Posts Tagged ‘ pregnancy nutrition ’

Should Pregnant Women Avoid Eating Tuna?

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Should Pregnant Women Eat TunaConsumer Reports published a special report today saying that women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid eating all forms of tuna due a high potential for mercury exposure.

These remarks come after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a combined statement in June suggesting that pregnant women eat between 8 and 12 ounces (that’s 2 to 3 servings) of fish per week.

This was the first time either organization had ever recommended a minimum amount of fish that should be consumed, LA Weekly reported, though they have made maximum consumption directives in the past. Their guidelines cited important nutritional benefits that can come from eating fish such as improving growth and development before birth and during infancy.

While the FDA and EPA recommendations do say that pregnant women should monitor the types of fish they’re eating to limit mercury exposure, Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, told The Washington Post simply, “We encourage pregnant women to avoid all tuna.” Mercury exposure before birth can result in neurological disorders and impair development of a baby’s brain and nervous system, among other potential risks, the EPA states.

Not surprisingly, the National Fisheries Institute took issue with CR’s conclusions. In a statement, it said: “Though we urged CR to do a thorough, balanced and science-based job, that obviously did not happen. Minimal research would have presented reporters literally hundreds of independent seafood studies from the FDA to the World Health Organization that clearly demonstrate the net benefit gained from eating seafood, like tuna.”

Confused now? If you’re pregnant, ask your healthcare provider about what’s best for you and your baby. And read about these five simple ways to eat healthier during your pregnancy.

How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack

Photo of tuna courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Healthy Pregnancy Diet Linked to Lower Preterm Labor Risk

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Women who eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are fifteen percent less likely to deliver their babies prematurely, according to a new study published by Swedish researchers.

‘Pregnant women have many reasons to choose a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grain products and some types of fish, but this is the first time we can statistically link healthy eating habits to reduced risk of preterm delivery,’ says Linda Englund-Ögge, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Preterm delivery, defined as spontaneous or induced delivery before the end of gestational week 37, can be associated with acute and long-term complications and is a major problem in modern maternity care. Measures to prevent preterm delivery are therefore of high priority.

When asked whether these findings should lead to stricter dietary standards or guidelines for pregnant women, Englund-Ögge said, “No, and it is not harmful to occasionally eat something unhealthy. But our study shows that the dietary recommendations given to pregnant women are important.”

She continued, “Dietary studies can be very complex. Any given food item may contain a wide range of substances and is usually consumed together with other foods. This makes it difficult to find out its exact effects of one single food. We show that there is a statistically established link between a healthy diet and reduced risk of preterm delivery, but our study wasn’t designed to identify any underlying mechanisms.”

Image: Pregnant woman eating, via Shutterstock

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Eating Nuts During Pregnancy May Reduce Babies’ Allergy Risks

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Women who regularly eat tree nuts or peanuts during pregnancy may be less likely to give birth to babies who later develop nut allergies, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found.  More from CNN.com:

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to demonstrate that a mother who eats nuts during pregnancy may help build up a baby’s tolerance to them after birth, its lead author, Dr. Michael Young, told CNN.

The effect seemed to be strongest in women who ate the most peanuts or tree nuts — five or more servings per week, according to the study, which controlled for factors such as family history of nut allergies and other dietary practices.

Peanut and tree nut allergies tend to overlap, according to the researchers.

Earlier studies indicated that nut consumption during pregnancy either didn’t have any effect or actually raised the risk of allergies in children.

However, the authors of the latest study say those studies were based on less reliable data and conflict with more recent research suggesting that early exposure to nuts can reduce the risk of developing allergies to them.

There is currently no formally recognized medical guidance for nut consumption during pregnancy or infancy.

When to Worry: Food Allergies
When to Worry: Food Allergies
When to Worry: Food Allergies

Download our Food Allergy Action Plan.

Image: Pregnant woman eating nuts, via Shutterstock

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