PREGNANT women are warned that eating too many crisps could affect their unborn baby's growth, according to a new study.
Crisps contain an omega-6 fat called linoleic acid that was previously thought to have health benefits, including lowering blood cholesterol levels.
After feeding rats with three times the recommended daily intake of linoleic acid, researchers have found it decreased hormones that regulate the growth of their unborn babies.
It also affected their liver function and increased proteins that cause contractions in the uterus, according The Journal of Physiology.
It was only recently that people were told to stop consuming omega-6 fats.
Before recently, it was thought to help to reduce blood cholesterol.
Study senior author Dr Deanne Skelly, of Griffith University, said: “It is important for pregnant women to consider their diet, and our research is yet another example that potentially consuming too much of a certain type of nutrient can have a negative impact on the growing baby.”
Researchers at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, fed rats for 10 weeks on a diet with high linoelic acid and mated them.
They then investigated the effects of the diet on their pregnancy and the development of their offspring, reported The Mirror.
They also found rat mothers who consumed large amounts of linoleic acid had a reduced number of male babies.
However despite the results, it is not known whether the same effects would be seen in humans or what amounts of linoleic acid would be harmful.