Can You Eat Mixed Nuts While Pregnant?
Pregnant women need to eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Because all of the nutrients a developing fetus receives comes directly from mom's diet, mothers-to-be should avoid eating foods that contain lots of calories and little nutritional value. Nuts and nut products can be part of a healthy pregnancy diet, but there are a few things that pregnant women should take into account before opening a can of mixed nuts.
Mixed Nut Nutrition
Nuts are high in a range of healthy nutrients that a developing fetus needs. A typical can of mixed nuts contains a mixture of peanuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, cashews and hazelnuts. A handful of mixed nuts provides protein and monounsaturated fats, the heart-healthy kind of fat also found in olive oil and avocados. Nuts are also a good source of folic acid, the micronutrient that helps prevent spina bifida and other neural tube defects. The fiber in nuts can also be beneficial for relieving constipation caused by pregnancy.
- Nuts are high in a range of healthy nutrients that a developing fetus needs.
- The fiber in nuts can also be beneficial for relieving constipation caused by pregnancy.
Do Nuts Have Folic Acid?
One concern about eating any type of nuts during pregnancy is the possibility of a nut allergy developing in the fetus. While in the past pregnant women have been advised not to eat nuts or peanuts during pregnancy if they had a family history of nut allergies or other allergic conditions such as asthma, the American Academy of Pediatrics, changed this recommendation in 2008. Now, pregnant women need not avoid nuts, even with a family history of allergies, unless they themselves are allergic.
Despite the change in recommendations by the AAP, research in the July 2008 issue of the American Thoracic Society's "American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine" found that daily consumption of nuts may cause a rise in asthma risk for the fetus. However, this association only existed for women who ate nuts or nut products daily, not for those who only had an occasional handful of nuts.
Can Pistachio Nuts Cause Diarrhea?
If you plan on having mixed nuts during pregnancy, choose unsalted varieties. While some sodium is necessary for a healthy pregnancy, too much might affect your blood pressure. High blood pressure in pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that could lead to seizures during labor and delivery. Like any food during pregnancy, mixed nuts should be consumed in moderation and you should make sure you get a good variety of other nutrient-dense foods to meet all of your and your baby's nutritional needs.
- If you plan on having mixed nuts during pregnancy, choose unsalted varieties.
- While some sodium is necessary for a healthy pregnancy, too much might affect your blood pressure.
Do Nuts Have Folic Acid?
Can Pistachio Nuts Cause Diarrhea?
Nuts & Their Negative Effects
Can You Eat Nutmeg If You Are Allergic to Nuts?
Can Almonds Raise Your Cholesterol?
Can Certain Nuts Help Lower Your High Blood Pressure?
Side Effects of Eating Nuts
How Much Chocolate Is Safe When You Are Pregnant?
Danger of Sesame Seeds
Good Nuts Vs. Bad Nuts
- KidsHealth; Eating During Pregnancy; November 2009
- What to Expect; Nuts During Pregnancy; Heidi Murkoff
- EurekAlert!; Consumption of Nut Products in Pregnancy Linked to Increased Asthma in Children; July 2008
- Cleveland Clinic. Fat and calories. Updated April 2019.
- Slavin J, Carlson J. Carbohydrates. Adv Nutr. 2014;(5)6:760-1. doi:10.3945/an.114.006163
- US Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central.
- Liu AG, Ford NA, Hu FB, Zelman KM, Mozaffarian D, Kris-etherton PM. A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion. Nutr J. 2017;(16)1:53. doi:10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4
- Hever J, Cronise RJ. Plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals: implementing diet as a primary modality in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017;(14)5:355-368. doi:10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.012
- Gupta RK, Gangoliya SS, Singh NK. Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains. J Food Sci Technol. 2015;(52)2:676-84. doi:10.1007/s13197-013-0978-y
- Wang TY, Liu M, Portincasa P, Wang DQ. New insights into the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption. Eur J Clin Invest. 2013;(43)11:1203-23. doi:10.1111/eci.12161
- US National Library of Medicine. Soluble vs. insoluble fiber. Updated June 2018.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Gluten free diet: building the grocery list. November 2018.
- Harvard Medical School. Quick-start guide to nuts and seeds. September 2019.
- Zhivagui M, Ng AWT, Ardin M, et al. Experimental and pan-cancer genome analyses reveal widespread contribution of acrylamide exposure to carcinogenesis in humans. Genome Res. 2019;(29)4:521-531. doi:10.1101/gr.242453.118
- Iweala OI, Choudhary SK, Commins SP. Food Allergy. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2018;(20)5:17. doi:10.1007/s11894-018-0624-y
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). Newly Issued Clinical Guidelines from the NIAID Recommend the Early Peanut Introduction, Not Avoidance. Milwaukie, Wisconsin; press release issued January 5, 2017.
- Du Toit. G.; Roberts, G.; Sayer, P. et al. Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015; 372:803-13. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1414850.
- McMacken M, Shah S. A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Journal of Geriatric Cardiology : JGC. 2017;14(5):342-354. DOI: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.009.
- Tuso PJ, Ismail MH, Ha BP, Bartolotto C. Nutritional update for physicians: plant-based diets. Perm J. 2013;17(2):61-6. DOI: 10.7812/TPP/12-085.
- Wright, N., Wilson, L., Smith, M., Duncan, B., & McHugh, P. (2017). The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes. Nutrition & Diabetes, 7(3), e256–e256. DOI: 10.1038/nutd.2017.3.
- Preedy, V.; Watson, R.; and Patel, V. (2011) Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention (1st Edition). New York: Academic Press. ISBN: 9780123756886.
Bridget Coila specializes in health, nutrition, pregnancy, pet and parenting topics. Her articles have appeared in Oxygen, American Fitness and on various websites. Coila has a Bachelor of Science in cell and molecular biology from the University of Cincinnati and more than 10 years of medical research experience.