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Diet During Pregnancy

Recent research shows that pregnant women should eat plenty of nuts, seeds, cereals, nuts, fruits and vegetables, limit extra vegetable oils and avoid foods containing some of the hydrogenated fat.

Both mothers and children need essential fatty acids classified into omega-3s and omega-6s. Pregnancy uses fatty acids, especially omega-3s such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Some recent studies show that post-partum depression is caused by low levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are found in all nuts, seeds, nuts and grains, but not in the fine flour used in most bread and pasta products.

Pregnancy overcomes folic acid, and deficiency can lead to birth defects. Folic acid is found in leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and nuts. Oil extracted from grains such as corn, soybeans, cottonseed, rapeseed (canola) and safflower is often converted to partial hydrogen fat and added to food. These fats restrict the body's omega-3 fatty acids and should therefore be avoided by pregnant women.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that pregnant women and young children avoid large predatory fish because they may accumulate large amounts of mercury that may cause brain damage to young children. However, there are no reports of North American children being harmed by mercury in fish. Check with your doctor.


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