You can’t eat cheese, fish, or pretty much anything else when you’re pregnant. After all, you have to worry about the baby. You definitely can’t sit in a hot tub with all the bacteria, and you don’t want to cook your baby. Some say that you shouldn’t exercise too hard, while others say you can keep up whatever routine you were using before. It certainly does seem like everybody has something to say about you being pregnant.
As for the government, among their many
recommendations, you will find that the EWG (Environmental Working Group) has their own list of grocery items that have nutrients that can supposedly cause harmful issues for kids 8 and younger and pregnant women. Specifically, they focus on breakfast cereals and snack bars.
The EWG conducted a review of over 1,550 cereals and 1,000 snack bars. They found 114 cereals that were fortified with a 30% or greater value of vitamin A, zinc, and/or niacin. 27 of the most common snack bars came with a dose of 50% or more of adult recommendations.
Granted, if you look at your average prenatal, you will find a whole host of high doses of various vitamins. So you would think that getting it through your food would be a good thing. But Renee Sharp, a research director and co-author for the EWG, says,
Heavily fortified foods may sound like a good thing, but when it comes to children and pregnant women, excessive exposure to high nutrient levels could actually cause short or long-term health problems. Manufacturers use vitamin and mineral fortification to sell their products, adding amounts in excess of what people need and more than might be prudent for young children to consume.
Vitamin A is specifically fat soluble, and because of that, it is more likely to lead to toxicity. Your body stores it. On the other hand, if it’s a water soluble vitamin, it is naturally more likely to be released. If you get too much vitamin A, it can lead to side effects like liver damage, skeletal issues, and hair loss. For pregnant women, this can also result in fetal defects. This is why doctors don’t recommend certain acne medications when pregnant.
You would assume that your daily prenatal would be specially formulated with exactly what you need and none of what you don’t, but you may want to think twice about that. You may want to run your prenatals by your doctor. It certainly wouldn’t hurt. Read your labels carefully, and you may want to focus on foods rich in beta carotene such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, and cantaloupe.
Most of all, read the labels.