There are a lot of theories that make us believe in the concept of a high protein diet during pregnancy. If you are also looking for a good high protein diet plan, then read on…
A mother’s diet is the most significant factor that defines the healthy growth of an unborn baby. We all have heard and known a lot about the importance of a balanced diet during pregnancy, and its positive effects on the baby. According to nutritionists, a pregnant woman should eat healthy amounts of cereals, legumes, nuts, dried fruits, green and leafy vegetables, milk, eggs and other dairy products, fresh fruits and fruit juices, healthy cooking oils, and dietary supplements for folic acid, iron, calcium and various vitamins (if prescribed).
In short, pregnant women should follow a nutrition rich diet, designed to cater the nutritional needs of the unborn baby. As you can see, consumption of nuts, legumes, beans and dairy products is highly emphasized upon. All these foods contain a high amount of proteins, which is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. Women with food allergies, those who are suffering with preeclampsia (urinary protein loss), and the vegan moms-to-be; struggle to find healthy sources of proteins. This can jeopardize the health of the mother and her unborn baby too.
High Protein Diet for Pregnant Women
Protein is one of the building blocks of the body, with an ability to give boost to proper functioning of the entire body system. Foods that are rich in protein, also keep you satiated for a longer period of time, and benefit you during the pregnancy food cravings. Keep in mind that eating high protein meals doesn’t mean one should eat them in an uncontrolled manner. Since you will be eating highly nutritious food, eating it in small serving sizes that are consumed sparingly throughout the day is the ideal thing to do.
So, rather than having three straightforward nutritional meals, divide it into five to six serving patterns with two snacks and three whole meals. Along with protein rich foods, don’t forget to eat other nutrients that make up all the requirements of a healthy diet during pregnancy. A pregnant woman should consume at least 60 g of proteins everyday. Your pregnancy diet should also contain at least 300 more calories than a regular diet.
Reaching up to this level will definitely be hard for you, if you are not aware of the healthy, high protein food sources. Some of the best food sources for pregnant women are, cheese, yogurt, whole milk (if it’s not causing vomiting or nausea), legumes, pulses, tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, lean meats and soy.
Apart from the aforementioned foods, you may also like to include, cottage cheese, dry milk powder, low-fat milk, skim milk, chocolate flavored milk, baked beans, chickpeas, lentils, navy beans, mung, black beans, fava beans, Great Northern beans, split peas, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, roasted soybeans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, tofu, kidney beans, luncheon meats, meat spreads, clams, crabs, shrimp, tilapia, trout, lobster, egg salads, boiled eggs, deviled eggs, instant breakfast powdered mixes, protein shakes (milk or soy based), etc.
High Protein Diet Meal Plan for Pregnancy
Now that you know the protein rich foods to eat during pregnancy, it is time for you to create a healthy meal plan for high protein diet for pregnancy. Plan on eating at least 6 oz (170g) worth of protein rich foods every day. That way, you will end up eating at least half of it; which is the minimum recommended intake of proteins. In order to prepare the best pregnancy diet plan, add two servings of protein rich foods in your diet. For instance, along with the regular foods, eat 3 oz fish or lean meat, 1 to 1½ cup of beans and 3 oz of cheese, cottage cheese or tofu.
You may also create a diet plan with 1 quart of milk products (like 8 oz milk, 3 oz cheese, and 3 oz plain yogurt), 2 eggs, 2 servings of green leafy vegetables, 4 servings of whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, raisin bran), 3 servings of fats (1 tbsp each of cooking oil, butter, mayonnaise, sour cream or reduced fat salad dressings), 1 serving of fresh fruits, 1 serving of vegetables other than the green and leafy ones, and at least 1 serving of vitamin C foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, etc.
According to the expert nutritionists, your pregnancy diet plan should contain at least 6 oz of proteins, 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 4 servings of fresh fruits, 6 to 10 servings of whole grains, and at least 3 servings of milk and dairy products! Preparing the best diet plan according to the above formula is in your hands, as it depends on your own likings and eating habits.
For instance, if you are a pure vegan, who doesn’t eat milk, meat, fish and eggs; then you should substitute these protein rich foods with plant-based protein sources like beans, legumes, nuts and soy products. You may also like to consult your OB-GYN and consume soy protein shakes as high protein snacks or breakfast. If you have always been following a low carb and high protein diet for weight loss, then you may need to increase the protein as well as carb intake.
Now that you are pregnant, it is important to eat food which is sufficient for you and the unborn baby. So plan a diet which is based on the aforementioned protein rich foods and don’t forget to add in other crucial nutrients like iron, folic acid, calcium, potassium, iodine, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin C.
Having a stress free lifestyle and performing light exercises like walking is also crucial for a healthy and trouble free childbirth. Remember that all the tips given above are for the educational purposes only. Hence, follow them only after proper consultation with your personal health care provider.