For anyone who is currently pregnant and you actually care about the thought: healthy diet plan for early pregnancy. You can find lots of beneficial info on this kind of topic, as well as tips, suggestions, thoughts, and answers for you to questions regarding being pregnant, suitable nutrition and diet plans.
Most women are concerned about eating the best foods during pregnancy, especially to ensure that their children develop healthy and to maintain an ideal weight. For this reason, and considering the abundance of messages that currently appear in the media about what to eat and what to avoid, it is not superfluous to describe a balanced diet during pregnancy.
A healthy start
Normally, the ideal is that the expectant mother prepares for pregnancy for several months before, giving up alcohol, following a balanced and varied diet, and taking supplements of physical acid from the moment you start looking for pregnancy. But if pregnancy has come as a surprise, don’t worry. It’s by no means too late to give your child the best nutrition to grow up healthy.
In general, the same rules of a healthy diet that apply to any other time in your life can be applied to pregnancy. It is recognized that the recommended daily requirements, with the exception of iron, can be met by following a balanced diet. At most, a mother should increase her intake by as little as 300 calories a day to compensate for her pregnancy.
- Bread, other cereals and potatoes These foods should make up 70% of your diet. Whenever possible, choose wholegrain varieties of these products as they contain more fibre, vitamins and minerals.
- Fruits and vegetables These include fresh, frozen and canned varieties, salad greens, beans and lentils, nuts and fruit juice. Eat at least five servings a day of fruit and vegetables (remember, whatever amount you eat, fruit juice only counts as one serving).
- Meat, fish and alternative foods (including eggs, nuts and pulses). All of them are a source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Try to eat two or three portions a day.
- Milk and fresh dairy products will provide you with calcium and protein, so try to eat two or three servings a day. That said, choose low-calorie versions of these products.
- Foods containing fats and sugars You should keep the consumption of these foods to a minimum. A small, occasional treat, such as having a couple of chocolates, in the context of a healthy diet won’t do you (or your child) any harm.
As a general rule, weight gain in pregnancy should not exceed 13kg (although this is an individual matter for each pregnancy and should not be obsessed with). A woman whose weight is normal does not need extra warmth during the first six months of pregnancy. This is because the body becomes very efficient at absorbing and using nutrients from food.
For the last three months of pregnancy the baby will only need you to increase your diet by about 300 kilocalories, equivalent to four apples or two pieces of bread.
If you have been following a strict calorie diet, now is the time to stop. It is not very advisable to try to lose weight while you are pregnant, unless your doctor has indicated it, because if the fetus does not receive enough nutrients, it will get them from the maternal deposits, endangering the mother’s health, and therefore, your own.
The recommended calorie intake is around 2,000 kcal/day until the last three months of pregnancy.
Pregnant women are often advised to eat according to their appetite, while paying attention to weight gain. The dietary recommendations are similar to those currently in place for the general population:
Pregnant women are often advised to eat according to their appetite, while paying attention to weight gain.
- If possible, cut back on fast-absorbing carbohydrates and replace them with slow-absorbing carbohydrates.
- Decrease your intake of saturated fats and cholesterol.
- Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables.
Food for two.
Although you may not “eat for two” in terms of heat, it is true that you need to “eat for two” when it comes to nutrients. You are responsible for providing the right nutrition for your baby through what you eat.
As well as eating a balanced diet, there are certain nutrients that are particularly important for a growing baby. This is even more important if you follow a special diet, for example, if you are a vegetarian.
The table below details what these nutrients are, why they are important and what foods you should include in your diet to ensure you get the most of them.
- Calcium. Important for the development of baby’s teeth and bones. You need at least 700-800 mg a day (a yogurt or a long glass of milk). As well as fresh dairy products, calcium is found in the following foods: dark green leafy vegetables, bread, pulses, nuts, oily fish, cooked beans, nuts, sesame seeds, fortified soya milk and fortified orange juice.
- Iron. Important for the formation of red blood cells. For you and your baby. Found in lean red meat, sardines, dark green vegetables, beans, lentils, eggs, nuts, dried fruit, wholemeal bread and breakfast cereals.
- Facial acid. Important for the development of the baby’s organs and tissues. Reduces the risk of spinal defects such as spina bifida. It is found in enriched cereals and bread, green vegetables and oranges.
- Vitamin C. Important for the absorption of iron. It is found in most fruits and vegetables. The main sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits and their juices.
- Vitamin D. Important to help absorb calcium. Found in herring, tuna in oil, eggs, milk, butter, margarine and low-fat dressing sauces.
- Essential fatty acids Omega-3. Important for the baby’s brain and nervous system development in late pregnancy. Found in cold-water oily fish (mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines). Try taking at least one serving a week.
- Vitamin B12. Important for healthy blood. Found in: The only non-animal source is seaweed. It is also found in fortified foods such as breakfast cereals.
Do I need supplements of folic acid?
Yes. Most women’s diets include some folic acid (or folates) because it is found in fortified forms of breakfast cereals and various types of bread, and naturally in other sources such as vegetables and oranges.
It is recommended that all women considering pregnancy and those in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy take folic acid supplements (400 micrograms, written as 400 mcg).
Also, they should continue to take around 300 mcg. in the usual diet. Some foods that are high in folic acid are:
Foods that are high in folic acid include:
- Brussels sprouts (90g): 100 Mcg.
- Spinach (90g): 80 Mcg.
- Green beans (90g): 50 Mcg.
- Frozen peas (90g): 40 Mcg.
- Two slices of soft enriched grain bread: 105 Mcg.
- Two slices of wholemeal bread: 40 Mcg.
Should I take other supplements?
According to various experts, it is not necessary to take vitamin supplements. As long as you follow a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and as long as you have a good appetite, it is not necessary to take any other supplements.
In fact, to some extent it is risky to do so. Many of the supplements contain high doses of vitamins, yet it is unknown what effect these may have on the fetus.
Many of the supplements contain high doses of vitamins, yet it is unknown what effect these may have on the fetus.
However, there are some circumstances in which supplements can be beneficial. For example, if you are a vegetarian, you should consider taking an iron supplement, as iron is not as easily absorbed from foods other than red meat.
What should I avoid?
There are certain aspects that you should avoid during pregnancy for the proper development of the future baby. Among them:
- Alcohol Best to avoid it. Try to cut down on alcohol completely and, obviously, don’t get drunk. It is advisable not to drink more than one or two units (the equivalent of one unit is a 120ml glass of wine, a glass of beer or a glass of spirits) once or twice a week.
- High vitamin A intake can harm your baby. It is best not to take hígado or hígado cod oil as they are rich in vitamin A. The type of vitamin A found in fruit and vegetables is safe to take.
- Uncooked or undercooked eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria, which can cause acute gastrointestinal distress. Cook eggs until the yolk and white are sound, and avoid homemade mayonnaise, ice cream, cheesecakes and mousse.
- Cured and soft cheeses such as Brie, Cambozola, Camembert and the various types of blue cheese occasionally contain the bacterium listeria, which can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
- Pate should also be avoided as it may also contain Listeria. It is advisable to avoid crustaceans as they can alter other foods.
- Peanuts There is a theory that peanut allergy can be caused by exposure to peanuts at an early age. Today it is postulated that if you, the baby’s father, or any of the older children suffer from asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis, or allergies to certain foods, it is advisable to avoid peanuts and any other products containing peanuts while pregnant.
- Coffeeína. There is no problem in taking moderate amounts. Coffee consumption starts to become a concern if you exceed five coffees a day.
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