Dietary micronutrient intake during pregnancy is a function of carbohydrate quality
Background: Despite normal gestational weight gain, dietary studies in pregnant women show intakes below the recommendations for energy and micronutrients. Objective: This study compared changes in dietary intake from the second to third trimester with emphasis on energy intake and carbohydrate quality. Design: These post hoc analyses were based on 566 women participating in the Pregnancy and Glycemic Index Outcomes study, a randomized controlled trial comparing the effect of low-glycemic index (GI) dietary advice with healthy eating advice on selected pregnancy outcomes. With the use of multilevel mixed-regression analysis, changes in total energy intake, starch, sugar, fiber intake, GI, and glycemic load (GL) were correlated with intake of different micronutrients. Results: Energy intake decreased in the third trimester, and most women did not meet the national recommended amounts for iron, folate, and dietary fiber from food sources alone. After adjustment for age, ethnicity, prepregnancy body mass index, and intervention group, change in energy intake was positively related to change in intake of all micronutrients (P < 0.001). GI, GL, and starch intake were inversely related to micronutrient intake (P < 0.001), whereas higher total sugars predicted higher intake (P < 0.001). Associations with dietary fiber were inconsistent. Conclusions: Normal pregnancy can be associated with a decline in energy and micronutrient intake from diet. Low dietary GI and GL were the best predictors of a favorable micronutrient profile. This trial was registered at www.anzctr.org.au as ACTRN12610000174088.