‘Diet’ shakes, as popular as they are amongst many of us, are not a wise option to opt for during pregnancy. Though they are safe, they are intended for weight loss by replacing meals, and pregnancy is a time that demands extra energy, and a well-balanced intake of nutrition, since there is another life, a new one that depends on what you send inwards.
Pregnancy is the worst time you can choose, to lose weight or try to maintain your pre-pregnancy shape, by skipping meals! Food from all groups, including good fats must be included in the diet during pregnancy.
Also, as far as possible natural sources of most vitamins, minerals and fiber must be chosen, over synthetic and artificial sources, lest they create toxins in the body.
The added supplements, additives and preservatives in most diet shakes may also be a cause for concern, especially during pregnancy and if in case you are on medication.
The added vitamins and minerals may interfere with any daily supplement intake, causing overdose or sometimes allergic reactions. The shakes also have high sugar content, which may induce gestational diabetes or give rise to related health problems.
Diet shakes, or ready-made shakes, usually come in many flavors, and are fortified with vitamins, minerals and fiber, with very little fat and calories and hence are a popular option amongst those watching weight, or those who find it difficult to include good nutritious food in their daily diets.
They can be used as a snack or as a back-up option if travelling, but they should not replace a meal during this time. Though usual attempts to “diet” usually have short-term focus and are usually met with failure, as the lost weight rebounds once you resume normal diet or stop using the meal replacement, thus making its use unnecessary in to begin with!
A well-balanced diet, may be under the guidance of a nutrition professional will be a better and long term investment. A weight gain of around 20 – 35 pounds during pregnancy is considered normal, and should be due to wholesome, quality food.
Can I Drink Protein Shakes?
Another popular option in diet shakes are the protein shakes, considering an increased requirement for protein during pregnancy.
Protein shakes have highly concentrated sources of protein usually in the form of whey, milk, egg white powder or soy. They lack essential vitamins and minerals and fiber.
Moreover, consumption of protein shakes must be under expert guidance, since over dosages can lead to dehydration, flatulence, kidney problems and more.
They usually demand a proportional increase in the intake of water due to the nitrogen content in them which may overload the kidneys or cause flatulence and bloating adding to the already present nausea and indigestion.
Thus, pregnancy is a time to enjoy and connect with the most beautiful event in all of nature, and not to worry about weight! Exercising is a better way to keep a watch on the weight than experimenting with food intake!