Pregnancy

High-Fat Or Low-Fat, Pregnant Women Can’t Win When It Comes To Diets

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For years now, pregnant women have been hearing more about the ways that their diet choices impact their growing children. Gone are the days when a girl could “eat for two” and pack on the pounds, enjoying one of the most beloved cliches of pregnancy. Now, the recommended weight gain is between 20 to 30 pounds. Guess how much that baby and placenta and all the fluid weighs? About 15 pounds. That’s only 5 to 15 pounds that you’re actually encouraged to put on. Time to put a nix on daily ice cream sundaes, I guess. Forget nine months of munching, I can gain five pounds on a good vacation! But we all accepted that we wanted to do what’s best for our little ones.

So pregnant women started reading the studies and watching their weight gain. We tried to pig out on fruits and veggies instead of potato chips and cupcakes. But the research is still pouring in, telling us which foods could be dangerous and what we need to look out for. Unfortunately, the results are a little mixed and often confusing for soon-to-be moms.

Take two recent studies published, one condemning low-fat yogurt as causing asthma and the other showing that high-fat diets lead to smaller livers and increased chances of obesity. The first study concludes that low-fat fare is missing essential fats that help fetuses grow. The second study recommends that women switch to low-fat diets during their pregnancies to help “program” their kids to make healthy food choices.

Every time we turn around, someone has another suggestion for ways that pregnant women can better prepare the children that they haven’t born yet. I think the problem comes when we take any of this advice to extremes. General consensus agrees that women shouldn’t gain 80 pounds while pregnant, but they also shouldn’t be dieting. Eat fruits and vegetables, but don’t be afraid of full-fat yogurt or even a couple french fries.

In the end, women and their little ones are probably going to be a lot happier if pregnant women are able to make intelligent choices with needing to constantly stress and dissect every meal they sit down to. We might want to remember that these studies often show very small links between varying actions. One buffet probably won’t doom your children for the rest of their lives. If we apply a little common sense to our choices, we might not need so many studies dictating every little bite we take.