Unmasking pregnancy diet myths
Pregnant women crave pickles and ice-cream.
Maybe. Particular food cravings may occur, but are not universal. Cravings are very common in pregnancy, especially for foods that provide energy and calcium, such as milk and other dairy products.
Pregnant mothers must eat for two.
False. Pregnant women do need to eat a little extra – but not twice as much! The main thing is to eat a well-balanced diet from all the food groups, so you get all the right nutrients. It’s only in the second and third trimester where your energy needs will increase slightly.
Pregnant mothers shouldn’t consume fish and fish oil.
False. Fish is an important part of a healthy diet and contains high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is also low in saturated fat. Some fish can contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system. The best approach is to eat fish lower in mercury, such as prawns, canned light tuna and salmon. Limit those that contain higher levels of mercury (e.g. shark, swordfish and mackerel). For more information on which fish contain high levels of mercury check out the section on Pregnancy Don’ts.
Drinking coffee has a negative effect on pregnancy.
False. Foods Standard of Australia and New Zealand advise coffee in small amounts does not affect your baby, but avoid drinking more than three cups a day (300mg or less per day). Very large amounts of caffeine may result in a baby with low birth weight. For more information on caffeine during pregnancy check out the section on Pregnancy Don’ts.
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