Avoiding Toxic Food During Pregnancy
Not too much attention is given to what women eat during pregnancy. We’re quick to indulge cravings of even the unhealthiest foods and laugh at poor choices because of “pregnancy cravings”. Doctors warn of the dangers of deli meat, sushi, and alcohol but may not thoroughly discuss how specific foods can assist the fetus in growing into a healthy baby. At my first doctors visit during my pregnancy I recieved some brochures on the food pyramid, information on listeria lurking in deli meat and plenty of coupons and offers of free formula.
As a first time mom who wasn’t planning on being pregnant I was like a deer in headlights trying to digest all the information I was given. I wish more useful information came with our doctors visits, information that could help you have the healthiest pregnancy you can have. I wasn’t told much about morning sickness, or blood sugar or gestational diabetes. Some women buy a stack of books and do plenty of research but a great majority of women don’t know the dangers of what they eat and the effect it can have on the amazing gift growing in their bellies. My wish would be for doctors to go over this with their patients, not on the first visit but after the realization of pregnancy has set in. Once you’re in the right frame of mind to properly absorb information. If I had my way it would be a mandatory class all mothers to be would have to take. Even if they choose not to follow the advice at least they’d be made aware and given the option to make better choices. Much like the drunk driving videos we all watched during drivers ed even if we don’t listen, the imprint would be on our brains.
Studies overwhelmingly show that processed foods and Genetically Modified Organisms should be avoided during pregnancy.
Processed foods contain chemicals and offer little nutrition. They can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar which will lead to morning sickness. A developing fetus is vulnerable to absorbing toxins and chemicals that may interfere with cell building; it’s imperative that the building blocks with which the baby will develop be of the highest quality. Some items to look for on labels (which you want to avoid), are MSG, chemical additives, trans-fats, artificial dyes and anything in a plastic container that may contain BPA. A study published in the Scientific American found that some babies had as many as 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood including BPA which has been linked to type 2 diabetes, angina, coronary heart disease and heart attacks. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has also issued a policy statement asking physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets and citing disorders found in animal studies. For more information on why you should avoid GMO’s read my Monsanto Post.
Remember that you’re growing a little person so you really do want to give them the best nutrition you can. Don’t throw out all your food restraint and eat nothing but pizza and ice cream, those are the foods that will build your baby. If you do nothing else during pregnancy, just avoid GMO’s and stay away from processed foods as much as possible. You don’t have to be a slave to nutrition during your pregnancy, you want to enjoy it. When you do indulge in something that’s not particularly healthy make sure it’s something that’s worth it, something you really, really want and then savor every single bite.
For some great suggestions on what you should try to include in your diet check out the Weston A. Price Foundation, read my Fox News article on the best pregnancy foods, read my blog post on some great nutrition for women that are trying to conceive, pregnant, or nursing or my Fox News on nutrition to avoid food aversions.