You shouldn’t go on a low-carb diet, or follow a restrictive or weight-loss diet, while you’re pregnant. This is because we can’t be sure that diets are safe for you or your baby.
Going on a low-carb diet while you’re pregnant may affect your baby’s weight, and how she develops. It may also prevent you both from getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Drastically reducing or increasing the amount you eat may even increase the likelihood of your baby having weight problems as she grows up.
Low-carb diets, such as the Atkins, South Beach and Dukan diets, may increase the levels of toxic chemicals (ketones) in your blood. These acids remain when your body burns its own fat. The same applies to any other diets that cut out food groups.
Low-carb diets tend to be high in fat, and may also restrict the amount of fruit, vegetables and fibre you eat. You may deny yourself and your baby important vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and calcium. It’s also unlikely that you’ll be able to sustain these diets in the long term.
Fans of low-carb diets say that carbohydrate-rich foods are fattening. But gram for gram, carbohydrates contain less than half the calories of fat. Low-carb diets also tend to be high in protein, which can cause side-effects such as tiredness and bad breath, as well as increasing your risk of getting kidney stones.
Dietitians agree that you should base your main meals on starchy foods, with about a third of your plate being carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain or wholemeal carbohydrates when you can, so opt for wholegrain pasta and rice, and wholemeal bread, over their white equivalents.
Wholegrain carbohydrates are a good source of energy, fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins, which are all important during pregnancy. And high-fibre foods can help to ease constipation, which is common in pregnancy. They can also help you to feel fuller for longer, as your body digests them more slowly than white varieties, so you get more steady levels of energy.
Though sugar is another form of carbohydrate, it’s not a good source of nutrients. Foods that contain sugar, such as cakes, tend to also contain saturated fat. Try not to have food and drink that is high-sugar and high-fat in pregnancy. This will help you to avoid gaining too much weight.
Look for the carbohydrates (of which sugars) figure on the label to see how much sugar a food or drink contains. More than 15g of total sugars per 100g is high, while 5g or less of total sugars per 100g is low.
Don’t forget to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and take regular exercise.
If you’d like help with managing your weight during pregnancy, talk to your midwife or GP. They may be able to refer you to a local weight-management class. They will also explain how much weight you can expect to gain in pregnancy, based on your body mass index (BMI) before you were pregnant.
by Sasha Watkins retrieved from http://www.babycentre.co.uk/x560501/is-it-safe-to-go-on-a-low-carb-diet-in-pregnancy#ixzz4ZZrCHJjD