Can you eat yogurt in the first trimester?

With the refrigerator shelves packed with different kinds of yogurt, it’s hard to know which is the best to buy. For pregnant women, most commercial yogurts are safe and, in fact pasteurized yogurt is a great snack choice throughout your pregnancy. Your developing baby needs calcium, proteins, and vitamin B12. Yogurt (PASTEURIZED) promotes healthy digestion, strengthens the immune system, and supports fetal development. What’s not to love?

Why would somebody say not to eat yogurt? Some yogurts contain a lot of added sugars, which can be harmful to your health and increase your risk of excess weight gain and developing gestational diabetes. Here are six tips for choosing the best yogurts and becoming a savvy consumer:

  1. Go Greek or Natural to cut out added sugars: Plain Greek-style and regular yogurt have no added sugars and naturally occurring sugars in lactose. Indulge!
  2. Figure out what food labels aren’t telling you: Food labels only list total sugars, so do a little math to figure out how much added sugar there is. Take the # of grams of sugar in your flavored yogurt and subtract the # of grams of sugar in the plain version (of the same brand).
  3. Translate grams to teaspoons: There are 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon, so divide the sugars on food labels by four to see how many teaspoons of sugar you’re eating. Remember to keep it to twelve teaspoons of added sugars a day.
  4. Give your yogurt pizazz: Plain yogurt doesn’t have to be plain. Add fruit, berries, nuts, or even drizzle a bit of honey (4-6 grams of added sugar which is a teaspoon of honey) to give you the flavor and sweet you’re craving. Keep things crunchy, flavorful, low-sugar, and fun.
  5. Avoid artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners can affect the body’s ability to gauge how many calories are being consumed, and overconsumption can be harmful. Indulge once in a while and steer clear of the artificial stuff.
  6. Train your taste buds: Gradually cut back on sweets and mix your favorite flavored yogurt with plain yogurt. Your body will want less and less sugar and appreciate more and more flavor.

When shopping for yogurt, take the time to look at the labels. Some yogurts have as many as 25 added grams of sugar (over six teaspoons and half of your recommended daily dose!). Finding yogurt options with little added sugar and cutting down on added sugars, in general, are optimal for your and your baby’s health.