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It is important that we take a healthy diet during pregnancy. The food eaten during pregnancy is not only to take care of the mother’s health but also the baby inside the womb. So is the Paleo diet safe enough to be taken during pregnancy? Read on to find out.
What is Paleo Diet?
Paleo diet or Caveman’s diet stresses on the food that our ancestors and forefathers used to eat. The ingredients of this diet comprise everything that is natural. It is free from anything that has been grown in the farms or processed.
Can You Try Paleo Diet during Pregnancy?
Paleo is a very healthy diet to follow during pregnancy. It stresses the intake of protein and no grains. It includes taking of natural oils like olive oil or omega – 3 etc, which have fatty acids that are required to keep the mother as well as the unborn baby’s nervous system healthy.
Iron is very important for pregnant women since anaemia is a major and common issue among pregnant women. The adequacy of iron is met by taking the meat of animals which is prescribed in the Paleo diet. This also aids in the development of muscles which is very crucial during delivery.
The Paleo diet also prescribes fruits and vegetables which are extremely essential to prevent gestational diabetes.
Prenatal Benefits of Paleo Diet
Paleo diet with a few modifications here and there is believed to be a very healthy diet during the prenatal stage of pregnancy. Some of the prenatal benefits of the Paleo diet are listed below.
- The diet includes several vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
- The Paleo diet increases your chances of conceiving by decreasing the homocysteine levels in the blood.
- The Omega-3 fatty acids that are present in the diet acts therapeutically during the ante-natal stage. It also helps in the development of the brain and eye of the fetus. They also help in preventing pre- and post-natal depression.
- The diet helps in preventing anaemia during pregnancy due to the presence of a significant amount of iron in it. Moreover, the diet prohibits intake of grain which contains phytates that do not allow the absorption of iron, calcium and zinc.
- The diet has a low-glycemic index which keeps the blood sugar levels balanced. This prevents pregnant women from developing gestational diabetes.
- Paleo diet restricts intake of processed food and fast food which is not good both for the mother and the unborn baby.
- The chances of suffering from gas and acidity ,which are two common problems to deal with during pregnancy, are reduced with this diet.
Are There Any Risks of Going Paleo during Pregnancy?
Pregnant women are supposed to eat a variety of healthy food. However, Paleo diet restricts intake of dairy and grains. Therefore, there are some risks involved with this diet during pregnancy.
- Women, who are into Paleo diet during pregnancy and tend to increase their intake of fish and meat at the end of their pregnancy, give birth to babies who may suffer from higher systolic hypertension later in their lives.
- It has been observed that pregnant women who are into Paleo diet which prescribes more red meat and less of carbohydrates are said to give birth to babies with low birth weight and poor growth.
How to Eat Paleo in Pregnancy?
Paleo diet plan for pregnancy can be followed with some modifications made to it. Women have an aversion to some foods during pregnancy, especially meat or fish which are the best sources of protein. Therefore, in place of that, eat eggs, nuts, and legumes for protein.
Many women suffer from nausea during early pregnancy. Starchy carbohydrates are the only foods that are easily tolerable and can be eaten during pregnancy. However, it is advisable to choose safe starchy carbohydrates which are low on phytates, like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, plantains, and tapioca.
Include smoothies in your daily diet made of almond milk, coconut milk, cashew nut milk blended along with fruits.
Modifications to Follow Paleo Diet when Pregnant
Starting Paleo while pregnant is something which many do. It is believed that eating Paleo while pregnant is quite healthy. However, you need to make a few modifications to make it completely compatible with a healthy pregnancy.
- Include more carbohydrates and decrease the number of proteins in your diet since too much of protein in your diet can cause the baby to have a low birth weight.
- Eat healthy carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, berries and different kinds of root vegetables.
- You can include a multi-vitamin supplement in your diet after consulting your doctor. Take a supplement in which there is enough of the vitamin or mineral that is lacking in your Paleo diet.
- Since dairy is not suggested in the Paleo diet, you can drink almond milk. It has the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as that in cow’s milk.
The Paleo diet is one of the healthiest ways to eat during pregnancy. It may take some time for people to adjust to it given the fact that the diet restricts grains and dairy products. However, with some changes and modifications which are suitable for pregnancy and the person in question, it can be followed.