What key things should I keep in mind when planning a pregnancy eating plan pregnancy?
Don't become obsessive over what you eat while you are pregnant. Instead, just try to employ the following simple rules.
Eat little and often This will keep your blood sugar levels balanced. As your pregnancy progresses, your stomach will find it easier if presented with small meals to digest.
Mix protein and carbohydrate This helps to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
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Cut down on fatty foods This is especially important if you suffer from nausea and vomiting.
Avoid hydrogenated fats These are found in margarine and processed food and avoid saturated fats (found in butter and fatty cuts of meat).
Avoid simple carbs (102) If you crave something sweet, eat organic 85 per cent cocoa chocolate and snacks containing slow-releasing carbs, such as oat biscuits, dried apricots, and figs.
Eat a wide variety of (ideally, seasonal) fruit and vegetables These will provide you with many different vitamins and minerals, which will give you essential nutrients and sufficient fibre (the bowel often becomes sluggish during pregnancy). Fruit and vegetables are also a great source of antioxidants, which are important in pregnancy as they protect the fetus from exposure to free radicals in the mother's bloodstream. Follow the government recommendation and eat five portions a day.
Steam, bake, sweat or stir-fry foods This will preserve their nutritional value as much as possible.
Eat lean protein This is easily digestible: chicken, fish, and pulses are good sources, as is semi-skimmed milk and cottage cheese.
Eat oily fish Oily fish, such as wild salmon and trout, are rich in omega-3 EFAs, which are important for fetal brain development. Eat them twice a week.
Reduce your salt intake to a minimum to avoid fluid retention.
Avoid food additives whenever possible.