Know about healthy and unhealthy fats:Fats to eat during pregnancy
Unsaturated fats are considered the ‘healthy’ fats and are encouraged as part of a healthy diet. These fats help reduce heart disease, lower cholesterol levels and have other health benefits when they replace saturated fats in the diet.
Unsaturated fats are a healthy type of fat that are liquid at room temperature. There are two types of unsaturated fats, which are known as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These differ in their chemical structure and they have slightly different health benefits as a result.
Four types of fat are found in food: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, and Trans fat.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are generally found in plants and are touted as healthy fats, unlike trans fats, saturated fats and cholesterol.
Monounsaturated fats are found in safflower, olive, and peanut oils, as well as in olives, avocado, nuts, and nut butters. They're considered "good" fats because they're best at lowering cholesterol.
Monounsaturated fats are made up of a chain of carbon with one pair of carbon molecules joined by a double bond. The more double bonds there are, the more solid the fat will be. Monounsaturated fats are generally liquid at room temperature, but turn slightly solid when chilled.
Sources of monounsaturated fats include:
- Olive oil
- Sunflower oil
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
- Peanut butter
Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats has a cholesterol lowering effect.
Polyunsaturated fats are beneficial, too. They contain the omega-3 fatty acids (like DHA and ALA, both of which are crucial for the healthy development of your baby) and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3s are found in some cold water fish(If you are vegetarian avoid it-other options are available also), flax seed oil, and omega-6s are found in sunflower, green leafy vegetables,cottonseed, corn, and soybean oils.
Polyunsaturated fats have two or more double bonds between carbon atoms in the carbon chain backbone of the fat. They are more solid than monounsaturated fats but less so than saturated fats. This makes polyunsaturated fats also liquid at room temperature.
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
Polyunsaturated fats can be divided into two groups known as omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats. These two types of fats have slightly different health benefits.
Omega-6 fats have been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease when they are consumed in place of saturated and trans fats. Omega-6 fat sources include:
- Sunflower, soybean, sesame oils
- Nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, brazil and pine nuts)
- Sunflower seeds.
Many monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats contain vitamin E, an important antioxidant
Saturated fats fall into the "bad" camp – eat as little as possible of these. Saturated fats are found in whole milk, tropical oils (such as palm and coconut), and butter.
- Whole-fat dairy products (milk and cream)
- Ice cream
- Palm and coconut oil
Trans Fat are to be avoided. These fats are found in fried foods. They're also used in some packaged foods – like cookies, and chips – to extend the shelf life of these products. Read the Nutrition Facts label to find the amount of saturated and trans fat in a product.
When eating out, put fried foods, biscuits, and other baked goods on your “skip” list.
- Cook with olive oil. Use olive oil.
- Eat more avocados. Try them in sandwiches- they make for a filling and satisfying meal.
- Reach for the nuts. You can also add nuts to vegetable dishes.
- Snack on olives. Olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. But unlike most other high-fat foods, they make for a low-calorie snack when eaten on their own.
- Dress your own salad.
- Monounsaturated fats lower total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, while increasing good cholesterol (HDL).
- Polyunsaturated fats lower triglycerides and fight inflammation.
- Saturated fats raise your blood cholesterol.
- Trans fats are even worse than saturated fats, since they not only raise your bad LDL cholesterol, but also lower the good HDL cholesterol.
Aiming for healthy fats as much as possible.
Take care of your unborn baby.
The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)