3 Reasons to Eat (Healthy) Fats While Pregnant and Nursing

Fat is not the enemy.

Sadly, the low-fat lies we’ve been told over the last 50 years or so have been just that … lies! Fat does not make us fat, raise our cholesterol, or give us heart disease.

“…both anthropological research and clinical studies have revealed … [that] the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet promoted by groups like the American Heart Association has been a spectacular failure.  Rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease are still skyrocketing higher each year.” (source)

In fact, fats are incredibly important for your body and that of your growing baby. Specifically healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, unsalted pastured butter, ghee, pastured lard/tallow, pastured egg yolks, and oily fish. Here’s why:

1. Your baby requires healthy fats for brain development

“You’ve probably heard that essential fatty acids (or “EFA’s” – DHA is an example) are very important to the brain development of your baby.  This is true, and maternal intake of EFA’s correlates directly with what baby gets during pregnancy and during nursing (via ScienceDirect).

In addition avoiding ‘fatty foods’ or ‘cholesterol-rich foods’ robs your baby of nutrient-dense foods that contain important substances for brain development.  One example of this is egg yolks, which are rich in choline, a critical nutrient for neural development.  Many women cut these foods out to fit into the commonly recommended 25-35lb weight gain.” (source)

Want your baby to have a healthy, well-developed brain? Eat plenty of healthy fats.

Read our article on foods to eat during pregnancy for brain development.

2. Fat is necessary for nutrient absorption

“Many, many vitamins are “fat-soluble” meaning your body needs fat to use them.  Hormones are all highly dependent on fat (especially cholesterol).  Hormones are important to sustaining your pregnancy, and sex hormones are vital for your baby son or baby daughter.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat soluble and all are vital to fetal development.” (source)

So, you can take tons of vitamins, the best prenatal pills, and eat big salads every day but if you’re not eating enough healthy fats your body won’t be able to use all those nutrients. And guess what? Your baby won’t get them either. What a waste!

3. Saturated fats are GOOD for you and baby

You’ve probably heard about essential fatty acids (EFAs – mentioned above) and how they’re so good for you, but saturated fat? Bad! Bad! Bad! Right?

WRONG!

“Saturated fats (such as butter and coconut oil) are very important.  Close to half of human cell membranes are made of saturated fats, and saturated fat is an energy source needed by your rapidly developing baby (in pregnancy and while breastfeeding).” (source)

Adding some saturated fats to your diet will help your baby develop a strong, healthy body, and give you both the energy you need throughout your breastfeeding relationship!

 

For more articles about health during pregnancy read our other articles:

 

 



Add a Comment