4 pregnancy diet myths - debunked!
The very moment you announce your pregnancy to the world, everyone wants to offer their advice on what you should and shouldn’t do. Much of this revolves around our diets: what foods to eat and avoid, what nutrients we need most, and how many calories to consume at each trimester.
You’ve spoken to fellow mums-to-be, attended antenatal classes, joined forums and read many a pregnancy book – but you’re still feeling rather baffled. And suffering from the notorious baby brain isn’t helping the situation, either!
So, to help clear the air a little, the team here at Ísey Skyr have got to work separating fact from fiction and have debunked four of the most common pregnancy diet myths:
Myth #1 – You’re eating for two
If only it were true! Just because there are two of you now, doesn’t mean that you need to double the amount of food you eat. Consuming too many calories will cause excessive weight gain, which can increase the risk of things like high blood pressure, backache and gestational diabetes. That said, you must make sure you’re getting the recommended 2,000 calories per day, with the NHS suggesting that you should up this by 200 calories in the final three months, when your energy needs naturally increase.
Rather than being transfixed on calories, it’s better to focus on maintaining a balanced diet with all the right nutrients. Make sure you get lots of healthy fats and carbohydrates (including fibre), as well as plenty of protein. One tub of creamy, natural Ísey Skyr contains up to 19g of protein, helping your tummy stay satisfied for longer and keep those cravings at bay.
Myth #2 – You must eat meat
There’s no doubt that meat is a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals. But if you’re a vegetarian or prefer to eat less meat, this doesn't mean that you have to go on a nine-month hiatus – you can get these nutrients elsewhere! Protein, which is key to your baby’s healthy growth and development, can be found in abundance in nuts and beans (which are also a great source of iron and zinc), including lentils, soy and pinto beans. Try a handful of nuts sprinkled on vanilla Ísey Skyr for a double protein hit, adding a drizzle of honey for extra sweetness.
As a note for meat-eaters, avoid eating raw or undercooked meat due to the risk of toxoplasmosis. Make sure all meat is cooked thoroughly so that there’s no trace of pink, and be extra cautious with cured meats.
Myth #3 – Avoid sushi at all costs
Eating food containing raw or lightly cooked fish in sushi rolls during pregnancy is fine, provided any raw, wild fish has been frozen first. This is due to the fact that wild fish can sometimes contain parasitic worms that will make you ill and freezing the fish will kill them.
Many women avoid raw fish sushi during pregnancy just to be on the safe side, and instead opt for vegetable or cooked fish varieties. Some deliciously nutritious dishes include avocado maki, loaded with healthy fats and dietary fibre; and cooked salmon rolls, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s best not to eat too much tuna as it’s high in mercury, which can harm your baby’s developing nervous system if you consume too much.
Myth #4 – You shouldn’t eat chocolate
Mums-to-be, rejoice! A number of recent studies suggest that eating chocolate during pregnancy can actually be beneficial to your unborn baby. For instance, last year, a team of scientists at Université Laval Québec City uncovered that high-flavanol chocolate can boost foetal growth and make the placenta more efficient, while limiting the risk of preeclampsia.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you should indulge in a bar for breakfast. Chocolate should be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet – just remember: everything in moderation. It’s also important to check the caffeine content of the chocolate you’re eating, making sure intake is limited to less than 200mg per day.
If you’re craving a sweet treat, you can always enjoy a pot of flavoured Ísey Skyr instead. It’s creamy, delicious, naturally fat-free and rich in calcium. In fact, it’s made with over three times the amount of milk that goes into typical yogurts! Choose from Blueberry, Strawberry or Vanilla flavours (plus Mango, now available at Aldi!) – the perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack for expectant mothers.
Find out where to buy yours here.