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Healthy Pregnancy Diet & Nutrition

Expecting a child gives new meaning to eating a well-balanced diet. Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy will help your baby to get a healthy start and is a perfect excuse for healthy lifestyle changes.

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Focus on fruits and veggies

Choose fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. Did you know dark green, orange or red fruits and vegetables usually contain the most vitamins? Spinach and other green leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, pawpaw, mangoes and oranges are all excellent choices to help boost your intake of important vitamins and minerals like folic acid.

  • Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.
  • Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.
  • Have vegetables and fruit more often.

Go for the grains

Eat foods high in fibre such as whole-grain bread and brown rice or whole-grain pasta.  Whole grains along with vegetables, beans and lentils will help you to reach your daily requirement of fibre.

  • Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day.
  • Choose grain products that are low in fat, sugar or salt.

Maximize milk

Milk and other dairy products contribute significantly to your daily requirement for calcium. Milk, yoghurt and cheese are all good sources of calcium. Did you know milk contains approximately 8 grams of protein per cup? When shopping for dairy alternatives (for example- almond milk, soy milk), especially if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, choose those with a comparable amount of protein per cup. Choose lower fat dairy and dairy product alternatives and varieties marked “fortified”.

Pump up the protein

Protein is an important building block of your baby's tissues and organs. It works for you too. Along with your daily needs, protein at every meal helps ward off feelings of fatigue and hunger throughout the day. Get your required daily requirement of protein from prime protein sources which include: fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy products, legumes (dried peas, beans, lentils, etc.), nuts and seeds. Avoid eating raw and under cooked fish and meat when pregnant. Choose lean meat and alternatives prepared with little or no added fat or salt.

Oils and Fats

Oils and fats supply calories and essential fats, and help our bodies to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. A certain amount of fat is essential for our bodies to function and maintain fat stores that control our body temperature. The type of fat you eat is just as important as how much you eat. A diet low in saturated and trans fat can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. Alternatively, did you know that having some unsaturated fat in your diet is a good thing? Unsaturated fats such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats such as those found in fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil may have cardiovascular health benefits. Including a small amount of unsaturated fat as part of a healthy eating pattern will help you ensure you are getting enough essential fats. Replace or reduce saturated fats with unsaturated fats.

Support with Supplements

Eating a balanced and varied diet will provide you with most of the essential vitamins and minerals you need during your pregnancy. But you may have a hard time getting some key nutrients from food alone. That's why your healthcare professional may prescribe multivitamin supplements during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant.

Eating twice as healthy, not eating twice as much

The choices you make now are not just for yourself but also for the baby growing inside of you. You may have heard the saying “now you're eating for two”, it's true, but it doesn't mean you can or should eat twice as much. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more calories.

 

Why healthy eating is so important

Benefits to youBenefits to baby
Helps achieve a healthy weight gainReduces the risk of certain birth defects
Provides needed energyHelps ensure a healthy birth weight
Speeds up recovery after deliveryProvides protein for rapid tissue growth
Helps prevent common pregnancy problems, such as heartburn, constipation and fatigue 

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