In part 1, we got to know a bit about the benefits of fats during pregnancy. Now let’s see more on the sources and what fats to avoid during pregnancy.
What are the good fats that you should have and their sources?
As we all know, the unsaturated fats (MUFA and PUFA) are the good fats that need to be incorporated in your diet.
PUFA are mainly comprised of two types:
- Omega 3 fatty acids: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). ALA is a precursor to EPA and DHA
- Omega 6 fatty acids: Linoleic acid
ALA and linoleic acid are true “essential” omega-3 as our bodies cannot make it on its own. Hence they need to be added to the diet and discussed more than the non-essential fatty acids
MUFA sources: peanut oils, olives, avocados, nuts & nut butter, canola, etc
Omega-3s: fish oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and canola oil
Omega-6s: palm, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils
What are the bad fats that you should avoid?
Saturated fats found in hi-fat meats (red meat), hi-fat milk (2% and more), butter, lard, etc should be avoided.
Trans fats are present in margarine, fried foods and packaged foods (increase the shelf life of the product).
These saturated fats and trans fats become solid in room temperature and increase the cholesterol level, so check the packaging of all the food items you purchase to see the value of these two. Try replacing the bad for the good fat and avoid food items which have terms like deep-fried, creamy, rich, buttery (like butter chicken) when you eat out. We suggest you avoid eating out as you are unsure of the oil (most places use trans fat aka hydrogenated oils)
There is no denying that during your pregnancy you may crave some deep fried or heavy creamed dish. Once in a while, you may allow yourself to indulge, but do keep a mental note of it and substitute whenever possible.