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(Paul Vasarhelyi/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Paul Vasarhelyi/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Ask a health expert

Help! I'm pregnant and constantly hungry Add to ...

The question

I’m pregnant and hungry constantly - I mean, constantly. I am so sick of chopped up veggies. What are some handy healthy snacks?

The answer

Eating healthy meal snacks between meals can actually help prevent you from becoming overly hungry. It can also prevent a low energy level by providing a source of fuel when your blood glucose dips. And if you choose the right snacks, you’ll increase your intake of protein, fibre and calcium – important nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.

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The goal is to choose a nutritious snack that will boost your blood sugar and keep it relatively stable until your next meal or snack. Snacks should include carbohydrate to fuel your brain, along with protein and a little fat to slow digestion and keep you feeling satisfied longer.



I also recommend snacks that have a low glycemic index (GI). Low GI foods are digested slowly, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar, helping you feel energetic and satisfied longer.



Here are a few suggestions that will add variety to your snack repertoire.



• dried fruit and a small handful of nuts

• 0-1% MF yogurt and 1 cup of berries or a medium sized fruit

• homemade smoothie made with milk or soy milk and frozen berries

• 1 cup of bean soup or vegetarian chilli

• 2 mini pitas stuffed with light tuna

• raw vegetables paired with hummus

• whole grain crackers and part skim cheese

• ¼ cup bran cereal or granola mixed into yogurt

• energy bar made from nuts, fruit and grains (e.g. Larabar, Elevate Me Bar, Kind Bar, Simply Bar)



To prevent consuming too many calories during your pregnancy, pay attention to portion control when snacking. Read nutrition labels to determine how many crackers, rice cakes, cereal, and so on counts as one serving. Then measure out a portion and put it on a plate. You’ll end up eating less.





Send dietitian Leslie Beck your questions at dietitian@globeandmail.com. She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

Read more Q&As from Leslie Beck.

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The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Follow on Twitter: @lesliebeckrd

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