What Diet Plan Should You Follow During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is indeed the most beautiful time of any women’s life. However, it can be overwhelming too. You tend to crave more during your pregnancy. Most women during this time feel like munching on junk or unhealthy snacks like chocolates, ice creams, etc. But you need to know that you got to follow a healthy and balanced diet even during that critical time. And to help you with this, we have the best nutritionists enlightening you about diet and nutritional facts that generally people tend to ignore.
Most women feel their pregnancy allows them to munch on as much as they want. But you must understand that you have to maintain a specific weight. Thus, it is important to have healthy food habits for you and your baby’s betterment.
Diet Plan to Follow During Pregnancy
Consuming a balanced and healthy meal shouldn’t be difficult for an expecting woman. Certain food groups or items mentioned below can be added to your daily platter.
Grains: You can consume around seven ounces of grains a day. You can include bread, miniature corn, flour tortilla, and even ready-to-eat cereal. Apart from that, you can also add rice, pasta, or cooked grain to your plate regularly.
You need to make sure that you fulfill half of your daily cereal requirements from whole grains. They are rich in a considerable amount of fiber, nutrients, and vitamins. You might also opt for brown rice or wheat bread to meet your daily goal of grains.
Fruits: You can add two cups of fruits to your day as your snack. It gets challenging to control your evening snack cravings, especially during that period. Hence, instead of jumping into unhealthy junk, you can switch to a bowl of fruit. Include different colors of fruits as each type or color has its nutrition values.
Also, make sure to have fresh fruits than canned or frozen. Generally, packaged items are stored in sugary liquid to keep them fresh. Thus, go for the products without any added sugars or other preservatives. There is a tremendous amount of fiber in fruits. It prevents constipation and hemorrhoids, which are the two common side effects of pregnancy.
Vegetables: Vegetables are your best friend in all situations. Eating almost three cups of fresh vegetables a day is beneficial both for you and the baby. However, try to avoid frozen or canned products. Fresh veggies are also highly recommended if you want to avoid preservatives and lower your sodium intake. However, when it is about vitamins and fibers, plain frozen or canned vegetables are as nutritious as fresh ones.
Also, different color of vegetables contains different nutritional values. After consulting with your nutritionist, you can choose what is most suitable for you. Examples include broccoli, filled with B vitamins, folate, and calcium. Sweet potatoes, on the contrary, contain fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Meats and Beans: Mostly, women feel sick or nauseous around meat during their trimesters. But if you are exceptional, you can have six ounces of meat a day. It means you can have two servings about the size of a deck of playing cards. Also, remember to choose lean meat and limit fish to twelve ounces per week. An excess amount of these products can expose your baby to harmful levels of mercury.
You can also add beans to that list. Those are known to be a rich source of protein. There are various types of beans that you can opt for. However, make sure to have a recommendation from your expert first.
Dairy: If you are not lactose intolerant, then dairy can easily make its place in your regular meals. Three cups a day is sufficient if you don’t feel bloated or uneasy. You can consume a cup of milk or a small bowl of yogurt after your meals. If you don’t like to consume raw dairy, you can opt for natural and processed cheese. You can also add cottage cheese and prepare a dish out of it.
Dairy products are a fantastic source of protein and calcium. However, if dairy causes you diarrhea-like problems during that time, it’s better to visit your doctor.
Fats and Oils: Fat is equally vital for a pregnant woman as much as fiber and other nutrition. The best sources you can include are avocados, olives, fatty fish, canola oil, safflower oil, and olive oil. It may sound weird that avocadoes are generally fruit. But it is best counted in the oils category as most of its calories come from fat.
Apart from that, you can also have a handful of nuts as your snack. You can add all sorts of nuts to your meal. Beginning from cashews to almonds, hazelnuts, you can mix them all and offer yourself a great treat.
Seeds are also a great source of good fats. You can prepare chia pudding with chia seeds. If you want, you can even put flax seeds in your breakfast cereal bowl to absorb its benefits.
Can Everyone Follow this Pregnancy Meal Plan?
The meal plans mentioned above are generally suitable for most. It primarily contains essential items and nutrition that any expecting women require. However, it can be exceptional in your case. Your nutritional needs can highly differ from any other would-be-mother. Some of the unique circumstances could be:
- If you are significantly obese or overweight, you might go with fewer calories. But ask your healthcare provider first and make sure your baby is getting enough nutrients.
- If you are underweight, you should consume more calories than mentioned above.
- If you are a would-be teen mother, you might need more nutrients.
- If you are expecting twins, you will require special care and additional nutrition.
- If you are prone to pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes, you need to consume more whole foods. You also need to add a consistent amount of carbohydrates to each meal.
You are already aware that you are taking charge of two lives as a ‘soon-to-be mom.’ Hence, whatever you put inside your mouth not only impacts you but your baby as well. Thus, it is necessary to have a detailed discussion with the experts. Our nutritionist helps you to choose the healthiest and best meal plan. We develop diet plans that will make both you and the bud blooming inside you stronger and healthier.