(WXYZ) – A healthy diet is important for women planning on getting pregnant because the first 8 weeks of pregnancy is key for your baby’s development. There is a new study discussing this topic.
So a new study from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Public Health finds many women are not meeting the national nutritional guidelines.
More than 7,500 pregnant women tracked what they ate for three months around the time they conceived. Hispanic, African American and less-educated women scored the lowest. However none of the women in any racial or socioeconomic group, including white women, achieved the recommendations outlined in our Dietary Guidelines.
The researchers found these women got roughly 34% of their energy from empty calories and processed, high-fat, high-sugar foods, like sugar-sweetened beverages, pasta dishes and grain desserts. Soda was a favorite for African Americans, Hispanic and less-educated women; While beer, wine and spirit were top energy sources for college or graduate degree women.
- Your body needs high quality foods to help prepare for pregnancy so eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein every day.
- Make sure you get enough folic acid in your diet as it helps protect your baby from birth defects. Beans, peas, citrus fruit, spinach, and asparagus are good choices.
- Most of your nutrients should come from food. But you can take a prenatal supplement before you get pregnant as it includes key vitamins and minerals your body will need.
- Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs if planning on getting pregnant because they can be very harmful to your baby’s health especially during the first trimester.
During the first 8 weeks, many of the baby’s major organs and body systems are beginning to form. Your health and what you eat can directly affect your baby’s growth and development during this time. So be sure to exercise, eat right and limit foods with added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.
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