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Pregnancy Nutrition: Processed Foods vs. Whole Foods

Posted Dec 06 2010 5:11am

< p>Is it actually ok to eat processed meals when you are striving for optimal pregnancy nutrition ? Well, yes and no. If you are attempting to keep your weight gain low and your little one healthy, then swearing off the refined foods can bring a large advantage to you throughout your pregnancy.

On the other hand, processed meals are so ingrained into our culture that it can be challenging to envision life without them. Is there a time and a place for processed meals during pregnancy? Or must you remove them from your diet altogether? In this post, we get to the bottom of the processed versus whole foods argument for expecting women.

Pros and Cons of Processed Foods

Processed foods have some clear advantages over their whole and unprocessed counterparts. For one thing, they are incredibly convenient to obtain. If you get hungry while you are out running errands, it’s simple to step into a fast food eatery and order a value meal off the menu. In addition, processed foods are cheap.

If you are watching your budget while you are pregnant, then processed foods may appear like an low-cost way to fill up and satisfy your cravings. In truth, you may come to a decision that eating lunch meat while pregnant is a good way to get your proteins in at every meal, withoutwith out going to the expense and hassle of preparing a lean cut of meat at home.

The drawbacks to processed foods, although, are quite a few. They are crammed with salt, fillers, and calories. This gives them the potential to wreck your eating program and cause you to gain fat if consumed to excess while you are pregnantexpecting.

They also can add to water retention, as the excessive salt content can trigger your system to retain water. Processed foods are also packaged with fillers that usually contain wheat or gluten. These two ingredients can lead to bloating and indigestion when you are expecting.

The bottom line is, processed meals are at best a shorter–and usually short-sighted–solution to your dietary needs during pregnancy.

Pros and Cons of Whole Foods

The added benefits of whole foods are quite apparent. They are usually greater in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber—all of which are dietary elements that are key to successful pregnancy nutrition. They are free of chemicals, hormones, and other questionable ingredients that can possibly harm your developing fetus during pregnancy.

In addition, whole foods supply a lot more bang for your buck—higher nutrients per portion than processed foods. So even if whole foods appear more expensive, you are receiving a lot more of the “real deal” when you eat them.

The drawbacks of whole foods are apparent too. You have to take the time out of your busy routine to prepare them, and you need to make an additional effort to bring them with you as you go about your every day routine.

Also, natural and hormone-free items are also generally more expensive than regular products at the grocery store. So even mothers with the greatest of intentions can discover that whole foods are too inconvenient and too high-priced to include into their diet plans.

Tips for Making the Switch

You can, nevertheless, have the very best of both worlds if you slowly incorporate whole foods into your lifestyle. One of the best methods to do this is to seek out a nearby farmer’s market.

The vendors there frequently offer you natural fruits, vegetables, eggs and even meats at the optimum of freshness and in season, making them a lot less expensive than out-of-season produce at your grocery store.

Try packing an apple and raw nuts as a snack while you run errands, rather than making a stop at McDonald’s while you are out. Even just trying one new thing can make a massive improvement in your pregnancy and how you feel.

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