Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy is crucial for the good development of the fetus as well as for the health of the pregnant woman.
The arrival of a baby is always a joy for all moms, but being pregnant also implies following certain dietary guidelines to take care of the health of both . The saying that is commonly said of “you have to eat for two” is far from reality since it is not about increasing food intake but adapting it to your new state and slightly increasing the size of food rations.
To open your mouth here are some of the foods that you can eat during pregnancy and that should be the basis of your diet, at least during these nine months.
Special features of the diet during pregnancy
The diet that we must carry during the gestation stage must be based on a balanced diet with a series of special characteristics .
– Food must be individualized. Sudden changes in the mother’s diet should not be introduced , nor should foods that are not to her liking be advised.
– Avoid as much as possible the consumption of raw food, meat and derivatives, fish … to avoid risks such as toxoplasmosis .
– It should be varied, balanced and with a distribution of meals: breakfast, lunch, lunch, snack, dinner and post-dinner, known as resopon and which aims to avoid the hypoglycemine bump, induced by fetal demand, between dinner and breakfast.
– Maintain good hydration since you should consume at least 8-9 glasses of water a day .
– In each main meal there must be dishes that provide complex carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and micronutrients .
– It is recommended to consume 5 to 6 servings of cereals per day , 5 to 7 servings of fruit and vegetables, 3 to 4 servings of dairy ; and the proteins must be of good quality, 50% of animal origin and the other 50% of plant origin.
How to properly distribute calories during daily meals?
An adequate distribution of daily calories in meals for a pregnant woman could be as follows:
– 20% at breakfast
– 10% at lunch
– 30-35% at lunch
– 10% at snack
– From 20-25% at dinner
– 5% at post dinner or dinner (optional)
Experts recommend that pregnant women should not go to bed before 2 hours after dinner . With this we will be avoiding an esophageal reflux .
For their part, macronutrients must also follow the pattern of a balanced diet:
– Complex carbohydrates should be consumed between 50-60% of total daily calories and should be taken in legumes , cereals, whole wheat bread , potatoes. ..
– Simple carbohydrates must be less than 10% of daily calories: pastries, cookies, sugar … The less these products are consumed, the better, since they have very poor quality ingredients.
Pregnancy is a stage in which in itself induces the body to constipation, so a good fiber-based diet is very important since it will fight it naturally. Fiber must be consumed both soluble and insoluble and that it always comes from cereals, fruit, legumes and vegetables.
The proteins constitute 10-15% of total daily calories while fat should not exceed 35% . Excessive consumption of food of animal origin should be avoided and the majority culinary fat should be extra virgin olive oil.
Saturated fats are not good for a diet under normal conditions either, so pregnant women should not exceed 10% of total calories a day . The polyunsaturated fats , among which are the omega 3 acids are important for pregnancy because they improve cerebral function fetus and reduce the risk of premature delivery. “We will find this type of fat in blue fish that we must eat at least twice a week, walnuts … but we must also value the consumption of some food enriched with omega 3,” he tells us.
Micronutrients, vitamins and minerals during pregnancy
If we normally help ourselves from complexes frequently (especially when we are within risk groups or in cases of inadequate intakes), for most pregnant women they may be required to complete and maintain an adequate and quality diet.
What is normally advised is the supplementary intake of folic acid of 400 micrograms daily , since 600 micrograms a day are needed and a deficiency of its caloric intake can be a cause of megaloblastic anemia in pregnant women or problems in the neural tube of the fetus. Regarding the latter, it is important to note that the closure of the neural tube occurs between days 22 and 28, so its consumption is essential from the beginning of pregnancy and even during planning.
The vitamin D is also key during pregnancy because it is very important for the absorption of calcium and is primarily should be supplemented during the third quarter to those whose sun exposure pregnant or feeding is not sufficiently balanced.
Minerals are also crucial in the diet of pregnant women, of which we find: calcium, which can be covered with adequate consumption of dairy products, vegetables such as soy . An insufficient contribution of this mineral would not produce fetal disorders but a high bone demineralization of the mother would.
For its part, iron, folates and iodine are frequently used during pregnancy due to the importance and need to have high levels in the gestation stage.
The Mediterranean diet, the best recommended during the gestation stage
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most suitable to carry out during pregnancy since with it you can meet all the needs.
– High consumption of vegetables rich in complex carbohydrates.
– Consumption of olive oil as majority fat.
– Low intake of saturated fats.
– Frequent consumption of fish and moderate meat.
– Dried fruit consumption in moderation.
– Consumption of whole grains and bread.
It goes without saying that alcohol consumption (even low alcohol) should be avoided during pregnancy since the placenta lacks the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which could lead to fetal alcohol syndrome. Likewise, tobacco is prohibited since it reduces fetal development and is directly related to the birth of fetuses with a low weight. Consumption of excess salt should also be avoided to avoid edema and hypertension as well as limiting caffeinated and sugary drinks .