- Is it safe to eat ghee during pregnancy?
- Can you eat ghee during early pregnancy?
- How about ghee consumption during the third trimester?
- What are the benefits of ghee during pregnancy?
- What are the side effects of consuming ghee during pregnancy?
- How much ghee can you take during pregnancy?
- Common myths associated with ghee consumption during pregnancy
- How can you include ghee in your pregnancy diet?
- What is the importance of ghee in Ayurveda during pregnancy?
Ghee is one of the healthy foods that your mom, grandmother or aunt expects you to eat during pregnancy. Ghee, which is the Indian name for clarified butter, is an excellent source of fat and is often included in the diet of a pregnant woman. But how much ghee is safe during pregnancy?
Is It Safe To Eat Ghee During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to eat a moderate amount of ghee every day when you are pregnant. Unlike other dairy products, ghee is easier to digest and boosts metabolism.
Since it is a healthy source of fat, ghee is often used as a substitute for butter and oil. However, check with your doctor before adding too much ghee to your diet.
How Much Ghee Can You Take During Pregnancy?
You can include about two to three teaspoons of ghee during pregnancy (1). The medical recommendation of fat is six tablespoons per day, out of which you can include 10 to 12% saturated fats such as ghee.
Can You Eat Ghee During Early Pregnancy?
Yes. You can eat ghee throughout your pregnancy, right from the early stages till the end. But if weight is a concern, you should be cautious about its consumption.
[ Read: Milk During Pregnancy ]
How About Ghee Consumption During Third Trimester?
Ghee has laxative properties and is believed to induce labor.
When ghee is consumed in the third trimester, it can irritate the bowel to extend the contractions to the uterus and induce labor. Ghee is also believed to lubricate the vagina, thereby aiding smooth delivery. However, neither of these claims is backed by scientific evidence.
Nevertheless, ghee is considered to be a healthy source of fat that you and your baby can benefit from. Read more about it next.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Ghee During Pregnancy?
Ghee contains reasonable amounts of omega fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is believed to offer the following benefits during pregnancy, but most of these lack scientific support.
1. Treats digestive issues:
Ghee has anti-viral properties and plays a crucial role in keeping the digestive system healthy. It contains high amounts of a fatty acid called butyrate that plays a role in gut health (2).
2. Aids baby development:
You will require about 300 extra calories per day during your second and third trimesters, for your baby’s development (3). Ghee can aid in the baby’s growth and their brain development.
3. Nurtures the body:
Moderate consumption of ghee gives a feel-good mood and relieves stress. It is one of the natural ways to nourish the body and keep it warm and strong.
Homemade ghee is always a healthier and better option compared to store-bought ghee. Having ghee for increasing calorie count is fine as long as it does not add to the existing body weight. Avoid ghee if you are overweight as it can complicate your pregnancy.
[ Read: Benefits Of Eating Jaggery In Pregnancy ]
What Are The Side-effects Of Consuming Ghee During Pregnancy?
Ghee does not have any side-effects if consumed in moderation. Moreover, it is a source of good fat. But, consuming higher amounts of ghee can:
- Make you and your baby gain excess weight. Reduced physical activity in the last weeks of pregnancy, compounded with excess ghee consumption, could make normal delivery difficult.
- Lead to obesity if you are already on a high calorific diet or consume junk food often.
- Can make it difficult to shed away the excess weight after childbirth.
To avoid the above complications, seek your doctor’s advice before adding ghee to your pregnancy diet.
Common Myths Associated With Ghee Consumption During Pregnancy
Myth 1: Ghee lubricates vagina and helps in smooth delivery.
There is no scientific backing. But there is no harm in consuming ghee since saturated fats should be an essential part of a pregnant woman’s diet.
Myth 2: Ghee stimulates contractions, and is, therefore, recommended for pregnant women who are overdue.
Ghee has laxative properties which cause bowel irritation that extends to the uterus, causing contractions. Although these myths do not have any scientific evidence, moderate consumption of ghee is fine as long as your healthcare provider approves of it.
How Can You Include Ghee In Your Pregnancy Diet?
Ghee can be used raw or as an ingredient in cooking. Use ghee:
- As a topping on rice, parathas or rotis
- To mix vegetable curries or flavored rice
- For preparing desserts such as kheer, ladoos and more
- Along with milk
What Is The Importance Of Ghee In Ayurveda During Pregnancy?
Ghee plays a prominent role in Ayurvedic medicine and has been used as a therapeutic agent for ages (2).
Ayurveda prescribes consumption of pure cow ghee by adding it to boiled milk along with saffron (1 to 2 drops), honey (3 to 4 drops) and a little bit of turmeric. This beverage is believed to boost immunity, brain health of the baby and promote a safe delivery.
As long as you are within your healthy weight range and follow a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, there is no harm in adding ghee to your diet. Ghee is known to hold many health benefits, so moderate consumption of this fat should be okay.
Swapping your cooking oil with ghee (preferably homemade) could be a healthy option. But if you are in a dilemma, seek medical advice.
Share your experiences of eating ghee during pregnancy, in the comment section below.
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