What’s the deal with carbs?

So you’ve just found out that you need to manage your daily carbohydrate (carb) intake. This can be a little tricky. Carbs are now a problem for you but also the solution. You need carbs and your baby needs carbs. Carbohydrates are our energy food. They are contained in many important food groups i.e. bread and cereals, fruits, vegetables and dairy. You can’t just cut them out or your diet would end up unbalanced and insufficient but too much of them means too much glucose in your bloodstream.

The answer is this. You need to eat a consistent and moderate amount of carbs regularly through the day.

Ideally you should be eating every 2.5-3hrs. Leaving a much longer gap means you might get too hungry and want to eat more when you finally do eat. Eating every hour means your body is going to find it too hard to keep processing all the time. Try having 3 meals and 3 small snacks through the day. These should be at times of the day that suit you.

Type & Amount:
Choose nutritious or high-fibre carbs i.e. wholegrain breads and crackers, pasta, starchy vegetables such as corn and potato, legumes, low fat dairy milk and yoghurt and fruit. A fist-sized amount of carbohydrate is a good rule of thumb to go by until you see a dietitian. This is usually equal to about a standard cup measure (250ml). Avoid unnecessary carbs such as sugar, which includes lollies, soft drink, cordial and fruit juice. Advice varies but you should aim for 12 serves of carbohydrate per day, evenly spaced through the day i.e. 2-3 serves for meals and 1-2 carbohydrate serves for snacks. This helps ensure you can meet the overall nutrient requirements for pregnancy without overdoing it. (1 carb serve =15g total carbohydrate.)