Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Food Guidelines for Pregnant Women

By Jayde Johanssen

Being pregnant is an unforgettable experience. It's an exciting time in a woman's life. Changes occur each day. Hormone levels increase. Your body and attitude change. It's a time filled with new things. In fact, given all these changes, the topic of what's permissible to eat and what's not becomes a significant question that most pregnant women find themselves grappling with.

Food, both during and after pregnancy, is a big issue. What one does eat affects the child inside, after all. The information that surrounds food and pregnancy can be pretty fuzzy. The good news is, however, generally, what you can and can eat stays the same, except for some notable exceptions.

When it comes down to it, according to doctors and nutritionists, it's best to take a healthy approach. Choose wisely. While this may seem like very common knowledge, getting down into the precise points of what you can and can't eat, it does get very perplexing. Often the matter is made too complicated.

Family members are eager to dish out advice. Strangers even will offer you their supposed tried and true tips when it comes to diet and babies and giving birth, etc. All this often unsolicited information can be frustrating and confusing all at once. It doesn't help that those extra hormones make you delicately testy and moody.

Nor does it help that every day a new article seems to come out suggesting that such and such a food is dangerous or that alternatively, it's actually not so dangerous and that it does have some good effect. One day your favorite food is on the dangerous to eat list, and the next day it's not. All this information ends up boggling the mind.

Often when it comes down to it, this wealth of extraneous and incomplete knowledge leaves you more confused than you started off.

The basics, however, are pretty simple to remember. Essentially, you don't really have to modify your diet too much from what you normally eat. Put into practice the rules of healthy eating-abide by moderation and good sense.

Experts would agree that there are some simple rules to abide by when it comes down to it. These guidelines are actually really guidelines anyone should follow, with a few amendments.

You should always remember to wash all fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Remember too, to be careful with foods such as cantaloupe and water melon-the rinds can actually contain harmful bacteria that may be transferred to the fruit, so do wash them before you cut into them.

Always cook food carefully. This rule applies especially to poultry, meats and eggs. Play it safe and go for well done.

Remember to wash your hands before and after touching meat.

Try not to eat junk food all the time. It's better to eat high fat food in moderation, despite the odd cravings.

Be wary of seafood. Certain fatty fish like shark and tile-fish contain dangerous amounts of mercury.

Instead opt for canned fish or smaller ocean fish.

The consumption of alcohol should be avoided.

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