Fats are absolutely necessary for the functioning of our body (energy reserves, major component of our cells and our brain, allows the synthesis of our hormones…). During pregnancy, in addition to meeting the needs of the pregnant woman, they are essential for the development of the foetus and in particular its brain.
They also allow the proper absorption of “fat-soluble” vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K) and are essential during a meal, especially one containing vegetables. Not all oils have the same composition, which are the most interesting to consume during this particular period of pregnancy?
Here are my top 3:
1) Olive oil
Olive oil is rich in omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acids, which protect the cardiovascular system. It can tolerate cooking up to 180°C, and above all it easily enhances the taste of raw vegetables or cooked vegetables. It goes very well with Provencal herbs for Mediterranean flavours!
2) Rapeseed oil
Rapeseed oil is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and essential for brain function. Rapeseed oil can be cooked up to 160°C, but the omega 3s, which are sensitive to heat, are then destroyed. It is therefore better to keep it for seasoning raw vegetables or already cooked vegetables. If you don’t like the taste as much as olive oil, you can mix these two oils to make a vinaigrette. Even if it doesn’t say so on the bottle, it’s best to keep it in the fridge so that it retains all its goodness!
3) Flaxseed oil
Flaxseed oil contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, more than rapeseed oil. Because of this high content, it can only be stored for one month after opening (and should be kept in the fridge). It should not be cooked, so it is used as a seasoning, alone or mixed with other oils.
Some brands offer blends of oils adapted to mothers-to-be, containing DHA (an omega 3 fatty acid essential during pregnancy and breastfeeding) directly from fish oil or microalgae. Fragile, these mixtures cannot be cooked and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two months after opening (refer to the instructions on the bottle). They can be added as a seasoning and can therefore replace rapeseed oil and linseed oil.
For cooking: For cooking at temperatures above 180°C, sunflower oil and grapeseed oil can be used sparingly so that other more interesting oils can be used after cooking or on raw vegetables. Ideally, avoid non-stick utensils and choose stainless steel, glass, cast iron or ceramic utensils.
The right amount of oil: As you can see, oils are very important during pregnancy! It is important to consume at least the equivalent of 2 tablespoons per meal (i.e. about 20g), divided between the oil used for cooking and the oil used for seasoning. Don’t go a meal without adding oil, they are essential for your needs as a mother-to-be and for those of your baby.
Good quality oils:
The pollutants in our environment and the food chain are more concentrated in fats, so it is worth choosing oils from organic farming instead.
La Fabrique des mamans bars contain DHA directly, in the ideal quantities to meet the needs of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Think about it!
Marina Colombani, dietician-micronutritionist and postnatal doula