You’ve heard the stories about pickles and ice cream, and you probably laughed. But expecting a baby can mean unexpected urges for foods that aren’t exactly healthy. How can you stay on track with your diet with a baby on board? You can indulge in the most common pregnancy cravings women experience—in moderation.
The Pregnancy Palate
Eating right is a top priority for ensuring a healthy pregnancy, so it can feel like a cruel joke if all you want to do is demolish a box of Little Debbie’s. Some women have dedicated their lives to veganism, only to demand a bacon double cheeseburger suddenly. Women report that these are the most popular guilty cravings, but everyone’s tastebuds are different:
- Potato chips
- Spicy food
- Ice cream
- Red meat
- Peanut butter
The cravings also come in combinations. Don’t fear if you feel like dipping some Twizzlers in Nutella or if you top your mashed potatoes with caramel sauce. The urge is temporary.
What Causes Cravings?
Theories range from the cravings telling us what nutrients our body is missing to predicting the sex of the baby. Missing nutrients? Possibly. Your baby’s sex? Probably not. You might want potato chips if your body is low on sodium, or you could develop a taste for meat if you need protein. During pregnancy, you might also notice a heightened sense of smell, affecting what you choose to eat. Some women have sudden food aversions that might rule out some healthier choices. Don’t try to make too much sense of it all. Chalk it up to changing hormones or simply embrace the mystery of the human body.
The Dietary Dangers
The most common pregnancy cravings women experience are usually harmless, up to a point. Doctors acknowledge that high-crab, high-fat, high-salt choices are par for the course. The danger is in surrendering to mentalities like, “I’m pregnant, all bets are off,” or “I’m eating for two now.” Nope. Give in too often to unhealthy cravings, and it can lead to excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, or other complications for you and your baby—practice moderation. Go ahead and drown a couple of Doritos in clam chowder if it gets you through the day. Just make sure that you’re following a nutrient-rich, balanced diet the rest of the time, and you won’t do too much damage.
How about a healthy zoodle recipe to satisfy some cravings?