1.Bites Count. Chew on this: You’ve got nine month’s worth of meals and snacks (and nibbles and noshes) ahead of you-each one of them an opportunity to feed your baby well before he or she is even born. So open wide, but think first. Try to make your pregnancy bites count by choosing them (at least most of the time) with baby in mind. Remember that each bite during the day is an opportunity to feed that growing baby of yours healthy nutrients.
2.All Calories Are Not Created Equal. Choose your calories with care, selecting quality over quantity when you can. It may seem obvious-and inherently unfair-but those 200 calories in a doughnut are not equal to the 200 calories in a whole-grain raisin-bran muffin. Nor are the 100 calories in a baked potato served in its skin. Your baby will benefit a lot more from 2,000 nutrient – rich calories daily than from 2,000 mostly empty ones. And your baby will show the benefits postpartum as well.
3.Starve Yourself, Starve Your Baby. Just As you wouldn’t consider starving your baby after it’s born, don’t consider starving it when it’s at home in your uterus. A fetus can’t thrive by living off your flash, no matter how much you’re sporting. It needs regular nourishment at regular intervals-and as the sole caterer of your uterine cafe, only you can provide it. Even if you’re not hungry, your baby is. So try not to skip meals. in fact, eating frequently may be the best route to a well-nourished fetus. Research shows that mothers who eat at least five times a day (three meals plus two snacks or six mini meals, for instance) are more likely to carry to term. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially if you have been too busy hugging the toilet to even think about eating. And what if your heart burn has made eating a pain-literally?
4.Efficiency Is Effective. Think it’s impossible to fill each of the daily dozen requirements each and every day (let see, six whole grains means one every four hours….)? Worried that even if you do manage to eat it all, you’ll and up looking like a a pregnant blimp? Think and worry no more. Instead, become an efficiency expert. Get more nutritional bang for your buck by choosing foods that are lightweights when it comes to calories, heavy hitters when it comes to nutrients. Need an example?
Eating a cup of pistachio nuts at 715calories (about 25 percent of your daily allotment) is a considerably less efficient way of netting a 25-gram protein serving than eating a 4-ounce turkey burger, at 250 calories. Another efficiency case in point: eating a cup and a half of ice cream (about 500 calories; more if you’ve chosen the really good stuff) is a fun but far less efficient way of scoring a 300-mg calcium serving than eating a cup of nonfat frozen yogurt (still fun, but only about 300 calories). Because fat has more than twice as many calories per gram as either proteins or carbohydrates, opting often for lower fat foods will step up your nutritional efficiency.
Choose lean meats over fatty ones, fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products over full-fat versions, grilled or broiled foods over fried. Spread butter lightly; use a tablespoon of olive oil for sauteing, not a quarter of a cup. Another trick of the efficient-eating trade: Select foods that are overachievers in more than one Daily Dozen category, thus filling two or more requirements at once.
Efficiency is important, too ,if you’re having trouble gaining enough weight. To start tipping the scale towards a healthier weight gain, choose foods that are dense in nutrients and calories – avocados, nuts, and dried fruits, for instance-that can fill you and your baby out without filling you up too much.
5.Carbohydrates Are A Complex Issue. Some women, concerned about gaining too much weight during pregnancy, mistakenly drop carbohydrates from their diets like so many hot potatoes. There’s no doubt that refined carbs (like white bread, crackers, and pretzels; white rice; refined cereals, cakes and cookies) are nutritional slackers. But unrefined (complex) carbohydrates (whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, dried beans and peace, and, of course, hot potatoes in their skins) supply essential B vitamins, trace minerals, protein, and important fiber. They’re good not only for your baby, but also for you (they will help nausea and constipation in check). And because they are filling and fiber-rich but not fattening, they’ll help keep your weight gain in check, too.
Resent research suggests yet another bonus for complex carbohydrate consumers: Eating plenty of fiber may reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Be careful to move from a low-fiber diet to a high fiber-diet slowly to avoid possible stomach upset (too much fiber too fast can pump you up with too much gas).
6.Sweet Nothings Are Exactly That. There’s no gentle way to put this : Sugar calories, sadly, are empty calories. And though empty calories are fine once in a while – even when you’re pregnant- they tend to add up a lot more quickly then you’d think, leaving less room in your diet for nutritionally substantial calories. In addition, researchers are finding that sugar may not only be void of value, but in excessive amounts may potentially be harmful. Studies have suggested that in addition to contributing to obesity, heavy sugar consumption may be linked to tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. Perhaps sugar’s biggest shortcoming, however, is that large quantities are often found in foods and drink that are, on the whole, nutritional underachievers (candy and soda come to mind).
Refined sugar goes by many names on the supermarket shelves, including corn syrup and dehydrated cane juice. Honey, an unrefined sugar, has a nutritional edge because it contains disease fighting antioxidants. Plus, it is more likely to find its way into more nutritious foods – particularly those whole-grain ones you’d find in the health food sections of your market. Try to limit your intake of all forms of sugar, however, since the calories you save can be spent on foods that pack a much more whole-one punch.
For delicious and nutritious sweetness, substitute fruit, dried fruit, and fruit juice concentrates for sugar when you can. Besides being sweet, they contain vitamins, trace minerals, and valuable phytochemicals (plant chemicals that may help the body defend itself against disease and aging), all absent in sugar.
7.Good Foods Remember Where They Came From. Nature knows a thing or two about nutrition. So it’s not surprising that the most nutrition foods are often the ones that haven’t strayed far from there natural state. Choose fresh vegetables and fruits when they’re in season, or fresh frozen or canned when fresh are unavailable or you don’t have time to prepare them (looks for ones that don’t have added sugar, salt or fat). And speaking of preparation , less is more when it comes to nutrients. Try to eat some raw vegetables and fruit every day, and when you’re cooking, opt for steaming or a light stir-fry, so more vitamins and minerals will be retained.
And there’s more nutritional know-how in nature’s model. Avoid processed foods; not only have they picked up a lot of chemicals, fat, sugar, and salt on the assembly line, but they’re frequently low in nutrition. Choose fresh roasted turkey breast over smoked turkey, macaroni and cheese made with whole-grain macaroni and natural cheese over that bright orange variety, fresh oatmeal made from rolled oats over the lower-fiber and super sugary instant varieties.
8.Healthy Eating Begins At Home. Let’s face it. It isn’t easy to nibble on fresh fruit when your darling husband’s diving head first into a half-gallon of ice cream – right next to you on the sofa. Or to reach for the soy chips when he’s filled the cabinets with those orange cheese balls you can’t resist. So enlist him-and other family members-in making your home a healthy food zone. Make whole wheat your house bread, stock your freezer with frozen yogurt, and ban the unhealthy snacks you can’t help attacking when they’re within reach. And don’t stop after delivery. research associate a good diet not only with a better pregnancy outcome but with a lower risk of many disease, including adult-onset diabetes and cancer. Which means the family that eats well together is more likely to stay healthy together.
9.Bad Habits Can Sabotage A Good Diet. Eating well is only part of the healthy prenatal picture. The best pregnancy dirt in the world can be undermined by alcohol, tobacco, and other unsafe drugs. If you have not done so already, change your other lifestyle habits to match.