Diet Advice During Pregnancy
Short Articles About Weight and Diet For
Foods to Eat & Calorie Intake When Pregnant
Diet Advice and Dietary Guidelines During Pregnancy
General Diet Advice During Pregnancy
A healthy diet for a pregnant woman should be nutrient-dense. This means choosing foods with a high nutritional content, while reducing or avoiding non-nutritious foods like refined sugars and junk food. In addition, a healthy pregnancy diet may require vitamin or mineral supplements, especially iron, calcium, folate and, for some women, vitamin D. A pregnant womans protein requirements are greater than normal, which usually isnt a problem in the U.S. where the daily diet is typically very protein-rich. Generally, excessive use of sodium should be restricted in order to avoid hypertension, as well as too much weight gain.
Food Pyramid Dietary Guidelines for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy takes about 300 extra calories a day to maintain, and an average-sized woman can expect to gain between 25 and 35 pounds overall. This means increasing your calorie-intake from the main food pyramid food groups, according to your energy (calorie) requirements, as follows:
Table 1. Food Pyramid Food Servings For Pregnant Women
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
ACOG Dietary Guidelines During Pregnancy
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should increase their usual servings of a variety of foods from the four basic food groups to include the following:
- Four or more servings of fruits and vegetables
for vitamins and minerals.
Diet Calories During Pregnancy
As stated, an increase of only 300 calories per day, is recommended during pregnancy. For example, a baked potato has 120 calories, so getting those extra 300 calories should not be that difficult. On the other hand, do not reduce calories below your healthy level. Otherwise you might not get the right amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to properly nourish your unborn baby. Low-calorie intake can cause the mother's stored fat to break down, leading to the production of substances called ketones. Ketones, which can be found in the mother's blood and urine, are a sign of starvation or a starvation-like state. Constant production of ketones can result in a mentally retarded child.
Importance of Balanced Diet Nutrition During Pregnancy
Eating a well-balanced diet while you are pregnant will help to keep you and your baby healthy. Most physicians agree that the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs), except those for iron, can be obtained through a proper diet. However, you may wish to discuss the need for a multi-vitamin with your doctor. The nutritional requirements for pregnant women vary according to individual needs.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office on Women's Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
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