Posts Tagged ‘ Pregnancy Diet ’

Pregnant? Eat More Fish!

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

pregnant woman eating fishAs a first-time preggo, I was pretty careful (or maybe neurotic is a better word) about what I ate. Case in point: Once, while on a babymoon in Bermuda, I actually left the resort restaurant where my hubby and I were about to order dinner to go back up to our room and fetch my handy list of low-mercury fish (yes, I packed that!) just to make sure the seafood dish I was considering was “okay.” (As it turns out, it wasn’t!)

Lots of mamas-to-be probably share my concerns about fish, and are confused about what falls in the safe-or-not-safe categories when it comes to their pregnancy diet. (So many different kinds of tuna!) But new advice issued earlier today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urges pregnant women, as well as those breastfeeding, to actually up their consumption of low-mercury fish. (While not yet finalized, the new recommendations will ultimately replace the current guidelines, issued in 2004.) (more…)

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Is Your Pregnancy Diet Lacking THIS?!

Monday, May 26th, 2014

When it comes to a pregnancy diet, you probably think about eating clean, organic foods, drinking milk, and taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid. You probably don’t think about needing more iodine in your diet, right? Well, it turns out you should!

New research by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that one-third of pregnant women in the United States have an iodine deficiency, and iodine is needed to produce thyroid hormones—which control your metabolism and play an integral part in your baby’s all-important brain development. One theory for the lack of iodine in women’s diets is that processed foods don’t use iodized salts, and Americans as a whole are eating much more processed food than we once did.

And even though in the U.S. pregnant women often take prenatal vitamins, only 15 to 20 percent take ones that contain any iodine (in the form of potassium iodide), and many of those that do contain iodide don’t contain the 150 mg suggested by the National Academy of Sciences. The recommendation for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms is the same—a daily supplement that includes at least 150 mg of iodine and use of iodized table salt for a combined intake of between 290 and 1100 mg of iodide per day.

You can naturally add iodine into your diet by eating things like seafood or low-fat yogurt. And in the U.S. most table salt is fortified (a practice that started in 1924 to help end iodide deficiencies), so it’s an excellent source for iodine with ¼ teaspoon providing about 47 percent of your necessary daily intake.

So it’s relatively easy to add what you need into your diet to give your baby the best chances of being a brainiac—but like everything else, consult your doctor about your individual needs, especially before taking any supplement!

How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: What
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: What
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: What "Eating for Two" Really Means

Image of pregnant woman eating yogurt courtesy of Shutterstock.

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What One Mom Said to Insult ALL Pregnant Women

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Oh no, she didn’t! Yes, she did! Australian blogger Loni Jane Anthony, who made news for going on an extreme diet that consisted almost exclusively of fruit, has opened her big mouth again, and this time she’s managed to insult pregnant women everywhere! After she displayed what many critics considered to be an eating disorder while pregnant, often called pregorexia, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces (thank God!). So, of course, outspoken Loni is now saying she is “living proof you don’t have to become a whale while you’re pregnant.” Exqueeze me!

I think I speak for any woman who has ever been pregnant when I say, “How dare you?” When you’re pregnant you are no longer in control of the shape of your body. Yes, it’s smart to watch what you eat when you’re pregnant, and too much overindulgence in those out-of-control pregnancy cravings can be bad news (leading to bigger, heavier babies, which equals a harder labor for you, and possible obesity in your kid’s future). But enough of the fat shaming! It’s bad enough when it comes from the media. I don’t think women should be doing it to each other!

I also don’t think most women want to hear the criticism from Loni, whose radical fruit diet sounds a little nuts. She admitted to eating mostly bananas (up to 20 a day!), drinking fruit smoothies and occasionally pairing it with a salad for dinner. Mom to new son Rowdy, Loni says, “You don’t have to put on heaps of weight and never bounce back—you can stay really healthy.” She gained about 37 pounds while pregnant, and says she lost 22 pounds within days of giving birth. Loni says her son is the picture of health—”feeding like a machine,” “sleeping,” and “happy.” She also says she’s making plenty of breast milk, so that her diet is completely fine.

While I completely believe you can be a healthy vegetarian or vegan with a bun in the oven, I still wouldn’t advise any other mom-to-be to follow Loni’s lead with her extreme dieting. The Mayo Clinic says the diet of a pregnant woman should consist of nutrients like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, protein, and iron, which can be obtained through the consumption of foods such as spinach, beans, milk, yogurt, salmon, eggs, lentils, and poultry. It is suggested that pregnant women have a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Since Loni’s diet is short in protein—which helps with growth and repair of tissues—and several essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and zinc, it can lead to the baby taking calcium from her bones and leaving Loni susceptible to osteoporosis later in life.

According to the New York Daily News, Loni says, “I’m consuming more good fats because I’m breastfeeding, but other than that, I’m eating the same.” And she plans to raise son Rowdy with the same diet. “I’m thriving on a plant-based diet, so why wouldn’t (my baby)? If I believe that the way I eat is the best way possible, then why would I let him eat any other way?”

TELL US: Do you think Loni’s diet is healthy for her and her son?

What is your ideal pregnancy weight? Click to find out.

Image of Loni Jane Anthony and son Rowdy via Instagram.

Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt

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Is Your Unborn Child Already a Junk Food Junkie?

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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Pregnancy Foods: Top 5 Fertility Boosters and Drainers

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Food is such a hot topic when it comes to pregnancy—what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat, what’s a healthy amount of weight to gain while pregnant…the list is endless! The amount of information out there can be overwhelming! So I spoke to Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietician and author of Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy, to give you a quick and easy rundown of what to eat and what to steer clear of. Here are her recommendations.

The five best foods for fertility and pregnancies:

Eggland’s Best Eggs: “EB eggs contain four times more vitamin D than ordinary eggs and they provide a lean source of protein,” says Ward. “In addition, they contain no trans fats and nearly all the fat in EB eggs is unsaturated. Eggs are also a source of choline. In observational studies, choline has helped reduce the risk for birth defects in the first month of life. During pregnancy a child’s brain is developing at a very rapid pace. It needs the omega-3 fats found in seafood and in Eggland’s Best Eggs, which provide twice the amount of omega-3s in ordinary eggs. Healthy women can have 2 EB eggs a day.”

Canned light tuna and salmon: “They are excellent sources of vitamin D and lean protein. They are also relatively low-risk fish in terms of mercury. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least two fish meals a week.”

Legumes: “Chickpeas, black beans, and other beans are free of trans fat, are low-glycemic carbohdyrate sources and are full of filling fiber. Start with 1/4 cup to your daily diet, and you can eat up to a cup of beans daily.”

Fortified whole grains: “Whole grains have fiber and are low-glycemic carbohydrate sources. Women should eat at least three servings of whole grains daily.”

Full-fat vitamin-D fortified milk: “According to the research, full-fat dairy is associated with fertility. A total of three servings from the dairy group daily is the goal.” Also, according to some research, drinking milk while pregnant can cause your children to be taller!

Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

Five things to steer clear of if you want to get pregnant or are pregnant:

Alcohol: “Alcohol is of course bad for pregnancies, but what all women don’t know is that drinking can also put a damper on fertility.”

Caffeine: “It may also be surprising to know that there is a lot of conflicting research about caffeine. Some studies say it causes miscarriage and small babies and others say no.  I err on the side of caution and go with the March of Dimes suggestion to limit caffeine during pregnancy to 200 milligrams a day or less. When you’re trying to conceive, excess coffee may be crowding out other more nutritious beverages but may not actually be limiting fertility.”

Red meats: Lean red meat is one of the best sources of iron, “but fatty meats should be avoided.”

Trans fats: “Things like French fries, donuts and pastries, and margarine may sabotage fertility.”

Refined carbs: “Excessive amounts of refined carbs (white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc) and added (not naturally occuring) sugar are also problematic.”

According to Ward, “Women should take their preconception diet and lifestyle very seriously.” Weighing too much delays time to conception (being underweight can, too) and starting your pregnancy overweight may mean a bigger baby who goes on to be overweight later in life. “The number one issue for women,” says Ward, “is achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight (based on BMI) on a balanced diet to encourage fertility and to help insure a healthy pregnancy for mom and baby.”

Always try to start pregnancy in the best shape possible. “Manage any underlying health conditions, including body weight, high blood pressure, and anemia before conception occurs,” advises Ward. “There’s no way to figure how much of a change women will see in their fertility based on healthy eating but it is known that they will begin pregnancy in a much healthier state that will reduce complications for them and their child.”

TELL US: Did you make any dietary changes before getting pregnant or during your pregnancy? 

NEXT: Your personal pregnancy calendar (It’s free!)

Image of woman drinking milk courtesy of Shutterstock.

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