We all know the importance of a healthy diet, and it’s no different for pregnant women. Eating the right foods helps nourish both the mother and child. And according to a study published last week, pregnant women should cut back on sugar during pregnancy to protect the child’s cognitive function.

Most Americans consume more than the daily recommended amount of sugar. That goes for pregnant women and their children alike. Health experts often suggest reducing the amount of added sugars in your diet.

And now, pregnant women and their children have even more reason to reduce added sugars, sugary beverages and diet sodas.

In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine last week, researchers examined the association of pregnancy sugar consumption and child cognition with over 1,200 mother-chid pairs.

The researchers assessed both the mother and the child’s diet during pregnancy and after, as well as cognitive outcomes when the child reached the age of 3 and 7 respectively.

According to the results, higher intakes of sugar for both pregnant women and their children led to poorer memory and learning skills in the child. Diet sodas were also shown to have negative effects on childhood cognition as well.

The good news is that fruit consumption was associated with higher cognitive scores for children who consumed less processed sugars.

If you’re planning on getting pregnant or are currently expecting, consider reducing sugar and diet sodas from your diet and replace them with whole fruits instead.