How Much Chocolate is Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

    chocolate-pregnancy.jpgOne of the most decadent traditions during Valentine’s Day is the giving and eating of chocolate. During pregnancy, women often attempt to control the foods they eat to maintain healthy weight gain and prevent negative side effects of consuming too much sugar. But, when the holiday of romance rolls around, how much chocolate is safe for a pregnant woman to consume?

    Chocolate Contains Caffeine – Limit Intake to 200 mg or Fewer Each Day

    If you love the taste of chocolate and you don’t want to give up this sweet treat on Valentine’s Day, you may want to skip that morning cup of coffee, or two. Chocolate contains caffeine and while the caffeine amount in chocolate is relatively low, those mg can add up quickly when you’re sitting in front of that luscious box of chocolates your partner so graciously gave you. The caffeine content of chocolate will differ from one treat to the next. Hershey’s Kisses, for example, contain 10 mg of caffeine per nine kisses. If you admit you’ll be eating the entire bag, you may want to skip caffeine from other sources for a day or two.

    Chocolate Contains a Ton of Sugar and Fat
    Chocolate is comprised mainly of sugar and fat. While pregnant women should consume more calories than women who are not pregnant, controlling where your calories come from is important for healthy weight gain. If you suffer from gestational diabetes or you have a history of gestational diabetes, it is best to skip the chocolate all together, along with other simple carbohydrates.

    Choose Your Chocolate Wisely
    There are multiple types of chocolate available for Valentine’s Day. Some chocolates are filled with sugary goodness and others are created with very little sugar, providing a bitter, rich taste. Dark chocolate tends to have fewer calories than the filled treats sold in heart-shaped boxes, but not all pregnant women like the taste of dark chocolate. If you are eating filled milk chocolates or chocolate-covered cherries you should probably eat fewer than if you were eating dark chocolate squares.

    It is perfectly acceptable for healthy pregnant women to eat chocolate on Valentine’s Day. If there are underlying medical conditions that could be worsened by consuming large amounts of sugar or fat, it may be best to skip the chocolate and other sweet treats, however. Eating the entire box of chocolates is not the healthiest choice, but there is little chance your overindulgence will harm your baby.