Sugar, Not Protein, Is Your Growing Baby's Major Fuel

High protein as a primary component of our diet has become so ingrained some women have lost sight of the fact that the simple sugar, glucose, provides the major, fuel for the developing fetus. A fetus will need some amino acids from mom, but mostly glucose. In fact the placenta essentially pumps glucose to the baby. Glucose is the primary sugar in fruits, berries, squash, molasses, and in corn sugar. If we don't consume enough glucose in pregnancy, then our body will trigger a release of free fatty acids so that glucose in mom can be conserved and passed to baby. In women who do not eat enough glucose to feed both mom and baby, chronically high levels of fat will be released. As an alternative source, the body will produce ketone bodies and a condition known as ketosis will begin to exist in the mom. This ketosis may ultimately spill over into the developing baby, across the placenta, to harm fetal brain development. In diabetics who are poorly controlled, sugar levels that are too high in mom, will become extra high in the baby which can lead to complications. If we under nourish the baby, again the baby's insulin metabolism may get way off and can lead to insulin resistance in later life. Like in other aspects of life, balance is the key to a healthier baby!


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