In recent years, much has been learned about what constitutes a healthy diet in pregnancy. In addition to the importance of nutrients such as folic acid, there is mounting evidence that a person’s health may be influenced by the mother’s diet in pregnancy, including whether particular nutrients were received at certain times. Current thinking is that good nutrition in pregnancy may reduce a baby’s future risk of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In addition to influencing your baby’s health, good nutrition in pregnancy also optimizes your health, helping you to deal with the demands of pregnancy.
Protein is essential for the growth of the baby and the placenta, as well as for your health. Pregnant women need around 6-6 oz each day. Aim for two to three servings of protein-rich foods a day, a typical serving being 3 oz (85 g) red meat, or 5 oz (150 g) fish. Since most adults get about 3 oz (100 g) of protein daily, there is usually no need to increase your take,specially if you have protein at each meal. If you’re vegetarian, in addition to protein at each meal, you should have a proteincontaining snack. If you’re having twins or more, ask your doctor how much protein to consume and when breastfeeding, 6 oz (185 g) daily. Choose protein sources that contain less saturated fat, such as skinless chicken, lean beef and pork, tofu, lowfat cheese and yogurt, and skim milk. Fish, nuts,and seeds contain healthier.
Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for you and for your baby since they are broken down into glucose, which passes easily across the placenta. Try to get six servings a day, a serving being equivalent to a slice of bread, 2 oz (60 g) of cereal, or five crackers. Carbohydrates are divided into two subgroups: refined and unrefined. In general, white is bad when it comes to carbohydrates, since refined foods such as white rice and white breads
are rapidly broken down and enter the bloodstream in the form of a spike of glucose. It is thought that this spike may have health risks for mother and baby, producing larger babies with a subsequent risk of obesity later in life. Unrefined carbohydrates are less processed, so they break down more slowly in the bloodstream and release glucose steadily.
They are also a good source of fiber, which helps prevent constipation. These are a healthier choice, and at least half, if not all, of your carbohydrates should come from unrefined (whole grain) sources. such as whole-wheat or multigrain bread; brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and cereals.