When ever I read that certain foods are okay in moderation (either for pregnancy or diabetes), I’m always reminded of that How I Met Your Mother episode where Lily’s OB answers her diet questions with, “Just a little bit.” And then Ted and Marshall essentially go bat shit crazy, convinced that Lily’s doc doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
The list of food restrictions for a pregnant woman is fairly decent. No soft cheese (feta, blue, basically anything that tastes good), raw fish and sushi (sad face), lunch meats need to be warmed up or avoided, cut back on caffeine, alcohol, and other strange toxins that could affect your health, or your baby’s development.
As a diabetic, that list seems to double. In addition to avoiding foods, I need to eat even smarter than I have before. Say good-bye to mac n cheese, cereal with milk at breakfast, and that slice of birthday cake for a really long time. Especially for me, since any amount of refined sugar seems to send my blood sugars into an upward tailspin.
After reading blogs, forums, emails, and news journals, I’m damn well convinced I’ll be eating the same thing for 40 weeks straight. And there are women out there that go to great lengths to avoid these foods and complain about it for their entire pregnancy.
But some perspective: when I told my mom this weekend that my cousin couldn’t have the lunch meat in 80% of the prepared food for the baby shower, she looked at me like I had three heads. What do you mean she can’t have lunch meat? We all ate cheese when we were pregnant with you… why can’t you now? It’s just a little bit!
So I guess that’s the question. What if you really just craved a turkey sandwich? It’s not like you are eating the whole package at once. And is that any worse than eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with pickles?
Everything is fine in moderation has been drilled into my head since I was a kid. Our parents did it. Why the sudden fear now?
4 thoughts on “Just a Little Bit”
I think in the case of raw fish, you could potentially tie that to changes in pollution or how the fish is raised (wild or farmed), etc. But as for the others – I think a lot of that comes with the current obsession to be perfectionists in how you take care of your kids, and that’s specific to American culture. Other cultures are more relaxed about the occasional glass of wine, etc.
Agreed. There is very much a perfectionist culture over here.
I ask about raw fish because what about places like Japan? Do pregnant women there stay away from sashimi for 40 weeks, when their process and handling for raw fish is probably the safest?
Your post led me to some Google searching and my new word for the day: Listeria.
On the way I read from fairly reputable sources (FDA via webmd) that soft cheese should be okay if it is pasteurized – meaning you should probably see it in a package marked “Pasteurized” before you should consider eating it. But then again I also saw lots of contradictory advice from the raw milk advocates who seem to think that Pasteurization is the root of all evil.
I do not envy you trying to wade through all of this contradictory advice. Still, worst case I’m sure you will make better decisions than our parents who somehow managed to gestate us okay despite their outrageous lack of knowledge.
Ha! This makes me think of watching Mad Men and being completely appalled that Betty smoked throughout her entire pregnancy… which is something, now days, everyone typically shuns. And in typical Hollywood form, her children pop out healthy.
Not that I’m advocating that smoking is any better or worse than eating stinky cheese, but just the things that people found acceptable in the 60s and 70s are things we know wouldn’t fly today during gestation.