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“If You’re Pregnant in the Philippines, Don’t Eat Balut is one of the most popular posts on this website.Consequently, this got me to thinking; something I do on rare occasions. Therefore, today’s post “If You’re Pregnant in the Philippines, Don’t Eat Rice” is the result of my “brainstorm.”

Eating Rice is Almost Mandatory

Several things are required if you’re a Filipino. First of all, being married to a lovely Filipina for almost 20 years gives me an insight into all things Filipino. Living in the Philippines for over 10 years also helps.

Hence, along with singing karaoke and motioning with one’s eyebrows, eating rice is a common trait among many, if not most, Filipinos. However, if you’re pregnant in the Philippines, don’t eat rice.

image courtesy of pixabay

Don’t take my word for it. I’m not a nutritionist or obstetrician. However, most noteworthy is the fact that a large amount of refined grains, including white rice, is #1 on a list of foods one shouldn’t eat if pregnant. That’s according to one article I saw online. The article referred to this report on EurekAlert.org which issued the following warning:

Children born to women with gestational diabetes whose diet included high proportions of refined grains may have a higher risk of obesity by age 7, compared to children born to women with gestational diabetes who ate low proportions of refined grains. In contrast, Manjiri Kochrekar, over at Mom Junction, believes differently.

Sort of.

Ms. Kochrekar lists nine benefits of eating rice while pregnant. She also lists three harmful side effects of eating rice if you’re pregnant.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Benefits of eating rice if you’re pregnant: provides instant energy, builds strong bones, prevents constipation, helps regulate one’s blood pressure, prevents risk of urinogenital’s infections (rice is a natural diuretic), brown rice promotes brain development, boosts immunity, regulates blood glucose levels, and finally, eliminates cholesterol problems (rice is a cholesterol-free food.)

Potential harmful side effects of eating rice when you’re pregnant in the Philippines (or anywhere else) are as follows:

Too much rice during pregnancy can add more pounds to your existing weight.

White rice has a higher glycemic index (GI) than brown rice. White rice can boost your blood glucose levels and make you suffer from gestational diabetes (as noted earlier in this post.)

Furthermore, research reveals that rice contains a substantial amount of arsenic. This may lead to premature death or birth of a stillborn baby, if you consume too much rice. So avoid over-eating rice while pregnant.

If You’re Pregnant in the Philippines, Don’t Eat Rice

Consequently, it’s best to check with your personal physician as to how much rice would be safe for you to consume if you’re pregnant. While there are many benefits to eating a healthy rice like brown rice, the potential harmful side effects shouldn’t be ignored.

(Sunset beach lead photo courtesy of pixabay)

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