It seems that as time passes decide what to eat when pregnant becomes ever more challenging. Especially now, since a new study found dangers in some very common foods.
New study suggests that consuming high amounts of acrylamide during pregnancy might damage the baby’s development, and lead to low birth weight and smaller head measurements.
What is Acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a chemical which is formed in high-temperature cooking (like frying, roasting or baking) of foods rich with carbohydrates, such as potatoes and cereals. This means that there is a high amount of acrylamide in baked or fried potatoes, toasted bread, and even breakfast cereal and cakes.
Acrylamide is being industrially produced and used in the process of creating many daily products, such as plastic bags, cosmetics and cigarettes. It was discovered in certain foods for the first time in 2002, which means that the experts are only starting to understand its influence on our health. So far it seems that high exposure to this matter might lead to various kinds of cancer as well as damage the nerves system.
Acrylamide in your Pregnancy Diet
As mentioned above, it seems that having too much acrylamide in your pregnancy diet might lead to some unpleasant results. The study was published in the December 2012 issue of Environmental Health Perspective. During 2006-2011 the researchers followed the pregnancy diet of 1,101 pregnant women from 11 different locations in five European countries. In addition, they tested the levels of acrylamide in the participants’ umbilical cord and examined their new born babies.
One of the major findings of this research is that the birth weight of the babies of participants with higher levels of acrylamide was lower in 3.8-3.6 oz(103-107 grams), compared to the babies of women with lower amounts of this substance. It should be noted that low birth-weight has been associated with some growth complications in the early stages of life, and other health complication later in life, such as diabetes.
Another concerning finding is that the heads of babies of the mother with higher amounts of acrylamide were smaller in an average of0.12 inch(0.33 cm) than the babies of mothers with lower levels of acrylamide.
Healthy Pregnancy Nutrition to Reduce Acrylamide
Since it was discovered only in 2002, the implications of acrylamide on pregnant women’s health are still not fully understood. However, initial finding suggest its affects are not positive at all, and if possible it should be avoided.
To do so, during pregnancy, try to avoid fried food in general and deep fried in particular. It’s okay to have some fried food as long as it’s from time to time and fried lightly. As for baking and roasting, simply don’t overheat your food. Take it out of the oven when it turns golden and don’t let it burn. In addition, whenever possible have fresh food, cooked, or steamed.
In addition, before making any major changes in your pregnancy diet, consult with your physician or a professional nutrition consultant.
Filed in: Articles about Diet while Pregnant