by Jeremy Michaels
A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time, but especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Healthy eating keeps you feeling good and gives your baby the essential vitamins and nutrients they need.
Overall aim for a balanced diet with the appropriate blend of all 5 food groups:
Have a healthy breakfast everyday. Also aim to drink 8 glasses of water a day. You will probably find that you’re more hungry than usual but you don’t need to “eat for two” as they say – even if you’re expecting twins or triplets.
Fruits and Vegetables. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables because these provide lots of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. These include kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, blueberries, raspberries, apples, oranges, cantaloupe, grapes, peppers, etc.
Complex carbs. Starchy foods are an important source of vitamins and fiber, and are satisfying without containing too much calories. This includes bread, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cereal, rice, pasta, noodles, oats, oatmeal, yams and corn meal. These foods should be the main part of every meal and you should aim for about 8 portions a day.
Protein. Foods containing protein help the baby grow. Meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts and beans are all good sources of protein. Eat some protein everyday and always choose lean meat.
Dairy. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. are important because not only do they contain protein, they contain calcium and other nutrients that your baby needs. Always choose whole fat and aim for 4 portions a day.
Fats, Sugars and Oils. These foods include butter, oils, salad dressings, cream, chocolate, biscuits, pastries, ice cream, cake, puddings and high sugar drinks such as juice and soda. You should eat only a small portion of these foods and only occasionally. These foods contain too much sugar and too much fat without providing enough nutrients and can contribute to weight gain, obesity, tooth decay and disease.
The following are foods you should not eat when you’re pregnant because they have a high probability to make you ill and harm your baby. Also they’re very healthy for health in general:
Any fried foods
Processed meat such as deli meat, pepperoni, hotdog, etc.
Raw or undercooked meat
Liver or any liver products
Shark, marlin, swordfish, sushi
Caffeine: coffee, soda, energy drinks, etc.