We have come a long way from the time our ancestors lived in caves. We can now hope to live better, healthier, and happier lives. But if there is one thing that we can look back at with regret, it is our food habits.
The Paleolithic diet or the Caveman diet has gained popularity in recent times. But is it suitable during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, you need to be watchful of everything you put in your mouth. So, it is pretty normal to be apprehensive about following a particular diet while you are pregnant. But not all diets aim at losing weight! Diets are all about staying healthy.
What Is Paleo Diet?
In simple words, Paleo diet is all about eating the way our ancestors did. That means a diet that consists of unprocessed foods, such as meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. People on paleo diet refrain from consuming grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, sugars, refined oils, etc.
Is The Paleo Diet Safe While Pregnant?
Yes, it is! It is not only safe, but it can also help prevent certain health problems that are common during pregnancy like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and obesity. Here are some benefits of going on a paleo diet while pregnant:
1. Storehouse Of Fatty Acids:
You need to consume Omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy. These fatty acids are vital for the growth of your baby’s brain and retina (1). Not just that! These nutrients can also help boost your baby’s immune system and protect her from illnesses during early infancy (2). Fatty acids also help prevent postpartum depression (3).
2. Rich In Iron:
Anemia is a cause of worry for many pregnant women. But if you are on a paleo diet, you can keep anemia at bay. A paleo diet consists of foods that are rich in heme iron, a mineral that can help combat anemia. Paleo diet also prohibits the consumption of dairy and grain that hinder the absorption of iron (4).
3. Prevents Gestational Diabetes:
The diet consists of low-glycemic foods that not just help manage gestational diabetes but can also prevent it (5). If you have gestational diabetes, you’ll benefit from the paleo diet.
4. Regulates Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure can lead to preeclampsia during pregnancy. Such a condition may even require an emergency c-section. A paleo diet can go a long way in keeping your blood pressure under check (6).
5. Cures Morning Sickness:
Studies show that frequent, protein-rich meals can help combat nausea and vomiting (7).
So, a paleo diet can be just the thing you need for a healthy pregnancy. But you do need to alter the usual paleo diet a little during pregnancy to make it perfect.
Points To Keep In Mind:
Your dietary needs change when you are pregnant, so you have to tweak the usual paleo diet to ensure you get a healthy menu. Here are some points you should keep in mind:
1. Add Fats:
The Paleo diet is all about protein. But when you are pregnant, you cannot tolerate such high amounts of protein. So, you need to make sure that your diet consists of higher fat meats, higher fat vegetables, and more carbs.
2. Include Carbohydrates:
During pregnancy, you need to increase your carbohydrate intake by around 150grams every day (8). A normal paleo diet is low on carbohydrate. So, you’ll need to eat more fruits to increase the amount of carb in your diet. You can eat fruits like bananas, oranges, berries, and apples.
3. Add Calcium:
One of the major shortcomings of a paleo diet is its low calcium content. But when you are pregnant, you need a large amount of calcium (9). You can check with your doctor and take a calcium supplement.
4. Increase The Number Of Meals:
Most people on paleo diet consume just two large meals a day. These two meals are normally sufficient to provide you with all the nutrients you need. If you think you cannot manage with just two meals, you can try small, more frequent meals too.
With these small modifications, you can make the paleo diet work for you during pregnancy. But it is important to consult your doctor to rule out any deficiencies that may become worse while on a paleo diet. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, there’s no stopping you!
A paleo diet will keep you healthy and fit, all through your pregnancy. Go for it! And don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comments section below!
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