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How switching your grains in pregnancy may impact your future child’s risk of obesity

Weekly pregnancy tip

 

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Avoiding refined grains, including white flour and white rice, is something I recommend to my patients during pregnancy, due to their impact on maternal blood sugar levels.

As I share in-depth as part of the nutrition module in my online pregnancy coaching program, a low-glycemic diet in pregnancy has a host of benefits including decreased risk of developing gestational diabetes, more stable energy levels, decreased risk of dysbiosis (a microbial imbalance than can lead to Group B Strep infections), and better weight control.

But a new study came out this month highlighting another reason to focus on whole grains rather than processed grains: preventing childhood obesity.

Animal studies had previously shown that exposing a fetus to refined carbohydrates may predispose offspring to an obese phenotype – a finding that was replicated in this recent human study of moms with gestational diabetes. This study confirmed that consuming a diet high in refined grains impacts not only the pregnancy itself, but also the long-term health of the child after birth.

Obviously it would be great if all women switched fully to whole grains and lower-glycemic diets in their pregnancies (I dedicate a whole module to this choice, complete with menus and recipes, in my online course). However, it might be of interest to know that it didn’t take much to see a difference in this study: substituting just 1 serving of refined grains per day with an equal serving of whole grains during pregnancy was related to a 10% reduced risk of offspring overweight or obesity at 7 years of age.

Makes that quinoa salad look even more appetizing than ever.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at support@myhealthypregnancyplan.com.

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.

References:

Moses, R. G. (2006). Effect of Low-Glycemic-Index Diet During Pregnancy on Obstetric Outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 84 (4): 807-812.

Moses, R. G. (2009). Can a Low-Glycemic Index Diet Reduce the Need for Insulin in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Care, 32 (6): 996-1000.

Zhu, Y. et al. (2017). Maternal dietary intakes of refined grains during pregnancy and growth through the first 7 y of life among children born to women with gestational diabetes. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 7 2017.

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