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Healthy Fats During Pregnancy

You’ve no doubt heard that you should be eating healthy fats during pregnancy, but do you know what that means exactly?

To be honest, what you eat while pregnant isn’t that different to the dietary recommendations that exist for everyone – you should be eating a variety of nutritious foods including good fats, which your body and brain needs to stay health and which your baby needs for brain development.

If you are a little confused about what a healthy fat is and what ones need to be avoided read on.

Fats to avoid

When it comes to fats, follow this easy guideline – Remove processed food fats, because those are not healthy fats. Limit the saturated fats found in things like butter and cheese.

Fats to choose

Healthier fats to add to your plate include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in nuts, avocados, plant-based oils especially olive oil and some types of fish like salmon, herring, tuna and trout.  

The deal with seafood

You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the healthy development and functioning of the brain, nervous system, heart, eyes and immune system. Because omega-3s are most often found in seafood — and because most Australian diets don’t typically include a lot of seafood—many pre-pregnancy and pregnant women are low in this key nutrient. So, you want to up your intake by eating about 350 grams of seafood per week, this equates to 2-3 serves per week. But here’s the catch (see what I did there), certain types of seafood are high in mercury, a known neurotoxin. When you’re planning your meals eat the following;

Low In Mercury and High In Omega 3 Fatty Acids

  • Mackerel

  • Silver Warehou

  • Atlantic Salmon

  • Canned salmon and canned tuna in olive oil

  • Herrings

  • Sardines

Other Seafood With Low Mercury Levels

  • All prawns, lobsters and bugs

  • All squids and octopus

  • Snapper

  • Salmon and trout

  • Trevally

  • Whiting

  • Herring

  • Anchovy

  • Bream

  • Mullet

  • Garfish

The fish that you need to avoid are shark, sword fish, catfish and orange roughy (deep sea perch).

If you’d like further assistance with your pregnancy dietary pattern, please get in touch for a pregnancy consult that will be tailored to pre-conception or the trimester you are entering. I can be reached via nereda.merrin@thebalancedbody.com.au or +61 419 358 465.

Reference: Food Authority Australia

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