What is a healthy pregnancy diet?
If you are pregnant, you will need more calories in your diet beginning in the second trimester, around week 13 or 14. It's generally recommended that pregnant women eat 300 extra calories a day. A very active woman may need more than the recommended 300. Dieticians suggest that you keep your fat percentage at about 30 percent. If you go lower than 20 percent fat you may not be able to get all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.
It is important to eat healthy when pregnant.
Healthy pregnancy diet food pyramid.
Nature's Bounty Prenatal Vitamins, Tablets
A healthy pregnancy diet mainly consists of high-quality foods. Pregnant mothers who eat a nutritious diet ensure positive health status for themselves and optimal growth patterns for their unborn babies. When eating a healthy diet, it is rarely necessary to count calories - follow your body's hunger cues and make healthy food choices.
As an expecting mom, you need about 300 extra calories per day.Inadequate diets and irregular eating patterns can negatively effect your well-being and your nutrition, as well as the ability to take care of yourself. Your own personal pregnancy diet can effect feelings, actions, and even how you view yourself and the world. All doctors agree that it is NOT safe to intentionally lose weight while pregnant. You could cause problems to your unborn baby. When you lose weight, you break down chemicals, which can interfere with the baby’s growth. Lower pregnancy weight gain of approximately 15 pounds is recommended for obese women.
Your Pre-Pregnancy Weight
|Height ||5' ||5'2|
|5'4 ||5'6 ||5'8 ||5'10 |
|<102 lbs. ||<107 lbs. ||<116 lbs. ||<123 lbs. ||<130 lbs. ||<138 lbs.|
|Normal ||102-132 lbs. ||107-141 lbs. ||116-152 lbs. ||123-161 lbs.|
|130-171 lbs. ||138-181 lbs. |
|Over-weight ||133-147 lbs. ||142-157 lbs.|
|153-170 lbs. ||162-180 lbs. ||172-191 lbs. ||182-202 lbs. |
|>148 lbs. ||>158 lbs. ||>171 lbs. ||>181 lbs. ||>192 lbs. ||>203 lbs.|
Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The Healthy Eating Equation
anything you want* + moderation + nutritious = healthy
A healthy pregnancy diet is varied and balanced. The food pyramid organizes how much of each food type one should eat according to its size on the pyramid.
How Much Weight Should I Gain?
|If you were... ||Underweight|
|Normal ||Overweight ||Obese |
|you should gain a total of... ||28-40 lbs.|
|25-35 lbs. ||15-25 lbs. ||15 lbs. |
Source: National Academy of Sciences
Your pregnancy diet's total daily food intake needs to include a variety of foods from each group. The pyramid represents the minimum number of daily servings recommended. The table below presents the minimum daily servings and serving ideas recommended for both the non-pregnant woman and the pregnant or breastfeeding diet.
* anything you want does NOT include the recommended Substances to Limit or Avoid including some medications,nicotine and tobacco,alcohol, and caffeine.
Food Pyramid Recommendations for Women
|FOOD GROUP ||Non Pregnant Woman - 1900 calories |
|Pregnant or Breastfeeding- 2200 calories ||Menu Suggestions |
|Milk products ||2 |
| 3 || 1 cup low fat milk or yogurt |
1 1/2 oz.cheese
1 1/4 cup low fat ice cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup tofu
|Meats & meat substitutes ||5-7 ounces|
| 7 ounces || Cooked lean meat, fish, or poultry |
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup dried beans or peas
4 tbsp. peanut butter
| Eggs || 1|
| 1-2 || - |
| Fruits || 2-4 |
| 3-4 || [include choices rich in vitamin C] |
1/2 cup cooked or juice
1 cup raw
1 medium sized fruit
| Vegetables || 3-5|
| 4-5 || [choose from a wide variety of dark leafy and starchy, variety is good] |
1/2 cup cooked
1 cup raw
| Grains || 6-11|
| 9-11 || [Choose from whole grain, fortified, or enriched] |
1 slice bread
1 cup cereal
1/2 cup cooked cereal or pasta
Water is A Very Important Nutrient in the Pregnancy DietPregnant mothers need to include enough water in their diet - drink to satisfy your thirst. You need to drink enough to supply both your body and the baby with enough fluids. It's recommended that a pregnant woman drink at least 8 cups of water per day however fluid intake should be regulated by an individual's thirst.
Constipation may be a sign that you're not drinking enough fluids. If you're experiencing hard, dry stools, increase fluids and try to increase your fiber intake (fresh fruits and raw vegetables, and whole grains).