What to Eat While Pregnant
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Pregnant women constantly wonder about their food choices during pregnancy. Here’s a quick rundown of the good and the bad, as well as some striking figures to help keep you focused on eating right while pregnant.
Try to eat something fresh or raw every single day—whether that’s fresh fruit, raw vegetables, or both. Also make sure you’re getting some of every food group each day: fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy. Be sure to eat as many of the following pregnancy super-foods as you can:
- Pregnancy-approved fatty fish (Alaskan salmon, Atlantic mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies)
- Leafy Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
- Beans and Lentils
- Lean Meats
Be sure to avoid the following foods as they have been deemed unsafe for pregnant women to consume:
- Lunch meat & hot dogs (these are only safe if they’re cooked to steaming)
- Raw fish and sushi
- Certain types of cooked fish – swordfish, shark, tilefish, king mackerel
- Undercooked eggs
- Undercooked meat – opt for well-done everything
- Unpasteurized anything—juice, cheese, milk, etc.
- Excessive amounts of caffeine (up to 150 mg per day is considered okay)
A 2010 study by the Institute of Medicine found that 48% of women gained more than the recommended amount of weight during their pregnancies, leading to difficulties during delivery, additional risks to baby, and more difficulty losing weight post-pregnancy.
An astounding number of pregnant women do not consume the recommended daily amount of many important nutrients: 97% don’t get enough folate, 79% don’t get enough calcium, and 100% don’t get enough iron.
A proper, well-balanced diet during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of many birth defects, including neural tube defects (such as spina bifida and anencephaly), congenital heart disease, cleft palate, and more.