Pregnant woman is laying on grass with fruit

WELLthier Living and Aging

Article Abstracts
Oct 07, 2020

WELLthier Living and Aging

Studies Show Benefits of Mediterranean Diet during Pregnancy

Article Abstracts
Mar 03, 2024

Recent studies show that the Mediterranean diet has clear benefits for pregnant women. While not all outcomes are in total agreement, observance of some form of the diet, which focuses on olive oil, nuts, vegetables, fish, fruit, beans, and grains, appears to result in reduced risk for gestational diabetes and excessive weight gain.

In one clinical trial conducted in Madrid, Spain, pregnant women, predominantly of normal weight, ate a Mediterranean diet through their pregnancy starting at 8 to 12 weeks gestation. At term, the rate of gestational diabetes was significantly reduced compared to controls, the percentage of diabetic mothers with excessive weight gain was reduced, and the percentage of large-for-gestational-age babies was reduced.

In a UK Mediterranean diet trial in which many of the subjects were obese, participants were provided with walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and olive oil. A significant reduction in risk for gestational diabetes and significantly less gestational weight gain were found in the study subjects.

A systematic review of literature, published in 2019 in Nutrients, looked at the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for newborns as well as mothers and found not only reduced risk of gestational diabetes and congenital defects but also later reduced weight circumference in offspring, pointing to protection against later cardiometabolic disease.


Bland, J. (2019, October). Sunnier outlook for mothers and newbies. Convergence.

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