There’s a lot of misinformation about prenatal nutrition, especially when it comes to real food for pregnancy.
- Limit your egg consumption because they’re high in cholesterol
- Avoid liver because it’s too high in vitamin A
- Take extra folic acid! (this part’s complex, so please keep reading for the full scoop)
- Eat lean protein
- You must eat plenty of carbohydrates for the baby
If you’re into traditional, real foods, you might already know why I disagree with the above. But, even with my expertise, recommending anything but the norm when it comes to prenatal nutrition is a slippery slope.
I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by fellow real food dietitian (and yoga teacher), Frances Arnold, to explain my stance prenatal nutrition. Both her and I have a long history of working clinically with pregnant women and we share some frustrations about the conventional nutrition advice that expecting moms often receive.
Frances and I dig into the details, the research, and the controversy on real food for pregnancy in this podcast. We cover the most important steps a woman can take before becoming pregnant and during pregnancy to ensure she has the healthiest baby ever.
Some of the prenatal nutrition pearls of wisdom we discuss:
- Why all pregnant women should have their vitamin D levels tested (what blood test to ask for and how to correct deficiency if you have it)
- The top three things women trying to conceive should pay attention to before becoming pregnant
- What nutrients are critical, both before and during pregnancy
- Why decreasing inflammation is so important while pregnant (and how to do it)
- What foods can promote pre-eclampsia, premature delivery and other complications (you’ll be shocked by this one, because you probably purposefully eat these everyday)
- Why I support an omnivorous diet for pregnant women
- How the standard carbohydrate recommendations for pregnancy were determined and why I disagree with them (there’s a whole chapter on this in Real Food for Gestational Diabetes where I explore the safety of low carbohydrate diets and ketosis in pregnancy)
- The simple way to tell if you’re eating too many carbohydrates (aside from checking your blood sugar levels)
- Why liver is an incredible superfood that you should most definitely eat during pregnancy
- Why sourcing grass-fed beef is so important. I already explored 7 reasons grass-fed beef is worth the money in more detail here, but I highlight it’s role in pregnancy nutrition in the interview.
- How too much lean protein in pregnancy can be toxic (it still shocks me that no one talks about this, but I guess I’ll be the first to poke evidence-based holes in this faulty logic)
- Why pregnant women cannot get the right form of omega-3s called DHA from plant foods (like chia seeds, flaxseeds, or walnuts)
- The only non-animal source of DHA
- If you’re having regular food cravings, why you are probably eating too much of one nutrient, and not enough of something else (I also explore food cravings/food addiction in this post)
- How what a mom eats during pregnancy can permanently change the health of her baby
Of course, this reveals a small portion of the prenatal nutrition enigma. I explore these topics and more (in excruciating detail) with all the scientific evidence to back my stance in my book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.
If you liked this interview on real food for pregnancy, sign up to receive a copy of my FREE prenatal snacks ebook below.
Now I’d like to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below:
What was the most shocking piece of unconventional prenatal nutrition advice you learned in this interview?
Until next week,
PS – I misspoke at one point in this interview – Pregnant women need more than 2 eggs per day to meet their choline needs (more like 3-4, although that depends on the size of the egg). It’ll also depend on the remaining choline content of a woman’s diet.
For more on the importance of eggs during pregnancy, see this post.
This interview was among some of the first I did on prenatal nutrition. Since the publishing of my first book on gestational diabetes in 2015, I’ve had numerous requests to write a book on general prenatal nutrition.
Midwives and doctors who had seen the positive impact on gestational diabetes wanted to have a resource for their non-diabetic clients. They also wanted my evidence-based summary on other topics related to pregnancy, like supplements, exposure to toxins, the validity of typical “foods to avoid” lists and more.
Learn more about the book and read the first chapter FOR FREE over at www.realfoodforpregnancy.com.