Is It Safe to Consume Junk Food in Pregnancy?
Pregnant women should pay attention to what they consume from the moment their pregnancy test shows a positive result and even before conception. Most of us are junk food lovers and crave to eat these delicious foods most of the time. Pregnant women have the same feelings about junk food, as well as others. But is it safe to consume junk food in pregnancy?
Junk food falls into the category of very low-nutrient food, which should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy. Consuming these types of unhealthy foods while pregnant can lead to health problems for you and your unborn baby. Read this article on Hipregnancy to the end to know more about eating junk food during pregnancy.
What is junk food?
Junk food refers to such low nutritional value foods high in salt, fat, and sugar and poor in essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Our body considers junk food trash because it does not give anything to our body.
This unhealthy food, such as pizza and French fries, usually contains lots of sauce, mayonnaise, and processed cheesem making them salty. In addition, foods like donuts are high in fat and sugar but don’t have any levels of fiber.
Consuming junk foods result in many health issues. For example, it is common to experience hand and foot swelling after consuming junk foods due to water retention in the body caused by salty junk foods. Furthermore, lack of fiber in junk food leads to uncomfortable bowel movement, and extra pressure on it may rupture the fetal bag.
Generally speaking, foods like burgers, pasta, and pizzas known as junk foods, can put you and your unborn baby at risk of health problems and have harmful effects on the baby’s development.
Is eating junk food while pregnant safe?
Food cravings can occur when you become pregnant and during 37 weeks of pregnancy. Craving junk food while pregnant is not abnormal, but is eating junk food during pregnancy okay? Can a pregnant lady enjoy eating this kind of food, like before pregnancy?
Junk food is the worst option to add to your diet during pregnancy. It does not have any nutritional value and can be harmful to all people, babies, adults, or even healthy young people. Imagine how much harm it can be for a pregnant woman and her baby as well. Junk food only makes you feel full and prevents eating healthy and pregnancy food options necessary for baby’s development.
Pregnancy is a special time that teaches you to change your habits and lifestyle. When it comes to consuming junk foods during pregnancy, doctors recommend omitting this option from your diet and do not consider it as part of your regular meal. The best way to keep your body healthy is to have healthy snacks instead of harmful junk foods during pregnancy and protect your cute baby against any possible risks.
To conclude, eating junk food while pregnant is not recommended.
Also Read: Jackfruit During Pregnancy
Harmful effects of junk foods during pregnancy
“I ate junk food my whole pregnancy. Will it affect my or my baby’s health?” Here we want to discuss the answer to this question.
When you are pregnant, you are responsible for the proper development of your baby. Therefore, you should not keep your body full of foods with low nutritional values.
If you consume junk foods, your body will have little space for eating nutrition-dense foods. In such a situation, the following harmful effects happen due to consuming junk food while pregnant;
- Increasing the risk of allergies
According to a study published in European Respiratory Journal, there is a strong link between high sugar content in junk foods and increasing the risk of allergies and asthma. This study claimed that pregnant ladies who consume junk foods high in sugar, much more than safe and recommended amounts, put their baby at risk of asthma and allergies after birth and in their future life, especially at the age of 7-9.
- Leading to digestive problems
Most of you have experience of an upset stomach after consuming large amounts of junk foods at least once in your life. Eating too many deep-fried fruits results in digestion and bloating, which may annoy you during pregnancy. In addition, because of not existence of fiber in junk foods, you may experience uncomfortable bowel movements.
- Increasing chance of gaining excess weight
The most obvious negative effect of consuming junk food during pregnancy is excess weight gain. Eating fast food in pregnancy can easily make pregnant women obese, leading to various complications such as preterm labor, hypertension, birth defects, preeclampsia, stillbirth, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, etc.
- Causing fatty cravings in babies after birth
According to a study published in Frontiers in Endocrinology, what mother consume during pregnancy influence baby’s food preference after birth. It may seem strange but it is completely accurate. Eating junk foods during pregnancy is not only harmful during this period, but also puts your baby at risk after birth.
So, before you choose to add junk food to your diet, remember that the negative effects of this unhealthy food can be with your baby until the end of their life and cause complications for their.
- Increasing chance of genetic abnormalities
Doctors warn pregnant women about genetic abnormalities which might cause by consuming junk foods during pregnancy; unfortunately, these abnormalities may pass on to the next three generations.
Whenever you have a craving for eating such foods, remember this important point that consuming sugar or fat-rich foods while pregnant lead to impaired peripheral insulin signaling at mitochondrial dysfunction in female offspring.
Also Read: healthy snack for pregnant
Healthy Alternatives to junk foods for pregnant women
Don’t be nervous when you crave eating junk foods during pregnancy. You can feed your cravings by eating healthy and nourished foods instead of unhealthy ones. Enjoy the options mentioned below chart, whenever you have junk food cravings;
|Junk Food||Healthy Alternatives|
|Doughnut||Low-calorie bagel+ Splenda sweetened cream cheese|
|Cakes and candies||Banana, apple + Almond butter or melted chocolate|
|Potato chips||Beet chips, baked kale chips, or dried seaweed|
|Ice cream||Ice cream made with banana or fruity yogurt|
Always keep in mind that what you eat is what your baby eats. If you remember this sentence each time you have junk food cravings while pregnant, you can easily control your feelings.
How often can I eat junk food during pregnancy?
Generally, it is not recommended to consume junk foods during pregnancy because these foods are not healthy and nutrient-rich options to consume while pregnant.
You should know that eating junk food at the early stages of pregnancy and late pregnancy can be really dangerous for you and the unborn baby. During these periods, consumption of high-sugar and high-fat foods can cause the most and worst side effects.
After all, if you insist on having junk foods in pregnancy, try to consume in moderation and decrease your consumption times as much as possible. In addition, if you want to eat junk food at the early stages of pregnancy, stick to healthy versions in late pregnancy to reduce the negative effects of those unhealthy foods you had.
Some kinds of foods, such as junk foods, are unhealthy food options and don’t have nutritional value. So, do they fall into the foods not to eat while pregnant? Or in other words, is it safe to consume junk food in pregnancy?
Strictly no! Pregnant lady’s bodies and developing babies need nutrient-rich foods, not junk foods. Therefore, you should avoid eating these foods as much as possible, but having them in moderation will not cause serious problems for you, and your baby.
1. How much junk food is okay during pregnancy?
Generally speaking, it is better to avoid consuming junk food in pregnancy as much as possible. However, if you crave it, limit your intake to reduce the risk of health issues like hypertension. As there is no recommended amount for consuming junk food, moderation is key.