Here’s Why Processed Foods Can Be Bad for New Mothers
From the moment you find out you were pregnant, you may immediately realise that some aspects of your life may have to change from that point onwards. One particular element would be your diet. Now, this is a crucial aspect because it is something that would contribute to various outcomes in terms of your pregnancy, delivery, and even your breastfed baby’s health later on.
This is because the baby also takes everything that you eat at this time through the blood for expectant mothers or through breastfeeding. Even after birth, it is common for a new mother in Singapore to continuously adhere to a strict confinement diet, and it is all for a good reason. The best confinement food for breastfeeding can help restore your energy and production of breast milk for the child. Everyone responsible for her diet be it a relative, a nanny, or a confinement food caterer in Singapore prepares a nutritious meal that caters to the mother’s and baby’s well-being.
Avoiding Certain Foods in Confinement
Do you list down foods and drinks you should stay away from, either for the sake of your own postpartum recovery or your baby’s health? If you don’t have one, perhaps it is time you do – although undoubtedly, it would be much more fun to keep a list of items that you can have rather than the ones you can’t.
Regardless, if you are like many mothers, you might also mentally keep a long list of foods that you should avoid eating (especially in confinement) which may include cold drinks and even processed food. Cold beverages are believed to make the mother cold while processed food has adverse effects on the mother’s and the young baby’s health.
Most processed foods you will find on the shelves contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, salts, hydrogenated oils, colourings, and texture-altering chemicals. They also have low nutritional value since they have been stripped off most nutrients such as the good fat, antioxidants, and fibre.
Therefore, new mothers should avoid taking processed foods at all costs and adhere to the traditional confinement meals prepared for them during and after the one-month period.
Health Risks of Consuming Processed Foods
There are a lot of different types of processed food Singapore public are used to having simply because they are tasty, and they will leave you craving for more. They contain various artificial flavours which add to their taste so they become quite irresistible.
However, they are also among the confinement food to avoid because they can have a dangerous combination of additives that will leave the mother at risk of getting diseases such as heart diseases, obesity, or type 2 diabetes. Some of the harmful chemicals found in processed foods include:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
This is a common ingredient in almost every processed food that you come across. The traditional sweetener is combined with other ingredients to give them the inviting aroma, a soft texture, and a sweet taste. Some amount of fructose on a mother’s diet will be passed on to the infant through breastfeeding, leaving the baby at risk of catching various diseases such as heart diseases, liver disease, or even diabetes. It is also associated with problems in a baby’s cognitive development as well as increased body and muscle weight. Fructose and lactose found in most processed foods will also lead to an increased amount of stomach gas for you and your baby.
Processed foods are high in trans fats which increases the harmful LDL cholesterol levels and lower the good HDL cholesterol levels in the body, leaving the baby at high risk of developing excess body fat. Trans fats are also responsible for thousands of premature heart diseases due to their abilities to raise lipoprotein and triglycerides chemicals causing clogging of arteries. Therefore, a new mother should substitute trans fats with other healthier fats such as omega-3 fats and coconut oil.
Do not be duped by the ‘whole foods’ label found on most processed items since they are all refined. Refined foods have low fibre content hence raising the chances of constipation. Additionally, the processed foods take a shorter time chewing and processing, meaning that the body is also going to use little energy to digest the food. This may raise the chances of suffering from heart diseases, insulin resistance, and obesity. Therefore, you should consider substituting the intake of processed foods with whole grain cereals such as brown rice and oats.
Processed foods are very inviting, and anyone would develop an urge to binge on them. Mothers suffering from post-partum depression may consider consuming processed foods that help them feel better about themselves.
However, the intake of such foods may seem appropriate at first, but it may do more harm to your body and that of your young one. You may consider a better alternative such as opting for a confinement food catering in Singapore to prepare proper meals for you than eating processed foods for your recovery diet. At Tian Wei, we are guided by our own in-house dietitian, and our confinement menu is crafted by our award-winning chef and nutritionist! You can put your mind at ease knowing your daily meals after birth are well taken care of.