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Can I eat Chocolate while Pregnant or Nursing?
Eating chocolate in small amounts during pregnancy is not at all a reason to worry. The craving for your favorite foods is very likely to increase during pregnancy. In pregnancy, women crave for sweet and sour foods and chocolate is one of common food items pregnant women crave for.
FAQs: Chocolate during Pregnancy/Breastfeeding
1. Is it safe to eat chocolate during pregnancy?
It’s true that during pregnancy eating whatever you like in any amount is not a healthy choice. But, overlooking your cravings completely is also not good. You can eat chocolates in small amounts during pregnancy. In fact, some good quality chocolates, especially dark chocolates contain antioxidants that help in improving the functioning of blood pressure and hence save from cardiac issues and high blood pressure.
The primary components of chocolate include cocoa butter, sugar and chocolate liquor. Pure chocolate is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, endorphins and resveratrol. Chocolates are not rich in carbohydrates but lots of calories are there to make you full. And, overeating chocolates during pregnancy may add some kilos as well. So, it’s better to keep your chocolate bites a bit shorter for a good health. You can eat around 30g of chocolate every day without getting afraid of riding on the weighing machine again or getting any weird look from your near ones.
2. Which Chocolate is Healthier?
Usually, good quality chocolates contain flavanols that improve the cardiovascular functions saving pregnant women from cardiac diseases. Majorly there are two types of chocolates available in the market – High-flavanol chocolates and low-flavanol chocolates. Both the types of chocolates are good for a healthy heart. Both the types of chocolates are good for fetal growth and development and lower the risk of hypertension and Preeclampsia.
3. What can be the side effects of eating chocolate in excess?
You have enough reasons to embrace pure chocolates during pregnancy. However, there are some side effects of eating this yummy food too. The common side effects of eating chocolate include:
• High calories in chocolate may encourage weight gain
• Risky for patients suffering from gestational diabetes
• Eating too much of chocolate means too much caffeine in body which is not healthy
• Some chocolates contain saturated fat which is not good for your heart’s health
• Refined carbohydrates in chocolate is a risk to your diabetes
4. Is eating chocolate while breastfeeding safe?
As discussed above, eating too much of chocolate during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not safe for the health of a mom and the baby. When you are nursing, eating chocolates in higher amounts may introduce more caffeine in your body and that will be transferred to your baby while breastfeeding. This will result in problem with sleeping or relaxing due to high caffeine content in the milk. In some cases babies show symptoms like vomiting, restlessness, insomnia, formation of gas in stomach, diarrhea, rashes, nausea and to name a few. In such cases, it’s better to avoid chocolate or eat in smaller amounts. If the baby is showing no reaction and everything seems okay then you can make yourself happier with one more bite of your favorite chocolate.
5. Is it safe/unsafe for the baby?
Eating chocolate in smaller amounts won’t affect the mother and the baby. According to a study, it’s not safe to have more than 750mg caffeine in a day. Chocolates contain caffeine or theobromine which causes fussiness or irritability in babies if a nursing mother consumes it in higher amounts.
If you are aware of the limits, you can have sweet, salt and spices in your pregnancy as well as nursing phases without requiring to worry about any consequence. Chocolates are good for your health, mood and taste buds. So, if you crave it, have it but don’t overlook your own and the baby’s health.