You may be surprised to learn that when it comes to what to eat while pregnant, sugar should be one of the foods you cut back on, or eliminate entirely. Sugar seems so innocuous, after all. We all know the negative effects of alcohol and caffeine on your pregnancy and diet, but surely sugar is safe, right? Who would begrudge a pregnant woman a piece of cake or a cookie?
As innocent as sugar seems, it’s actually a substance that can cause a bunch of problems not just during pregnancy, but in your overall diet as well. You should eliminate sugar not just as part of a healthy pregnancy, but as a healthy lifestyle change as well.
Understanding the Negatives of Sugar
Let’s take a look at the issues that sugar can cause, just in the average person’s diet:
• Sugar feeds cancer;
• It can cause food allergies;
• It can weaken your eyesight;
• It can lead to drowsiness and decreased activity;
• Sugar increases your cholesterol levels;
• It can cause cardiovascular disease;
• It leads to diabetes;
• Sugar contributes to osteoporosis;
• It can lead to uncontrolled yeast growth (candidiasis)
• It can cause impairments in DNA structure;
• It can reduce your defenses against bacterial infection; and
• Sugar can lead to a host of issues in children such as eczema, hyperactivity, anxiety, and crankiness.
Are you thinking twice about having dessert? Hopefully so. As you can see, the “white stuff” can actually contribute to a variety of harmful illnesses just in the average male or female. But how can it impact your pregnancy?
Why Sugar Is Worse During Pregnancy
Aside from the list of problems sugar can cause that we just discussed, sugar can make your pregnancy more difficult as well. During pregnancy, sugar is absorbed more rapidly than usual into your bloodstream. Your body makes more insulin to regulate this sugar, causing your pancreas to have difficulty in keeping up. If your pancreas cannot function properly, your blood sugar levels will stay elevated. This can cause you to feel hungry all the time, to gain weight, and worst of all, it can lead to gestational diabetes.
Aside from these issues, sugar can contribute to a condition known as macrosomia, in which your baby grows excessively large. If you are hoping for a natural childbirth, or at the very least, an easy labor, macrosomia can make delivery even more difficult than usual. This can increase your chances for a Caesarian section delivery.
Alternative Terms for Sugar
If you are ready to cut sugar from your diet, you should know that you are in for a tough road. Sugar can be found in almost any processed food, under many different names. If you are serious about cutting it from your diet, you will want to look out for these terms:
• Corn sweetener
• Corn syrup
• High fructose corn syrup
• Turbinado Sugar
You will also want to eliminate honey, fruit juices, maple syrup, molasses, rice syrup, sorghum, syrup, and treacle from your diet.
All-Natural Sweeteners You Should Try
So, does swearing off sugar mean you can never satisfy your sweet tooth? Quite the contrary! Many pregnant women get strong, intense cravings for sweet foods during pregnancy and you can indulge these feelings as long as you do so sensibly.
There are a few all-natural sugar alternatives you can try, such as stevia, which does not have any calories and is all natural. Raw honey and agave syrup do have calories, so you should enjoy these in limited quantities. You might also want to check out xylitol, which is available at most health food stores and has half the calories of sugar.
Source by Isabel De Los Rios