The holidays are filled with plenty of great food and treats. Most people gain weight during the holidays…anywhere from 1-4 pounds. While this might not sound like too much, it’s about a pound a week! But gaining weight should be the least of your worries while pregnant…it’s probably going to happen, so maybe you should just embrace it
Moreover, some foods trigger morning sickness symptoms while some actually help your morning sickness. This is especially true when dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum, as the slightest trigger can cause an episode of nausea and vomiting.
Foods to avoid:
Apple Cider: So 100% pure apple cider might be acceptable, IF that’s the only ingredient. But still, apples contain large amounts of sugar. Furthermore, most apple cider served at the holidays is filled with other junk…whipped cream, caramel, and artificial sweeteners like maple sugar, cane sugar, and more. We know sugar is bad for you and especially with H. pylori, as the bacterium feeds on simple sugars. Sugar also makes your hormones go wild, causing symptoms to flare up.
Candy canes: Nothing says Christmas like a candy cane! Unfortunately, its something you should really avoid for the same reasons as above. Completely artificial and chock full of sugar.
Eggnog: Eggnog – eggs are good right? Unfortunately, the whipped eggs that give eggnog its namesake aren’t the only ingredients. In fact, the average cup contains 20 grams of sugar on top of milk, cream, and a traditional dash of rum, bourbon, or brandy. While the protein is great (average of 12 grams per glass), its best to stay away from the eggnog.
Apple pie: Apple pie is one of the most popular dishes during the holidays, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Unfortunately, it’s a dish that should be avoided. Apple pie has lots of sugar and starches from the pie crust, all of which contribute to degrading your gut while battling morning sickness.
Fruitcake: With dark rum, brown sugar, flour, molasses, and various forms of processed dried fruit, fruitcake is definitely tasty…but not a good option for maintaining an optimal diet.
Foods to eat:
Fish: While this isn’t the most common dish, fish is a common item on many holiday menus, especially in Italy and the Italian-American community. The Feast of the Seven Fishes, also known as The Vigil, consists of seven different seafood dishes. Fish is an outstanding holiday option due to its clean ingredients and high protein content. The omega-3s in fish are outstanding for mom and baby. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is observed on Christmas Eve, but consumption of wild-caught and sustainable fish is always recommended during the holiday season.
Christmas ham: Ham is a great option while pregnant and dealing with morning sickness. Ham is high in protein and is a pretty clean meat option during the holidays. If you choose to go with ham, look for low-salt content and avoid the sugary glaze that predominates many holiday ham recipes. The broth from Christmas ham is also very healthy, especially if some bones are included.
Mixed nuts: Mixed nuts are a fantastic option during the holidays. Stick with high-fat and high-protein nuts, like macadamia nuts, almonds, and a holiday favorite, walnuts. Watch out for “honey-glazed” nuts, which are high in sugar. Aim for dry-roasted if available.
Prime rib: A wonderful traditional option during the holidays. Prime rib is high in protein and healthy fats. A lot of fat, however, can sometimes upset the stomach, so look for a lean slice when you are loading your plate.
Turkey: Turkey is high in protein and contains tryptophan, which will help you get a great night’s rest following dinner. Look for free-range or organic turkey, which is the cleanest available.
To summarize…eat clean! Avoid sugar! Look for high protein, low-carb options. But if you can handle it, feel free to indulge on some holiday treats.