Food cravings during pregnancy – How best to deal with them

pregnancy cravings

Sure you’re waiting for this no guilt way to eat your heart out now that you’re pregnant. But take pause. Being pregnant doesn’t mean you get to pig out without reason and just let go of your health goals. And it all comes down to portion sizes, considering you don’t have too many calories to fool around with.

How best to manage unhealthy pregnancy cravings

Try and space out your less-healthy cravings with other foods to even it out to make sure your nutrition isn’t getting a hit. If you feel like junking with chips and Pepsi or eating a large ice cream, exercise control and remember that controlling your portion sizes will also quench your craving but won’t unnecessarily give you a calorie overload.

Another healthy trick is to combine something super healthy with one of the other usual suspects. For instance, mix in a high-fiber cereal with some granola or dried fruits like raisins or cranberries. You end up getting fiber to relieve constipation whilst getting the sweet crunch you were craving.

Salty and spicy foods are also high up on the list of cravings for a lot of pregnant women. Sometimes these may be high sodium options like Maggi. This is fine as long as you balance out the salt intake over the rest of the day. Try and include plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and drink plenty of water to flush out the toxins as well.

Remember that food cravings are very real and are an actual part of pregnancy you’ll want to enjoy. So indulge in them as often as you can but try and opt for a small serving size. Chaat etc. is generally safe as long as the water used is bottled, and so make sure of the hygiene conditions before indulging.

What is PICA during pregnancy?

In a condition called “pica” women crave inedible things such as soap, chalk, clay, detergent, etc. It’s not really clear what causes these unusual cravings, but it is believed to be the result of a combination of biochemical and psychological factors. In some cases, pica could suggest iron deficiency despite the fact that none of the craved items contain any significant amount of iron. It has been observed however that iron-deficiency anemia may be associated with ice craving and that effective treatment of this anemia could result in lesser ice consumption.

If you notice any cravings for nonfood items, make sure that you talk to your doctor about it.