Dangers of Eating Sugar While Pregnant
Sugar contains empty calories and can contribute to unnecessary weight gain. Obviously, with pregnancy comes weight gain. However, most of the weight you gain should be from increased blood volume and fluids not from fat.
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy puts a strain on your heart and joints. It also increases your risk of gestational diabetes. When you have gestational diabetes, your body has a hard time turning glucose into insulin. This causes frequent spikes in your blood-sugar level.
The extra glucose in your blood can cross the placenta and get into your unborn babys body. This puts a strain on your babys pancreas because it has to work like crazy to process the glucose. Any extra energy your fetus produces will get stored in his body as fat. This will increase his chances of growing too big in utero.
Being pregnant with an overweight baby puts you at risk for preterm labor, preeclampsia and a cesarean birth. Infants who are born to moms with pregnancy-related diabetes have an elevated risk of childhood obesity.
A large number of women who have gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Sugar also contributes to heart disease, weakened vision, tooth decay, yeast infections, osteoporosis, poor concentration, decreased activity in kids and reduced immune function.
Also, if you consume large amounts of sugar, it can interfere with your ability to absorb the protein your baby needs to grow his internal organs, muscle tissue, fingers, toes, hair and nails.
Never Replace Sugar with Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin are sold in stores under the brand names, Equal, Sweet N Low and Splenda. Artificial sweeteners are commonly found in diet sodas, flavored water and low-calorie baked goods.
Even though artificial sweeteners are low in calories, they are not a healthy replacement for sugar. These lab-created sweeteners can cause more problems than theyre worth. Aspartame, for instance, has been linked to various neuropsychiatric disorders that include:
loss of taste
Aspartame can also contribute to or worsen Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers, brain tumors, mental retardation, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, birth defects and diabetes.
Saccharin has been shown to contribute to nausea, wheezing, tongue blisters, eczema and sensory neuropathy. Preapproval research of sucralose suggests that this sweetener can cause shrinkage of the thymus glands and enlarged kidneys and liver.
Prevent the Side Effects of Eliminating Sugar
If you are accustomed to eating large amounts of sugar, eliminating this substance from your diet may cause nausea, headaches, dizziness and breakouts. To prevent these symptoms, gradually reduce your sugar intake instead of eliminating it all at once.
If you normally use four teaspoons of sugar in your morning coffee, reduce the amount to two teaspoons. You can also sweeten your coffee or tea with Stevia or Xylitol. These sweeteners are safer alternatives to sugar.
Sugar seems harmless, but this substance can cause serious problems to both you and your unborn babys health. When you remove sugar from your diet, youre one step closer to helping your baby start his life off right.