Our diet Mediterranean it is also the best during pregnancy: it does not reduce the overall risk of maternal and baby complications, but it has the potential to mitigate the feared weight gain over the course of 9 months, in addition to the risk of gestational diabetes. This time the British are promoting our eating habits, with a study conducted by researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Warwick.
The results, published in the journal ‘Plos Medicine’, show that one ‘Italian’ diet, which includes for example 30 g of dried fruit per day and extra virgin olive oil, reduces the risk of developing diabetes in pregnancy by 35%. In addition, it leads to an average of 1.25 kg less accumulation during gestation. Research also confirms that the Mediterranean diet may represent a effective intervention also for women who become pregnant with pre-existing obesity, chronic high blood pressure or increased blood cholesterol levels.
Shakila Thangaratinam of Queen Mary University of London explains that “this is the first study to show that even pregnant women at high risk of complications benefit from a Mediterranean-style diet to reduce their weight gain and the risk of gestational diabetes, and that this diet is also suitable for those who are not used to this diet “.
The Esteem study involved 1,252 women in five UK maternity units, belonging to different ethnicities. The patients all had metabolic risk factors, including obesity and chronic hypertension, and were randomized to receive routine antenatal care or a Mediterranean-style diet in addition to their antenatal care. This included a high intake of nuts, extra virgin olive oil, whole fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes; moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of poultry and dairy products; low intake of red meat and processed meat; ban on sugary drinks, fast food and foods rich in animal fats.
It emerged that the complications of pregnancy such as hypertension, pre-eclampsia, low birth weight or admission to a neonatal care unit are not affected by diet, but adopters reported a better overall quality of life than the control group, as well as a reduction the feeling of bloating, and overall less weight accumulation.