What to Eat When You're Pregnant and Vegetarian : Planning a healthy diet (part 2) - Protein foods,High-fat or high-sugar foods

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

3 Protein foods

Protein provides amino acids, the basic building blocks of human tissue. It is needed for the growth of the foetus and placenta and to allow changes in the mother’s body that occur during pregnancy. Protein is also required for the production of breast milk. When you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need about 51g of protein a day. This is just 6g more than before pregnancy. In practice there is usually no need to increase your intake of protein during pregnancy, since the average (non-pregnant) vegetarian woman already consumes more than 51g a day. However, some women have low intakes as their diets consist mainly of vegetables and cereals. It’s important to include foods such as chickpeas or lentils whenever you make meals like vegetable curry or chilli to boost the protein content. Women sometimes consider taking a protein supplement, but these are unnecessary. It is much better to eat real foods; then you’ll also be getting a whole range of other vital nutrients too.

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians tend to get much of their protein from milk and milk products, but it’s important to eat a variety of different protein-rich foods, such as beans and lentils, as these provide iron, B vitamins and fibre too. Relying too heavily on cheese means having a high intake of salt and saturated fat. Plant sources of protein are sometimes described as being of low biological value because they contain fewer essential amino acids than proteins from animal sources. However, you can get all the amino acids you need by eating a variety of different cereals, peas, beans, lentils, seeds and nuts. If you don’t usually do this, it is a good idea to start trying to include a source of protein in every meal.

  Grams of protein per 100g Protein per portion
Baked beans 5 10g per half-tin
Chickpeas 7 8g per half-tin
Kidney beans 7 8g per half-tin
Lentils 7.5 9g in 3 tablespoons
Tofu 8 8g per quarter-pack
Vegetarian sausages 15 15g in two sausages
Nut cutlet 5 5g per cutlet
Quorn mince or pieces 14 11g per quarter-pack
Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts 14 4.5g per 30g handful
Peanuts 25 7.5g per 30g handful
Muesli 10 5g per 50g bowl
Bread 9 8g in two slices
Milk 3.5 10g per half-pint/300ml
Yogurt 5 7g per small pot
Eggs 12.5 14.0g in two eggs

Source: Data taken from various sources including the UK Nutrient Databank © Crown copyright 2012

4 Milk, calcium-rich drinks and food products

Cow’s milk and dairy foods such as cheese and yogurt provide protein, calcium, iodine and vitamins A and B12. Full-fat dairy foods also contain saturated fat and can be quite high in calories. It is healthier to choose semi-skimmed, 1% fat, or skimmed milk, as well as reduced-fat cheeses and low-fat yogurts. However, be careful with flavoured yogurts that are described as ‘diet’ or fat-free, as these can have lots of added sugar.

If you avoid dairy products, it’s important to have other foods that supply the same nutrients. A milk-alternative made from soya will provide almost as much protein as cow’s milk and, if it’s fortified, you’ll get calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 as well. You can also get calcium and vitamin B12 from other foods . Getting enough iodine on a vegan diet can be more difficult as it is found in only a small number of foods, but some seaweeds are very iodine-rich .

5 High-fat or high-sugar foods

Foods such as margarine, cooking oils, cakes, crisps and fizzy drinks are all included in this group.

Fat gets a bad press, but some fatty acids (the building blocks for fat) are essential for good health. There are three main types of fatty acid, which are found in varying amounts in foods:

  • Saturated – the type found in meat and dairy products such as cheese. These are not essential, and a high intake increases the risk of heart disease.
  • Monounsaturated – found in olive oil and rapeseed oil. These are considered healthy but are also not essential to health.
  • Polyunsaturated – some polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are known as ‘essential fatty acids’. They can’t be produced by the body and must be supplied by the diet.

As well as providing essential fatty acids, fat is needed for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It is estimated that about 30g of fat is needed each day. However, fat shouldn’t make up more than 35% of your calorie intake.

Trans fats

Trans fats have a similar effect on health as saturated fats – they raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Small amounts of trans fats are found naturally in meat and dairy foods. They are also found in hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is sometimes used for frying and in processed foods such as cakes, biscuits and pastries, as a cheap way of increasing their shelf-life. You shouldn’t have more than 5g of trans fats per day.

Some sources of fat are obvious, such as cooking oils, but many foods like pastry, cheese, flapjacks and peanut butter have hidden fats. The fat in nuts and seeds is ‘good fat’, but eating too much still means having more calories than are needed.

High-sugar foods, such as cakes, sweets and fizzy drinks, are also in this group. They contain refined sugar and provide calories but few or no useful nutrients. Another problem is that these foods have a high GI, so they produce a spike in your blood sugar levels and affect the amount of sugar your baby is exposed to. If your blood glucose is too high then your baby will grow too fast and have an excess amount of body fat.

  Grams of fat per 100g Fat per portion
Cooking oil (e.g. olive, sunflower) 99.9 5g per teaspoon
Butter 82 4g per teaspoon
Margarine 82 4g per teaspoon
Cheddar 34 10g per 30g portion
Reduced-fat Cheddar 22 7g per 30g portion
Peanut butter 51 5g per teaspoon
Pizza 8–12 14–17g per half pizza
Chocolate 25–40 12–20g per 50g bar
Flapjack 20–27 8–10g per flapjack
Carrot cake 22 17g per 75g slice
Crisps 30–32 10g per 30g bag

Source: Data taken from various sources including the UK Nutrient Databank © Crown copyright 2012

Sugars are also found in fruit and milk, but these foods are not included in this food group. They are considered healthy because the sugar in them is produced naturally and they also contain other nutrients, including vitamin C and calcium. They also have a lower GI, so have less impact on your blood sugar levels. With fruit, this is because the sugar is more difficult to digest than it is in products like biscuits, so it leads to a slower rise in blood glucose levels. For milk and milk products, the sugar is accompanied by protein, which has a similar effect. Fruit juice, however, has a higher GI and contains less fibre than fruit, so it is best to have no more than one glass of juice per day.

Ten healthy snacks

Snacks are particularly important during pregnancy, whether you’re suffering from morning sickness or heartburn, or just feeling hungrier than usual. Snacks such as these will boost your nutrient intake and keep you going until your next meal:

  1. Dairy or soya yogurt sprinkled with seeds.
  2. A piece of fresh fruit.
  3. A handful of dried fruit and nuts.
  4. A bowl of cereal, preferably a high-fibre one with added vitamins and iron.
  5. Oatcakes with low-fat cheese or vegan cheese.
  6. Lentil and vegetable soup.
  7. Wholemeal toast with yeast extract, cream cheese or mashed banana.
  8. Houmous and vegetable sticks.
  9. A milkshake or soyashake made with banana, strawberries, mango or peach.
  10. A bowl of muesli with fruit and yogurt.
Top search
- 6 Ways To Have a Natural Miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- What to Eat When You're Pregnant and Vegetarian : Planning a healthy diet (part 1) - The five food groups - Fruit and vegetables, Starchy foods
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 10) - Tests for the Woman Expecting Multiples
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 9) - Pap Smear
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 8) - Cystic Fibrosis Screening Tests, Jewish Genetic Disorders
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 7) - Tests for Blood-Sugar Levels, Nuchal Translucency Screening , Fetal MRI , Instant Risk Assessment
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 6) - Chorionic Villus Sampling,Fetoscopy, Fetal Fibronectin , Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 5) - Alpha-Fetoprotein Testing, Multiple-Marker Tests
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 4) - Amniocentesis
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 3) - Specialized Tests You May Have
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Tests for You and Your Baby (part 2) - Third-Trimester Tests
Top keywords
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Top 5
- 5 Ways to Support Your Baby Development
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain