When it comes to pregnancy, most expectant mothers wonder what to eat when pregnant. In fact, many new mothers have heard stories about foods to avoid while pregnant, but have no idea if these are grounded in fact. Is there some truth to these stories?
Or are they just a bunch of old wives’ tales? There are some foods that are better to avoid over the nine months of your pregnancy, and even longer if you plan to breastfeed. In this article, we discuss the top four pregnancy food no-nos … the foods you should definitely eliminate or limit throughout your gestation.
Many pregnant mothers consume foods and beverages that contain caffeine on a fairly regular basis. But the same reasons that you drink caffeine for the buzz, or to feel more awake, are the reasons you should avoid it during pregnancy.
Caffeine passes over the placenta and causes the same reactions in your baby as it does in your body: it raises the heart rate, increases blood pressure, leads to dehydration, and decreases the amount of calcium in the body.
Experts agree that you can safely consume 150mg of caffeine per day throughout your pregnancy, which is the equivalent of one cup of coffee or two cups of black tea. If you have a severe caffeine habit, try stepping back your consumption rather than cutting it cold turkey. The withdrawal effects of ceasing your caffeine intake could cause you to become ill, which is additional stress your body does not need during pregnancy.
Sugar is a socially acceptable pregnancy no-no, unlike tobacco or alcohol consumption, and so many expectant mothers indulge their love of sweets during pregnancy. But sugar can actually cause health problems for both mother and child.
Sugar is the number one cause of weight gain during pregnancy, no matter what the source, and can trigger a host of problems brought on by obesity during pregnancy. In addition, too much sugar can cause your baby to grow too big, which will lead to a difficult delivery.
Due to the rapid absorption of sugar into your blood stream during pregnancy, you can also create larger amounts of insulin. If your pancreas cannot meet this heightened demand, gestational diabetes can develop. It’s best to satisfy your sweet tooth with all natural sweeteners such as raw honey, xylitol, agave syrup, or stevia. These sweeteners do not contain the caloric punch of sugar and are healthier for your baby as well as for you.
Many pregnant women, in an attempt to control weight gain, turn to artificial sweeteners such as sucraose (Splenda), saccharine (Sweet N Low), or aspartame (Equal). However, these artificial sweeteners are made of chemicals that can cause troubling and even dangerous problems in your body as well as in the development of your unborn child.
For example, sucralose can cause shrunken thymus glands, while saccharine can lead to irritability and insomnia, and aspartame can trigger a range of neuropsychiatric problems.
They should be eliminated from your diet both before and during pregnancy. All natural sweeteners such as stevia, agave syrup, raw honey, and xylitol will help satisfy your craving for sweets without posing the same health risks as these artificial sweeteners.
Seafood is a great source of lean protein as well as Omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, it also contains high levels of mercury, which can be potentially damaging to your fetus.
Should you eliminate seafood from your diet altogether during pregnancy? No. Some types of seafood, such as wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, lobster, crab, shrimp, and tilapia are low in mercury. You can enjoy these types of seafood in limited portions, such as two six ounce servings per week.
You should eliminate the types of fish that contain the highest amounts of mercury: shark, tilefish, grouper, marlin, orange roughy, swordfish and king mackerel.