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Healthier Alternatives for Common Pregnancy Cravings

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Pickles and ice cream might be a sitcom favorite, but for a lot of pregnant women cravings are a real struggle. You're doing your best to eat well, but your body is desperate for chips, or chocolate bars, or greasy pizza.

If you crave sugar...

Sweets are probably the most common pregnancy craving. Ice cream, chocolate, doughnuts – when you're pregnant, it can seem like all you think about is dessert. Fresh fruit is the best choice when sweet cravings kick in. Dried fruit can also pack a punch, and it's portable, so keep a little trail mix in your bag for when cravings strike. Sorbet, fruit-juice popsicles, or a chai-vanilla Vega shake can make great substitutes when ice cream cravings hit. Or, in the summer, reach for iced herbal teas, sparkling water, or anything else that cools you off while keeping you hydrated.

If you crave salt...

Next time you start to reach for chips or pretzels, consider popcorn instead. Unbuttered, lightly salted popcorn is a light, enjoyable, eat-anywhere snack. Pretzel sticks and tortilla chips with salsa can also help curb salt cravings – just make sure to drink an extra glass of water to stay hydrated if you'll be indulging in some salt.

If you crave greasy...

You might need protein. Before turning to a cheeseburger, consider healthier foods that provide that same rich taste and texture. Nuts, beans, and lentils are great, healthy sources of filling protein, and dips like hummus or nut butters go a long way to curbing hunger.

If you crave starchy...

Carbs are comforting, so who can blame you? Treats like bread, pasta, and mashed potatoes are classic go-to comfort foods, but they also can wreck havoc on your blood sugar. If you find yourself dreaming about carbs, try oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, or a rice cake.

And don't forget: healthy eating is important, but don't feel too guilty if you indulge every once in awhile. Pregnancy is difficult, and if the occasional treat cheers you up, that's good for you and your baby.

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