Mediterranean Diet Promotes Healthy Weight During Pregnancy

July 23, 2013


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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  • 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 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


    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?


  • 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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