Diet plays an important role during pregnancy. Indeed, a healthy diet provides all the nutrients necessary for the proper development of the baby and promotes better health for the pregnant woman, so that the pregnancy generally goes better. Here are some tips on the diet of pregnant women.
Listen to their hunger and satiety cues
Energy and nutrient requirements increase during pregnancy. Pregnant women should therefore eat a little more. The best way to know how much to eat at meals and snacks is to listen to feelings of hunger and fullness.
Take three meals a day and two to threesnacks allows you to meet your nutritional needs, reduce the risk of nausea and prevent low energy.
Vary your diet
The food variety provides a diversity of vitamins and minerals, but also contributes to the development of the food preferences of the future baby, who can already taste certain flavors in the womb.
Adopt the balanced plate
The balanced plate includes foods from the different food groups (vegetables andfruits, protein foods and whole grain foods) at every meal and favors water as a daily drink.
Take a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement
Despite adopting a varied and balanced diet, it is recommended that pregnant women take a prenatal multivitamin that contains folic acid to meet their higher vitamin and mineral needs during pregnancy. (See Designs for Health's Prenatal Pro)
- Avoid certain foods
Certain foods can be harmful to the health of babies and pregnant women and should be avoided during pregnancy to prevent complications (eg miscarriage, premature delivery) and foodborne infections, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. For example, raw eggs, raw or unpasteurized dairy products, soft and semi-soft cheeses, blue cheeses, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, raw fish and seafood or undercooked, raw sprouts (e.g. alfalfa), unpasteurized fruit juices and kombucha are foods to avoid during pregnancy. Tobacco products, alcohol and drugs are also to be avoided.
During pregnancy, it is recommended to limit caffeine consumption to 300 mg per day, the equivalent of two cups of coffee or six cups of tea. Besides tea and coffee, other foods contain caffeine and should be included in the calculation (e.g. caffeinated soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate milk, chocolate, yerba mate). For example, a 45g piece of dark chocolate contains 30mg of caffeine. In addition, some herbal teas (eg chamomile) are not recommended during pregnancy.
Limit certain fish
Many fish and seafood are safe to eat during pregnancy (eg haddock, sole, canned light tuna, shrimp, scallops). In addition, the consumption of fatty fish, such as sardines, mackerel, salmon and trout, promotes the baby's brain development. However, some fish may contain contaminants (eg mercury) and pregnant women should limit their consumption. This is particularly the case for fresh and frozen tuna, shark, swordfish and marlin, of which pregnant women should not consume more than 150 grams per month.
Avoid unnecessary deprivation and dieting
Unnecessary deprivation and diets can be harmful for the baby and the pregnant woman.
Avoid highly processed foods
Highly processed foods are generally high in sugars, salt and fat and low in vitamins and minerals. (See the article:Processed foods and the NOVA classification)
Become aware of your eating habits
A healthy diet is not limited to the food consumed and also concerns eating habits, such as taking the time to eat, savoring food, eating with the family, limiting distractions during meals (e.g. television, tablet, telephone), to plan their meals and to take into account their traditions and food preferences. (See the article:Intuitive eating, what to eat in winter?)
In summary, the diet of pregnant women includes a variety of foods with little or no processing in quantities adapted to the feelings of hunger and satiety of each.