Prenatal Foods & Why You Shouldn’t Use Google

It seems weird that this is one of the first blog posts that I’m writing. In a way it’s kind of fitting though; this is where it starts. The first foods/nutrients your body takes in are located in the womb during fetal development.

I am not a mother, nor do I plan to be one any time soon. BUT I do know a bunch of mothers and I happen to have a mother so that pretty much makes me an expert on the subject.

*kidding*

Here’s a list of  foods to avoid eating during pregnancy listed on the official website of the Mayo Clinic:

  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • King mackerel
  • Tilefish
  • undercooked or raw seafood in general
  • undercooked or raw meat in general
  • unwashed vegetables
  • unpasteurized milk
  • herbal tea
  • caffeine

Here’s a list of foods not to eat from Health magazine’s website:

  • salad bar or prepared salads from restaurants
  • unpasteurized juices from farmer’s markets
  • liver

Here’s a list from WebMD:

  • lead (yummy!)
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • golden seal botanicals
  • Cascara sagrada
  • black walnut
  • wormwood
  • tansy
  • pennyroyal
  • senna
  • saw palmetto
  • pao d’arco
  • excess calories

 

Okay you get the point. And hopefully you got a little chuckle out of these like I did. Now, some of things make sense and are pretty obvious while others should just be avoided whether you’re pregnant or just eating for 1. Lead, WebMD, really? The general concensus from all the sources I researched were that you should avoid undercooked meats, undercooked fish, and dirty/ unwashed foods or foods of which you do not know the origin. Cool. Duh.

But where are the warnings for over processed foods that are on every shelf, in every grocery aisle, in every chain super market in the country? Where are the warnings for foods packed with man-made chemicals that are proven to cause developmental and learning disorders in children? Who’s teaching these mothers about the negative outcomes of the foods that are already in their pantries?


Let’s talk about the foods that some popular websites are telling mommy’s-to-be that they should eat…

This is the part that gets a little scary. Now keep in mind, all of the recommendations listed below were found on the first page of google by searching “foods to eat when pregnant”. I didn’t have to search hard for this content. This is the same content that pregnant women are getting when seeking real advice on how to properly care for their child and they’re being mislead by all these big, popular sites and companies.


#2/15 Good Pregnancy Foods According to Parents.com:

Fortified breakfast cereal“…what?

“”You knew folate was important before conception and during your first few weeks of pregnancy, but your needs for the B vitamin stay high the whole nine months. Experts advise getting 400 micrograms per day through vitamin supplements or fortified foods (breakfast cereal is an easy way to do it, since many brands contain 400 micrograms per bowl), and another 200 micrograms through foods that are naturally high in folate, such as asparagus and black-eyed peas.”” – Parents.com

Okay they’re not wrong about the Vitamin B part. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is vital to your baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Vitamin B6 also helps your baby metabolize protein and carbohydrates. Vitamin B = good. However, most cereals are loaded with sugar; much more sugar than one human needs in a day, let alone 1 with a bun in the oven. Starting the day with a sugary cereal will spike your blood sugar and increase your insulin levels which will cause you to crash soon after and you’ll be left craving more sugar.

These cereals have all sorts of health claims printed on the front of the box. This includes misleading claims like “low-fat” and “whole grain.” But when you look at the ingredients list, the first few are often refined grains and sugar. Is this what you want to fuel your body with while you are growing your child inside of you? Sounds like an arrogant question but just think about it.

Examples of misleading claims are “whole grain” Cocoa Puffs and “whole grain” Froot Loops. These products are NOT healthy just because they have small amounts of whole grains in them.These are highly processed foods that are loaded with added sugars. Small amounts of whole grains do not negate the harmful effects of the other ingredients.However, a major problem is that people actually believe these claims and it’s because of websites like parents.com that this is a growing epidemic.

But get this. Vitamin B can also be attained from many meat and dairy products, enriched soy, and rice milk. Meat and dairy products are other targets on my list of foods to defile and ban from my life, but we’ll get to the “why” behind that later. Harvard School of Public Health published an article stating that research suggests that Vitamin B deficiency during pregnancy can cause birth complications such as spina bifida and anencephaly. That same page suggests that you eat meat and dairy. I just lost a little respect for you, Harvard. Link to article below.

Three of the B Vitamins: Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12


Okay, I’m done with my rant on cereal..now where were we?

#6/15 Good Pregnancy Foods According to Parents.com:

sour milk

Milk. 

I’m about to lay down some pretty disgusting milk facts in the next couple paragraphs. Keep reading. Ignorance is not bliss.

Infants of all species drink milk when they’re young from their biological mothers. their mothers milk provides them with agents that they need to stay healthy and even fight off some pathogens since babies’ immune systems have such low tolerance. There is no reason listed anywhere on the vast,

moms-breastmilk-changes
Above is human breast milk. Left shows when baby is healthy and right shows when baby is sick. Mother’s body adjusts milk content to tend to baby’s biological needs.

deep dark hole that is the internet, as to WHY humans need to drink the milk of a cow that is intended to grow a small calf into a full grown adult cow/bull. There is an age where youngins of all species stop drinking their mother’s milk. So why do humans insist on drinking milk, not only past infancy, but milk of another species entirely. Ponder it. Let me know if you come up with an explanation. I’d love to hear it.

“But doesn’t milk make my bones strong?” No, calcium paired with vitamin D can be linked to keeping your bones from degrading but calcium doesn’t fix bone degradation and milk alone certainly doesn’t fix the problem.

 

 

 

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Resources:

Nutrition During Pregnancy and the Effect of Carbohydrates on the Offspring’s Metabolic Profile

Washington University – Pregnant women’s high-fat, high-sugar diets may affect future generations

Science Daily – Sugar intake during pregnancy is associated with allergy and allergic asthma in children

 

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