Why-should-a-pregnant-mother-avoid-processed-or-junk-food-during-pregnancy

Why should a pregnant mother avoid processed or junk food during pregnancy?

Eating healthy and in the right quantum, makes living healthy too. Similar is the theory and practice for the pregnant mothers as well.

Due to the fluctuating pregnancy hormones; her cravings are at all-time high. With the convenience of getting processed or junk food at the doorstep, through the food-ordering apps, she also gets the privilege to quench her cravings, whether it is in the day or night.

Although we know that, nurturing a life inside for nine-months is quite a challenge, but giving in to processed food can add to pregnancy complications…. Read on to know why…

  • Has zero nutrients: During pregnancy, the expecting mother will pass on the all-essential nutrients, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals to the baby, for its healthy growth. However, since junk or processed foodis rich with unhealthy fat, salt and sugar contents, consuming them will during pregnancy will not just leave the baby’s nutrient requirements incomplete, it will also negatively impact the baby’s brain, heart, lungs and bones.  
  • Increases the risk of allergy and asthma: Studies from the European Respiratory Journal have indicated that, babies born to women who had junk food, (consumed added sugar in the form of sucrose or honey) during their pregnancy, had high risk of allergy and asthma in-between the age of 7 and 9.
  • Ups the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes: A study carried out on pregnant rats have found out that, those women who consume high-fat and high-sugar diet through junk food during their pre-pregnancy days, suffer from obesity during their pre-pregnancy and pregnancy days, thus increasing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes during pregnancy. The baby may also be born with such health conditions and suffer from certain birth defects.
  • Can cause peripheral insulin dysfunction: Due to an increase in obesity during the reproductive age of a woman, there is an adverse impact on the uterine, thus affecting perinatal programming, which also results in insulin dysfunction in the offspring, thus becoming one of the reasons for weight gain in the child too.
  • Intervenes with the regular bowel movements:  Since junk or processed food doesn’t have enough fibre content it can increase the bloating and gaseous tendency in the pregnant mother, thus interfering with the cycles of bowel movements.
  • Makes the baby junk food addicted: Studies have claimed that, addiction to junk food during pregnancy may adversely impact the babies’ brain, thus leaving them addicted to unhealthy food habits, once they are born. After their birth, these children, do not feel, “the-feel-good” hormones even through healthy eating and there is a possibility that they develop a bad physical and mental shape.
  • Leads to other pregnancy complications: Regardless of the weight of the pregnant mother, her overall everyday calorie-intake should be between 340 to 450 calories, especially during the second and third trimester. And, high consumption of junk food during pregnancy, may result in gaining weight, thus giving rise to:
  • Health conditions such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, 
  • Giving birth to a large baby,
  • Giving birth to babies with birth defects,
  • Miscarriage, Pre-term labour, even stillbirth

To conclude: If a pregnant woman can’t avoid junk food, she can surely enjoy switching to something better. And switching to healthy snacking like reaching out to fruity yoghurts or kale chips (a source of folate) or “granula” oats bar might not just satisfy the cravings, but make her pregnancy easy-going too, thus giving a healthy start to the new-born babies.

References:
healthline[dot]com/health-news/pregnant-women-who-are-overweight-may-not-need-additional-calories
ndtv[dot]com/health/food-craving-during-pregnancy-heres-a-list-of-foods-expecting-mothers-should-strictly-avoid-2315767
sciencesforhealth[dot]com/pregnancy/how-to-quench-your-sweet-craving-with-healthy-snacking-during-pregnancy.html

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