My name is Lisa Tsakos, Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, corporate speaker and author. This blog provides professional advice from a nutrition and weight loss expert (me!) about corporate and family health. Here you'll find recipes and articles that address work-related challenges like eating on-the-go and maximizing your productivity with the right foods. You'll also find out about how you can help your children develop strong immune systems and healthy bodies. As a nutrition instructor, I often found myself thinking, "When I have kids, this is how I will feed them." With two toddlers, I have the opportunity to practice what I have been preaching and to try out my theories. So far, they seem to be working! Follow me on my journey and also on Twitter @NuVitalityHW.

31 Jul 2013

Eating junk food during pregnancy can lead to future metabolic problems for the child

Controlling your diet during pregnancy is easier said than done. Aversions to the smell and sight of certain foods, cravings (usually for all things unhealthy), fatigue, changes in blood sugar - with all these (and more) working against her, a pregnant woman might find that the majority of her daily calories are empty. 

I was no different. When I first discovered that I was pregnant with Olivia, every meal was prepared with the question, "What ingredients do I want my baby's body and mind to be built with today?" But then the hormones kicked in, and from months 2 to 4, practically all I could stomach was fruit and bread (and for a couple of weeks, I had the worst cravings for French fries). Vegetables were not welcome in my stomach. I tried - trust me - and I juiced - but even if I was able to get a vegetable down, it made it's way right back up (and out). And boy, did it concern me. 

I recall one of my favourite nutrition students (previously a hard-core vegan) telling me that when she was pregnant, she couldn't (and didn't) eat anything that was not sold at McDonald's. It was shocking to hear that from her (just as shocking as it was to see her 60lb heavier than the last time I saw her). 

Yup, a horrible diet during pregnancy can happen to the best and most knowledgeable of us. 

As soon as I was able to, though, I ate as well as I could, emphasizing organic, non-GMO foods and superfoods.

There are many reasons to eat optimally during pregnancy. After all, you're creating another human being. What you eat now will likely play a big role in their lifelong physical and mental health. For example, prenatal omega-3 leads to smarter babies and children. And now another study has found that eating junk food during pregnancy "alters the development of opiod pathways in offspring, leading to permanently modified brain signalling in response to foods that are high in sugar and fat." (Source: Food-NavigatorUSA.com)

In English? It means that pregnant women who eat a junk food diet comprised of fat & sugar may be predisposing their child to a lifelong battle with cravings and weight. 

As someone who battled weight for almost 2 decades, I can appreciate how important it is to give our kids a fighting chance. 

The study's abstract may be read here: http://www.ssib.org/public/core_routines/view_abstract_no.php?show_close_window=yes&abstractno=227