Dietitian’s advice for diet during pregnancy: what to eat and what to avoid. An example of food and weekly menu
Diet in pregnancy
Eating healthy during pregnancy means ensuring important nutrients for the baby, essential for its proper development, and good health for the mother, who faces major changes in the body and the fear of putting on too many pounds.
In this article
For a peaceful pregnancy and optimal growth of the child, mother’s health is essential, starting with maintaining an ideal body weight. Those who are already starting from a condition of overweight or obesity will have to be very careful not to gain additional kg, it will be only the child who has to grow, in the same way the new mothers in perfect normal weight, must not let themselves go thinking they are “safe”.
Proper diet and nutrition during pregnancy it is not used to lose weight (which is not recommended), but not to gain excess weight, avoiding problems such as: gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, premature birth, fetal macrosomia (with increased risks for childbirth). Also remember that special attention must be paid to those foods and drinks that could cause very serious infections during gestation. We all have to go on a diet, then? Yes, but not in his conception of a restricted and prohibitive regime that he often assumes.
Getting advice from an expert on how to manage your diet is very important in order not to make trivial errors dictated by poor information or wrong ideas that spread on the web and in magazines. Here, some tips for you!
Raw and cooked vegetables
At every main meal make sure you eat a nice plate of vegetables, alternating raw and cooked. Raw vegetables are essential to ensure the right doses of vitamins, which would be lost with cooking, while eating cooked vegetables we can increase the quantity and consequently the intake of fibers, which not only give us a sense of greater satiety and they allow you to eat a little less, but they also slow down the absorption of sugars and regulate intestinal motility, preventing constipation.
Fruit, like vegetables, is also rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and water. Pay attention to the quantity though, because fruit also contains sugar, so don’t overdo it: 300-450g of fruit (2-3 medium-sized fruits) are more than enough. Beware of fruit juices and smoothies, which cannot be considered as a substitute for fresh fruit, as they do not contain fibers, but only sugars. Better a homemade juice and consumed immediately (otherwise it loses all the vitamin C). Also there dried fruit it is an excellent food, rich in good fats, but also here be careful not to overdo the quantities, let’s limit ourselves to 15g of dried fruit per day (the famous 3 nuts) and avoid salted dried fruit and dehydrated fruit which is instead a concentrate of sugars (dried figs, dehydrated apricots, dates ..)
Milk and dairy products
A very important source of calcium. Make sure to take 3 portions of semi-skimmed milk or yogurt daily (1 portion = 125g) and add 2 teaspoons of grated cheese to the pasta and two portions of fresh cheeses per week.
Beware of those who remove carbohydrates from your diet, they are the main energy source for our body and they must be present at every meal. We prefer the simpler and less refined sources (wholemeal flours, plain bread, pasta, rice or other cereals, rusks) limiting those that also contain large quantities of simple sugars, fats or salt (sandwiches, crackers, biscuits, breadsticks …).
What not to eat
The foods to be absolutely avoided during pregnancy are those that could cause serious harm to the baby, due to the risk of contracting serious infections or developing serious malformations.
Avoid all foods of animal origin that have not been thoroughly cooked, therefore: raw meats or roast beef, carpaccio and tartare, smoked meats and fish, raw or partially raw eggs (and therefore also creams that have not been cooked), unpasteurized milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, cold cuts and raw cold cuts.
Mussels, oysters, clams and cockles are to be avoided because in the sea they filter the waters and can retain microorganisms that are dangerous for our health.
Cheese ripened with mold
Brie, camembert, roquefort and gorgonzola should not be consumed during pregnancy.
The effects they could have on our body are not fully known so it is better to avoid them. They are present in most foods defined as “sugar-free” or “zero-calorie”, such as light drinks, candies or chewing gum.
We do not connect the concept of “natural” with that of “healthy”, as there are totally natural herbs and flowers that could cause dangerous effects in pregnant women. Ask an experienced doctor to suggest which ones might be safe or alternatively avoid them altogether.
Zero alcohol in pregnancy. The ban is not just for hard liquor or large quantities, as there is no threshold below which alcohol consumption is considered safe.
Weekly diet in pregnancy
A balanced diet involves alternating foods throughout the week, so let’s see how to eat well without getting bored:
A cup of semi-skimmed milk and 3 rusks with a thin layer of jam (no added sugar)
Linguine with pesto + salad with raw mixed vegetables
Veal escalopes with sautéed aubergines and bread
Sugar-free orange juice + a slice of bread with cooked ham
Risotto with saffron + celery and fennel in pinzimonio
Cod au gratin in the oven with …