Mediterranean Diet Promotes Healthy Weight During Pregnancy

July 23, 2013

Paximadia-rusks

I am not one to promote weight loss during pregnancy, but I do promote appropriate weight gain with the right foods. Numerous times I have seen pregnant women receive conflicting and often wrong information regarding their weight during pregnancy. Some women are encouraged to even go on a “diet” sometimes gaining minimal weight, eager to get back in their normal clothes right after the baby. My mother recalls in the 70’s her obstetrician even giving her a prescription for an appetite suppressant during her pregnancy (and she was not overweight). Others gain too much, and still others believe that it is their chance to eat junk food. Research has shown time and time again that too little weight gain as well as too much weight gain can affect the baby, but research has also shown that the quality of the diet also affects the child.

But how about a diet that tastes good, is good for you and can protect you from gaining more weight then normal during pregnancy? Yes, I am talking about the Mediterranean diet.

In this new study, Spanish researchers found an association between compliance to the Mediterranean diet and weight gain during pregnancy. Their results showed that pregnant women who were already a following a Mediterranean diet before they got pregnant, maintained a normal weight gain during pregnancy, but they also found that women who followed a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy also had reduced weight gain and protection from obesity during pregnancy.

So the message here is: Start following Mediterranean diet even if you are not pregnant, but if you are already pregnant, starting to follow a Mediterranean diet will help you maintain a normal weight gain during your pregnancy.

The study was published in the journal Nutricion Hospitalaria, you can read it here.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Averil April 11, 2018 at 4:01 am

    Hi Elena,
    This information is great to read. I am wondering if you have information (or know of resources) around how this traditional diet changes as a woman develops throughout her life including pregnancy (do Cretan woman still eat feta?) and then supporting an infant from their first solids onwards (what was traditionally the first solids fed?)? Thanks 😀

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 23, 2018 at 7:33 am

      Thankyou Averil. Most feta now is made with pasteurized milk so there is no need to avoid it during pregnancy.

  • Reply How to Lose Weight on a Mediterranean Diet - 5 Tips That Work | Olive Tomato June 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    […] New research coming from the now known PREDIMED study, a long-term nutritional intervention study aimed to assess the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, showed that people lost slightly more weight when following a Mediterranean diet, compared to a low-fat diet. They also had the least increase in weight circumference compared to the low-fat diet. Of course this is not the first time the Mediterranean diet has been associated with weight loss, another study in 2008 published in the New England Journal of Medicine also showed that there was greater weight loss with the Mediterranean diet compared to a low-fat diet. Other studies have also associated the Mediterranean diet with a healthy weight in children as well as in pregnant women. […]

  • Reply carol August 10, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Thanks for sharing this great info. The Mediterranean diet has many great health benefits,also.

  • Reply weight loss tips August 1, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Question:

    I’ve always heard that eating dinner early is healthier (glycogen storage, hormonal synthesis, insulin and melatonin levels, etc.). And yet promoted with the same rigor is the Mediterranean diet which, ingredients aside and if you’ve ever been to Spain, usually entails eating dinner at ridiculously late hours.

    Anybody wanna give a shot at reconciling this for me?

    Thanks!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD August 2, 2013 at 10:11 am

      In the traditional Mediterranean diet pattern, the largest, main meal was consumed midday between 1:00-3:00 pm, dinner was a smaller, lighter meal. Due to changes in lifestyle and work schedules, nowadays many Mediterraneans eat late dinners. You can read more about timing of meals in Greece here: https://www.olivetomato.com/food-in-greece/when-greeks-eat/

  • Reply 7 Healthy Weight Blogs - PinItLink Healty Post July 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    […] Mediterranean Diet Promotes Healthy Weight During . – Olive TomatoSpanish researchers find that a Mediterranean style diet helps maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. […]

  • Reply gigs mut July 28, 2013 at 10:17 am

    wow had no idea one has to follow a diet during pregnancy i totally believed it was time for eating what u crave.thanks to u

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