Written by Editorial Team
Pregnancy is the time for cravings! You crave for something sour, you crave for something spicy, you crave for something sweet – the cravings never seem to end. And then you have food aversions! Things that you loved before your pregnancy might nauseate now. What causes all these cravings and food aversions? It is partly your hormones.
As you know pregnancy brings about a number of hormonal changes in your body, which indirectly affect your sense of smell and sense of taste. Some practitioners feel there is a link between cravings and any nutrient deficiency the pregnant woman might be having. For example, if there is a protein deficiency, there will be a meat craving and so on. But mostly, no one knows why certain women get certain cravings, while others get different cravings, and some do not even get cravings.
Among all the cravings, one to look out for is the sweet food cravings! In one survey, as much as 40% of the women admitted to having a sweet tooth during their pregnancy. Although elders advise you to indulge yourself during your pregnancy time, sugar is something to be wary of.
So before you reach out for a candy or ice cream, remember that sugar is not nutritious. It results in lot of weight gain. It can also increase the chances of gestational diabetes. So are we suggesting you forget about the sweet craving and apply mind over matter? Nope. There are ways to handle your sweet food cravings. Here are some tips.
Here are the top 10 tips to handle sweet cravings that happens during pregnancy:
You are pregnant? Prepare yourself for the cravings. If you are prepared, then you would choose healthy alternatives as opposed to unhealthy options.
That is right. Do not buy sugar. It is not healthy anyway, pregnancy or not. Having it lying around in the kitchen will make it very difficult to brush off that temptation to have a sugary cup of coffee.
Some fruits, like papaya, are not advised during pregnancy. But most other fruits are an awesome source of energy, nutrients, and sweetness (yes!) during pregnancy. Keep lot of bananas, melons, apples, pomegranates and berries in your house. Every time you get a sweet craving, you reach out for one of these instead of a piece of cake. Ensure you keep different varieties so that you do not get bored with the same fruit and use that as an excuse to have that piece of cake! Outsmart yourself!
Sometimes a deficiency in one of the prenatal vitamins like folic acid might be responsible for giving you sweet cravings. Fix that, and you fix this!
Many at times, when you are hungry, you are really thirsty! Keep yourself hydrated at all times. This way your brain won’t read your thirst as sweet cravings and urge you to have a sugary snack! And no, aerated drink and artificial drinks (e.g. Tang) or canned juices (e.g. Tropicana) are not advised. They are again laden with sugar. Stick to water, please! Or coconut water during pregnancy! But ideally, eat your fruits, not juice them. Water is the best fluid you can have.
If you are active – be it with walking or prenatal yoga or light impact aerobics – it reduces your sweet food cravings. How? When you are working out regularly, you are committing your body to a better and healthy lifestyle. And sugar has no role there!
We told you sometimes you misjudge your thirst as hunger. Similarly, many times when you feel like having an ice cream, you are not really craving sweet. You are just bored. That is right. Boredom leads to sweet cravings too. Keeping yourself engaged and getting enough rest are ways to beat such cravings.
As much as possible stick to organic, fresh, local and home cooked food. Processed food items, like biscuits, cakes etc., are laden with sugar. Sure, it satisfies your cravings. But it also results in more cravings.
A food journal helps a lot during pregnancy. It not only helps to ensure you are eating meals on time and eating a variety of food items, it also points out how often you have had cheat meals. And many at times it is more often that you would like to admit! So keeping track of your food intake makes you more accountable.
Of course, give into the cravings once in a while. Eat in moderation. Ensure you do not indulge often. And go for good quality cheat meals (e.g. a home baked cake as opposed to store bought one).
Excess of everything is bad. So, if you are eating sweets in moderation and within limit, there is no problem. But consuming excess of sweets and sugary desserts may lead to excess weight gain, may cause gestational diabetes, and may lead to pregnancy related complications like preeclampsia and preterm birth.
Sugar does not cause heartburn during pregnancy but, its consumption can certainly aggravate the condition if your are suffering from heartburn.
No. Sugar consumption does not cause diarrhea during pregnancy. But if you already have diarrhea and consume high-sugar food items like juices, colas etc., it can aggravate the symptoms further.
Research suggests that babies born to women who have high sugar levels during pregnancy or develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with autism.
No. Sugar consumption may cause other complications but it does not cause abortion or termination of pregnancy.
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
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