Here’s how to eat in moderation when you’re expecting. By Deborah Lin
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Being pregnant doesn’t mean eating anything you like – and certainly doesn’t mean eating for two! Make the best of your supermarket run by using this guide to interpret the information on food labels.
You only need to consume an extra 300 calories a day during pregnancy (about one and a half bowls of rice), says Sarah Sinaram, senior dietitian at Raffles Hospital, so calorie information can help you avoid eating for two.
During pregnancy, about 25 to 35 per cent of your daily calories should come from fat as it is essential for the development of the baby’s eyes and brain. Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – both are good fats that help lower cholesterol.
This helps your body regulate fluids but eat it in moderation – about 2,400mg (one teaspoon) per day. Research has not shown any proof that restricting salt or sodium alleviates pre-eclampsia (a dangerous condition; symptoms include high blood pressure and fluid retention).
Constipation is common in as many as half of all pregnant women as the digestive system is also influenced by hormonal changes. To maintain regular bowel movements, make sure your diet is high in fibre and drink plenty of fluids.
Too much can tip the scales above the 12kg to 16kg normal weight women should add during pregnancy. Strive to limit your intake of all types of sugars to 10 per cent of your daily calorie intake. That’s about 55g a day.