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    Diet & Nutrition

    What is the best diet plan that you must consume during pregnancy? 

    Written on 24 September 2018

    Did you just start your first trimester? Are you confused about what foods could actually be healthy for you and your developing baby during this period? Then worry no more! This article will help you customize an ideal diet chart for pregnant women.

    It’s pretty apparent that you are flooded with suggestions related to your diet when you announce your pregnancy to your friends and family. It can be rather confusing and difficult to sort if you go by an adage that you need to “eat for two” however it doesn’t mean that you have to double your intake.

    Importance Of Good Nutrition

    Good nutrition and the proper calorie intake during pregnancy can support your well-being and your baby’s healthy growth and development. You can consult a certified nutritionist if you are starting from scratch on healthy eating; however, if you already have healthy eating habits, then it won’t be hard for you to make slight adjustments to your diet chart for pregnancy.

    It is essential that the meal you consume satisfies your daily nutritional requirements. Thus, it becomes crucial for a pregnant woman to consume a balanced healthy diet plan. In fact, a balanced meal plan should provide the right quantity of:

    • Fibre and fluids

    • Lean Protein

    • Vitamins and minerals

    • Complex carbohydrates

    • Healthy types of fats

    • Iron

    • Calcium

    Pregnancy is indeed one of the most memorable phases of your life. You do not have to restrict yourself from eating your favourite snacks or sweets. In fact, you can also keep a cheat day once a week when you stick to a customized pregnancy food chart. Thus, this way, you will be able to keep your cravings in check.

    Essential Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

    Yet again, you must consider keeping a limit when consuming your favourite food items. Thus, this is because you are not just eating for yourself but also for your baby! Therefore, make sure to keep a clear boundary between your diet plan as well as your cheat days. Here’s a list of essential foods that you must consume during pregnancy:

    • Dairy products- Milk, cottage cheese, tofu, and curd

    • Pulses, Beans, and Lentils

    • Dry fruits and nuts- almonds and walnuts (soaked in water overnight)

    • Egg, Meat, and fish

    • Fresh fruits

    • Seasonal vegetables

    • Liquids- Milkshake, fresh fruit juices, buttermilk, coconut water

    • Healthy fats like Desi Ghee and olive oil

    Customizing Your Diet Plan

    Sometimes, you may experience cravings for unusual food items. In such situations, one may find it quite tempting to eat food items that may not be safe for the baby. Cravings are very different from feelings of hunger, wherein you may feel like eating something specific within two hours of consuming a full meal. Instead of consuming three large meals and giving long gaps between your meals, you can consider eating frequent short meals. Given below is a diet chart during pregnancy that you can refer to.

    PRE-BREAKFAST SNACKS (Around 7 am)

    To prevent morning sickness, it’s important to consume something light like a glass of flavoured milk or a milkshake along with dry fruits. If you are lactose intolerant, then you can consume a glass of fresh fruit juice, preferably tomato and apple.

    BREAKFAST (Around 9 am)

    Stuffed parathas with less oil and butter will give you enough energy to kick start the day. Flattened rice (poha), Rava upma, plain Dosa, and Rava Idlis are some of the amazing Indian breakfast delicacies. Oats, cornflakes, and brown bread sandwiches with a lot of veggies are also energy-filled options.

    MID-MORNING SNACKS (11 am to Noon)

    Chicken/veg soup or a plate of salad that includes carrots, tomato, lettuce, beetroot, sweet potato, bell peppers, sprouts, broccoli, and spinach. Apart from that, you can also feast yourself on sweet corn. However, make sure not to overeat.

    LUNCH (Around 1.30 pm)

    Dry chapatis or parathas with rice, chicken curry, curd, and khichdi are some of the healthy and light options. If you are a vegetarian, you can consider having eggplant curry with chapati or rice. Okra, spinach, and bitter gourd are also some of the healthy options.

    EVENING SNACKS (Around 5 pm)

    Smoothies, a cup of herbal tea, halwa, whole wheat pasta, roasted peanuts, shallow fried cutlets, barbecue mushrooms, grilled chicken, sweet corn, soybeans, porridge, etc. Yet again, make sure not to consume very oily food items since these may cause bloating and other health problems.

    DINNER (Around 8 pm)

    Mix vegetable, dal, and dry chapatis, pulao, and biryani along with a glass of buttermilk or a bowl of curd for easy digestion. Apart from that, you can also consider having rice with fried chicken, in case you are craving something classic.

    What Are Some Of The Other Healthy Lifesavers During Pregnancy?

    If the weather allows, then you must go out for a morning walk. In fact, a walk after dinner could also help you start off a new healthy habit. Do not skip your meals and properly wash all the fruits and vegetables before preparing any meal. To stay healthy, active, and fit, you must opt for organic fruits, vegetables, and food products.

    If you are experiencing an excess of morning sickness, then you can ask your mother/mother-in-law to prepare meals for you. You can also hire a domestic cook if you can afford it. To stay hydrated, you must consume at least 8-10 glasses of water. Here’s a list of food that you must avoid eating during pregnancy:

    • Papaya

    • Pineapple

    • Aubergine/Eggplant

    • Raw eggs

    • Indo-Chinese dishes that contain Monosodium Glutamate/Ajinomoto

    • Seafood

    • Canned foods and Packaged drinks

    • Microwave popcorn

    • Sesame seeds (Til)

    • Fennel seeds (Saunf)

    • Fenugreek (Methi)

    Some of the most common deficiencies during pregnancy are Iron and protein. Hence your gynaecologist will recommend supplements if required. Pregnant women are prescribed folic acid supplements during the first few months of pregnancy.

    Habits To Avoid During Your Pregnancy Phase

    During pregnancy, every bite counts, so to ensure the well-being of your baby, you must avoid certain food and habits. Listed below are a few pieces of advice from a pregnancy sugar diet chart that may ensure the healthy development of your baby!

    • Quit smoking

    • Avoid alcohol

    • Avoid aerated drinks

    • Avoid uncooked Meat

    • Avoid excessive eating

    • Consume caffeinated beverages in moderation

    • Avoid eating leftovers

    • Stay away from weight-loss plans

    • Focus on protein-rich foods and iron-rich food, and increase calcium intake

    Conclusion

    There is no doubt that a healthy diet is important, whether you are pregnant or not. Although you may have heard of people following a diet plan to lose weight, such a plan could be hazardous to your developing baby in case you stick to it during pregnancy. Thus, this is mostly because a weight loss diet plan may restrict numerous beneficial nutrients from reaching your baby.

    The foods that you consume during this phase provide the main nutrients to your baby. Therefore, it is quite crucial to consume a balanced as well as a healthy diet. Apart from that, you will also be able to track your healthy weight gain in a much more simplified manner. On the other hand, you can also prevent feelings of fatigue and constipation. In short, your iron levels, as well as your blood sugar levels, will be under a check.

    References

    • A Pregnant Woman's Daily Diet By Elizabeth Somer, (MA, RD) FROM THE WEBMD ARCHIVES
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