Is Eating Chips Safe during Pregnancy?


Those nice salted oily chips in a variety of flavours might have never seemed as attractive as you might suddenly find them when you are pregnant. Cravings come in all possible forms and you might want to rip open a bunch of packets of chips, lie on your couch, and watch your favourite movie. But eating potato chips during pregnancy is ill-advised since it can result in a ton of complications to your unborn child, many of them being irreversible.

Can You Eat Chips in Pregnancy?

The ideal answer to this question is a strong “no” for a large variety of reasons. However, there are very specific cases in which eating chips might be possible, but that too in the absolutely minimal amount. If you are sure you can let go of them in case any conditions arise, you can have a few. Mostly healthy women are allowed a few chips, that too, only the ones that are prepared at home from clean potatoes in proper oil. In all cases, women are highly advised to stay away from chips until they complete the first trimester of pregnancy. If you know your willpower is weak, it is best to stay away from them completely.

Why Is Eating Chips Harmful When Pregnant?

The harm from consuming chips during pregnancy stems from a variety of reasons, namely:

  1. The constitution of ready-made chips is not the best for a pregnant woman. Only 30% of the chips ingredients are the actual potatoes. The rest of them are starch and synthetic additives that are used to enhance the flavour and longevity. These are not necessarily good for your health or the baby’s.
  1. The method of preparing chips in large quantities is not conducive for healthy consumption. Most chips are deep-fried at high temperatures in the same oil, which effectively removes any nutrients and further makes unhealthy constituents stick to it.
  1. A constant use of vegetable oils while frying the chips is the best recipe for the creation of fats that are bad for the body. These begin affecting the heart and the blood vessels, increasing levels of cholesterol. Some of the chips also contain traces of a carcinogenic substance, which can directly reach the DNA and begin destroying its structure.
  1. The prepared chips are made to undergo various processing and preparation cycles, where saturated salts, flavours and additives are added to them. Consuming such salty chips disturbs the regulated levels of water and minerals in the body. This consequently will worsen the swelling in the legs, which ends up increasing the overall blood pressure.
  1. The increased blood pressure, combined with the possibility of heartburn, gases, and unwanted gastric activity can cause quite a havoc inside the body, leading to an abortion as well. Extra amounts of fat put a lot of load on the kidneys and other organs who are already working double time to support the baby.

Can Eating Chips During Pregnancy Cause Under Weight Babies?

Many chips are known to contain acrylamide. This is a potent carcinogen that can easily find its way into the foetus. Once it reaches there, it begins to work on the existing DNA of the child and disrupts its formation. DNA plays a vital role in creating a healthy child and, if disturbed, tends to lead to a child that is underweight as well as has an abnormal head size. This can further result in behavioural conditions, birth defects, and developmental delays later in life.

The allure of chips can be too hard to resist, especially when the cravings are too strong. But it is necessary to understand that your baby’s safety has to be the number one priority. Having chips during the first trimester has to be a strict no-no and it is better to avoid them until delivery, too. Once you have a healthy baby in your hands, you can return back to enjoying them in their full glory.

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