Healthy Pregnancy Diet Guidelines

By EatingWell Editors

Steps for a healthy pregnancy.

Go fish

Proteins supply the building blocks for your growing baby’s tissues, so your needs for this nutrient increase slightly during pregnancy. No need to start blending power shakes: most Americans get more than enough protein, plenty to support a healthy pregnancy. The key is to choose healthful lean proteins that supply very little saturated fat—like fish. Fish offers not only low-fat protein but also good amounts of an omega-3 fat, called DHA, that is crucial for a baby’s brain and nervous system development. However, because much of the seafood we consume contains mercury, an environmental toxin that may harm a baby’s brain development, the Food and Drug Administration (along with the Environmental Protection Agency) recommends some specific guides for safe seafood consumption during pregnancy. Pregnant women should not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, large “predatory” fish that tend to accumulate high levels of mercury. They can safely consume a moderate amount (12 ounces or less) of other fish each week—with no more than 6 ounces coming from albacore tuna.

Next: Tip 7—Eat to Manage Morning Sickness »

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