Following a high-fat, high-carb diet during pregnancy may threaten your baby’s health, a recent animal-based study from the journal Diabetes suggests. In tests on rats, scientists discovered that loading up on fats and carbs while pregnant may increase the child’s risk of obesity and diabetes. However, the study also showed that antioxidants may shield children from such health risks.
For the study, researchers fed one group of rats a high-fat, high-carb diet meant to mimic the typical “Western-style” eating habits of many Americans. A second group was given a more balanced diet, while a third group followed a Western-style diet supplemented with antioxidant vitamins. Finally, a fourth group was a fed a balanced diet enriched with antioxidants.
Results revealed that offspring of rats in the first group had higher levels of inflammation, more body fat, and an increased risk of blood-sugar abnormalities (compared to rats given a balanced diet). However, the study also showed that rats fed the antioxidant-enhanced Western-style diet had offspring with lower inflammation levels, no obesity, and better glucose tolerance.
It’s too soon to tell whether antioxidants might have the same effect in humans. If you’re considering the use of any dietary supplement while pregnant, make sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking the supplements.
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