Are you pregnant and worried that your sugar cravings would have lasting effects on your health or the health of your child?
Many pregnant women cannot control their food intake and manage to gain many extra pounds. Food cravings will happen. If you choose what you eat and think through the lasting effects of your choices, you will not find yourself drowning in those extra pounds. You can start by limiting sweets. Instead of having a whole box of chocolate chip cookies, two per day will be satisfying.
Consuming too many sweets when pregnant will not only affect your physical health but also the health of your child later on in life. If you are pregnant and reading this article, then you are lucky to go through all the details of sugar consumption during pregnancy.
Headings and Subheadings:
- Why Is Sugar Harmful to My Pregnancy?
- Will Sugar Harm My Child?
- How Much Sugar Is O.K.?
Why Is Sugar Harmful to My Pregnancy?
We all know that sugar can get the body through the day as it provides us with energy, but not when pregnant.
First, it is better to form an understanding on why sugar level increases during pregnancy. When pregnant, your placenta makes hormones that cause the building up of glucose in your blood. If your body can’t make enough insulin to handle it, this will lead to gestational diabetes.
Sucrose can be found in most sweets, and it releases energy that leads to a rapid increases in glucose. Because your body at times cannot make enough insulin, consumption of sugar will leave you feeling tired and lazy.
Read more: “How to Care for Your Mental Health After Delivery”
When Does Gestational Diabetes Occur?
Gestational diabetes occurs after twenty weeks of pregnancy and when the body can’t produce enough insulin. This condition often goes away after delivery. The risk for gestational diabetes increases if:
- you had given birth to an over-weight baby before
- you had gestational diabetes in the past
- it runs in the family
- you are South Asian, black Caribbean, or Middle Eastern
Will Sugar Harm My Child?
When pregnant, your baby will consume anything you eat, and having too much sugar may affect her physical health as well as her cognition later on in life. Extra sugar can pass through the placenta to your fetus; thus, it results in higher production of your baby’s insulin. This leads to delivering an over-weight baby, which may also cause complications. Furthermore, research has proved that sugar may affect a child’s cognitive abilities; such as global intelligence, verbal knowledge, non-verbal skills, problem-solving, and memory.
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How Much Sugar Is O.K.?
The American Heart Association advises only six teaspoons of sugar daily for a pregnant woman. You do know that eating for two is a myth, right?
A low-sugar intake will keep your blood sugar stable and will result in higher energy levels. Remember, when pregnant, sugar leaves you tired and lazy.
How Can I Limit My Sugar Intake?
Here is how you can limit your sugar intake while still enjoying food:
- Sweeten your cereal with chopped fruit.
- Have popcorn or dried nuts when you feel like a snack.
- Drink fresh juice instead of coke.
- Replace ice cream with frozen yogurt and berries.
- Add dates to your diet.
- When you feel like a chocolate bar, choose dark chocolate.
- Make smoothies when you feel like something sweet.
- Keep a jar of dried fruit in your pantry.
Sugar found naturally in fruit is not harmful to your body.
Consuming too much sugar during pregnancy may have long-lasting effects on your health as well as the health of your child. Unlike other people, sugar does not provide pregnant women with energy throughout the day but rather exhausts them. Also, gestational diabetes may occur as a result of your sweet cravings, so try to limit your intake to six teaspoons per day. When your cravings get crucial, have a variety of fresh or dried fruit as substitutes for sweets.