What to eat during pregnancy, scientific edition
November 6, 2019 3:30 PM   Subscribe

I am very early in pregnancy and have been taking in a lot information and advice about what foods to eat and not to eat, but there appears to be a huge variance in people's personal risk tolerance as well as in whether they happen to have a more laid back or uptight OB.

Is there a book/website/resource out there that has more scientific information/studies about what foods are helpful or harmful during pregnancy? I am currently reading Expecting Better and loving it because of the way she presents the science and then allows us to make our decisions, but her section on food is very tiny and I would just like to have more information about a wider range of foods.
posted by Forty-eight to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I personally would recommend avoiding the foods with highest risk of listeria contamination, as per the US CDC:

Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than other people to get listeriosis.

In general I recommend the CDC for good info on public health, for now.
posted by SaltySalticid at 3:39 PM on November 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yes there is! The book you want is called Real Food for Pregnancy, which is by a dietitian/nutritionist who started out looking into diets for gestational diabetes and then branched out into all pregnant people. She looks at hundreds of studies and distills it down for you. If you join her mailing list, she keeps sending info as new research comes out. I found it extremely helpful and I had a very healthy pregnancy and newborn.
posted by Illuminated Clocks at 3:56 PM on November 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I can't tell you much direct knowledge I have, but my wife carefully reviewed the research on this and concluded that the main risk was listeria, but it was almost impossible to avoid listeria by changing her diet in most ways, so she ended up avoiding undercooked meat and not changing her diet otherwise.
posted by value of information at 7:21 PM on November 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Mod note: A few comments removed. Folks wanting to recommend Expecting Better, please note the question mentions it already.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:06 PM on November 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I follow the (evidence-based) NHS advice on what is healthy or not safe to eat - you might find it useful.
posted by atlantica at 12:40 AM on November 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

You might want to look up essential nutrients, eg folic acid etc recommended during pregnancy. You may find some associated good foods that way. Also second CDC as a resource.
posted by typecloud at 9:16 AM on November 7, 2019

Recommendations actually vary by country, as what foods are safe vary. So if the sources so far aren't where you live, you might want to share a location or look up your own country's health info.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:25 PM on November 14, 2019

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