It is recommended that a pregnant/nursing woman should take at least 2.6g of omega-3 fatty acids and 100–300 mg of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) daily to look after the needs of her fetus and suckling infant.
We have been told for years by the government to consume a low-fat diet and that fats cause heart disease and can kill us. This is simply not the truth! It has been an over-simplification of fats that have done this. Not all fats are created equally.
Different Types Of Fats
Let’s go over different types of fats for a second. There are trans-fats, saturated fats, mono-unsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. There are a few different fats in each of those categories too; some of the most important fats and the ones concentrated on in this article are under the poly-unsaturated category. They are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 And Omega-6 Fats
Fats are not the easiest to understand and there are so many different ones, but there are a few that we should really pay attention to. Those would be the pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fats and the anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats. The most important of those would be DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is the longest and most important of all the Omega-3 fatty acids or Polyunsaturated Fats. In a typical American diet, the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is around 20:1 whereas the preferred and healthy ratio would be around 2:1.
All the recent research correlates low omega-3 fats with reduced brain function. Too little DHA in the brain is being linked to a wide range of brain malfunctions, including but not limited to:
- Low IQ
- Manic depression
- Memory loss
- Alzheimer’s Disease
Omega-3 Fats And Pregnancy
The data makes sense to me because the brain is made up of about 60% fat and if our diets were rich in the anti-inflammatory omega-3’s, we would then have less inflammation in the brain. I feel that we would have less inflammation in the rest of the body as well because all cells use fats.
All these fatty acids are transferred to the baby through the placenta and breast milk. Omega-3’s are good for both mom and baby, during pregnancy and lactation. Actually, these fats are good for everyone.
I recommend for most of my clients to start taking an eco-friendly omega-3 supplement to boost their levels while they also increase eating the right foods to boost omega-3 from the diet.
Help stop birth defects by starting to incorporate more omega-3’s into your diet and educate those around you on the importance of incorporating these beneficial fats into their diet as well.