Topic: Advice from a dietician: Good nutrition is important during pregnancy
Good nutrition during pregnancy is vital not only for a good healthy baby but also to ensure the good health of the mom.
The old saying of ‘eating for two’ is not actually accurate as your calorie requirement only increases by a small amount (about 300kcal = half a cup of cereal, with milk and a banana).
One needs to be mindful of overeating as this can be harmful to both mom and baby.
There seems to be a growing rate of gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that presents during pregnancy and this thought to be affected by unhealthy eating prior to and during pregnancy.
A study conducted during 2019 in KwaZulu-Natal showed that pregnant women consumed less than 50% of all the required nutrients, and also consumed nearly half of the recommended amount of Fruits and Vegetables on a daily basis.
An alarming statistic was that 1 in 2 pregnant women was classified as obese (BMI > 30), which places the pregnancy at an increased risk for complications.
What you eat during pregnancy is crucial for a healthy baby, and research shows healthy eating during pregnancy can even result in the baby having fewer chronic conditions later on in adulthood.
Nutritional basics of pregnancy
Consume a variety of foods so as to ensure you consume a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Have a balanced plate, simplistically half your plate should be vegetables, with ¼ for good quality carbohydrates (bread, rice, potatoe, pasta) and ¼ for protein such chicken, meat, fish, beans, peas, lentils).
Ensure you adhere to good hygiene/food safety practices when cooking, as well as ensuring foods such as meat, chicken, and fish are cooked fully to avoid food poisoning.
Be mindful of your beverages
Water would be the best option.
Coffee can be consumed around 1 cup (300ml) per day, whilst green and black teas may need to be limited as they can affect the absorption of certain vitamins such as folic acid.
The better option would be Rooibos.
Topic Discussed: Advice from a dietician: Good nutrition is important during pregnancy
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