FOOD DURING PREGNANCY

Food education is essential in the creation of good eating habits. Alejandra Bastarós, a graduate in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Zaragoza and food specialist at the Cook & Chef Institute, looks into healthy eating for us

Photograph of FOOD DURING PREGNANCY

 

Food during pregnancy must be sane, varied and balanced because it affects very significantly the development of the baby who is still growing.

 

What foods are suitable for the correct development of our future baby?

Are there any foods that should be avoided during pregnancy?

The needs of the fetus and the mother vary depending on the trimester of pregnancy. Before conception and during the first trimester mom must have sufficient reserves of folic acid to prevent defects in the development of the embryo, such as spina bifida and cleft lip as well as possible problems on the brain. Very often the doctor may recommend a vitamin supplement as B9 (folic acid). We can find this vitamin naturally in foods such as flour, rice, pasta, bread and cereals and folate, that is the natural form of folic acid found in some foods such as vegetables or oranges.

Moreover, potential disorders such as nausea and vomiting, can lead the pregnant to have less appetite or to not tolerate certain foods. Meanwhile, in the second and third trimesters, the diet of the pregnant may vary depending on the results of the analysis. So, if we suffer iron deficiency or we have detected gestational diabetes we must adapt the feeding to the new circunstances.

A great myth of pregnancy is that you have to eat for two. Nothing is further from reality.

In general, a pregnant should follow a normal, healthy diet, with a predominance of vegetables, fruit, cereals, meat and fish, avoiding saturated fats. Pregnancy is a natural physiological state, not a disease. It is very important to avoid certain foods and drinksIt, is very important to avoid certain foods and beverages:

Of course, alcohol. It has been proven that drinking alcohol while being pregnant can harm the baby as he’s developing in the uterus. Alcohol consumed during pregnancy can also lead to long-term health problems and birth defects.

Beware of fish. It contains lots of vitamin A and taken in excess, it can damage the embryonic development. Also watch out for processed meats high in saturated fat and for meats and raw or undercooked fishes. They can cause toxoplasmosis. Finally, it is much better to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day than 2 or 3 very abundant.

 

Alejandra Bastarós

BSc. Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Zaragoza

http://dietista-zaragoza.es