Vegetarian pregnancy

Source :      Pubdate : 2013/1/18 13:41:00      Author :

Are you a vegetarian or just can't stomach meat now you're pregnant? Don't worry you can still be healthy

If you are a vegetarian mum-to-be, you can rest assured that you will not be putting your unborn baby at any risk if you don't eat meat or dairy products during your pregnancy. With a little planning, a wholly plant based diet is healthy, nutritious, balanced and most importantly, safe for you and your baby whilst pregnant. And so is a vegan diet!

Human dietary needs as infants, children and even when pregnant, can be supplied completely through a meatless, plant-based diet. In addition, the health benefits of a vegetarian diet include a reduced risk of many chronic degenerative diseases and conditions such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

'A vegetarian pregnancy is completely safe, provided that mother's eat pulses, legumes and tofu to replace meat,' says dietician Kate di Prima. 'Vegetarians mustn't just cut out meat and not replace it. Replace like for like balance is the key,' says Kate.

There are different types of vegetarians. Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat meat but they do eat animal derived products such as dairy (milk, cheese, cream, ice cream, yoghurt and butter) and eggs. Vegans are strict vegetarians as they do not eat any animal products or animal derived products (no meat, dairy or eggs).

Many pregnant women who may be vegetarian, vegan or just can't look at meat during their first trimester panic that without meat in their diet they and their baby will be lacking in essential nutrients.

There are certain essentials we need in our diet, and these things can be found in many non-animal foods.

Meat alternatives
Vegetarians need to plan their diet to make sure it includes all the essential nutrients they need. The wider the variety of foods you eat, the easier it will be to meet your nutritional requirements. Mum's need protein, folate, minerals (iron, calcium and zinc) and vitamins D and B12.

  • Protein: legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grain cereals, broad beans, corn, brussel sprouts, soy products and cheese Folate: broccoli, spinach, salad greens, orange juice, chickpeas and nuts
  • Iron: legumes, tofu, hommus, nuts, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, wholegrains, dried fruit, enriched cereals and breads
  • Calcium: dairy, tahini, legumes, almonds, brazil nuts, leafy dark green vegetables (especially Asian greens), spinach, figs, sunflower and sesame seeds, oranges, broccoli, fortified cereals and fruits juices, fortified soymilk and some tofu brands
  • Zinc: Recommend :

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