Pregnant woman and Ob/Gyn Doctor Benac's top 3 foods to eat

Dr. Benac’s top 3 foods to eat when pregnant (and 3 to avoid)

Recently, Dr. Drew D. BenacOb/Gyn at ARC Center Street in Kyle sat down with online health site The List to discuss a list of foods that pregnant women should include and avoid to ensure both the health and growth of the baby and their own health and wellness during pregnancy. His recommendations go beyond the generally agreed upon do’s (nutritious fruits and veggies) and don’ts (alcohol and sushi) to look at a few do's that are even better than others, and some don'ts that may not be categorically dangerous but should still be avoided for optimal health and wellness of both mom and baby.

Dr. Benac’s top three “Do’s” -- foods to include in your diet when pregnant:

  • leafy greens,
  • lean meats and
  • ginger tea.

Leafy greens like spinach and kale are high in both fiber and folic acid; fiber helps to relieve constipation, which is a common issue amongst pregnant people, and folic acid has been proven to prevent birth defects of the baby's brain and spine, including anencephaly and spina bifida. Lean meats are important because they excellent sources of protein, which Dr. Benac says "is very important for the development and growth of the baby." Dr. Benac suggests that you "just aim to have the lower-fat version such as removing the skin for chicken and choosing to grill or bake it instead of frying it." Lean meats also contain amino acids, which are "the building blocks of cells."

Dr. Benac’s top three “Don’ts” -- foods you should avoid when pregnant:

  • energy drinks,
  • unpasteurized juices and
  • foods with hidden sugars.

"There has been a big increase in gestational diabetes, which can lead to complications in pregnancy. It can be prevented by managing how much sugar you eat and drink," Dr. Benac says. "Energy drinks, for example, are overloaded with sugar as well as caffeine and should be avoided during pregnancy." Other less obvious sources of added sugar include baked potatoes, condiments and many types of salad dressings, he adds.

If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Benac, go to or call ARC Center Street at 737-404-0347.

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