July 29, 2002 at 8:29 PM CDT - Updated June 29 at 11:30 PM
All of us have a favorite treat to satisfy our sweet tooth, but sugar doesn't provide many nutrients, and too much of it can lead to serious health problems. Three simple steps can help you cut sugar out of your diet, so you can be on your way to a healthy pregnancy.
Expectant mother Misti Laws says, "I concentrate more on eating healthy when I'm pregnant than normal, but it doesn't always work." Misti's three-year-old daughter Taylor and one-year-old daughter Baylee keep her busy. Her life will get even busier in about two months, that's when she expects her third child. Needless to say, cutting sugar out of her diet is just one of many things on her mind. "It's harder each pregnancy, because you're so busy with everything else and other children and life," Misti says.
Even though it's hard, Misti does keep track of how much sugar she eats, and that's a simple way she could prevent long-term health problems. WIC nutritionist Linda Pritchard says, "First of all you're going to get calories, the calories can lead to obesity, and if you have a woman who's overweight during her pregnancy, she can develop gestational diabetes."
But you don't have to ban sugar altogether, just make some small changes to your diet. Here are three steps you can take to cut down. Check labels carefully. Sugar sometimes disguises itself. You should also consider alternatives, like eating a muffin instead of a cinnamon roll. You can also try some fruit instead for dessert or a good topping on your favorite cereal.
Moms also need to make sure they and their babies get enough calcium. We'll take a look at the importance of calcium as "Baby Your Baby" week continues, every day this week, on Heartland News at Five.