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Quick GuidePregnancy: What Not to Eat When Pregnant
Hummus is a tasty spread made from garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, and olive oil. Try it as a dip for raw veggie sticks or use it instead of mayonnaise to add a new healthy flavor to sandwiches. Hummus is high in protein and low in fat. Hummus has a very low glycemic load; and adding it to higher glycemic load foods, like bread or crackers, will add lower the impact of the total meal on your blood sugar. This makes it a useful food for managing and minimizing the effects of gestational diabetes.
We have many egg options in the grocery store now; how do pregnant women know which ones to choose? It is a myth that brown eggs are more nutritious, however, studies show that pasture-fed chickens produce eggs with more omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E because chicken eggs are affected by what the chickens are fed. Eggs marketed as "Omega-3 eggs" or "DHA eggs" do indeed have more omega-3s because these chickens have been fed flaxseed or krill oil or other sources of omega-3s. The same thing happens when pregnant women add these foods to their diet!
Eggs are often vilified for the cholesterol they contain, however, developing fetuses need cholesterol (and so do mothers). What may be more important than the cholesterol content of eggs is how we cook them. Frying or scrambling eggs glycosylates the proteins and oxidizes the cholesterol, creating the metabolites that contribute to heart disease. The best bet is to poach or hard boil eggs; these cooking methods protect the maximal nutritional value of these power foods. For more information about advanced glycation end products (AGE), and its content of certain foods, please refer to this table from The Journal of American Dietetic Association (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/table/T1/).
Packed with protein and fiber, while low in fat, lentils are another pregnancy power food. Lentils are filled with iron, folate, and all of the healthy trace minerals and B vitamins. There are several types of lentils. The red ones become very soft when cooked, making them perfect for creamy soups or Indian dhal. The green ones, sometimes called French lentils, stay firm when cooked. These make excellent salads when tossed with chopped veggies and a vinaigrette dressing.