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Creating a Pregnancy Diet Plan

When you’re pregnant, proper nutrition is important – you need to consume enough calories and nutrients to keep yourself and your baby healthy. While a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement is a good idea, it’s no substitute for eating a healthy diet.

One thing you should remember is that when you’re pregnant, your body is constantly working to provide for your baby. Therefore, you should never go more than 12 hours without a healthy meal or snack. Always have a healthy breakfast in the morning and plan for a snack before bed, as well as several times throughout the day. Not only will frequent snacking help you keep your energy level up, smaller meals are also easier on your tummy and can help keep nausea at bay.

Developing a pregnancy diet plan for a generally healthy woman carrying a single baby is a fairly easy process. However, if you have any health concerns or if you’re carrying more than one baby, you’ll need to make changes to accommodate those conditions. If your diet is limited or restricted in some way – for example, you’re lactose intolerant, have food allergies or are a vegetarian – you’ll also need to modify your diet to suit those conditions. For a good place to start, check out the works of Dr. Tom Brewer, whose experience with pregnancy diet plans is extensive and has produced excellent outcomes.

Overall, your pregnancy diet plan should include four servings of milk and milk products each day. This may include milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or hard cheese. If you’re a vegan, you may choose 12 ounces of soy milk as a milk serving or 4 ounces of tofu. If you choose soy milk or tofu, you also need to include extra calcium servings, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, kale, black olives or blackstrap molasses.

Eggs are another excellent component of any pregnancy diet plan. They’re inexpensive, very versatile, readily available – even when dining out – and full of protein and nutrition. The iron in eggs, for example, is similar to the type found in a woman's breast milk and is readily absorbed by the body. Plan to include two eggs in your diet daily (you can include eggs that are used in the preparation of other dishes in your total count).

You should also try to include 6 to 8 servings of protein in your diet every day. You can choose from lean meats, poultry and fish, as well as tofu, beans and rice or other vegetarian combinations that provide complete protein. Your entire diet should include about 70 grams of protein per day from all sources. Avoid excessive servings of fish, which may contain potentially harmful levels of mercury.

Have at least two servings daily of dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, greens or Brussels sprouts, every day, and choose one orange or yellow fruit or vegetable each day that’s rich in vitamin A, such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apricots, cantaloupe or winter squash. You also need two servings of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries or green peppers.

Finally, you’ll also need five servings daily of whole grains. Don’t substitute processed or enriched grain products – these products lack the nutritive elements found in whole grains. Three servings daily of a healthy fat will complete your basic pregnancy diet plan – just be sure you’re choosing healthy fats like olive oil, nut oils, avocado or peanut butter.

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