Eating Out While Pregnant: Is It A Good Idea?

Posted by Barsha Dey

eating-out-during-pregnancy

Pregnancy is a mentally and physically demanding journey and sometimes you just need a break from the daily routine and pamper yourself with good food from your favorite place! Have you too been secretly craving a visit to your favorite restaurant but not sure what to eat during pregnancy? Well, we have good news. Eating out while pregnant is not that difficult as long as you keep a few things in mind!

Here we tell you what to look out for when eating out while pregnant!

Look out for sodium-rich foods 

Eating too much sodium can increase blood pressure and cause excess fluid retention or swelling during pregnancy. Though sodium is present in every food, there are a few specific ones that are especially high in sodium. You should limit your intake of the following foods when you’re eating out while pregnant:

  1. Pickled foods such as olives and pickles
  2. Sauces like soy, teriyaki, marinara, gravy, and salad dressing
  3. Soups and broths
  4. Processed meats such as deli meats
  5. Smoked foods

Avoid high-fat foods

The foods to avoid during pregnancy include high-fat foods. They are high in calories and can lead to excess weight gain during pregnancy. This has also been linked to a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and complications during birth.

avoid-fried-foods-during-pregnancyAlthough fat plays an important role for your baby, high-fat foods to avoid during pregnancy include:

  1. Deep fried foods – as they are cooked in excess oil.
  2. Sauces – cream sauce, alfredo, hollandaise and mayonnaise as they are high in fat.
  3. Fondue – a dish that involves dipping individual pieces of food in melted cheese or chocolate, all of which are loaded in fat.

Choose healthier cooking techniques

Eating take out while pregnant might be risky as you usually don’t know the cooking technique involved with it. To protect your health and maintain your weight it is crucial that you choose items from the menu that involve healthier cooking techniques. This will help you avoid extra fat, calories, and (in most cases) sodium. Choose foods that contain the following terms as they are typically good for your health:

  • baked
  • boiled
  • grilled
  • lean
  • steamed 
  • poached

Read about our recommended food safety tips during pregnancy!

Avoid over-indulging

More than fixating on the foods to avoid during pregnancy, it is important not to over-indulge on the foods you can eat while pregnant. You might feel tempted while visiting your favorite restaurant but remember not to over-indulge. 

eating-out-while-pregnant-YellowsquashHere are a few tips that may help you.

  • Avoid eating appetizers as they will add extra calories to your meal.
  • If you need to have an appetizer, choose from soups or broths that are not cream-based or have a salad.
  • If the food you ordered has a large portion size, you can split it with your dining companions. 
  • You can always take the extra home and have it later. Remember to always reheat your leftovers to steaming hot so that they are safe to eat.

Read about the role of different nutrients during pregnancy here!

Be smart about desserts and beverages

One of the best tips for pregnancy, in general, is to keep your sugar intake in check. People with a sweet tooth might find it difficult to avoid desserts completely and hence it is necessary to be smart about them while indulging. Keep your portion in check or split your dessert when eating out while pregnant. You can also opt for low-fat or fruit desserts to avoid excess calories.

beverages-and-pregnancyYou can enjoy beverages such as tea, soft drinks, lemon water, milkshakes, and smoothies but only in moderation.

Read about the beverages to avoid during pregnancy here!

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