Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not All Calories are Created Equal

When pregnant it is important to increase caloric intake. But it is just as important to know how much to increase calorie consumption and how.

During the first half of pregnancy a 200 calorie increase is sufficient to nourish your body and your growing baby. So let's take a look at 200 calories.

1 Cup of Milk (200 Calories)
1 Yoplait Yogurt (190 Calories)
1 Side Salad with Light Salad Dressing (220 Calories)

That's not a lot of food. It certainly isn't enough to satisfy some of the crazy cravings that pregnant women experience. Unfortunately, someone coined the phrase "You're eating for two!" which gave pregnant women the idea that they really could justify eating whatever they want.

The result: Lots of moms gaining excess weight in pregnancy
Increased Incidence of Toxemia

By the second half of pregnancy it is okay to increase your calorie consuption another 300 calories for a total increase of 500 calories per day.

But remember to pay attention to what you're eating. Not all calories are created equal. Your body does three things with calories

1. It Burns Them (If you're active and using everything you eat)
2. It Stores Them (Think Thighs, Hips, Double Chin)
3. It Flushes Them (Removed as waste)

Many high fiber foods such as avocados are high in calories, but also very high in Fiber. This fiber drags wastes out of your intestines and in the process removes itself. In the end (no pun intended) you may lose more calories than you ate.

So if your pregnant, hungry, and watching your weight, the higher fiber foods you eat, the better.

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