Protein supplements during pregnancy?
I would like to know what if any protein supplements are safe in pregnancy. I am lactose intolerant and a very finicky eater.Question:
The best protein supplement you can take, and the cheapest, is protein-rich food. I suggest that you find which protein foods you do like, and then concentrate on including plenty of those in your diet.
It is unlikely that you need extra protein in the form of a supplement tablet or powder, and actually, eating too much protein may impede normal growth and could be harmful to your baby. But you are also right to be concerned in that too little protein can reduce placental growth and function, limit the growth of the baby, jeopardize normal brain development and risk survival. Women of particular concern on those on strict vegetarian diets who eat no animal products.
A pregnant women needs 74 grams of protein each day. You can get that from three small servings of protein rich foods, plus four servings of dairy products each day.
Learn what you can about the protein content of different foods that you like then make a point to include them in your diet. Particularly high is good quality protein are meat, chicken, fish, legumes, eggs, dairy product, and nuts. Some combination foods and snack foods are also hiding some protein that you can count on. A breakfast muffin made with whole wheat flour and egg will provide four grams of protein, two tablespoons of dry roasted peanuts contains four grams. Little bits here and there will add up.
Ways you can begin to get more protein are: Use lactose reduced dairy products so that you can include dairy in your diet or take lactase tablets that will allow you to eat dairy products. They are available without a prescription and are available in the pharmacy. Your dairy section should also carry a good selection of lactose reduced products. Eat plenty of yogurt. Because the bacteria in the yogurt has digested most of the lactose in the milk, you should be able to tolerate this dairy product. It is packed with protein and calcium.
As you learn which foods you like contain protein, adjust your diet to include several servings a day. If you like peanut butter, have a few whole wheat peanut butter crackers for a snack, or spread some on your banana. If you enjoy eggs, slice a hard boiled egg onto your dinner salad. For protein adding tricks -- Try to bake using eggs. For example, if you eat pancakes, add an extra egg. Make French Toast for breakfast instead of having a piece of plain toast. Do you like chicken? If so, make chicken salad for lunches, chicken soup, and vary the way that you prepare it for dinner so that your don't get overly bored with it. If you take lactose reducing tablets, try topping off some of your meals with low-fat cheese, e.g. sprinkle shredded cheese on top of pasta dishes, soups, casseroles, baked potatoes.
If you do any baking, add some soy flour to your products. Soy flour is high in protein. Use about 1/4 cup in one cup of flour, i.e. 1 cup flour=3/4 cup regular flour + 1/4 soy flour. Add tofu to different dishes. Tofu is made from soy beans and is high in protein. Mash up tofu to add to tomato sauce for pasta, substitute it for some of the ricotta cheese in pasta dishes. Make yourself some high protein drinks by mixing vanilla flavored soy milk with a banana and other favorite fruits. Add an ice cube or two and whirl in the blender until thick and frothy.
Four servings of dairy foods (eaten with the help of lactose reduction aids) plus three servings of a protein food each day will be plenty to meet your protein needs. You may find that you have stretched one serving of protein over a couple of meals or snacks. Its what you have overall that counts, not each separate meal. For example, a couple of peanut butter crackers in the afternoon plus the portion of egg in the pancakes you eat for breakfast can add up to a serving. The few nuts you sprinkled on top of your mixed fruit will count as a portion of a protein serving, as will the bit of wheat germ you add to the muffins or put on top of your cereal.
If you still find, that despite your best attempts, you cannot seem to get in much protein food, than try drinking a liquid supplement such as Ensure, or other such products aimed at average adults. Breakfast drinks may also be a good alternative. You may need to take lactose reducing tablets in order to drink these as many are dairy based. Avoid the supplements targeted for the sports crowd. You risk getting too much protein and in an unbalanced fashion.Answer: