Can Too Much Sugar In Pregnancy Harm The Baby?

Can Too Much Sugar In Pregnancy Harm The Baby?

 

Sometimes indulging in sweets is nice. Sugar is an essential element for the body, but taking excessive sugar is always harmful whether you are pregnant or not. Here, we are telling you  about consumption of sugar during pregnancy, how it can affect you and your baby, and what could be better options to satiate your cravings for sweets.

Can You eat Sugar during Pregnancy?

Yes,You can eat sugar and sugary foods as long as they are not in large quantities. But if you suffering from gestational diabetes, you should be extra cautious about your sugar intake.

Also, keep in mind that there is more refined sugar in candies, cookies, cakes and soft drinks that provide zero nutrition. If you are eating them often, then you need to replace them with healthier options such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that have natural sugars.

How Much Sugar Can Safely be Consumed During Pregnancy?

There are no particular recommendations or standard limitations about sugar consumption during pregnancy. The ideal sugar intake for you depends on your metabolic rate, blood sugar levels, and weight. In any case, it is good to confine the consumption of sugar to 25 grams or less in a day .

Can Eating Excessive Sugar be harmful In Pregnancy?

Overeating sugary foods or carbohydrates may have a negative impact on the growth of baby. Also, excess of sugar in the blood due to gestational diabetes or uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can be harmful for the baby.


Additional sugar can cross the placenta and enhance  the fetus’ blood sugar levels. This may result in increased insulin production in the baby’s body and make the baby grow larger, a condition called as macrosomia. Delivering a large baby can lead to complexities like need for cesarean section and premature birth

 The Possible Side Effects Of Too Much Sugar Consumption -

Surfeit sugar adds empty calories and deprives nutrition that are necessary during pregnancy.

1. Worsens pregnancy symptoms: Symptoms like vomitting, heartburn and mood swings might worsen with excessive sugar intake.

2. Causes fatigue: Sugary foods provide empty calories and  little nutrients. They contain sucrose, which causes temporary spike in blood sugar, leaving you lethargic and tired.

3. Leads to deficiency of nutritions : Food cravings are natural at the time of pregnancy. But if you crave for sweets more than other foods, be catious, never overindulge, because sugars add empty calories which lead to possible weight gain and nutrition deficiency.

4. May lead excessive weight gain: Too much intake of sugar might make you gain unhealthy and excessive weight.

5. Acute fatty liver (AFL): A diet abundant in fructose-containing sugars can cause fatty liver syndrome. It can also affect the fetal metabolism and thus lead to obesity or type II diabetes later in life .

6. Might increase the risk of preeclampsia: High sugar intake influences the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women.To prevent these possible risks, restrain the sugar intake.

How Can You Reduce Sugar Consumption During Pregnancy?

By restricting sugar intake:

1. Restrain sugar-containing foods and snacks. Or, you can avoid eating refined sugar altogether. If that’s not possible, at least give up the habit of eating cakes, ice creams, pastries and other snacks with added sugar.

2. Comprise sweet fruits as much as possible in your daily diet. If you desire for sugars, eat fruits such as mango, pineapple, and strawberry. Avoid fruit juices as they contain excess sugars.

3. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Their detrimental effects remains even after pregnancy. Choose better alternatives such as coconut sugar or honey.

4. Pay heed to ingredients in packaged foods. See the quantity of sugar present in foods such as breakfast cereal, peanut butter, sauces and such. Use only those with low sugar content.

5. Avoid keeping candies, icecreams, cookies or any sugary foods at home. Buy them only when you need to have something sweet.

6. Restrict your sugar intake or choose alternatives. You can neglect excess jam on bread, take one teaspoon of sugar instead of two for your tea or coffee and restrain chocolate or ice cream consumption.

Or, white sugar and artificial sweeteners can be replaced with healthier alternatives.

Healthy Foods That Lower Blood Sugar In Pregnant Women

Modified and healthy diet and exercise can lower blood sugar levels naturally.
Healthy items which should be included in the diet are:

1. Low-glycemic foods: choose low-glycemic index foods such as whole grains, beans, barley, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables. These take longer time to digest and prevent spikes in blood sugar.

2. Probiotics: Probiotics are live, stomach-friendly bacteria that help in digestion. They regulate carbohydrate metabolism and maintain blood sugar levels. Natural yogurt is one of the best probiotics you can adopt.

3. Fiber foods: Insoluble fiber maintains digestive health, and soluble fiber ameliorate sugar levels. Oats and legumes contain the highest levels of soluble fibers, while insoluble fiber is found in whole wheat foods. Fruits and vegetables are full of both kinds of fiber.

4. Proteins and healthy fats: Include more lean protein sources such as nuts, eggs, and poultry. Protein controls blood sugar levels, keeps you full and boosts energy. Healthy fats found in nuts, olive oil and avocados also keep you satiated and prevent craving for unhealthy foods.

Still got questions about eating sugar in pregnancy?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can there be heartburn due to sugar during pregnancy?

Sugar never directly cause heartburn, but it can worsen your condition. Sugar present in certain foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, peppermint, fatty foods and caffeinated beverages can prompt heartburn symptoms and should be avoided.

2. Can diarrhea be caused by sugar during pregnancy?

Sugar doesn’t cause diarrhea but can aggravate it. Avoid high-sugar fruit juices and soft drinks if you already have diarrhea. Such things draw more water into the stomach and worsen your condition in diarrhea.

3 Can sugar terminate the pregnancy?

No. Too much sugar consumption can only make you nauseous, but it will not terminate the pregnancy.

4. Is there a connection between high blood sugar and autism?

According to research, pregnant woman who had gestational diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy have 42% more possibility to have children with autism. Researchers postulated that exposure of the uterus to high blood sugar would affect the brain development of the baby and increase the risk of developmental disorders.

Sugar can be addictive, which is perhaps why you cannot control yourself from taking more than one cupcake or donut. You crave for more. And the more you eat, the higher your blood sugar could go, which is harmful  for the pregnancy. So, to stay safe, refined white sugar should be replaced by natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables , salubrious and satiated during your pregnancy.

How do you manage your cravings for sugar ? Communicate with us in the comments section.