Is Eating Chips Safe During Pregnancy?
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. Let’s find out how.
Can You Eat Chips During Pregnancy?
The ideal answer to this question is “no” for a variety of reasons. However, there are specific cases in which eating chips might be allowed, but that too, in the absolute minimum amount. If you are sure you can let go of them if there are health issues, you can have a few, but only the ones that are prepared at home with clean potatoes under hygienic conditions, and are fried in good-quality oil. In all cases, women are highly advised to stay away from chips until they complete the first trimester of pregnancy, the reasons for which we will explain in the article below.
Why is Eating Chips During Pregnancy Harmful?
Chips are not a healthy treat during pregnancy for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Ready-made chips have only 30% actual potatoes. The rest of the ingredients have starch and synthetic additives that are used to enhance the flavour and longevity of the chips. These additives are not at all healthy for the mother-to-be and the little baby growing inside her.
- Chips available in the market are made in large quantities, and the methods used to make them are not conducive for healthy consumption. Most chips are deep-fried at high temperatures in the same oil, which effectively removes nutrients if any, and also leads to unhealthy ingredients sticking to them.
- When consumed in excess, the vegetable oil used to fry chips can lead to the accumulation of fats in the body, which further affects the heart and leads to an increase in the levels of cholesterol, further leading to weight gain.
- Some of the chips also contain traces of a carcinogenic substance, which can directly reach the DNA and begin destroying its structure.
- Ready-made or packaged chips undergo processing and preparation cycles, where saturated salts, flavours and additives are added. Consuming salty chips disturbs the regulated levels of water and minerals in the body. This consequently will worsen the swelling in the legs and increase the blood pressure.
- Chips can also lead to heartburn, gases, and unwanted gastric activity, causing quite a havoc in the body. These conditions could worsen at times and lead to a miscarriage.
- Extra amounts of fat put a lot of load on the kidneys and the other organs that are already working double-time to support the baby.
The points mentioned above are some of the major health issues eating chips can give rise to. Now that you know how eating chips can affect the would-be mother’s health let’s also find out if it can affect the baby’s health too.
How Does Eating Chips During Pregnancy Affect Foetal Health?
Eating chips during pregnancy does affect the health of the little one growing inside your womb. Several varieties of chips are known to contain acrylamide, which is a potent carcinogen. Acrylamide can disrupt the formation of the existing DNA, that leads to the child being underweight and have an abnormal size of the head. This can further result in behavioural conditions, birth defects, and developmental delays later in the baby.
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. Therefore, eating chips during the first trimester is best avoided. Once you have a healthy baby in your hands, you can go back to enjoying chips, but in moderation, because anything in excess is never good for your health.