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Diet Advice and Guidelines for Pregnancy
A healthy diet for a pregnant woman should be nutrient-dense. This means choosing foods with a high nutritional content, while reducing or avoiding non-nutritious foods like refined sugars and junk food. In addition, a healthy pregnancy diet may require vitamin or mineral supplements, especially iron, calcium, folate and, for some women, Vitamin D. A pregnant woman’s protein requirements are greater than normal, which usually isn’t a problem in the U.S. where the daily diet is typically very protein-rich. Generally, excessive use of sodium should be restricted in order to avoid hypertension, as well as too much weight gain.
Pregnancy takes about 300 extra calories a day to maintain, and an average-sized woman can expect to gain between 25 and 35 pounds overall. This means increasing your calorie-intake from the main food groups, according to your energy (calorie) requirements, as follows:
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
(1) USDA recommendations for limiting intake of fat, cholesterol, and sodium are the same for pregnant women as for the general population. (2) It is best to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water and no more than one soft drink or cup of coffee per day to limit caffeine.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office on Women's Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.