Eating the right kinds of food is always important for the health and growth of the baby.
Even though there are so many foods a pregnant woman can eat, it’s natural to worry about whether they are really safe during pregnancy.
One such food is puffed rice. Puffed rice is a popular snack enjoyed by many people, but is it safe for pregnant women to eat? Let’s talk about it here.
What is puffed rice?
Puffed rice originates from India and has become popular around the world now for its versatility and delicious addition to culinary creations.
It’s the rice type that has been processed in a way that makes it light and crispy. The process consists of heating the rice grains with such methods like boiling or baking.
This subjects them to very high temperature that causes the grains to expand and puff up, hence its name. Some people confuse it with popped rice where the bran of the grains remain intact.
Puffed rice is usually enjoyed as a snack on its own or used as ingredient in various dishes like breakfast cereals, desserts and even savory dishes.
Can I eat puffed rice during pregnancy?
Go ahead and enjoy puffed rice as a snack or an addition to your dishes during pregnancy. But ensure that it is cooked and stored well, in order to get rid of any potential food-borne illnesses.
Also, check how much you eat so you don’t indulge to excess. Pregnant women living with gestational diabetes must avoid it as much as they can because the high carb content can quickly add up and affect them.
Aside these caveats, it is safe for pregnant women to eat puffed rice. It provides instant energy and contains iron and folate, which is important for you and your baby during this precious time.
As always, talk to your dietitian with regards to your pregnancy diet. They’ll guide you through the nutrients you need the most based on your particular health situation.
Benefits of puffed rice in pregnancy
Including puffed rice in your pregnancy diet can offer these benefits:
- Energy boost: As a rich carbohydrate meal, puffed rice provides a quick energy boost that you need during pregnancy.
- Iron source: It contains iron, which is very vital at this time. Iron helps in the production of red blood cells as well as correcting anaemia in pregnant women.
- Rich in folate: As a good source of folate, the rice helps the development of the baby’s neural tube. Adequate amount of folate during pregnancy reduces the risk of birth defects.
- A powerhouse of fiber: Puffed rice is cramped with dietary fiber you need to promote a healthier digestion while preventing constipation.
Like any other food, you should eat in moderation and make it a part of a balanced diet.
Are there any side effects of over consuming puffed rice?
Eating puffed rice considering portion size is the safest and best thing to do. Here are the potential side effects of over consuming it:
It provides an instant energy boost, literally meaning that it has a higher carb content which can cause you to put on weight when you pig out.
Eating excessively without considering portion sizes and the overall caloric intake may even lead to an imbalance of energy.
If you’re eating it a lot then it’s a high chance you’re missing out other important nutrients such as the proteins, healthy fats and vitamins.
Blood sugar imbalances
Puffed rice has a high glycemic score, meaning it can cause a quick increase in blood sugar levels.
Pregnant women living with diabetes or gestational diabetes should not take it at all as eating it may fluctuate their blood sugar levels, and cause difficulties in its management.
Eating too much can lead to digestive discomfort like bloating, gas and constipation. This is because it lacks fiber, which is required to maintain usual bowel movements.
It’s important to note than these side effects usually occur when you binge on it. Enjoying it as part of a balanced diet with respect to moderate sizes should typically not pose any major health concern.
However, if you have a specific dietary issue, talk with your dietician first before eating it.
Is puffed rice good for gestational diabetes?
It is generally not recommended to consume puffed rice if you have gestational diabetes or at risk of developing one. Gestational diabetes is the condition in pregnancy where blood sugar levels increases.
In the recommended diet for pregnant women with gestational diabetes, carbohydrates should be consumed in moderate sizes, focusing on complex carbs that releases glucose slowly into the bloodstream.
But puffed rice, being a refined carb, can cause a quick increase in blood sugar levels because of its high glycemic index. This makes it unhealthy for such people.
It is always advisable to rather choose whole grains, whole-wheat products and fiber-rich foods as part of balanced diets for gestational diabetes.
While managing this condition during pregnancy, you should talk to your registered dietician to create a meal plan that suits your needs. The food options they will advise will help maintain a stable blood sugar levels.
What rice can you eat when pregnant?
When it comes to choosing rice during pregnancy, there are several types that are safe to eat. Some of the good types are;
It’s usually milled and polished to remove the bran, and this makes it more refined. Even though it is a lower fiber option, it is still a good source of carbohydrates and can provide the energy you need at this period. Remember to eat in moderation.
A whole grain that retains the bran and germ layers which makes a healthier option than white rice. It has higher fiber, vitamins and antioxidants required for your journey.
Known for it’s aromatic frangrance, it is a popular choice in many cuisines and can be a good choice for pregnant women.
It has a lower glycemic index compared to other rice types. It can help in a better regulation of blood sugar levels.
Rice can contain arsenic, an element which occurs naturally in the environment. To reduce your exposure to arsenic, make sure to rinse rice thoroughly before cooking.
You should also choose rice with naturally lower arsenic levels like basmati rice and white rice.
You can give puffed rice to babies who are six months and older. It is usually healthy for them.
Pregnant women can safely eat murmura but they shouldn’t overeat.
It is safe for pregnant women to eat puffed rice, but in moderation. Since it mainly provides carbohydrates for an energy boost, it is important to eat with fruits and veggies for the added nutrients.
Moreover, overly consuming won’t do any good but rather harm so keenly watch how much you eat. It’s important to stay away completely if you live with gestational diabetes.
If you have any special nutritional needs, its best to consult your doctor or dietitian.