Go Ad-Free
logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1334: Healthy Eating for Two

When expectant mothers are eating for two, following a Mediterranean diet and eating mindfully benefit both mother and baby.
Current time

Healthy Eating for Two

0% played% buffered

In this week’s episode, learn about healthy eating for two. Most people realize that diet is especially important during pregnancy, but they may not know which foods are most nutritious. Researchers report that following a Mediterranean diet and practicing mindfulness around meals can both have health benefits during pregnancy.

Mediterranean Diet for Those Eating for Two:

New research shows that good nutrition during pregnancy goes way beyond taking prenatal vitamins. One study shows that women following a Mediterranean diet are less likely to experience complications such as hypertension, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, pre-term birth or stillbirth (JAMA Network Open, Dec. 22, 2022).  We talk with one of the scientists conducting the study, a cardiologist who notes that avoiding such problems seems to help women stay healthier even when the baby grows up.

Benefits of Mindfulness:

Many people have heard that cravings can crop up during pregnancy. Is there a way to respond to such feelings without wrecking a healthy diet? Our second guest has conducted a long-running study that found learning mindful eating during pregnancy has lasting benefits for children as well as their mothers.

In this quasi-experimental Mindful Moms Training study, the women who attended mindfulness sessions for eight weeks had lower measures of stress, were slightly less likely to gain excess weight and were less likely to have impaired glucose tolerance (International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Oct. 2019). Follow-up studies on mothers and children found benefits as much as eight years later.

This Week’s Guests:

Natalie Bello, MD, MPH, is an associate professor of Cardiology and director of Hypertension Research in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai. Her research focuses on better understanding the relationship between hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and cardiovascular risk—and her latest study found an association between the Mediterranean diet and pregnancy outcomes.
Her study is: Association of a Mediterranean Diet Pattern With Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Among US Women

Elissa Epel, PhD, is a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, at University of California, San Francisco. Her research aims to elucidate mechanisms of healthy aging, and to apply this basic science to scalable interventions to reach vulnerable populations. She is the Director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Epel ranks in the top 1% of scientists for publication impact. Dr. Epel is the author of New York Times best-seller The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer. Her latest book is The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease and is an Independent Bookstore best-seller.

Dr. Elissa Epel

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available Monday, March 20, 2023, after broadcast on March 18. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free.

Download the mp3

Rate this article
4.7- 10 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.