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Unhealthy Pregnancy Diets: Types of Food That May Put Your Baby at Risk

Other sections of this website have more specific information about a pregnancy diet plan, but the goal of this website page is to help you understand some of the common ingredients in our modern diet… and why you should avoid them if you want have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

1. Nutrient-Less White Flour in Unhealthy Pregnancy Diets

White flour is an ingredient that provides minimal amounts of nutritional benefits, because it is wheat that has been process industrially, stripping out all of the nutritional benefit from the original plant source. Many of the modernized diets around the world focus a good portion of their food consumption on white flour, and in conjunction with this increase in consumption there has also been an increase in disease as well. White flour is the worst flour you could be eating, but it’s also important to understand that foods that contain organic or whole wheat flour ingredients are only marginally better. These ingredients in these foods still go through a vigorous processing system that is unnatural and harmful for the nutritional content of the grain. Some of the common white flour foods to avoid include:

Snack foods, croissants, waffles, cakes, toaster tarts, pizza, pancakes, English muffins, breakfast cereals, biscuits, doughnuts, bagels, cookies, muffins, noodle soups, pasta, crackers and bread.Megan-03web

2. An Unhealthy Pregnancy Diet and Processed Sugar

With white flour being the first source of calories in a modern diet, processed sugar is the second source of calories. Sugary foods are everywhere, and many people are surprised to learn that they are in basic foods that may seem healthy. These are a few items to watch for, and avoid:

Coffee, chocolate, doughnuts, fruit juice, breakfast cereals, muffins, cake, sweet rolls, toaster tarts, cookies, ice cream, pastries, food bars, candy bars, diet bars, candy in any form, sweetened drinks, soda pop, corn syrup, commercial honey, and jam.

If a food comes pre-processed in a package, then it is very likely that at least of the ingredients is some type of processed sugar. To make matters worse, many of these foods contain a double-edge sword: they contain both sweeteners and white flour, both of which are not good for the human body. One of the worst types of foods that could be consumed is breakfast cereal, because they are loaded with processed sugar, even the organic brands! It is common for parents to feed their child cereal as one of the first solid foods that the baby eats, but these cereals are deficient of the nutrients that your baby needs to have in order to grow healthy and strong.

To help you understand how unhealthy breakfast cereals can be, there was actually an experiment completed that tested with one specific name brand cereal. When the lab rats in the experiment ate the breakfast cereal, they actually died faster than the rats who were eating the cardboard box in which the cereal was packaged!

3. Displaced Fats and Unhealthy Pregnancy Diets

If you read about native groups of people around the world, you will see that they ate plant and animal sources to get fat in their diets, and the fat was consumed in it’s natural, whole form. Most of the fat consumption in our modern diet comes from displaced fats, which are processed out of vegetable sources. Some of these types of fats include: vegetable oil, canola oil, margarine, or any of the other butter substitutes at the grocery store. The majority of the indigenous cultures actually obtained their fats from animals, and did not consume many vegetable oils. The reason it is so difficult to avoid these unhealthy fat sources in our modern world is because most restaurants and packaged/convenience foods contain processed oils which are unhealthy fats. Why do these food sources use sub-par ingredients? Because processed oils are much less expensive compared with healthier fat sources. These unhealthy fats are not good for the human body… in fact there are ow people who use rancid oils to supply gasoline for their cars (biodiesel technology). If these substances can fuel a machine, do you want to be subjecting your body to it?

4. Modern Faulty Pregnancy Diets Lacking in Quality Proteins and Vegetables

When native peoples fished or hunted, they generally ate all parts of the animals without letting anything go to waste. In fact they would usually  include, and often prefer, the organ meats such as heart, brain, kidney, and liver. When vegetable foods were eaten, they were selected in prime condition and served fresh or fermented for later use. The fermenting process is beneficial because it helps to preserve the food, and also enhance nutrient content.

In comparison, the prominent in the modern diet have been stripped of nutrition and devitalized by harsh processing methods that the industry uses to preserve the products. When canned vegetables and tinned meats are produced, they are put through a rigorous canning process that uses pressure and high heat… destroying most of the vitamins and damaging protein quality in the process. Canned foods are definitely sub-par to fresh, organic foods, because the canned foods have been stripped of all enzymes naturally present, and they are drastically reduced in the overall vitamin and nutrient levels that are available.

One common convenience food in our unhealthy, modern diet is a prepared sandwich from the grocery store deli. These sandwiches are pre-mad with two large pieces of white bread, or sometimes whole wheat options which really isn’t that much better. The bread is lathered in highly processed oils, commonly referred to as dressing or mayonnaise, and containing rancid ingredients and harmful substances such as MSG.  There may be a few vegetables on the sandwich, but usually they are wilted, limp vegetables that are deficient in vitamins of any substance… the deli simply uses the cheapest vegetables available. Packaged meats are also added to the sandwich, but these meats are very unhealthy because they’ve been processed chemically and have preservatives added in. The sandwich alone is bad enough, but to make matters worse it is usually served with a sweet drink loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, along with deep-fried potato chips that are dripping in rancid vegetable oils. Often these meals are topped off with more sugar in the form of some type of dessert. Choosing this type of meal can be harmful for you and your baby, because you are filling your stomach with calories that are lacking in the essential nutrients that you need to be healthy.

Source for Information about Unhealthy Foods For Pregnancy

Fallon, S. Nourishing Traditions. Washington, DC: New Trends, 1999: 468-469.

Photo Credit: tommo4074 from Flickr

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