Avoiding Fatty Foods in Pregnancy
The tradition in our country is to feed a pregnant woman with ghee added to parathas, sweets prepared from ghee, nuts and whatever other rich foods a woman may fancy like fried snacks, chaats, buttery masala dosa, ice-cream or chocolates, etc.
Latest researches done in U.S.A are seeing the possibility that this could lead to the liver of the foetus developing a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Besides this we have seen that young women of weight 48-58 kgs at the beginning of their pregnancy, gaining 15-25 kgs by the time of delivery. The concept is that the foetus will develop and come out as a plump, happy baby. The sad truth is that this can harm the pregnant mother and seriously damage the foetus.
The rapid gain of weight by a pregnant woman can lead to her developing high B.P and this can result in a premature delivery resulting in an underweight baby being born.
Excess weight gain may also cause an imbalance in the thyroid gland function of the mother which can lead to miscarriages, premature delivery, severe drop in heamoglobin levels of mother, low birth weight of the baby and the baby having problems in mental development like low IQ, speech defects or other deformations.
Another dangerous condition is the development of high blood sugar in pregnancy. This can result in the foetus growing to a large size within the womb and causing complications in delivery, high birth weight and also possibilities of deformations.
Over eating or pampering with food in pregnancy make you pay some serious price in the future of a new life. This can definitely be prevented with some knowledge and self-control. Please note the golden rule in pregnancy is to eat balanced meals of carbohydrate and protein foods, with a special count of protein intake which is the key factor for growth of the foetus.
Whole wheat bread, roties, rice, cereals, etc., must be combined with protein foods such as milk, curds, dhals, sambar and pulses like moong, chole, rajma, etc., Besides this egg white is one of the best quality protein and it is safe to eat egg white daily throughout the pregnancy. A whole egg may be eaten daily if the mother is normal weight. Chicken or fish may also be eaten, preferably in the lunch time and avoided at dinner. It is best to avoid red meats like mutton, beef and pork as they have too much fat.
Besides protein that builds the cells and tissues of the foetus the next important nutrient is calcium. The richest, easily available source of calcium is milk and since it is also a very important source of protein we recommend that you should try to consume 500- 750ml of milk/curd daily in the first two trimester. In the third trimester it can be 750 to a liter of milk daily.
Fresh fruits and salads also give vitamins and help in iron absorption during the pregnancy. Try to consume at least 3 fruits throughout the day and salad at lunch and dinner daily. If you are normal weight at the beginning of the pregnancy you may gain 10kg till the due date. If already over weight when you start the pregnancy you need to gain only 5-7kgs at the most, as fat stored in your body will be used.