Fiber in the Fight Against Too Much Pregnancy Weight GainKatlyn Joy | 4, December 2012
While today's savvy expectant mom knows there is really no such thing as eating for two, it's also important to keep in mind that it's not just about cutting out bad foods. You need to get the majority of your calories from the best and most nutritious of foods for optimum health for mother and child.
The average pregnant woman can expect to put on about 25 to 30 pounds, a bit more or less depending on her pre-baby BMI or body mass index. However, that's only part of the equation. If a woman drinks nothing but sodas and eats a heavy diet of fried foods and sugary desserts she may well put on all those pounds in the first trimester, which is not healthy or what the guidelines mean.
To eat healthy while pregnant you will need to eat a well balanced diet that contains lean protein sources, a variety of vegetables and fruits, dairy and calcium rich foods and whole grains.
Eating plenty of fiber rich foods will necessarily include fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains. Fiber gets through the digestive system quicker, which is a boon to a sluggish pregnant system. Fiber will help pregnant women battle that common second and third trimester malady; constipation also.
Fiber is a filling food, meaning you will get better control of that ravenous appetite with plenty of fiber rich foods. You will feel fuller and be less likely to grab a less nutritious snack later. Pregnant women should aim for 25 to 30 grams of fiber in their daily diets. Here are some suggestions for fiber rich foods:
Generally go for fresh fruits when possible as you'll glean the most positive results from those rather than processed fruits or juices. Go for fruits like apples and pears making sure to eat the skin too. Also recommended are bananas, raspberries, strawberries and oranges. Dried fruits such as figs and raisins are high in fiber as well.
Carrots are best raw but even steamed you'll reap fiber benefits. Other high-fiber veggies include broccoli, artichoke, green peas, greens and brussel sprouts. Cooked sweet corn, tomato paste and baked potatoes including the skin are good options as well.
Legumes and Seeds
Some great choices in this category include beans like lentils, black beans, baked beans, lima beans and split peas. Instead of chips, reach for a snack of almonds, sunflower seeds, pistachios and pecans.
Breads and Cereals
Eat whole grain breads like rye, whole wheat or multigrain. A bowl of oatmeal is high in fiber and a filling way to start your day. Oat bran, barley, bran flakes and whole grain or wheat pastas are other great ways to get your fiber. Want a snack? Go for some air-popped popcorn just sprinkle some Parmesan or other low sodium toppings on it.
Besides helping you to control your pregnancy weight gain, eating a high fiber diet is a good habit to continue even after baby's born. It will help you prevent obesity, heart disease and diabetes too. A high fiber diet appears to help fight certain cancers as well. Plus if you have a healthy diet you will most likely have children who eat healthy too. So consider this a lifestyle choice for a healthy future for your whole family.
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