If you’re pregnant and pondering the safety and logistics of giving sugar the flick – this article’s for you. Here’s what to expect from the 8-Week Program when you’re, well, expecting.
Note: It's important to check in with your doctor before making any dietary changes during your pregnancy – your individual health needs may vary depending on your health.
Quitting sugar while pregnant can be a monumental change for those who have long-relied on sugary snacks and their associated dopamine highs – but the health consequences of such a lifestyle for you and your bub are alarming, hence your decision to make a change. Here’s what you need to know about the safety of taking on the 8-Week Program while pregnant.
A healthy gut microbiome for a healthy pregnancy
Not only is it safe to quit sugar while pregnant, it’s actually beneficial, and it’s all to do with your gut microbiome. Studies show how important our microbiome is in influencing both your health and the baby’s health – it is essential for foetal development, a healthy pregnancy and the diversity of the baby’s own microbiome after their birth. The gut microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria, and it’s essential to tip the balance in favour of the good bacteria to protect the stomach lining, strengthen immunity and prevent the development of metabolic syndrome and autoimmune conditions. One study shows that the gut microbiome regulates the immune response to pathogens, and good gut health during pregnancy ensures the baby is off to a good start in our very germy world.
Diets high in sugar, trans fats and alcohol can lead to a disruption of this system. Fructose specifically can lead to changes to the gut bacteria, with research finding it lowers microbial diversity, thereby reducing the defences against pathogens. High-sugar intake also leads to higher levels of Proteobacteria, which indicate the gut microbiome is out of balance – and with the average Aussie consuming 15 teaspoons of added sugar per day, which is more than double the 6-teaspoon recommendation from the World Health Organisation, many parents are overdosing on the sweet stuff. Cutting sugar out is a good way to prevent this damage to your gut and ensure you and your baby aren’t put at risk of a range of conditions associated with a dysregulated gut microbiome, including gestational diabetes, autoimmune diseases and obesity.
Getting your nutrients during the 8-Week Program
While our program is crafted by experts and balanced in all those essential nutrients we need for functioning bodies, high energy and gut health, it’s important to ensure you’re meeting your individual needs during your pregnancy – we recommend checking in with your doctor before making any dietary changes. It’s essential to make sure you’re getting all your nutritional requirements and caloric intake needs met, after all, you’re eating for two now – these are the nutrients to ensure you’re getting a healthy dose of:
- Probiotics: Foods packed with good bacteria, like kefir, yoghurt and kimchi help you’re your gut flora balanced during pregnancy. These also play a role reduce blood pressure and help to prevent pre-eclampsia; a complication associated with hypertension.
- Prebiotics and fibre: Whole grains like oats, quinoa and buckwheat are all packed with fibre and slow-release energy to keep your blood sugars stable, while veggies like artichoke and garlic are known for their prebiotic content.
- Fatty acids: These are important for the absorption of vitamins A, C and D – which are all needed to maintain gut health.
- Antioxidants:The polyphenols in antioxidants help to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Vitamins and minerals: B vitamins, iron, calcium, protein and folate are just a few of the essential nutrients for gut and brain health.
These foods are all found in abundance in our meal plans and recipes in the 8-Week Program, just be sure to tweak the doses to meet your growing needs.
Sugar-free snacks for the sweet tooths
If you have trouble battling the cravings that come with quitting sugar, there are a few snacks to have at the ready for when those urges hit – these will satisfy your sweet tooth, without the sugar crash:
- Blueberries with yoghurt
- Nut butter with apple
- Sweeter nuts like cashews and pistachios
- Frozen fruit dipped in yoghurt
If you like the sound of the program and are keen to transform your health and finally kick those sugar cravings to the curb – we’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and making our health goals a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, JOIN NOW!