Because the consumption of Omega-6 fats—and by extension, linoleic acid (LA)—is increasing so rapidly in the Western world, a few Australian researchers decided to test the effects of a diet excessively high in LA on pregnant rats.
The researchers discovered “three changes in rat mothers who ate a high linoleic acid diet: their liver had altered concentrations of inflammatory proteins, their circulating concentrations of a protein that can cause contraction of the uterus during pregnancy were increased, and a hormone that can regulate growth and development was decreased.”
These findings suggest that the altered diet poorly affected the pregnant rats as well as the fetuses they carried.
Nutrition and Pregnancy
“You’re eating for two now!” is a common phrase pregnant woman are likely hear from loved ones and strangers alike.
Though the expression itself has become somewhat tired over time, it isn’t any less true.
Senior research author Dianne Skelly expresses the significance of nutrition when it comes to pregnancy: “It is important for pregnant women to consider their diet, and our research is yet another example that potentially consuming too much of a certain type of nutrient can have a negative impact on the growing baby [as well as the mother].”
Folic acid, which is found in foods like leafy greens, most berries, citrus fruits, nuts, beans, and fortified breakfast cereals, is among the nutrients thought to be especially beneficial for pregnant women, as it supposedly helps to prevent certain birth defects.
Stanford Medicine states “[The additional calories] should come from a balanced diet of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with sweets and fats kept to a minimum. A healthy, well-balanced diet during pregnancy can also help to minimize some pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and constipation.”
Fluids are also extremely important to maintaining a healthy diet, so don’t forget to hydrate!
Moderation is Key
Your body requires a well-balanced diet of different vitamins, nutrients, and foods, and this is no different when you’re pregnant.
Omega-6 fats are necessary in order to maintain normal internal bodily activity, just be careful to avoid consuming too many.
If you’re concerned about nutrition during your pregnancy, talk to doctor to see what’s right for you and your body.
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