Melanie McGrice

Melanie McGrice

Good nutrition throughout pregnancy is imperative for keeping both you and your bub happy and healthy. But, what about fat?  Is this good or bad during pregnancy?  How much should you have?  And what types?  Well, let me answer all these questions for you….. While we want to minimise ‘bad’ saturated fats during pregnancy, other ‘healthy’ fats are essential during pregnancy to promote the growth and development of your baby’s eyes, brain and the placenta. These healthy fats are known as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Some of these are essential as they are necessary for our health however they cannot be produced by the body and therefore must come from the foods we eat.


Healthy fats:

Now you may ask, what is all the hype about these healthy fats? Some benefits of embracing these in your diet include providing you with the energy to meet the increased demands of your pregnancy, regulating inflammation within the body, supporting the visual and cognitive development of your baby and reducing your risk of heart disease. Most of the fats that you include in your diet should be healthy fats. Some examples of these include:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts)
  • Seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds)


Unhealthy fats:

Throughout pregnancy it is recommended that your intake of unhealthy fats such as trans and saturated fats should be minimised. These should only be consumed occasionally and in small amounts. To be more specific, you should be aiming for less than 10% of your total daily food intake. The foods that these types of fats are found in are typically full of ‘empty calories’ that have no nutritional benefit or use in our diet. Consuming excess amounts of these fats may even put your baby at risk of future heart disease.

Unhealthy fats can be found in foods such as:

  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Chips
  • Processed meats
  • Fried foods
  • Butter
  • Coconut or palm oil
  • Fatty meats.

When choosing meats, opt for leaner choices such as skinless chicken or turkey breast.  When it comes to red meat, look for cuts that don’t have visible fat on them and trim any excess fat off before you cook.

For more information on incorporating healthy fats into your diet, check out my ‘Add healthy fats to your diet’ video on my YouTube channel Nourish.


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