• Mary, NP

Especially Special K

More often than not pregnant moms complaining of new headaches and nervousness are eating a bowl (or two) of "healthy cereal" as part of their meal plan. Marketing has been very effective in seducing families into believing their “whole grain” cereal is good for their heart health, weight loss and growing families. Beware: the food industry wants to feed us, but not necessarily nourish us.

Cereals of all forms are processed grains (carbohydrates) that break down very quickly during digestion. Yes, even "steel cut" oatmeal is going to spike up blood sugar. (My husband, a Type I diabetic, assures me of this.) Following rapid elevations in blood sugar there is a rapid rise in insulin to drive the surge of sugar out of the blood and into the muscles, followed by an accelerated drop in blood sugar.

Like clockwork, about two hours after a bowl of cereal symptoms suddenly appear: urgent hunger, jitters, shaking, nervousness, headache, difficulty concentrating. Setting up another round of sugar binging. This drop is especially felt among pregnant women as the baby is also pulling the sugar load out of the blood with the insulin. School children often can not name or control these symptoms while at school, but attention and learning are very difficult about mid-morning after a breakfast of cereal.

Considering the amount of sugar in cereals, it is difficult to call them a food. Two slices of leftover Tombstone pizza is a more balanced breakfast than Cheerios with milk and a half banana! Consider these breakfast ideas: french toast, scrambled eggs, egg burritos with cheese, peanutbutter with fruit on an English muffin. I invite your creative ideas in the comment section.

It’s important to include protein with carbohydrates in your meal planning. Fats easily get incorporated in proteins and general food prep, so they don’t have to added. Packaged foods contain transfats to extend their shelf life. This is form of fat contributes to heart disease and cancer.

Check your progress using the free nutritional app: My Fitness Pal. Try to keep carbohydrates to about 50% of your calories for every meal (protein 20% and fats 30%). Avoid sugars and transfats in processed food. Your headaches will go away.

#prenatalnutrition #weightloss #nutrition #diabetes

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