Pregnant women might not feel like doing much cooking. It’s so easy to pull through a fast food drive-in window and pick up something, but it might not be best for you and your baby. Unfortunately, pregnancy and fast foods don’t mix well.
The same problems with nutrition that exist for fast food consumption for anyone are magnified for pregnant women.
Weight gain, gestational diabetes, swelling and high blood pressure are significant risks for women who are pregnant. These risks are worse for both young (under 20) pregnant women and women who are over 35, though all pregnant women experience these risks, which could be deadly. They are also all connected to whatever you eat.
Eating Fast foods while pregnant can complicate pregnancy. The big risk that many people don’t recognize is too much sodium and salt. Most fast food meats are soaked and/or injected with salt before cooking. The sodium load can be very dangerous for pregnant women regardless of age. Here are some places to look.
1. Fast foods and convenience foods are typically loaded with salt.
2. Many “diet” foods may have a lot of salt. The weight gain might be a bit alarming, but it’s not the time to diet.
3. Cured meats like bacon and sausage also tend to have a lot of salt.
4. Many salad dressings you buy both in restaurants and at the grocery may have a lot of salt.
5. Many sauces in restaurants and in packaged and convenience foods may be loaded with salt.
6. Some fast food SALADS may contain a large amount of salt even before you add salad dressing.
Additionally, fast foods and convenience foods also tend to have lots of fat, sugar and strange chemicals that won’t do anything good for you or your baby.
It’s safer to prepare everything you eat at home with basic food ingredients. Go easy on fats, salt, and sugar to give you and your baby the best in food and the good nutrition essential for the best outcomes we all want.
Check with your doctor for food lists and guidelines about healthy eating. Take your prescribed vitamins and stay out of fast food places. Many local Health Departments can give you good data on dietary guidelines for pregnancy, too, as well as food assistance for eligible women. You might want to check out my post on fertility and the environment. While it’s focus is on increasing fertility, many of the points apply for women already pregnant.