Posts Tagged ‘healthy diet’

Eat healthy during pregnancy and your baby’s bones will thank you later!

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

dumb-bell-41Eating healthy during pregnancy doesn’t just help your baby grow while in the womb. More studies are showing that your nutrition during pregnancy benefits your baby later in life.

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed over 2,800 women during pregnancy. They found that pregnant women who ate foods rich in protein, vitamin B-12 and phosphorus greatly influenced their babies’ bone health later in childhood. When these babies were around 6 years old, they were more likely to have greater bone mass, which leads to stronger and healthier bones. On the other hand, babies born to mothers who ate foods high in carbohydrates and had higher amounts of homocysteine (a kind of amino acid) in their blood during pregnancy often had lesser bone mass later in life.

This is just one more reason to keep eating healthy during pregnancy. Your baby will thank you for it!

A healthy pregnancy diet

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Dr. Siobhan Dolan goes food shopping to talk about the essential nutrients pregnant women need, and provides tips to maintain a healthy pregnancy diet.

Wash your fruits and veggies

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

eggplantWhen I was pregnant, I couldn’t seem to get enough eggplant. Whether it was sautéed, grilled, roasted or breaded, I had to have it! And since eggplant falls into the veggies section of the choose myplate, I often indulged my craving. When preparing veggies or fruits, I made sure to wash them thoroughly.

Recent studies in Environmental Health Perspectives found that for some pregnant women, being in contact with pesticides during pregnancy may affect their baby’s brain development in childhood. Pesticides are sometimes used on crops to protect them from insects and other organisms. Pesticides can be found in soil or on certain foods like fresh fruits and veggies.

However, don’t shy away from fruits and veggies!  It’s important to get plenty of veggies and a fruits in your meals, especially if you’re pregnant. If you’re concerned about the pesticides on your fruits and veggies, just be sure to clean them well before eating or cooking, even if you plan on peeling the food. If you prefer to buy organic, that’s fine, too.

Dads: Getting ready for baby

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

dad-and-bellyWhen I first learned about our baby-to-be, I was thrilled! I’d already started living a healthier lifestyle before getting pregnant, like getting to a healthy weight and taking a multivitamin with folic acid. But now more than ever, I’m very cautious about what I eat, my environment and my activities. I want to be sure I’m doing everything I can so that baby is healthy and safe during the pregnancy.

Interestingly, my dear husband is going through his own daddy-to-be phase. In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed him getting around to those household projects that were always on the bottom of his list, like cleaning out the air filters, fixing the floor molding, even helping out with daily chores like the laundry and dishes. We only have one car; a little two-seater convertible that’s been the envy of our friends for years. But, with the baby coming, my husband has thrown himself into issue after issue of Motor Trend and Consumer Reports magazines to identify the safest, most efficient family vehicle. You’d think he’s writing his Ph.D. dissertation with all of the research and notes he’s taking! But all of it is very cute to see 🙂 .

Even my own dad, a soon-to-be grandpa, is making lifestyle changes. He’s started to eat healthier and get more exercise so that he’ll be in great shape to play with his new grandbaby this winter.

USA Today had an article about the new dad phase, specifically about dads being more cautious and sensible as they get ready for baby. Did anyone else see a similar change with the dad-to-be in their life?

Cutting back on added sugars

Monday, August 31st, 2009

sugarIn the last few months, I’ve been trying to be more physically active and make healthier food choices. It hasn’t been easy, especially with all the weekend barbeques and summertime desserts (ice cream… yum). My goal isn’t so much to lose weight, but to live a healthier lifestyle so I can lower my chances of developing serious health conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular disease later in life.

Your body needs nutrients to give you the energy you need throughout the day. Most of these nutrients and calories come from the healthy foods you eat. Out of your daily calorie allowance, you also have a certain amount of “discretionary calories” or extra calories that you can use any way you want – maybe an afternoon snack or a small dessert after dinner (Learn more about discretionary calories). However, it turns out that many of us eat too many discretionary calories, and most of these come from drinks with added sugars (colas and other soft drink beverages).

The American Heart Association (AHA) made a new recommendation about the amount of added sugars we eat during the day. The organization recommends that most women have no more than 100 calories per day of added sugar. To give you a better idea, one can of regular cola has about 130 calories of added sugar, which is 30 calories more than recommended.

Instead of cola, why not try some sparkling water with a slice of lemon? That way, you can use your discretionary calories on something yummy.

Diabetes and pregnancy

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

You may have heard us say it before, but it’s worth saying it again – having a healthy baby starts BEFORE pregnancy! There are so many factors about mom’s health before and during pregnancy that affect how healthy her baby will be. That’s why it’s important for all women to take care of themselves and live a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true for women living with diabetes.

The USA Today published an article last week on this very topic. In fact, nearly 9 out of 100 women in the United States have diabetes. But, about 3 out of those 9 don’t know it. Managing diabetes before pregnancy (often called “preexisting diabetes”) is important to the health of both mom and baby. This is also true for women who develop gestational diabetes (when diabetes develops during pregnancy). If too much glucose (sugar) is in a woman’s blood during early pregnancy, there’s a chance that this can cause birth defects. In later pregnancy, too much glucose could lead to a baby that is too large, born prematurely, born via c-section or have other life-threatening situations.

But there is good news! By learning how to manage your diabetes before and during pregnancy, you can increase the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. Here’s a few things you can do right now:
Visit your health provider regularly before and during pregnancy
• Take a multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid
• Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
• With your health provider’s OK, be active and exercise
• Learn more about managing pre-existing diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Managing weight for baby’s sake

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

scaleYou might remember me writing about my best friend and her new baby, Milana. I can’t get over how cute Milana is!!! Now that she’s 4 months old and doing fine, my best friend is ready to hit the gym and lose the weight she gained during pregnancy. I’m hitting the gym, too – not to lose any baby weight, but rather to stay at a healthy weight for the baby I’ll have someday.

I know all about the benefits of being at a healthy weight, such as reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and more. But I was fascinated to learn that being at a healthy weight has a major impact on the health of your baby, even before pregnancy.

USA Today recently featured an article about a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study reviewed research that showed babies born to overweight, obese moms were more likely to face special health risks. Some of these risks include birth defects (spina bifida, cleft palate, heart defects), being born prematurely or being born too large (macrosomia).

Since you can’t diet once you’re pregnant (because you risk limiting nutrients your baby needs to grow), it’s very important to eat healthy and manage weight before getting pregnant. Not only will I have a better chance of having a healthy pregnancy someday, my future baby will also have a better chance of being born healthy.

Organic Thanksgiving Dinner?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

If your house is anything like mine, there’ll be LOADS of food at the dinner table on Thursday. As I get ready to help my mother prepare our Thanksgiving meal, I’ve noticed more organic foods are available at the grocery store. From organic turkeys to organic whipped cream, it seems you can by almost anything organic.

The New York Times Well column recently blogged about the cost of an organic Thanksgiving Day meal compared to a non-organic one. They found you could end up paying nearly 75% more when going all organic!

These rough economic times can make it hard to shop for food on a budget. And the American Dietetic Association says that more research needs to be done before we know for sure if organic foods are healthier or safer than other foods.

If you have a tight budget but want to buy some organic foods, try going for the foods that usually have more pesticide residue as compared to their organic versions. These include foods like lettuce, potatoes, apples or pears. But don’t sacrifice good nutrition for the organic label.  It’s more important that you eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and veggies than buy the organic whipped cream!

Pregnant Mommies: Not so fast on that Halloween candy!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

It’s Halloween and the kids will be bringing home LOADS of goodies. It’s okay for mommies to treat themselves every once in a while during pregnancy. But don’t overload on the fun-size candy bars and the candy corn.

A recent study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology shows that moms who gained more than 40 pounds during their pregnancy were twice as likely to have babies who were too large, compared to other moms. In fact, out of 40,000 moms in the study, 1 in 5 of them had gained too much weight during their pregnancy.

So what’s the harm in having a large baby, you ask? Well, let’s start with what that means for moms. Moms who gain too much weight during pregnancy are at increased risk of facing serious health complications such as gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension and preeclamspia.  Also, a pregnant mom who gains too much weight is more likely to encounter difficulties during labor and childbirth, such as a baby stuck in the birth canal, vaginal tearing, c-section, a longer hospital stay and other recovery complications.

Babies born to overweight or obese moms face their own special health risks, too. These newborns are at increased risk of being born prematurely, having certain birth defects and needing special care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Some studies even suggest that babies born too big are more likely to face obesity in their childhood, which is a growing problem in the U.S.

While you don’t want to go on any “fad diet” during pregnancy, it’s important that you make healthy food choicesWatch our video on healthy food choices during pregnancy.  Talk to your health provider for more nutrition tips.

Image: Juushika Redgrave, Flickr

Beware of ‘Pregorexia’

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

A lot of changes happen to moms during their nine months of pregnancy.   From changes in hair, to gums and teeth, to breasts and skin, Mother Nature uses this precious time to transform a woman’s body into a safe and healthy haven for her new baby.

But of all the changes taking place, many moms might find themselves most concerned with how much weight to gain during pregnancy.  The CBS Early Show recently did a segment on “pregorexia” and how some moms take extreme measures of limiting how much food they eat to lessen the amount of pounds they put on during pregnancy. This kind of behavior can cause severe harm to an unborn baby.  Fad diets can reduce the nutrients your baby needs for his growth and health.

It’s important that pregnant moms eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.  On average, women need an extra 300 calories a day to support the growth and development of their baby. You can get these extra calories by adding a small snack between meals, so make healthy choices.  With your health provider’s OK, you should also do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days.

As far as weight gain, women who are at a normal weight before pregnancy should gain between 25-35 pounds.  If you’re currently overweight, aim for a range of 15-25 pounds to avoid developing complications during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

Remember – the healthier you are during your pregnancy, the healthier your baby will be.