Our health, and specifically our nutrition, is vitally important when ensuring the quality of our life. This is especially true during pregnancy, because not only are we fostering our own quality of life, but the health and quality of someone else’s life. Remaining vigilant with our diets during pregnancy can have a profound impact on our baby’s weight and the ease of our delivery. That’s why we highly suggest consuming these super foods while pregnant and avoiding harmful substances. Many women choose to refrain from gluten during pregnancy because it helps them feel better and they avoid passing the fillers onto their children. But the questions begs to be asked: is it safe to go grain free during pregnancy? Some people may warn against it, but we think it’s totally possible when done properly. This post address some of the main concerns about going grain free during pregnancy and why we shouldn’t worry too much about them.
“One of my specialties is prenatal nutrition and gestational diabetes and I have heard so much controversy on whether or not it’s safe to ditch the wheat (or grains altogether) during pregnancy.
Personally, I believe it is (and many times offers benefits) as long as you are eating a real food, nutrient-dense diet. I’m sure you agree, but in my field (I’m a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator), this is still a hotly debated topic. I’m one of the first healthcare professionals to endorse a lower carb diet during pregnancy in my book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.
I believe every woman wants to do the best thing for her baby, so when you hear from a conventional doctor or nutritionist that you must eat “healthy” whole grains to get enough nutrients, it’s no wonder there’s so much confusion.
If you even hint at going grain-free during pregnancy, you’ll probably hear rebuttals like this:
- How will you get enough fiber?
- Where will you get your folate?
- You won’t get enough B-vitamins!
- What about iron? Cereal is a great source of iron!
- Where will you get your carbohydrates? Going low-carb is unsafe in pregnancy!
So here’s how to handle the nay-sayers, point by point.
How will you get enough fiber?
I’m not sure where this myth that grains are the best or only source of fiber came from. I blame it on clever food marketing. There are so many non-grain sources of fiber. Here’s a taste: chia seeds, flax seeds, avocados (really!), coconut products (made with coconut meat, like coconut flour and shredded coconut), nuts, most vegetables, and most fruit (especially berries). Many of these foods have more fiber, especially compared to their carbohydrate content, than grains do.”