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Real Food for Pregnancy: The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition Kindle Edition
"No one has dissected the research on prenatal nutrition--and done so in the context of ancestral diets--to the depth that Lily Nichols has in Real Food for Pregnancy. If you want an evidence-based rebuttal to the outdated prenatal nutrition guidelines, look no further."
--Robb Wolf, 2x NYT Bestselling Author, Wired to Eat & The Paleo Solution
Real Food For Pregnancy should find its way into every medical school and prenatal clinic. Her first book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, is a staple in my teaching here at West Virginia University and has shifted how many in our department view nutrition. Lily's second book is encyclopedic; it's amazingly well-referenced and more in-depth than many textbooks. If mothers embrace Lily's advice, the next generation will hopefully suffer less obesity and diabetes."
--Mark Cucuzzella MD FAAFP
Professor West Virginia University School of Medicine --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition. Drawing from the current scientific literature and the wisdom of traditional cultures, her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and sensible. Her bestselling book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes (and online course of the same name), presents a revolutionary nutrient-dense, lower carb approach for managing gestational diabetes. Her work has not only helped tens of thousands of women manage their gestational diabetes (most without the need for blood sugar-lowering medication), but has also influenced nutrition policies internationally. Lily’s clinical expertise and extensive background in prenatal nutrition have made her a highly sought after consultant and speaker in the field. Lily’s second book, Real Food for Pregnancy, outlines the problems with current prenatal nutrition guidelines and provides the evidence—930 citations and counting—that supports a real food diet to optimize maternal and fetal health. Lily is also creator of the popular blog, https://LilyNicholsRDN.com, which explores a variety of topics related to real food, mindful eating, and pregnancy nutrition. You can also find her on Instagram as @LilyNicholsRDN.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B079H8LL9L
- Publication date : February 23, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 4621 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 348 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0986295043
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,842 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on May 20, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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1. Science - The author has done more nutrition research than many doctors I know. She doesn't just make recommendations, she explains WHY she is making them based on how all the macro and micronutrients function inside your body. She cites studies AND explains those studies (eg. clinical vs epidemiological, sample size, other considerations, etc.)
2. Detail - Everything is here. Meal suggestions, recipes, vitamin/supplement explanations, conversation about controversial foods like sushi, lunchmeat, coffee, wine, etc., historical and international anecdotes, common complaints, exercise, mental health, nursing, and recovery. Etc. Etc.
3. Empathy - Yes, I nerded out about all the science^, but just as important is the author's incredible understanding of how stressful, difficult, and confusing pregnancy and postpartum can be. She's been there, and she tells you about her experience, too. She knows that no one is perfect and that we can't always do things optimally all the time. She always presents the information with a practical approach and multiple options. She provides the base for you to use and tailor however you need.
Additionally, you can look up the author online- she has a million helpful (totally free) articles with even more information. Plus you can sign up for her newsletter (still more good, free info), and I can personally attest that if you write to her with questions, she writes back and answers them!
I wish I had this book from the beginning, and I will (and have been) recommend(ing) this book to every pregnant, nursing, and TTC woman I know! Honestly, I recommend this book even to people who aren't pregnant, just as a great guide for general nutrition. There is a ridiculous shortage of up-to-date, evidence-based nutrition information IN GENERAL, let alone relating to pregnancy. Having these resources is truly invaluable!
However, the issue I had was with the authors languaging, her closed mindedness, her fear-mongering, and her lack of empathy for individuals who do not have the socioeconomic advantage of being able to eat so "perfectly." The author takes issue with the government fortifying our foods and recommending supplements instead of real food, and it just seems tremendously naive. If I'm being frank, I think she needs to check her privilege. A vast majority of Americans don't have access to local, organic, sustainably grown food for every meal and snack. Many don't have the financial resources or time to source, purchase, and prepare all meals and snacks from scratch and often don't even have easy access to conventionally grown whole foods, let alone local and organic foods. Many women have to rely on fortified foods and supplements to support their pregnancy.
Would it be nice if everyone could eat the way this author is proposing? Of course. Are there programs aimed at making healthy food more accessible to everyone? Luckily. However, to be recommending that all women need to be putting as much time, effort, and resources into eating as perfectly as the author proposes in order to have a healthy baby is simply untrue and unhelpful. Many folks need to rely on easily accessible food, fortified foods, and supplements to ensure they are meeting nutritional needs during pregnancy. If a single mom raising other children and working multiple jobs need to utilize convenience foods to meet her needs, then there is no shame in that. I also think its potentially harmful to imply that it's not ok to eat flexibly, honor your cravings, and indulge during pregnancy. A lot of intuitive eating research is showing that the stress associated with any kind of rigid diet is much more harmful than eating what you desire while still making sure you're eating plenty of nutrient dense foods.
At the end of the day, I'm just continually frustrated by dogmatic approaches to nutrition. I know the author means well and she clearly holds a deep passion for women and prenatal care. But there's simply no one-size-fits-all approach. There's no perfect human diet. The fear that this book could potentially create for some pregnant women just isn't worth it. Especially if they're already at the end of their rope. The stress of eating this way could potentially outweigh any benefits of what could otherwise be very helpful nutritional information. If the author had delivered her research in a more open minded and accepting way, then I would have found her book much more helpful.
If you're going to read this book I encourage you to read with an open mind, take the nuggets of wisdom that work, and let go of anything that causes you stress or makes you feel scared or shamed. Get the nutrients you need from wherever you can get them. And trust that doing your best will be enough for both you and your baby.
Top reviews from other countries
A lot of reviews wrongly claim that it is a well researched work. Sadly, simply using lots of references does not equal good scholarship. The sources also need to be relevant to the claims that the author is making, and to robustly back them up. Many of the sources don't back up the claims of the author, and they make far more moderate claims than the author does. The findings of numerous studies are used to "prove" much stronger claims than the ones the studies are themselves making. For example there's a whole section on vitamin B12 deficiency that claims that this deficiency leads to miscarriage, neural-deficiency and preterm birth risk. What is doesn't tell us is what constitutes deficiency (as opposed to sub-optimal nutritional levels) nor how much these risks are increased. These are crucial data for a full understanding of the issues. Moreover, this is presented as fact, whereas both sources cited in support of this claim highlight a need for further research rather than the absolute certainty that the wording used by the author implies.
There's also substantial scaremongering about vegetarianism and veganism (of which I'm neither, but for which I think there are significant and important nutritional and environmental justifications). There are contraindications for heavy consumption of red meat and animal fats, so even if it is the case that consuming these optimises prenatal nutrition, the discussion is not balanced.
There are also some hokey, and cringey folk-observations about what people did in the "olden-days" which was so much better than plant heavy diets. The author claims that the intuition of modern hunter gatherers and pre 1865 breast feeders in favour of meat clearly demonstrates the benefits of her proposed nutritional wisdom. But if the author's claim is that her nutritional insights would improve both pre-natal health, and the health of children into their future, why reference a period in which infant mortality was so much higher than the present day.
This is perhaps a bit of a ranty review. I'm not given to those usually. But this book made me cross: first because I feel like I wasted money on it; second because it presents opinions as facts; third because it dresses itself up as academic scholarship which it indisputably is not; and fourth, if I'm 100% honest because I don't think that it's at all responsible to promote an increase in animal products in anybody's diet. I absolutely wouldn't recommend it. But if anyone does know of a decent, well-researched, scientifically robust book that would help, I'm interested to hear about it.
This book happened to be really useful for me personally, since as a type 1 diabetic thriving on a low-carb diet, i was being encouraged/bullied by everyone to eat lots of carbs as soon as i became pregnant because apparently “babies need carbs”, while also being told that babies can’t grow properly if blood sugars aren’t perfect. For me, eating lots of carbs and having good blood sugar control are mutually exclusive, so finding a middle ground between these two conflicting things seemed impossible. Lily Nichols is one of the very very few dieticians I found online who doesn’t discourage pregnant women from eating low carb.
This wonderful book gave me the confidence to go ahead and do what I knew I needed to do to maintain near perfect blood sugar control throughout my entire pregnancy. And much more of course! Confidently picking the right foods that encourage baby’s development, mama’s health in pregnancy but also avoiding depletion post-partum... all HUGE.
Do yourself a favour and read this book!
The combination of science backed advice, and a holistic approach from someone who advocates the power of good food, exercise & mindfulness, is really refreshing and reassuring.