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Real Food for Pregnancy

Real Food for Pregnancy

There’s a lot of misinformation about prenatal nutrition, especially when it comes to real food for pregnancy.

Things like:

  • Limit your egg consumption because they’re high in cholesterol
  • Avoid liver because it’s too high in vitamin A
  • Take extra folic acid! (this part’s complex, so please keep reading for the full scoop)
  • Eat lean protein
  • You must eat plenty of carbohydrates for the baby

If you’re into traditional, real foods, you might already know why I disagree with the above. But, even with my expertise, recommending anything but the norm when it comes to prenatal nutrition is a slippery slope.

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by fellow real food dietitian (and yoga teacher), Frances Arnold, to explain my stance prenatal nutrition. Both her and I have a long history of working clinically with pregnant women and we share some frustrations about the conventional nutrition advice that expecting moms often receive.

Frances and I dig into the details, the research, and the controversy on real food for pregnancy in this podcast. We cover the most important steps a woman can take before becoming pregnant and during pregnancy to ensure she has the healthiest baby ever.

Listen to the interview here!

Some of the prenatal nutrition pearls of wisdom we discuss:

  1. Why all pregnant women should have their vitamin D levels tested (what blood test to ask for and how to correct deficiency if you have it)
  2. The top three things women trying to conceive should pay attention to before becoming pregnant
  3. What nutrients are critical, both before and during pregnancy
  4. Why decreasing inflammation is so important while pregnant (and how to do it)
  5. What foods can promote pre-eclampsia, premature delivery and other complications (you’ll be shocked by this one, because you probably purposefully eat these everyday)
  6. Why I support an omnivorous diet for pregnant women
  7. How the standard carbohydrate recommendations for pregnancy were determined and why I disagree with them (there’s a whole chapter on this in Real Food for Gestational Diabetes where I explore the safety of low carbohydrate diets and ketosis in pregnancy)
  8. The simple way to tell if you’re eating too many carbohydrates (aside from checking your blood sugar levels)
  9. Why liver is an incredible superfood that you should most definitely eat during pregnancy
  10. Why sourcing grass-fed beef is so important. I already explored 7 reasons grass-fed beef is worth the money in more detail here, but I highlight it’s role in pregnancy nutrition in the interview.
  11. How too much lean protein in pregnancy can be toxic (it still shocks me that no one talks about this, but I guess I’ll be the first to poke evidence-based holes in this faulty logic)
  12. Why pregnant women cannot get the right form of omega-3s called DHA from plant foods (like chia seeds, flaxseeds, or walnuts)
  13. The only non-animal source of DHA
  14. If you’re having regular food cravings, why you are probably eating too much of one nutrient, and not enough of something else (I also explore food cravings/food addiction in this post)
  15. How what a mom eats during pregnancy can permanently change the health of her baby

Listen to the interview here!

Of course, this reveals a small portion of the prenatal nutrition enigma. I explore these topics and more (in excruciating detail) with all the scientific evidence to back my stance in my book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.

If you liked this interview on real food for pregnancy, sign up to receive a copy of my FREE prenatal snacks ebook below.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below:

What was the most shocking piece of unconventional prenatal nutrition advice you learned in this interview?

Until next week,

PS – I misspoke at one point in this interview – Pregnant women need more than 2 eggs per day to meet their choline needs (more like 3-4, although that depends on the size of the egg). It’ll also depend on the remaining choline content of a woman’s diet.

PPS – Please share this critical information with any expecting moms you know! You’ll be doing your part to protect the health of the next generation. 🙂 If you have or know someone who has gestational diabetes, consider listening to these interviews I’ve done on the topic (here, here, and here).

Also, send them over to www.realfoodforGD.com to learn the 5 key steps to managing blood sugar, naturally.

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33 Yummy & Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
That won't spike your blood sugar or leave you hungry (gestational diabetes approved!)

Plus other bonuses related to my talk at MANA 2017.

Category: Food Facts, Prenatal
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Marisa Cooper December 9, 2014, 2:08 pm

    Another great interview Lily! I’ve learned so much about prenatal nutrition from you, I know I’m doing the right thing when it comes to preparing my body. Not too sure I can do the whole liver thing….. but I’m on board with everything else! 🙂 Keep up the great work!

    • Lily December 9, 2014, 2:18 pm

      Glad you liked it, Marisa! Yeah, liver isn’t exactly something most of us crave, especially if you didn’t grow up eating it.

      It can be surprisingly good as liver pate. Or, it’s easily hidden in meatloaf, meatballs, or shepherd’s pie. I’ll be including a few liver recipes in the book. 🙂 Even fitting in tiny amounts here and there is a great boost to nutrient stores.

  • Hope Curtsinger December 9, 2014, 3:34 pm

    So appreciate this podcast! I’m about 25 weeks pregnant and a relatively new RDN myself so I am really interested in and share your passion! I love your real food approach and the topics you addressed that are often times not discussed in those prenatal appointments (or even school for that matter). I had a couple questions after my first listen (I am sure I will be returning to listen again!):
    In regards to collagen/gelatin, do you recommend a gelatin supplement or should a person just aim to obtain that from the bones/skin/connective tissues of properly raised meats? I have seen the Great Lakes brand but just didn’t know much about it.

    My other question is in regards to morning sickness (I am SO thankful that I have not experienced it but often hear of those who do)– You mentioned B6 being helpful in preventing. In your experience have you noticed any other vitamins/minerals that help alleviate?

    Thank you again! Loved the information!

    • Lily December 9, 2014, 4:41 pm

      Hi Hope! Happy to see more “real food dietitians” out there!

      I’m a fan of Great Lakes grass-fed beef gelatin and collagen. Those are great additions, especially if you do not like, or eat much, slow cooked meat or bone broth.

      Morning sickness is a bit tricky. I have an upcoming interview to share on the topic (actually hyperemesis-focused more than morning sickness, but the recs are similar). In brief, vitamin B6, magnesium, and ginger can alleviate nausea.

      • Hope Curtsinger December 10, 2014, 8:18 am

        Thanks so much for the info! I look forward to that upcoming interview & your book on GDM!

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