Recently, research has confirmed that dietary cholesterol level do not raise harmful cholesterol levels, and that saturated fats are not harmful like once thought. Science and nutritional understanding are continually developing, so we need to stay informed on the latest information. Some of our dietary ideas were never proven to begin with.
Not Enough Fat
Not having enough fat in one's diet can cause all sorts of problems. One of many nutrient needed by the body and found in fat is choline. Choline is found in meat and eggs, yet is underconsumed by most Americans, including most pregnant women. This could lead to neural tube defects and other problems with your baby's nervous system development.
Our bodies know how important fats are for reproduction. Many experts in fertility say the first thing they recommend for conception is an increase in natural fats. A large study showed how women eating the most natural fats had the easiest time getting pregnant.
After all, your baby's brain (as well as your own!) is 60% fat. There are several essential fatty acids (ever heard of omega-3?) that we must get from our food because our body can't make them. The best place to get these wonderful nutrients is from natural fats.
What are natural fats?
Natural fats would be things that are processed as little as possible. Not surprisingly, the healthiest fats are those found in nature like seeds cold pressed (coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, sunflower oil) and animal fats (fish, chicken, lard, cream, butter). There are a few vegetables with high amounts of good fats like avocados, broccoli, and cauliflower. There is some controversy about some of these sources, but remember, these are just a part of a healthy diet.
Trans fats are the ones to avoid, and they're found in partially hydrogenated oils. Read labels to make sure you're buying natural fats, or better yet, don't buy food with ingredients lists!
Fit, not Fat
Should losing weight really the focus of our diet and health care? I don't think so. It seems to me that weight loss will be an inevitable result of being healthy. Exercise along with a diet with lots of vegetables, natural fats, and protein will keep us fit and energized. Especially for pregnant and lactating women, fat reserves are protective because they nourish the baby.
I hope we can get out of this mentality that fats are unhealthy. Humans have been eating fats for thousands of years as the best source of calories and a key to health. A balanced, well-rounded diet is so important for those of us who are growing other tiny humans with our own bodies.