Nutrition alumna Lily Nichols, ’08, authors book on prenatal nutrition

Lily Nichols ’08, RDN, CDE

April 24, 2018

Nutrition alumna Lily Nichols ’08, RDN, CDE is the author of a recently published book about healthy eating during pregnancy. Real Food for Pregnancy is an evidence-based book about prenatal nutrition guidelines, outlining the gap between current recommendations and optimal prenatal nutrition. “It became clear to me that conventional prenatal dietary advice (in other words, U.S. government dietary guidelines) does not always reflect the latest scientific evidence, nor does it provide equivalent nutritional value when compared to the diets consumed by traditional cultures,” Nichols explains.

Real Food for Pregnancy lays out the evidence explaining how pregnant women can better nourish themselves and growing babies with real food and other informed lifestyle choices. The book takes a look at the science of prenatal nutrition, discovering a wide gap between current prenatal nutrition recommendations and what’s optimal for the health of the mother and baby. “There's an average lag time of 17 years before new clinical research makes it into clinical practice. I wanted to shorten that gap,” Nichols says. Since its release, the book has garnered positive reviews since its release and has been featured on Real Food Radio and the Birth, Baby and Life Podcast.

Real Food for Pregnancy was an inevitable result of my work in the prenatal nutrition field,” Nichols explains. She is most known for her work on nutrition for gestational diabetes, which is the type of diabetes that is first diagnosed—or first recognized—during pregnancy. Her previous work and research lead her to writing her first book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes. “By far, the most crucial skill I learned at UMass was how to research,” Nichols notes. “This is a skill that I've realized many in my profession have not had a chance (or perhaps the push) to develop. In a field that is full of strong opinions and special interests, having the ability to independently research almost any facet of nutrition/medical science and make sense of it has proved invaluable in almost every facet of my career. It also forces me to hold my work to a higher, evidence-based standard.”

For more information on Real Food for Pregnancy, click here.