Happy Halloween! It’s time for another episode of Q&A. Listen to what our readers have been asking lately, and if you’ve got a question, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll answer you in another video.
How much fermented cod liver oil is recommended for pregnant women and are there any other supplements or foods you highly recommend?
- The Weston A. Price Foundation recommendations are 2 teaspoons per day for pregnant women. This is for high-vitamin, fermented cod liver oil specifically (which you can find here).
- Another highly recommended food is grass-fed liver, for many nutrients including folate. I do not recommend prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid. It’s much better to get natural folate and nutrients from your diet.
- Other foods to complement a pregnancy diet include: pastured eggs, grass-fed dairy and butter (find it locally here), homemade bone broth (very nutritious but also provides stretch-mark-fighting collagen!), and seafood and shellfish (don’t worry about mercury).
About folic acid vs. folate:
Links about mercury in fish:
WAPF pregnancy diet recommendations:
How do you read food ingredient labels? For example, almond milk. How do I research weird stuff like calcium carbonate and potassium citrate…seems chemically made? When I google it I can never tell if its good for you or bad.
- Remember that even natural and healthy things have chemical-sounding names. Even water (dihydrogen monoxide) is a chemical! So sometimes, those ingredients might not be all that terrible.
- Sometimes it’s helpful to take a look at the “related” searches in Google at the bottom of the page. If an ingredient is toxic or dangerous, there might be a search for “dangers of such and such” or “such and such toxicity” in that section.
- My label reading rules are: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t know what it is, can’t buy it in a store, or wouldn’t stock your cupboards with it, you might want to avoid whatever that ingredient is. See if you can make a homemade version of the food in question. It’ll usually taste much better and be cheaper, too!
I appreciated your posts about chia and flax seed. But I was wondering about Hemp seed. Is it worth while?
- Similar to chia and flax, hemp’s omega-3 is in the form of ALA which is not very usable to the body.
- Hemp is about 80% PUFA. I would personally avoid it.
Anything to add to my answers to this week’s questions?
Feel free to respond in the comments!
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I love, love, LOVE that you talked about how “chemicals” are also natural and that even natural things have “chemical” sounding names!!! I really hate it when people talk about chemicals as being all bad/synthetic and I hate the “if-you-can’t-pronounce-it” rule for that same reason. I get the idea, I personally thin it’s just best to avoid food with labels. But really, if you did a chemical analysis of a grass-fed beef bone, there would be a lot of so-called “unpronounceables” … but does that make it bad? No way!!
You know, that is a great point! Maybe I should reconsider including the “if you can’t pronounce it” part to my label-reading “rules.” I do think that a lot of the time those unpronounceables are bad news, but not always. Like the calcium carbonate example, well, that’s “chemical-sounding” but you can still pronounce it pretty easily. And as it turns out, it’s a pretty simple/relatively benign compound.
Wanna know what I really can’t stand? The “5-ingredient” rule. Yeah, cause if it has more than 5 ingredients, it must be terrible for you. Great logic. I bet you feel the same way!
I do, indeed, agree! I think it’s a big mistake to oversimplify the “rules” of healthy eating.
Thank you so much for this video! I’m currently pregnant (and am vegetarian) and my midwife recommended flaxseed oil, and I took it religiously until I saw your piece on it! And then when I went to the Weston Price link you’ve given, it says very clearly that cod liver oil can lead to hemorrhaging if it is not balanced by ARA in animal fats?! (I eat eggs and their yolks occasionally, that’s it!) I’m very confused–should I or should I not have the fermented cod liver oil?! I’m not comfortable asking my midwife now, because she very clearly said she would read more on the subject.
This is actually the first I have ever heard of that issue! I must not have noticed when reading this article before. Thank you for bringing it up. I’m a little surprised that they make this statement, especially since I have heard various WAPF voices saying that the omega-3 in FCLO is not substantial enough for it to “count” as an omega-3 supplement. Perhaps they are just trying to cover their bases. But really, when you are intentionally supplementing vitamins or minerals or any other nutrient, it can lead to imbalances elsewhere if the diet isn’t adequate, so I guess it makes sense that there could be issues with a moderate supplementation of EPA.
I do think that the WAPF recommendations for a pregnancy diet are very sound, and if I were your nutrition advisor, I’d tell you to make sure you include not only the FCLO but a couple eggs and extra yolks if you can (they blend into smoothies, soups, even your morning latte or hot cocoa very easily!) every day as is recommended. I’d also try to sneak in some liver where you can. Pate can be nice, or even just blending ground-up liver with your ground beef (75% beef, 25% liver seems to be a tolerable ratio) and down that once or twice a week.
But to clarify, I don’t really take FCLO for the omega-3. I take it mostly for the fat-soluble vitamins, especially D and A. So that’s the biggest reason why I don’t bother with flax, because I’m not looking for an omega-3 supplement to begin with (I think it’s more important to limit omega-6 PUFAs). Because it’s mostly a wasted form of o-3 (which I don’t really want anyway), and because of the phytoestrogen content, I can’t recommend it especially for pregnant mothers, but I understand why many (even alternative) medical professionals would, since they want you to have the o-3’s.
If you really can’t handle including “liver, egg yolks and meat fats” as the WAPF recommends in conjunction with your FCLO, then I guess they would want you to skip it. But I’d really encourage you to just add it all in! Both you and baby will benefit greatly, in my opinion. You can do it! 🙂