By Dr. Mercola
Omega-3 fat is important for proper energy storage, oxygen transport, cell membrane function, and regulation of inflammation. It’s also critical for healthy development in utero, especially for eye and brain development, and plays a role in the length of gestation.
Recent research has again confirmed the importance of omega-3 fats during pregnancy, and the danger of too much omega-6. The former you get primarily from fish, whereas processed vegetable and seed oils — staples in the standard American diet — are the primary sources of the latter.
The ideal ratio between these two essential fats (“essential” meaning your body cannot produce them, so you have to get them from your diet) is 1:1, but a processed food diet provides FAR more omega-6 than omega-3.
Unless you avoid vegetable oils and either eat plenty of fish or take a high quality omega-3 supplement, you may be getting around 16 times more omega-6 than omega-3 from your diet.
As one recent animal study1 shows, such a lopsided ratio during pregnancy can have severe health consequences for your baby.
Another Major Concern With Your Oils
Another major factor that has contributed to a large percentage of the amount of chronic disease present in Western nations is the introduction of refined vegetable oils.
Prior to 1900, the average intake of vegetable oils was less than a pound a year and in 2000, that had increased to 75 pounds per year. We simply never had the ability to consume this much vegetable oil prior to food processing.
Refined oil contributed to the massive distortions in the omega 3:6 ratios. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with omega-6 oils if they are consumed in their native form, which is typically in unrefined seeds and nuts.
The key take-home point is to avoid virtually all refined vegetable oils. Not only do