What to eat during pregnancy

If you are pregnant and decide to do a search on the Web on what to eat and what not to eat, you will find a lot of articles. Some of these articles may even contradict each other. Who should you listen to and what can you eat?

For starters, when in doubt, ask your gynaecologist. He or she would be the best person to answer all your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask even if you think it’s a silly question. If your gynae is reluctant to answer properly, find another gynae who is.

If you can’t wait for the next visit to ask all your questions, then read on.

Medical & Scientific Affairs Manager at Danone Dumex Malaysia, Tan Ee Ping, a nutritionist by training, helps answer some questions on the matter.

Tan: ‘Start leading a healthy life three months before you’re actually pregnant.’

Is it okay to only start watching what you eat when you find out you are pregnant?

There is a common thought that once the doctor says ‘Congratulations! You’re pregnant’, you start changing everything – your lifestyle, eating and sleeping habits. The truth is once you and your partner decide to start a family you have to start changing your lifestyle and eating habits because you wouldn’t know when you would get pregnant.

A general rule is to start leading a healthy life and eating healthily three months before you’re actually pregnant. Three months is how long it takes to store up the nutrients in your body.

What can you eat when pregnant?

Basically a lot of people are very worried if they can eat this or that. The general rule is that you can eat almost anything that you have been eating but of course you need to eliminate alcohol and stop smoking.

You just have to keep in mind these three things: Balance, moderation and variety.

So, you can eat all the healthy food in balance, in moderation (that means don’t eat only fruits and vegetables if your doctor asks you to eat more of these) and have a variety (this means don’t eat oranges and no other fruit just because it is high in Vitamin C).

Eat different types of food because different foods will give you different nutrients. There is no one food or fruit that can give you everything. So you should have a variety in your diet.

You should look at a picture of the food pyramid – at the base there’s the carbohydrates and on top of that are the fruits and vegetables, then the protein, followed by milk and dairy, and finally the fats and oils. You should follow the food pyramid and as long as there is balance you are fine.

We also encourage people not to take food that is very white in colour. Instead of white bread, take wholemeal bread. Instead of white rice, take brown rice.

Go towards the natural foods which are not so polished and not so processed.

We have heard that mothers should have quality food in the first half of the pregnancy and quantity in the second half. Is this true?

You should have quality and quantity in your diet throughout the pregnancy. The point is not to eat more but to eat the nutrients that you need.

It is not about how many plates of rice you should eat but how many nutrients you should consume and whether there is a balance and whether you are getting everything.

So, quality and quantity should go hand in hand throughout the pregnancy.

by Brigitte Rozario.

Read more @ http://parenthots.com/features/What-to-eat-during-pregnancy.aspx

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