Expectant mothers can reduce the risk of weight gain during pregnancy by switching to a high-fibre diet, a study has found.
Maternity experts revealed that 400 mums-to-be who changed their eating habits during the nine month term put on an average of 1.5kg less than those who did not.
The study, carried out over several years at the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, found pregnant women could switch foods and maintain calorie intake without fear of putting on excess weight.
Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe, one of the study leads, said the low glycaemic index diet benefited a fifth of women.
"Our findings show that women who switch to a low GI diet during pregnancy are 20pc less likely to experience excessive weight gain," she said.
Researchers said the best foods for the low glycaemic index (GI) diet are wholegrains, brown rice and bread. Low-GI food is slowly digested and has proven health benefits, including for weight control as they delay hunger.