Most pregnant women need to increase the proteins they consume, as well as certain vitamins such as folic acid and minerals such as iron. They also need to eat some extra calories to have more energy. If you think you are not eating well, now is the time to make sure that your diet is more nutritious and balanced. In this article, we give you nine foods to eat when you are pregnant.
It is highly recommended that you limit junk food because it contains many calories, but few of the vitamins and minerals your baby needs. However, eating better does not mean eating more or much more. The belief that during pregnancy you have to eat for two was discarded long ago.
If you have an adequate weight at the beginning of your pregnancy, you will not need extra calories during the first trimester. During the second trimester, your baby only needs you to add 340 calories more per day (and 300 calories are not large amounts of food, for example, one juice, one tortilla, and some rice are already full) and about 450 extra calories per day during the third quarter.
If you are overweight or otherwise, you are very thin, do not rely on the number of calories indicated above. That will depend on the goal you have to control your weight. Talk to your doctor about it.
Nine foods to eat when you are pregnant
- Avoid unsafe food
- Say no to alcohol
- Limit caffeine
- Do not exaggerate with fish
- Find out if you need to take other supplements
- Do not do diets to lose weight during pregnancy
- Eat frequently and lightly
- Eat something sweet once in a while
Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 1: Avoid unsafe food
You will have to avoid certain foods during pregnancy because they could be dangerous. Do not consume the following:
- Raw fish, such as ceviche and raw seafood (including oysters and uncooked sushi).
- Milk that is not pasteurized (and cheeses made with unpasteurized milk).
- Soft cheeses (like brie or camembert).
- The fresh cheese (white cheese, panela, leaf, and asadero).
- The pate.
- Meat or poultry raw or undercooked.
- All these foods may contain bacteria that can affect your baby.
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Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 2: Say no to alcohol
You’ll have to give up the cocktails now that you’re pregnant. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can have serious consequences for the baby’s health, including physical defects, learning problems and emotional problems later on. Therefore, many doctors recommend abstaining from alcohol throughout pregnancy.
There are some very healthy Latin drinks, such as freshwaters (no sugar or low sugar), which you can use as an alternative for alcoholic drinks.
Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 3: Limit caffeine
Caffeine is also something that you have to be prudent about. If you like coffee a lot, try to take just a couple of cups a day. Make sure it is not too loaded or decaffeinated. Try not to exceed 200 milligrams (0.2 grams) of caffeine per day (equals more or less than 1 and a half cups of coffee).
Some studies suggest that women who consume more than that amount are more likely to have a miscarriage or a low birth weight baby, but this is not confirmed.
And remember that caffeine is not only in coffee. It is also in tea, sodas, chocolate and some Latin beverages such as mate and guarana.
You can buy many of these drinks without caffeine. Better yet, you can replace these products with healthy foods such as skim milk, natural fruit juice or water with a few drops of lemon.
Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 4: Do not exaggerate with fish
Virtually all fish contain some amount of methylmercury, a metal that can be very dangerous in large quantities because it can affect the brain development of the fetus and young children.
Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 5: Take your prenatal vitamins
Even if there were no nausea or rejection of certain foods, it would be difficult for a future mother to obtain all the necessary nutrients through a balanced diet. To ensure that both you and your baby receive all the nutrients they need, you should take prenatal supplements of vitamins and minerals.
Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 6: Find out if you need to take other supplements
In addition to your prenatal vitamins with folic acid, your doctor may recommend that you take an additional supplement. Choline is another important nutrient that, according to the results of some studies, can also help prevent neural tube defects.
You will need to take 450 mcg of choline daily during pregnancy. The vast majority of prenatal vitamins do not contain this nutrient so you will have to obtain it through food or ask your doctor if you should take a supplement.
Choline is present in eggs, peanuts, wheat germ, beets (beets), soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and rice, among others.
Later, the doctor may recommend taking iron or calcium to make sure you have enough of these key minerals. Other specialists also recommend that you take vitamin D during pregnancy.
If you are a strict vegetarian (you do not take eggs or milk) or you have diabetes, pregnancy diabetes or anemia, or if you ever had a baby who was born with low weight, you should talk to your doctor about your diet and the additional vitamins that you may need.
Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 7: Do not do diets to lose weight during pregnancy
Dieting to lose weight during pregnancy is not recommended for the development of the baby or for your health. Many of the weight loss diets do not have enough iron, folic acid or other important vitamins and minerals. Remember that weight gain is one of the best indicators of a healthy pregnancy.
Women who eat well and gain an adequate amount of weight are more likely to have healthy babies. That is why, if you are eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and you are gaining weight, you can be calm because everything is going well.
The ways you gain weight is as important, or even more, as the total amount you increase. Doctors recommend that you gain less weight during the first trimester, going up from 1 to 2 kg (between 2 and 5 pounds approximately). Then, in the second and third trimesters, you will increase more or less half kg (1 pound) per week.
If you expect twins or if you start the pregnancy too thin or overweight, talk to your doctor about the ideal weight gain in your case, as it could be different.
Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 8: Eat frequently and lightly
If nausea, the rejection that you feel for certain foods, the acidity or the indigestion is taking away the desire to eat, try to eat five to six light meals, instead of three large ones.
As your pregnancy progresses, your baby will compress your stomach and other organs of the digestive system, and you will have less space for large meals.
If you have hunger attacks outside normal meal times, take advantage and eat. A good way to get the nutrients you need during pregnancy is to eat when you want and at times that work for you.
It’s okay if you eat snacks between meals; just make sure they are as healthy as possible. Remember that it is highly recommended that you limit junk food because it has many calories, but few of the vitamins and minerals your baby needs.
Foods to eat when you are pregnant- 9: Eat something sweet once in a while
Processed foods and desserts with a lot of sugar should not be part of your diet. However, it is not about saying goodbye to all the sweets for being pregnant, you can eat them on special occasions.
Try smart and delicious alternatives, such as a banana smoothie, fruit slush or a combination of dried fruits.
And do not torment yourself that a cookie or a piece of chocolate cake will not hurt your baby from time to time.
We hope these diet tips will be useful to you. We want your comments and suggestions to improve our ideas. Thank you and have a great day!