If your heart melts at the sight of jam being spread on a roti or whole wheat bread, and you are wondering if it is okay to have jam during pregnancy, guess what…it is! A single jar of jam contains 45% fruits, sugar, pectin – a fiber found in the cell walls of plants & fruits and water.
And one teaspoon of jam can give you healthy proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins as well as dietary fiber. It is cholesterol and fat free contributing to healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Jam is also a good source of antioxidants. Pectin in jam lowers the risk of cancer, stroke and heart attack. It also improves the health of skin, hair, and finger nails, and strengthens bones. It reduces the risk of spina bifida, neural tube defects and anencephaly in an expecting mother. Pectin also has prebiotic effect, stimulating the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Recent research shows that a healthy gut is key to maintaining good health and in the treatment and prevention of many diseases.
But while jam may provide some nutrients and health benefits, they are also high in sugar. The store bought brands may also contain high-fructose-corn-syrup (HFCS) that can cause obesity, heart disease and type II diabetes. Therefore, prefer jams made from organic sugar or pure cane sugar or make a jar at home.
Expecting mothers with gestational diabetes should avoid jam. It is best to consult your doctor when in doubt.