Pregnancy? Can You Really Switch to Vegetarianism?
Pregnancy? Can You Really Switch to Vegetarianism? Pregnancy brings a new responsibility. You must be in charge of the health and well-being of another human being. For many of us it is the time when we give up considerable risk activities like drinking and smoking. A major change in diet sounds risky too but changing to a vegetarian diet in pregnancy really should not be seen in that light. Taken slowly and sensibly changing to vegetarianism during pregnancy is quite safe.
You should, of course, discuss your diet and any changes you plan to make to it with your health care professional. If they see that you are taking the process seriously, they will be supportive of your decision to change to vegetarianism during pregnancy.
If you approach becoming a vegetarian seriously it will benefit both you and your baby. Typical vegetarians eat far less junk food than most people. (“Turning Vegetarian During Pregnancy – How to Make a Smooth …”) They are more likely to prepare meals from basic ingredients and to consume a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, nuts, pulses, and grains than people who eat processed food. If you are not vegan, then you will also be eating dairy produce such as milk, cheese, and eggs. That should ensure you a balanced diet. (“Turning Vegetarian During Pregnancy – How to Make a Smooth …”)
In pregnancy a woman has special dietary needs. A pregnant woman only needs about three hundred extra calories a day and between 10 and 16 grams of extra protein. But it is important to ensure that you get enough folic acid, iron, zinc, and vitamin B-12. Leafy green vegetables are useful here. As a vegetarian you will get more of these than on a typical modern diet. (“Turning Vegetarian During Pregnancy – How to Make a Smooth …”) Your health professional will be on the lookout for deficiencies. It will help them to know that you are vegetarian. Discuss whether you need dietary supplements.
Going vegetarian presents your body with many challenges. So, it is important to take it slowly. This is true at any time, but it is especially true when you plan to go vegetarian during pregnancy. The best advice is to take it slowly. Make the transition gradually by eating vegetarian one or two days a week at first. This allows your body to detoxify itself slowly. (“Advantages of Been Vegetarian – Good Reasons For … – Issuu”)
Taking things step by step also allows you to introduce new sources of protein into your diet gradually. It will give you a chance to learn how to use plant-based proteins like soya. (“Advantages of Been Vegetarian – Good Reasons For … – Issuu”) There is an art to making a good tofu burger or a tasty lentil soup. Changing your shopping habits takes time too.
Something else to consider when changing to a vegetarian diet during pregnancy is the need for exercise and sunlight. Sunlight is necessary for your body to manufacture its own vitamin D. A dietary supplement may be necessary depending on where you live and the time of yes (“Turning Vegetarian During Pregnancy – How to Make a Smooth …”)
At any time, the transition to vegetarianism should be about achieving a healthy lifestyle. (“Turning Vegetarian During Pregnancy – How to Make a Smooth …”) This is especially true when the change to vegetarianism is made during pregnancy. Going vegetarian during pregnancy is perfectly possible if you do so carefully and in consultation with your health professional. Listen to your own body. The transition to vegetarianism during your pregnancy can be beneficial to both you and your baby.
When Is Milk Not Healthy Food?
Milk is often praised as a perfect food which contains all the protein, fats and minerals that are needed for a healthy life. It is often recommended that we drink a pint of milk a day. (“Reasons You Must Eliminate Milk from Your Diet”)
Milk is the only food for the young of mammals. It seems natural that we should rely on it and other dairy produce manufactured from milk as a source of nutrition. (“Advantages of Been Vegetarian – Good Reasons For … – Issuu”)
But matters are not so straightforward. Cows’ milk is not a natural food for human beings. For human infants it can be harmful unless modified as it is infant formula. (“Reasons You Must Eliminate Milk from Your Diet”)
Older children can often tolerate milk, but many adults lose the stomach enzyme that allows them to digest milk. In northern latitudes many adults retain that enzyme, and they can digest milk. (“Advantages of Been Vegetarian – Good Reasons For … – Issuu”) But in other parts of the world adults seldom can do so. As societies become more diverse it is common to encounter individuals who cannot tolerate milk in their diet. (“Reasons You Must Eliminate Milk from Your Diet”)
“Even those of us who can drink milk need to be aware of health concerns that are linked to a high consumption of milk and dairy produce.” (“Advantages of Been Vegetarian – vegan guide by …”) Full cream milk can help to raise the body’s level of cholesterol because it contains animal fat. This is even more true of cheese, butter, and cream, which contain a higher proportion of fat.
Skimmed milk may be the answer to this problem, but a high consumption of dairy foods has been associated with various forms of cancer. Breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer have all been linked to dairy foods. A Harvard study showed that if too much dairy produce is consumed the body’s enzymes may not be able to break down the lactose that milk contains. (“Reasons You Must Eliminate Milk from Your Diet”) This can build up in the blood stream and contribute to cancer formation in the body’s organs.
Milk produced under modern factory farming conditions is a long way from the milk that used to be available. Cows do not necessarily graze on grass. They may be kept indoors and fed on concentrates. This has several consequences for their milk. Milk from grass fed cattle is typically high in vitamin D. But milk from cattle reared indoors is not. (“Advantages of Been Vegetarian – Good Reasons For … – Issuu”)
Vitamin D is essential if we are to utilize calcium in bone growth and repair. We may be drinking milk in the belief that it helps us avoid osteoporosis when in fact it does not. Milk is not a reliable source of either vitamin D or calcium.
Milk can also contain elevated levels of hormones such as IGF-I. This substance has been linked to several cancers.
“It is possible to avoid milk and still obtain sufficient nutrients from a variety of other sources.” (“Advantages of Been Vegetarian – Good Reasons For … – Issuu”) Leafy green vegetables and whole grains are a reliable source of calcium. Vegetables such as carrots are a useful source of vitamin D. Soya products contain no animal fat and are often fortified with both vitamin D and calcium. (“Advantages of Been Vegetarian – Good Reasons For … – Issuu”)
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “The Importance of Eating a Healthful Vegetarian Diet”
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