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Load Up On Good Carbs, Moms!

 

You can’t talk about food for pregnancy without mentioning carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, together with fats, are the main sources of energy for you and your baby. It is known that inadequate amounts of it may result in bouts of tiredness or surges in food cravings during pregnancy.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

During your 4th to 9th month of pregnancy, your insulin requirements will be two to three times higher than your usual. Don’t worry, Mommies, this spike is influenced by pregnancy hormones. Insulin has an essential role in your pregnant state - it allows your body to use carbohydrates by converting them into fat for storage, so you can maintain good glycemic levels.  

When your pancreas cannot produce excess insulin, this triggers diabetes, which usually goes away after pregnancy. This is known as gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced diabetes. A woman with this kind of diabetes is put on a special diet.

What to eat when pregnant

The best food for pregnancy requires carbohydrates because they provide you with energy as you go about your usual tasks. But remember: care should be taken as not all carbohydrate-rich foods are good. Learn to identify the good carbs and always include them in your daily diet.

Here are the two types of carbohydrates:

  • SWEET FOODS: Sugar, honey, jam, chocolate, sweets, pastries, fruit, etc.  They mainly contain simple sugars, which are quickly absorbed by the body and may cause a spike in energy levels.
  • STARCHY FOODS (pasta, rice, potatoes, sweet potato), cereals and dried legumes (red beans, garbanzos). They mostly provide complex sugars which bring about a feeling of fullness as they are digested more slowly. They can supply you with a good steady stream of energy.

Tips on how to energize food for pregnant women with the right Carbs:

  • Give priority to starchy foods and cereals for extended energy. Carbohydrates should provide most of the calories you need daily. Also increase your fiber intake by eating whole grain bread and cereals at various times of the day. Here is a sample menu to provide you with the energy you need for an entire day:

BREAKFAST:

              3 slices of whole grain bread OR 1 cup whole grain cereals OR 1 cup brown rice  

              A glass of milk

              Medium size banana

LUNCH:

    1/c cup vegetable salad

    ½ cup of cooked vegetables

              2 matchbox-sized meat OR fish

              A slice of ripe papaya

              1 cup brown rice

SNACK:

               1 cup taho

               1 piece boiled sweet potato

   A glass of fruit juice

DINNER:

   Broth 

   1 ¼ breaded pork

   1 cup pinakbet

   1 cup brown rice

  • Food for pregnancy should be low in sweets and sugar. Eat sugary foods only in small amounts for dessert or when you feel dizzy.
  • Distribute your carbohydrate consumption equally over the entire day. Don’t forget to take in carbs in the morning to avoid fatigue, dizziness or hunger pangs before lunchtime.

From the NESTLÉ Global Archive co-written with RND KATE PERALES

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