A-Z of Nutrition in Pregnancy: A - I

Category: Pregnancy / Rate this article / Hits: 687

If you have not been focusing on eating healthily, there’s no better time to start.

WORDS DR LIM MAY LI

 

A is for…

Alcohol is associated with birth defects. The safe amount which can be consumed is not known. So, alcohol must be avoided during pregnancy and during the time you are trying to conceive.

 

 

 

B is for…

Bread is a complex carbohydrate. It has the essential B group vitamins such as thiamine. Go for wholemeal bread which provides more nutrients and vitamins. Its higher fibre content will help to prevent constipation.

 

 

C is for…

Too much caffeine may be associated with miscarriage and low birth weight.

 

 

Limit caffeine intake to no more than 200mg per day

(no more than two mugs of instant coffee or tea per day).

 

 

 

D is for…

Dairy products provide protein and calcium essential for growth and strength of teeth and bones. Choose low-fat dairy products. Avoid mould-ripened soft cheeses (brie, camembert), goats’ cheese and soft blue-veined cheeses (Danish blue, gorgonzola). Hard cheeses are safe (cheddar, edam, gouda, parmesan, stilton). Drink only pasteurised milk.

 

 

 

E is for…

Eggs are a source of protein. Ensure your eggs are thoroughly cooked. Eating raw or undercooked eggs may predispose you to salmonella food poisoning.

 

 

 

F is for…

Folate (also called folic acid) is important for making red blood cells. Foods rich in folate include green leafy vegetables, beans, asparagus, broccoli and citrus fruits. Folic acid is also necessary for prevention of spine abnormality in the developing baby.

 

 

It is advisable to start taking folic acid a month before conceiving and

to continue until the end of the first trimester of pregnancy.

 

 

 

G is for…

Glycaemicindex (GI) is a measure of how carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels. It has been suggested that a low GI diet will help to reduce the risk of pregnancy problems such as a large baby. Current evidence does not support a recommendation of low GI diet in pregnancy.

 

 

 

H is for…

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are “healthy fats” essential for overall good health. Examples include olive oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, avocado, soybean oil, tofu, sunflower/sesame seeds and nuts. Remember, choose “good fat” and not “no fat”.

 

 

 

I is for…

Ironis needed to make red blood cells. Lack of iron may make you tired and develop anaemia. Iron-containing foods include meat, green leafy vegetable, dried fruits, nuts and cereals. Liver is another source of iron but is best avoided as it is rich in vitamin A. Excessive vitamin A may harm the developing baby.

 

Dr Lim May Li is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist from Gynaecology Consultants Clinic and Surgery.

 

 

Thanks for sharing!