Is a vegetarian diet safe during pregnancy? Well let's think about that. There are millions of vegetarians around the world who have beautiful, healthy babies. So yes, of course, a vegetarian diet is safe.
There are a few things that vegetarians need to pay attention to. One of those, again we come back to the Omega 3s. You know, vegetarian sources of Omega 3s, mainly flax seeds, are not some of the most efficient ways for the body to get some of the Omega fats like the DHA and the EPAs because the process of the body converting the DHA and EPA that's in flax seeds is very inefficient. So you're getting the best amount.
You have to eat so much of it it's not even worth it.
So one of the things I always encourage my clients to do is you want to, if you're vegetarian, you want to look for an algae DHA supplement, because an algae DHA supplement has the same kind of DHA that you find in fish oil, for example. See fish eat algae to get DHA, to get the essential fat. So just get rid of the fish; go right to the algae. And get the DHA right from algae supplements.
Overall, I think most vegetarians except some of the ones I know who just eat a lot of processed carbs, the same nutritional principles apply. Eat natural whole foods, lots of fruit and vegetables, lots of whole grains. And if you learn to balance your meals that way, so you're getting protein and complex carbs - my grandmother likes nuts and seeds. There's a little equation I like to teach vegetarians how to combine their foods to get complete protein. You combine grains and legumes, rice and beans, you get a complete protein. So those are all important things to keep in mind. But overall if you're eating a well-balanced nutritionally sound diet, you will be able to get all the calcium, all the folate, all the things that your baby needs during pregnancy being a vegetarian.