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Cravings and healthy eating in pregnancy

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Overview

Female body suffers drastic hormonal changes during pregnancy. Many of these trigger symptoms such as fever or unusual food cravings for foods high in fat.

Can be difficult to resist these cravings and often pregnant women consume not only healthy snacks with appropriate nutritional content.

It is important for every expectant mother to be able to control her cravings for sweets, fried foods and fats and to be able to maintain optimal health for both her and the fetus.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Nutrients during pregnancy
3. Healthy alternatives
4. Tips and warnings
5. Breakfast is the most important
6. Check your weigh
7. Eat several small meals and snacks
8. Don not fully exclude your craved foods or juices


Nutrients during pregnancy

Step 1 – Ensure that you benefit every day of necessary nutrients for you and your baby. Take prenatal multivitamins daily to prevent nutritional deficiencies that can stimulate appetite.

Step 2 – Focus on folic acid intake to help your baby develop properly. Many prenatal vitamins and fortified cereals are rich in folic acid.

Step 3 – Eat healthy snacks and balanced meals; avoiding empty calories. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables offers healthy nutrients without too much fat, sodium and added sugar.


Healthy alternatives

1. Identify your cravings. Try to see if you are craving for salty, sweet or fried.

2. Create your simple and healthy alternative to replace the craved foods. For example if you want to eat fries, buy sweet potato that you can enter in the oven in olive oil and add sea salt over them and then let them bake until crisp.

3. Keep on hand a variety of complex carbohydrates, natural sweeteners and healthy fats such as peanut butter or avocado. When you feel various food cravings, choose a substitute to have fewer empty calories and avoid unnecessary increase in weight.


Tips and warnings

- Make daily exercise. Try to follow a program of physical activity according to your state of health and developmental stage of pregnancy, whether it is a walk, yoga or engaging in another healthy activity when cravings occur.

- Consult your doctor to determine which are your individual caloric and nutritional needs during pregnancy, and which exercise is right for you.

- During pregnancy are necessary and recommended prenatal vitamins, fortified cereals, olive oil, natural sweeteners, exercise equipment.


Breakfast is the most important

If you wait too long after waking to eat, this can affect glycogen levels. Low levels of glycogen can trigger hunger throughout the day, increasing the chances to have unhealthy cravings during pregnancy.

Numerous studies have shown that people who eat breakfast regularly, eat less during the day and make smarter food choices than those who skip breakfast. It is best to eat within an hour after you wake up.

Choose whole grains such as whole, wheat bread, organic oatmeal and fresh fruit. If you feel that hunger comes too fast even you took a consistently breakfast, try to include a protein in your meal and that feeling of fullness will last as long.

To get a healthy amount of protein try a tablespoon or two of peanut butter on toast or a hard-boiled egg. If you experience morning sickness, you may not feel the taste of your breakfast too much, but it is important to have something in your stomach sooner than later.


Check your weigh

Weighting yourself is not the most fun activity in the world, but it can help you be more aware of your body and can help you realize what you eat throughout the day. Instead, it could be helpful for you to keep a food diary and keep track of your body measurements.

It is normal to accumulate pounds during pregnancy, but weighting can help you stay focused on optimal nutrition, on a healthy pregnancy and a healthy weight. If you have a normal weight when pregnant, it is recommended to accumulate about 10 kg during pregnancy.


Eat several small meals and snacks

An optimal schedule table shouldn’t contain three main meals a day, but three small meals and two or more snacks. This is a very smart eating plan for pregnant women, which can help to relieve nausea and will be much easier to bear than a big meal that can encourage overeating and heartburn.

Remember that the habit of regularly eating is the smartest one. It has been shown that irregular meals can lead to hormonal imbalances that can increase appetite. Planning meals and snacks in advance, every day is very important.

Researchers recently found that pregnant women who take consistently snacks have a lower risk of preterm labor than others.


Don not fully exclude your craved foods or juices

Of course, these categories do not include sodas and coffee, but you can try healthier choices than artificially colored candy, french fries and ice cream bowls consumed daily. Still not a great idea to completely exclude any food becausethis prohibition may even turn against you.

Research has shown that artificial sweeteners and fat substitutes can cause the body to require larger amounts of food than if you use normal sugar and fat. Other studies have shown that people who eat low-fat food (including sweets) will eat more sweets than those who prefer products with a normal level of fat.

If you are craving for sugar, eat a tablet or two of organic chocolate, and if you need some fat, put some butter in food peas. Throughout pregnancy, it is advisable to eat foods as diverse and healthy.

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