A-Z of Nutrition in Pregnancy: J - R

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

WORDS DR LIM MAY LI

 

 

 

J is for…

Junk food is best avoided in pregnancy. They are high in sugar, salt or saturated fats. Research has shown that mothers who eat junk food in pregnancy are more likely to produce obese children.

 

 

 

K is for…

Kelp contains iodine which is vital for normal development of a baby’s brain and nervous system. But don’t use kelp supplements or kelp-based products as a source of iodine because you cannot be certain of the actual amount of iodine in these products. Fish and dairy products are the richest sources of iodine.

 

 

 

L is for…

Meat is a good source of protein and nutrients such as iron and folate. Choosing lean meat means less saturated fats. Eating lean meat will help to prevent anaemia.

 

 

 

M is for…

In high levels, mercury can cause problems for mother and baby. Avoid eating fish which have the highest levels of mercury (shark, king mackerel, swordfish, tilefish).

 

 

Fish with lowest mercury levels are safe to eat.

These include catfish, clam, crab, flounder, haddock, plaice,

sardine, sole, tilapia, trout and whiting.

 

 

 

N is for…

There have concern about allergy in offsprings of mothers who eat nuts in pregnancy. This is not true. There is no clear evidence that eating peanuts during pregnancy affects your baby’s chances of developing a peanut allergy.

 

 

 

O is for…

There are three main kinds of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 fatty acids are important for overall health.

 

 

In pregnancy, DHA is the most important as it helps support

the baby’s brain and eye development.

 

 

Best food sources of DHA include salmon, mackerel, sardine, anchovies an herring.

 

 

 

P is for…

Proteins are essential for growth of the baby and expectant mother. Protein-rich foods include meat, fish, eggs and beans. 75-100gms of protein per day is recommended (two to three servings of meat per day).

 

 

 

Q is for…

Quinoa is a wheat-free and cholesterol-free grain. It is high in protein and a good source of fibre and iron.

 

 

 

R is for…

Raw vegetables are safe to eat. Wash them well and thoroughly. Pre-packed green salads must be re-washed prior to being consumed. Raw meat of any kind must be avoided due to the risk of contamination from bacteria such as salmonella and listeria. A raw food diet is best avoided in pregnancy.

 

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

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing!