NO! Not right. The widespread opinion that fats make us fat is an outcome of wrong conclusions. It’s very important that you don’t avoid eating fat after pregnancy. We need fats just like any other nutrient. In balanced diet we should get 20 – 30% of our daily energy from fats.
What are fats good for?
- Some vitamins (A, D, E, K) are fat-soluble. This means that our body can use them only in conjunction with fats. If we eat them purely, they just go through our digestive system without any effect.
- Fats help to maintain skin, hair and nails healthy.
- Fats form cushions around vital organs and protect them against shock or external influence.
- Fats help to maintain body temperature.
- Fats promote healthy cell function.
What happens if you start a no-fat diet?
In normal situation – nothing. At first. As our body is really complex and smart it has some storage to use in case of an emergency. And no fat diet is an emergency. But so is the pregnancy. At least for our body. So although in usual times our body body hangs on for quite a long time, after pregnancy it may react more quickly. Anyway, sooner or later the storage will be emptied and your health starts to misbehave.
The most common health problems derived from insufficient fat intake are:
- Low energy. You feel tired and frustrated all the time.
- Dry hair and hair loss.
- Poor wound healing.
- Not enough fat-soluble vitamins
- The development of organism stops.
- Your body cannot cope with external influence. In other words: you’ll catch diseases more easily.
Good and bad fats?There are different groups of fats. Some of them really are bad for us while others are essential for our well being.
1. Unsaturated fats:
- Monounsaturated fats that you can get from canola oil, peanut oil, olive oil. Avocados, nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds.
- Polyunsaturated fats: corn, soybean, walnuts, sunflower- and flaxseed oils. But those oils should not be heated because high temperature makes them unhealthy.
- Essential fatty acids: Omega3-and Omega6 fatty acids that you get from cold water fatty fish and fish oil such as salmon, herring, mackerel.
2. Saturated fats:
- Saturated fats that you get from meat and dairy
- Trans fats that you get from prepackaged food, junk food, cookies, some margarines.
20-30 % of your daily energy should come from fat. 1/3 of these fats should be monounsaturated, 1/3 polyunsaturated and 1/3 saturated fats. You don’t need trans fats for health. In developed countries we usually eat too little unsaturated fats and too much saturated fats.
Where this “fat-fear” comes from?If we leave semantic reason and the ambigouness of the word fat behind, the fact is that fats contain many calories. Even good fats do. 1 gr of fats give you 9 kcal compared to protein or carbs that give you 4 kcal per 1 gr. So in order to get the good out of good fats you should not overeat them. In general we need 25% of our daily energy from fat. That means 625 calories (about 69 gr of fat) every day.
For example: 100 gr chocolate bar contains approximately 30 gr of fat. So as you see, it’s easy to get too many calories from fat.
Click to read related: Can You Eat Crab While Pregnant
What to do?
- Take steps toward eating as the right amount of every fat group and trans fats as little as possible but don’t try to change everything at once.
- Substitute red meat and whole milk products with lean meats, skinless poultry and low-fat dairy products, also fish and nuts.
- When home cooking, prefer unsaturated fats. Use olive or canola oil when preparing meals.
- Avoid prepackaged food.
- Don’t try to give all trans fats up complitely from now on for as long as you live. You probably won’t succeed.
- If you find it totally impossible to reduce the intake of saturated fats, then don’t. Choose other habits to change for better and think about fats later. But don’t give up the whole weight loss because of it!
Fat After Pregnancy
4/ 5Oleh Wira Wijaya