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How Mom’s Nutrition Can Impact Baby

What expectant mothers eat when pregnant may have a lasting impact.

Pregnancy and low glycemic foods
Jul 7 2016

Pass the kale and carrots, please! Because what, and how much, you eat during pregnancy count. Pregnant women often feel constantly bombarded with information about what is and isn’t good for them and their baby—and sometimes the information can leave a mom-to-be confused and concerned. 

But it’s important to know what you shouldn’t eat, and even more critically, to know what you should eat while pregnant. Research shows that excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes during pregnancy can have negative impact on a baby. Diet plays an important role. 

Low-Glycemic Diets

Expectant moms should make a point to eat nutritious foods that are low glycemic — foods that keep blood sugars level steady. 

Science demonstrates how low-glycemic diets can help lower the risk of developing insulin sensitivity and gestational diabetes. Such diets also help reduce pregnancy weight gain and reverse bone loss, making it less likely that moms will pass on these traits to their babies.

“Whether you are pregnant or want to be in the near future, it’s never too late to change your diet,” says Ricardo Rueda, MD, PhD, a research fellow at Abbott. “Make an effort to include foods that don’t cause sharp rises in your blood sugar and those that have slowly digestible carbs. Doing so lowers your risk of gestational diabetes and, for your baby, it lowers the risk of future obesity.”

The good news: It’s pretty easy to get those low-glycemic foods into your diet. If you are expecting, aim for foods from the list below. Strive for a varied and nutritious diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- and non-fat dairy, beans and lean meats.

Healthy choices in each food group include:


This list of foods may seem like a lot to think about, but it’s as easy as incorporating a few things, which can make all the difference in how a baby grows and develops. Paying attention to nutrition while pregnant will allow both mom and baby to be healthy and thrive. 


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