Being overweight during pregnancy has its risks, including pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and birth complications. So how do you avoid excessive pregnancy weight gain while still ensuring you get the necessary nutrients? By being selective about what you eat, and choosing healthful foods over nutritionally-empty snacks such as candy bars, chips and cookies.
Talk to your doctor for food and exercise recommendations to work these healthy tips into your lifestyle.
Healthy pregnancy dietEnsure you get enough folate or folic acid which help prevent spinal defects. Rich sources include beans, broccoli and spinach. Be sure to also take a daily prenatal multivitamin that contains 100 percent of the RDA for most nutrients, including folic acid and iron.
Include more protein in your diet such as tofu, chicken, fish, meat and beans, which is needed for the growing tissues. Eat more lean meat and less red meat.
Eat more calcium-rich foods like skimmed milk, cheese and yogurt, especially in the last three months of pregnancy for the proper bone development in the baby.
Choose whole grains over refined grains. Whole-wheat bread, brown rice, whole-grain cereals and oatmeal provide bulk to the diet and helps keep you full longer.
Eat the good fats -- monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Sources include nuts, fatty fish, avocados, and olive oil.
Craving for a nibble? Reach for dried and fresh fruits -- these are high in fiber which help fill you up and helps prevent constipation, a common side effect of pregnancy. Or go for yogurt to up your calcium intake.
Cut back on sugary or fatty foods such as desserts and french fries, which are high in calories but low in nutrients.
Drink healthy. Drink lots of water to help digestion and elimination. If you want something sweet, opt for 100% fruit juices made from real fruit instead of sugar-laden sodas. Avoid alcoholic drinks.