What to eat when pregnant
What can you eat when your pregnant?
During pregnancy, there are changes that are occurring in your body that need the right amount of nutrients to support a growing baby. Eating healthy is important during pregnancy to help your baby grow and develop normally and also to keep you fit and well.
The Eatwell Plate
The Eatwell plate is a diagramatical representation of a healthy balanced meal and is not only used for pregnant women but for all people wishing to maintain a healthy diet.
Fruit and Vegetables
The Recommended daily intake is 5 portions of Fruit and vegetables each day. These could be Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced. Always wash fruit and vegetables carefully before eating, to get the most out of the nutrients in your vegetables eat them raw or lightly cooked. Fruit and vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals and Fibre and can prevent constipation in pregnancy.
Sources of protein, Meat, Fish, Eggs and beans.
Protein rich foods such as Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, pulses and nuts and can be eaten in moderation each day. Lean meat and skinless chicken are healthy sources of protein use minimal amount of fat to cook them in.
Make sure all your eggs and meat including chicken, burgers and sausages are well cooked all the way through and that there are no pink or red areas in your cooked meats or any pink/red juices.Wash your hands thoroughly when handling raw meat.
Eating 2 portions of fish per week will give you a good balance of protein in your diet especially if one of them is an oily fish such as tuna, sardines or pilchards. There are some Fish that you need to avoid which is discussed later on in this article.
Foods and Drinks that are high in fat and/or sugar
This includes spreading fats, oils, salad dressings, cream, chocolate, crisps, biscuits, pastries, ice cream, cake, puddings and fizzy drinks. All of these foods should only be eaten in small amounts.
Sugary foods can also provide you with calories without any other nutritional benefit, these can also cause tooth decay. If you eat too much of this food group then this can lead to weight gain and having too much fat can also lead to health problems such as high cholesterol levels and the increased risk of developing heart related illnesses.
Choose foods that are rich in unsaturated fats instead and to cut down on saturated fats.
Milk and Dairy Foods
These includes Milk, Cheeses, yogurts, and fromage frais and are important as they contain calcium and other nutrients that your baby needs. Eating 2 to 3 portions per day using low fat versions of foods such as Semi-Skimmed and skimmed milk, low fat yogurts and cheeses, however there are some cheeses that you need to avoid.
Bread, Rice , Potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods.
These are a great source of carbohydrates and vitamins and fibre in your diet and are lower in calories. These foods may make up the main part of your meal. Choosing wholewheat or wholegrain products like brown pasta or bread can sustain your hunger for longer as they are slower releasing energy sources.
There is no need to go on a special diet in pregnancy but just to eat a variety of different foods that produce the correct amount of nutrients that you and your baby needs. However, there are certain foods to avoid that will be explained in another article.
You still hear to this day that you must 'eat for two' now that your pregnant, however this is not the case anymore even if you are pregnant with twins or multiples, the advice these days is to continue with your normal daily amounts.
Eating a good healthy breakfast every day will help cut down on snacking on foods that are high in fats and sugars.
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