikely” if it happened to you or one of your loved ones. Plus? Research has shown that pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get Listeriosis than other healthy adults, and an estimated 14 percent of Listeria cases occur in pregnant women.
No matter how fantastic a creamy cheese is (and, boy, do I love ‘em!), it’s obviously not worth risking yours or your baby’s life over. But after the baby’s born, you can let loose and fill those cravings with a much-deserved girls’ wine and cheese night!
TELL US: What is the hardest food or drink for you to give up while pregnant?
Image of cheese plate courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Monday, October 7th, 2013
When you’re pregnant, a big chunk of your time is consumed with thoughts of food. Pregnancy food cravings are intense (sweet, salty, spicy, sour—and sometimes you want all four of them at once!). Then there’s the list of things you should and shouldn’t eat when you’re expecting that can really start to freak you out—especially if you’re a first-time mama who wants to make sure she’s doing everything right. But it’s hard to know exactly what to do when there are always new studies coming out that debunk everything you’ve read in the past (the latest is that eating fish while pregnant probably isn’t a huge mercury risk after all).
Well now a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition says that eating garlic in the early stages of pregnancy reduces the risk of premature birth by 30 percent, and eating raisins and other dried fruits towards the end of pregnancy also contributes to women having full-term births. The researchers at Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska University Hospital studied 20,000 pregnant women’s diets to come to these conclusions about foods that help prevent premature births.
But you have to take these findings with a grain of salt because the researchers say that more studies on the subject are necessary before they encourage all pregnant women to change their dietary habits since at this point they’re not sure why garlic and dried fruits would have any effect on a woman’s gestational length. So no need to buy the possible super foods in bulk just yet, but if you already like eating garlic and dried fruit there’s certainly no harm in beefing up your intake, don’t you think?
TELL US: In light of these findings, will you add garlic and dried fruits to your pregnancy diet?
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Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
It’s midnight, and all you can think about is some sweet or salty treat you must have right that second or that hangry monster inside you is going to bust out again. Been there, done that. Yes, that’s called pregnancy cravings—which try as you might, you can’t control.
But while your pregnancy cravings are the little devil on one shoulder, telling you that you can eat anything and everything you want because you’re pregnant, the little angel on your other shoulder is the scale, reminding you to not go too crazy because you want to have a healthy pregnancy. (If you were a normal weight before getting pregnant, you should only be gaining 15-25 pounds throughout your entire pregnancy; if you were underweight it should be more like 28-40 pounds; if you were overweight, 15-25 pounds; and if you are carrying twins, 35-45 pounds. Check out the Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator to see if you’re on track).
So in order to not overdo it, you have to get creative on how to satisfy those extra-strong cravings. That’s why Burger King’s new menu item, “Satisfries” are extra-exciting. “The fries—which are said to have 20 percent less fat than BK’s regular fries, but the same yummy taste—can majorly help with those salty pregnancy cravings. The crinkle-cut “diet” fries have a secret ingredient that allows them to absorb less oil, cutting the calories of a small fry down from 340 calories to 270 (which they say is actually 40 percent less fat and 30 percent less calories than most of its competitors).
If you’re craving something crunchy, like potato chips, check out baked chips rather than fried for fewer calories (but still read the labels, because some baked chips pack in more salt—which can make you bloat, something you really don’t need when you’re pregnant!).
If sweets are your sweet spot, then consider eating what you want, but controlling the portion size. Want cake? Have a cake pop instead. Want a donut? I did! Eat a donut hole (or two!), and get the same delicious satisfaction with way less fat and calories. Craving apple pie? Cut out the crust—where most of the calories hide—and bake apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon for the same sweet fix.
Remember, you’re not actually eating for two (you only need about an extra 200 calories per day in the beginning of your pregnancy, and 400 calories extra towards the end), so as easy as it can be to get carried away, try to keep your cravings in check the best you can. That way you’ll not only have a shorter labor with less complications, a healthier baby, who will live longer, and is less likely to be a food addict, but you’ll also have less baby weight to lose after your little one comes. It’s a win-win!
TELL US: What are your biggest cravings, and how are you satisfying them in a healthy way?
Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Apple Pie, Baked Chips, Burger King, Cake, Cake Pops, French Fries, Junk Food, Potato Chips, pregnancy, Pregnancy Cravings, pregnant, Satisfries, Weight Gain Calculator | Categories:
Friday, July 19th, 2013
Put down that bag of chips and step away from those cookies! Being pregnant means having constant food cravings that we can’t control. Some women need sweets (I sent my husband on plenty of ice cream and donut runs). Others hunger for spicy (I ate Mexican and Indian food all the time!) or tart (I suddenly wanted salt and vinegar potato chips after never eating them before in my life).
But no matter what your craving(s), all pregnant women like to feed into the old saying, “I’m eating for two”. But the truth is, if you’re a healthy weight you are only supposed to have an extra 300 calories a day while pregnant (or the equivalent of a turkey sandwich). While I fully believe hormones are the little devils on our shoulders who make us gorge ourselves on goodies, most of us use the excuse of being pregnant to indulge in every last culinary whim (guilty as charged!). Jennifer Love Hewitt is no different. She recently confessed that being knocked up has amplified her already large sweet tooth. So instead of savoring one delicious cupcake, she chows down on three at a time!
I’m sure that sounds like total bliss to you right about now! Not to steal the cherry off of your sundae, but new research out of the University of Alberta reveals that excessive weight gain during the first half of pregnancy means bigger, fatter, longer babies with more body fat. The simple translation: Ouch! Those babies are going to be a lot harder to get out, and can lead to lengthier labors and more medical interventions, like c-sections.
No one wants the food police knocking down their door, and this is not intended to make you feel guilty about any past or future snacking indiscretions (we’re all human!), but it is food for thought. What would you rather have: a mound of delicious homemade chocolate-chip cookies or a quicker, easier birth with less pain and less complications? For me the answer is a piece of cake (not literally!).
TELL US: Are you trying to curb your cravings? What are your favorite healthy snacks?
Image of woman eating cupcakes courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Cravings, Healthy Pregnancy