By: Dr. Kinga Babicki-Farrugia Hons. BSc, ND.
Healthy Eating in Pregnancy – Fats
Healthy fats are essential for baby’s development but also for mamas health too! They are needed for proper neurologic, brain, and eye development but also for hormone production. Fats are known to keep us mamas feeling full, satiated and can contribute to keeping blood sugar more stable. Fat intake should account for about 30-35% of your total daily calories in pregnancy. They’ve gotten a bad wrap over the years but our bodies need them and taking a a balanced approach is key.
Focus on the healthful unsaturated fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts/nut butters, fish/fish oil(omega 3s!), and seeds to name a few. These, and in particular omega 3’s can improve mood, reduce inflammation, reduce risk of postpartum depression in moms and improve cognitive function in baby.
Some saturated fat is OK and actually needed for baby’s development. So we can and should be consuming a little, too much can increase inflammation in the body though so be mindful of this. Saturated fats are found in meat, cream, butter, coconut oil, cheese and other dairy products.
Last but not least are trans fats, hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated fats. They are just plain bad! These unnatural fats were created by the food industry to improve shelf life and texture of products. They been linked to insulin resistance and pregnancy induced hypertension to name just two (there are many others!). Read your labels and steer clear of these!
So add that healthy fat mamas! It’s important for you and for baby.