Suddenly, when you’re pregnant life gets a little harder, a little more complicated, and even a little frustrating. Your diet takes a sharp turn to healthy-ville, for example. So, here's the real question: do pregnant women really follow the diet guidelines laid out for them?
A new survey has revealed what pregnant women really eat and it’s not all pretty. The survey was conducted by American Baby and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It asked 2,300 pregnant American women to answer questions about their eating habits and food choices. Here are the results:
The good news:
+ 70% of the surveyed moms started eating healthier when they got pregnant
+ 77% said they ate breakfast everyday
+ 61% don’t want to gain too much weight
The bad news:
- 80% have consumed off-limit food for pregnant women like sushi, alcohol and cold deli meats
- 63% did not eat the recommended 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, 12% of which only ate one or fewer servings a day
- 36% gave in to unhealthy cravings like too much sweets and fatty food, a third of which reasoned that they were eating for two and could therefore indulge
Some of this should be a cause of alarm, especially those concerning raw and undercooked meat, and alcohol. Raw and undercooked meat could be contaminated by salmonella and alcohol has been associated with premature delivery, mental retardation for the baby, congenital defects and low birth weight, according toDr. Prudence Aquino-Aquino, obstetrician-gynecologist and Vice-Chief of the Menopause Clinic at St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Eating too much sweets and fatty food isn’t good either. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth. The newborn would also be more likely to develop hypertension and gestational diabetes.
With these things in mind, almost half of the women who participated in the survey said that figuring out what to eat and what not eat during pregnancy was stressful. And, yes, it is. Sometimes the craving for a chocolate cake topped with peanut butter and banana ice cream gets really loud.
However, love is stronger. Think about the consequences that these forbidden foods can have to the baby and tuck those chopsticks away.
Sources: Undated. "What Pregnant Women REALLY Eat". parents.com Sept. 17, 2015. "Women Reveal What They're Really Eating During Pregnancy". babble.com