Eating Healthy while Pregnant
Don't eat for two!
1. Aim to eat vegetables, fruit, and beans/lentils as 50% of your diet.
Go for COLOR!
A balanced meal should contain approximately 25-30 g protein and 10 g fiber.
2. Eat your calories don’t drink them.
Almost all beverages are high glycemic, special coffee drinks with added sweetener, fruit juice, sodas, alcohol. Drink water, herb teas, seltzer water, or water with a splash of juice.
3. Eat whole foods.
Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, not processed or refined. Eat food that does not come in a wrapper, package, box or can. Don’t overcook your foods either.
4. Eliminate refined sugars.
Read labels to see if sugar or a sugar type substance is in the first five ingredients.
Remember that ingredients are listed in the order of the quantity. Words to look for: sugar, corn syrup or sweetener, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, glucose, lactose, malt syrup, rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, dehydrated cane juice.
Eliminate artificial sweeteners too. These include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, neotame, dihydrochalcones, and acesulfame potassium. Although touted by many diet plans, these chemicals can disrupt insulin levels, hunger signals, reduce lean muscle mass, and affect growth hormone levels.
Aspartame is used in over 5,000 products nationwide!
If you need the sweet taste in addition to whole fruit and dried fruit, try stevia, honey or maple syrup.
5. Choose good quality grain products (breads, crackers etc)
Carbohydrate-rich foods are not bad, they are essential for life! Diets such as Atkins have popularized low carbohydrate diets. These diets do promote faster weight loss, by helping the body to use fat as fuel. However the same applies to low GI eating which is much healthier for you.
Minimize candy, cookies, pastries, white breads, instant oatmeal, rolls, breakfast cereals with added sugar, chips, pretzels, and white rice. Any flour product that comes in a package, box or wrapper is suspicious.
Get breads and grain products that have at least 4-5 grams of fiber per serving. Choose refined grain products with more fiber than sugar. Sprouted grain breads and sourdough breads are lower glycemic then regular bread. Some good brands are Food for Life, Arnold flax and fiber, and Udi’s Millet Chia gluten-free bread. Also, eat plenty of whole grains, like brown rice, millet, quinoa and amaranth.
6. Don’t completely eliminate bananas and other moderate glycemic fruits and veggies, eat them with a balanced meal
7. What to do about SUGAR CRAVINGS?
Don’t eliminate grains and starches. Eat healthy starches like potatoes, brown rice, whole grain breads.
Don’t overdo the salt that can increase sugar cravings
Eat fermented foods, they really help stop sugar cravings
Drink water. Sometimes we mistake thirst with a craving for sugar
Eat a balanced meal (see plate above). Imbalanced eating leads to nutrient deficiencies and sugar cravings.
Do fun things! Feed your soul with sweetness!