Nutrition Myths Busted

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Nutrition Myths Busted

By Michelle Dudash, RD


After recently making it through her own pregnancy, Registered Dietitian Michelle Dudash became convinced that for every pregnant woman, a new mom’s tale is born. It’s no wonder that there are more Old Wive’s Tales regarding pregnancy than anything else. Along with “carry low it’s a boy” and “castor oil can induce contractions,” most of her friends’ newfound nutrition knowledge is, well, just myth.

Here are some of her favorites that she’s had to set the record straight recently with some of her girlfriends:

Myth #1. “You can eat for two when pregnant; so it’s the one time where I really don’t need to worry about my diet.”

Fact: Pregnancy is no longer the time for eating for two. In fact, calorie requirements don’t even go up in the first trimester. In the second trimester, women need about 350 addition calories a day extra during the second trimester and 450 per day in the third. 350 calories is the equivalent of a fruit and yogurt parfait, and 450 calories is the equivalent of an almond butter and jelly sandwich. For most women, this means having 2,200 to 2,900 calories per day, and since most women eat about 2,000 calories per day already, you can see the additional calories are not great.

Myth #2. “I take a prenatal vitamin, so I don’t have to worry about what I eat.”

Fact: It is true that taking a prenatal vitamin daily is a healthy move for you and your baby. Look for one that contains most of your essential nutrients, like in S7 Prenatal Drink Mix, created by Registered Dietitian Michelle Dudash. It is the first drink mix of its kind containing the super seven essential pregnancy nutrients, and more, in a portable packet, for before, during, and after pregnancy. It is all-in-one with folic acid, iron, DHA, calcium, choline, electrolytes, and even ginger for nausea. Though, even the best prenatal vitamins do not contain protein or adequate calories and fat. While it’s OK to have your favorite junk foods from time to time, make sure you’re still aiming to eat a balanced diet with the good stuff, too.

Myth #3. “There’s no way to get all the calcium you need naturally while pregnant, especially now that I can’t eat my favorite cheeses.”

Fact: You need the same amount of calcium during pregnancy and when breastfeeding as you do when you’re not pregnant—1,000 mg per day. In fact, when pregnant, your body becomes super efficient at absorbing the mineral. As far as the ban on your favorite soft cheeses like Brie and blue, as long as the label says it is made from pasteurized milk (instead of raw unpasteurized) it should be safe for you and baby.

Myth #4. “I avoided all seafood due to toxic mercury levels.”

Fact: That’s too bad, because in addition to being a good source of lean protein, certain fatty fish like salmon and halibut are low in mercury and contain DHA. Studies show how consuming DHA during the 3rd trimester and while breastfeeding may boost babies brain development and even increase IQ. The recommendations for pregnant women suggest limiting seafood consumption to no more than 12 ounces per week, while limiting Albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week.

Myth #5. “To be safe, avoid exercise when pregnant.”

Fact: Exercise is good for most pregnant women. Research shows that exercise can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes by 50 percent and the risk of dangerous hypertension by 40 percent. Be sure to check with your doctor that it is OK for you to exercise, which types of exercise are safe. Keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute.

Michelle, of Gilbert, Arizona, is the co-founder and Chief Nutritionist of Impact Nutritionals, Inc., and creator of S7 Prenatal Drink Mix.

* The comments contained herein are no substitution for regular medical care from a qualified M.D. or provider. The creator of this website assumes no responsibility for information used in lieu of seeking help from a medical doctor. Any person who is ill needs to IMMEDIATELY contact their doctor and seek personal medical services.

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