Eating too much sugar during pregnancy increases the risk of having an allergic offspring, a recent study
Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London analyzed data from 9,000 women and found that those pregnant women that ate high levels of sugar while they're pregnant doubles the risk of having a child with allergic asthma, which is the most common form of asthma. This type of asthma provokes the immune system and causes breathing problems.
However, the data were self-reported so more research is neeeded to understand better the precise effects of a mother's diet on the chances of having an allergic offspring. “We cannot say on the basis of these observations that high intake of sugar by mothers in pregnancy is definitely causing allergy and allergic asthma in their offspring,” says Seif Shaheen from the University of London and who led the study. “However, given the extremely high consumption of sugar in the West, we will certainly be investigating this hypothesis further with some urgency.”
Researchers hypothesized that the link between sugar and asthma may be that fructose, a common sugar found in most processed foods, triggers an immune response in the body, leading to inflammation in the developing lungs. Thus it is advised that pregnant women should follow general nutritional guidelines and avoid indulging in too many sugary foods, even if the temptation for that double chocolate chip ice cream is strong.
“To beat sugar cravings, eat small meals every 3 hours, reach out for a bowl of fresh fruits for a sudden sweet attack and make sure you get adequate sleep as lack of sleep increases the urge to eat," says Dr. Gargi Sharma, a Weight Management Expert. "Excessive sugar craving can also be a sign of a deficiency in minerals like zinc or magnesium that are involved in glucose metabolism.”