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Can pregnant go on a carbohydrate-restricted diet?

Not all carbohydrates are bad and should be cut from food during pregnancy

Feeding during pregnancy is one of the most important factors for the good development of the baby. Even with a balanced diet, it is common for pregnant women to gain weight, after all, the fetus is growing and the desire to eat more often as well.

Therefore, it is important to do medical monitoring to understand whether the weight gain is healthy or whether it can offer any risk to the health of the pregnant woman. However, some women may ignore this factor and start cutting some foods on their own in order to lose weight.

The nutritionist Kenia Lovizon explains that, in order to change the diet, it is necessary to understand some particularities of the pregnant woman, for example: how she was in pre-pregnancy, how her lifestyle is or was before becoming pregnant, how pregnancy is evolving and baby’s development, among other factors.

Along with this, the results of prenatal exams are also taken into account, the woman’s daily routine, if she does physical activity, if she has any associated pathology (disease) and, of course, her personal tastes.

In this sense, it is common for some pregnant women to be in doubt as to whether or not they can do some type of more restrictive diet to maintain weight. One of the most popular current practices for this purpose is to restrict carbohydrate consumption. But after all, pregnant can low carb diet during pregnancy? Find it out:

Can pregnant go on a low carb diet?

The low carb diet is nothing more than reducing the amount of carbohydrates eaten daily, prioritizing the consumption of foods with a low glycemic index in the diet. Thinking about it, the recommendation of this practice for pregnant women will depend on how is the health of her and the baby.

“The diet can be done with the reduction of refined carbohydrates, especially for women who start a pregnancy with overweight or obesity and in pregnant women who have insulin resistance and diabetes. Everything will depend on a good conversation to identify the real importance and need”, explains the nutritionist Kenia Lovizon, a specialist at the Huntington Group.

In addition, the reduction of carbohydrate in the diet should be indicated in cases of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, for example. However, the assessment must be made on a case-by-case basis and follow-up must be carried out without long intervals.

When the pregnant woman decides to cut the carbohydrates on her own, without medical support, she may suffer from several symptoms that indicate the lack of these nutrients in the body, the most common being:

  • Lack of energy
  • Sleepiness throughout the day
  • Headache
  • Nausea.
  • Which carbohydrates to consume and which to avoid

    Carbohydrate foods are important during pregnancy, as they serve as energy fuel for the pregnant woman and, consequently, for the baby’s development. But it is important to pay attention when choosing which carbohydrates to consume.

    According to nutritionist Kenia Lovizon, the best sources of carbohydrate to be consumed during pregnancy are grains, roots, fruits, vegetables and legumes.

    “The pregnant woman should avoid refined and industrialized carbohydrates, such as sugars, products based on refined flour and products with excess milk and derivatives”, emphasizes the Huntington Group specialist.

    Can restrictive diets compromise fetal growth?

    In general, restrictive and nutrient-poor diets can have a negative impact on the health of the pregnant woman and, especially, the baby. In addition, these types of diets require supplementation of vitamins, so medical support before starting a different diet is important.

    If the pregnant woman presents a condition that requires a restrictive diet, the nutritionist can prescribe a balanced and calculated menu to meet the needs of the future mother.

    “A diet can be restrictive, but rich in nutrients. In these cases, containing only real foods and using complete supplementation, the pregnancy evolves healthily and the baby gains the necessary weight to develop perfectly”, completes nutritionist Kenia Lovizon.

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