When you go grocery shopping, are you buying the right pregnancy foods? It can be very difficult to choose among the hundreds of items you see at the supermarket, and figure out which ones are best for pregnancy. In fact, some foods may seem quite healthy but have hidden ingredients that make them a poor choice for your eating plan.
You can make your grocery shopping simple by focusing on the following five foods for your eating plan. Buy these foods, recommended by a pregnancy nutritionist, and build your meal plans around them and you can’t go wrong.
Filtered water should be your number one go-to beverage throughout your pregnancy. If you have a water filter installed in your house, then you don’t have to worry about buying bottled water. But if you don’t have a filter, then buying bottled water will be your next-best option.
You will need to drink at least half your body weight in water every day, so if you weigh 140 pounds, you’ll need 70 ounces. Add more water if you workout, or if you drink beverages that contain caffeine. Drinking water can help combat common pregnancy ailments like headaches, water retention, dehydration, aches and pains, and constipation, so it’s crucial that it’s at the top of your grocery list.
Protein contains essential amino acids that your baby needs for proper cognitive development. Even if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you need to include a serving of all-natural protein with every meal and snack you consume.
However, not all protein is created equal. You should avoid soy and soy-based protein such as tofu, and you should avoid any meats that contain hormones, antibiotics, and other toxic substances.
If you eat meat, go for grass-fed, all-natural sources of beef and chicken. Raw nuts, nut butters, and whole, organic eggs are also excellent all-natural sources of protein.
If you want to control weight gain during pregnancy, you should eat fat. Sounds counterintuitive, right? But it’s true. Don’t swear off all fats; instead, eliminate trans fats and other hydrogenated fats from your diet.
Focus on healthy fats such as coconut oil, organic butter, and olive oil. These fats give your baby the right nutrients she needs for proper cognitive development, and have the additional benefit of being delicious. These fats also help you feel satiated more quickly and for longer between meals, which will help curb the tendency to overeat and gain weight during pregnancy.
Aside from switching to organic sources of meat and dairy, you should also make the switch to organic produce. Regular produce is laden with pesticides and other harmful residues that are difficult to scrub away. If you cannot afford to eat all-organic produce, you should aim for the “Dirty Dozen,” or the varieties that contain the highest levels of pesticides. These include:
• Bell peppers
Be sure to buy only the organic versions of these fruits and vegetables, and then expand your organic purchases to any other types you can afford.
Sugar and artificial sweeteners should be eliminated from your pregnancy diet. After all, sugar is the number one cause of weight gain during pregnancy, and artificial sweeteners can pose serious—and lasting—health problems for mother and child.
So how can you curb your sweet tooth? By focusing on all-natural sweeteners in limited quantities. You should be able to purchase raw honey and stevia in most supermarkets; you might even be able to get agave syrup and xylitol without going to a health food store. These are your best bets for all-natural sweetness during the next nine months.