During pregnancy, cravings are at their all-time high, especially when it comes to food. Nothing is tastier than junk food, even though we have been taught from a very young age that it is not healthy. Mothers fall under the impression that eating junk food is only going to lead to weight gain which is fine since they are going to gain weight anyway. Some even think that pregnancy it the best excuse to eat all the things that they had been consciously avoiding before.
The truth however, is quite the contrary. Pregnancy is the time when you should be extra careful about what you eat. You aren’t just eating for yourself; there is another life that is completely dependent on you. You and your little one need a lot of nutrients during pregnancy to stay nourished and healthy.
While it is important to gain weight, it is also equally important to gain healthy weight. This will help your baby in the proper development of the brain, bones, organs and immune system. Although it is alright to have junk food once in a while, it definitely does not help you meet the nutritional demands of your body. It also leaves you feeling full all the time, which prevents you from consuming other healthy foods.
Here are a few effects of eating junk food during pregnancy:
1. The baby’s food preferences
It is said that the mother’s eating habits influence the future habits of her baby as well. This is true to some extent. Consuming unhealthy food at all times may develop a liking of fatty foods in your baby. The brain circuitry of the baby gets altered and they develop a weakness for fatty foods. On the other hand, if the mother maintains a healthy balanced diet, the baby will develop similar habits.
2. Risk of allergies
A high content of certain ingredients such as sugars in your diet can increase the risk of allergies and asthma for the mother as well as the baby. High sucrose and fructose consumption are not good for the overall health of both the mother as well as the fetus.
3. Genetic abnormalities
Junk food has high fat and sugar content. This can lead to genetic defects and mitochondrial dysfunction. Moreover, this is not limited to the baby but can get passed up to 3 generations in the family.
4. Excess weight
Mothers who regularly consume junk food during pregnancy tend to put on more weight than necessary. Even though this may not necessarily cause any complications through the course of the pregnancy, it can prove extremely difficult to lose this weight later on.
5. Digestive problems
Eating too much junk food may develop problems such as indigestion. With your bladder constantly bursting and an excess pressure constantly being put on your lower body, improper digestion is the last thing you would want to deal with.
6. Gestational diabetes
You may not have diabetes, but don’t remain under the notion that you cannot develop it while pregnant. Junk food is high in sugar and calories and is also known to increase the risk of gestational diabetes.