Sweeteners during pregnancy: are they safe? | Nourish with Melanie #83


If you’re confused about whether sweeteners
during pregnancy are safe, I don’t blame you, because depending upon who you’ll ask, you’ll get a different answer. Today, I’m going to show you the arguments
from people on both sides of the fence. Stay tuned! Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you! If you’re watching this, you must really care
about the health of your growing baby. Current research suggests that around three-quarters
of packaged foods contain some kind of added sweetener, so the question becomes: are sweeteners
during pregnancy safe? Unfortunately it’s not a black and white answer. Let’s start by looking at the arguments from
those who believe they ARE safe: Most government guidelines, including but
not limited to Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and the European Union state that
sweeteners are safe during pregnancy, so we should feel safe consuming foods containing
sweeteners during pregnancy. And’ let’s face it, although having a diet
soft drink may not be nourishing our baby like a glass of milk does, it’s not going
to cause a miscarriage. But, when we look closely at the research,
which I have, there are some academics who have found that consuming sweeteners during
pregnancy can be problematic. Firstly, it’s important to note that sweeteners
such as saccharine cross your placenta, meaning that your baby is exposed to these chemicals
at a very young age, so even though they may be considered ‘safe’ in adults, I personally
don’t believe that there’s been enough research done specifically on sweeteners during pregnancy. And yes, I do say ‘safe’ in quotation marks
as there are some studies that question the impact of sweeteners in adult health as well. Although they’ve been found NOT to cause cancer,
controversy remains over their impact on obesity and metabolic health. An interesting study was published by Dr Sylvetsky
and colleagues in Washington who asked many of the same questions that I ask about the
impact of sweeteners on the metabolic health and taste preferences of growing babies. Furthermore, a Danish study of pregnant mums
found that those who drank soft drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners were more likely
to have babies with high body fat levels at birth, and who were more likely to be overweight
or obese when they were followed up seven years later, than mums who drank water during
pregnancy. Now, I know this is only one study, but given the problems with childhood obesity, I think it’s a really important one. Secondly, there was a landmark study which found that women who drank large quantities of artificially sweetened soft drinks during
pregnancy were more likely to have pre-term births… that means going into labour before your baby is old enough, and his or her organs aren’t developed enough for the outside world
just yet. So, personally, I believe the message is this:
avoid sweeteners wherever you can, especially during pregnancy, BUT don’t stress if you’ve
had some already or you accidently have some when you’re eating out as someone else’s guest. They are ‘safe’, but whole foods like fresh
fruit will be a lot more nourishing for both you, and the little one growing inside you. Now, if you would like help with nourishing your baby during pregnancy, I’d love you to download my free pregnancy meal plan. Just go to www.melaniemcgrice.com/pregnancy. And please hit the ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons
below this video so that this important information can be heard by other mums-to-be. I look forward to seeing you in my next video
for more pregnancy diet tips!

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