The Pregnancy Food Guide

Healthy Fats
D Pregnant and breastfeeding women need healthy fats for baby’s development
D Eat healthy fats throughout the day such as fats found in olive and canola oil, fatty fish (salmon,
herring and sardines), avocados, peanut butter, salad dressings, nuts and seeds
D Avoid trans fat or foods with “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat” (like many pack-
aged and processed foods, fried foods and fast foods)
D Limit saturated fat (like butter, lard, whole milk dairy products, high fat meats such as sausage
and bacon)
Healthy Carbohydrates
D Fruits and vegetables are healthy sources of carbohydrates. Eat them often and throughout the
day. Try for five to nine servings a day. Eat dark and brightly colored fruits and vegetables because
they are richer sources of vitamins and minerals. Choose whole fruit rather than juice whenever pos-
sible. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are acceptable. However, canned fruits in syrup are
higher in sugar and canned vegetables are higher in salt.
D Eat whole grain products including whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta,
seeded rye, barley, quinoa, wheat berries, bulgur, millet and kasha. Limit instant grains and refined
carbohydrates (like cookies, soda, instant rice and instant oatmeal)
Fluid
D Drink enough water to never feel thirsty and so urine is light in color
D Choose pasteurized low fat milk and lightly flavored waters
D Limit juices and other sweetened beverages, which are high in calories
Food Safety and Pre p a r a t i o n
D When you’re pregnant, you’re at an increased risk for foodborne illness
because hormonal changes during pregnancy weaken your immune system.
D Remember to:
Wash your hands before and after food preparation
Cook well and properly handle meat, fish, eggs and poultry. Eggs
should be cooked until firm.
Wash fruits and vegetables well
D Avoid:
Unpasteurized brie, feta, camembert, blue cheese and all soft cheeses
Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and solid white albacore
tuna because they contain mercury*
Unpasteurized milk and juice
Cold cuts (unless reheated to steaming hot)
Cooked foods and foods requiring refrigeration that have been left
unrefrigerated for more than two hours
*www.nutrition.gov offers additional information on mercury and fish
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