Are Too Many Sweets Bad for Pregnant Moms?

Sweets are one of the most craved foods during pregnancy, according to Pregnancy Today. Although eating sweet foods in moderation is fine, consuming too much can lead to unnecessary weight gain and interfere with your ability to eat a balanced diet. In order to provide you and your baby with the nutrition needed during pregnancy, limit yourself to one or two sweet items a day.

Too many sweets can lead to complications like gestational diabetes. (Image: nensuria/iStock/Getty Images)

Weight Gain

Sweet foods like cookies, cakes, pastries, puddings and other dessert items are often high in calories and fat, which can lead to weight gain. Even sweets that are not considered dessert foods, like soft drinks and sweetened cereals, are high in calories. Although some weight gain is necessary for a healthy pregnancy, gaining too much can cause backaches and dental problems, and lead to complications like gestational diabetes and problems with blood pressure.

Artificial Sweeteners

Some sweets, like baked goods, pudding, frozen desserts, gelatin and soft drinks, contain artificial sweeteners that often bring the food's calorie count down. Although this reduces some of the risk of unnecessary weight gain, not all artificial sweeteners are safe. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the artificial sweetener saccharin can cross the placenta and is not safe during pregnancy. Others, like aspartame, are safe in moderation. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure which artificially sweetened foods are bad for you during pregnancy.

Balanced Diet

If you frequently choose sweets over healthy foods, you and your unborn baby may not get necessary nutrients. This can lead to poor growth and development for your unborn baby, and a lack of energy for you. Avoid filling up on desserts and soft drinks, and choose lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead. Grains and dark, leafy vegetables are a good source of folate, a B-vitamin that is found to prevent birth defects according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist if you need help figuring out a balanced pregnancy diet for your situation.

Recommendations

If you have a craving for sweets, try foods that will satisfy your sweet tooth without the potential negative effects. Try eating flavored frozen yogurt or frozen fruit pops. You can also top bananas or other kinds of fruit with peanut butter to add some protein to your snack.

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