What foods to avoid when pregnant?
Do you get lost whenever you try to figure out the best answer to this question? Probably, you’ve come through various blogs discussing extensive lists of foods to eat when pregnant. And now know that you’ve to take certain nutrients, minerals and vitamins to keep your health and that of your developing baby on the check.
But there’s scarce information on some foods you should avoid while pregnant. Foods those might turn out to be hazardous to you and your unborn or born baby.
We figured out that we could come up with a list that includes ALL the things that you should NOT eat while pregnant. We did our intensive research, coupled with consultations with experts in this field. We put all the knowledge into one informative piece for all pregnant women out there, and those who dream of having a baby someday…
After reading through this post, you’ll be an expert at explaining to your friends what foods, drinks etc., they should avoid during pregnancy…
Let’s dive into the details:
Foods to Avoid While Pregnant:
Dietary imbalance during pregnancy will put the health of your baby at risk. Good news is that you can make sure that the infant’s health remains good by feeding on a well-balanced diet.
Most of the foods you feed on are safe except for a few that we’re going to discuss below:
Opening our list of the food you need to keep off (if you mind the health of your baby) is the Deli meat. Deli meat is the cooked meat that is then sliced and prepared for a sandwich or any other light dining option. Examples include salami, turkey, and bologna.
Studies have established that this type of food contains listeria bacteria, whose reputation for causing miscarriage is high.
Listeria can easily pass through the placenta and infect your baby, leading to life-threatening conditions such as blood poisoning.
If you’re pregnant, and the urge to feed on deli meats is high, it’s always advisable to reheat them till steaming.
Fish With Mercury
While pregnant, avoid fish that high mercury content like plaque! Consumption of mercury during pregnancy has led to brain damage and even developmental delays. You wouldn’t wish such an incident to happen to your baby.
So, do the right thing and keep of fish that is rich in mercury. These fish include swordfish, king mackerel, shark, and tilefish.
Lower amounts of mercury have also been found in canned, chunk light tuna compared to tuna. Thus, you should also eat this fish in moderation.
You should also avoid certain fishes used to prepare sushi as they also indicate high mercury levels.
Another type of food where you’d meet listeria (linked with miscarriage) is the Smoked, refrigerated seafood usually labeled as nova-style, lox, jerky or kippered.
But it’s good to note that such foods are safe for you if they’re part of an ingredient of a meal that you’ve cooked e.g. casserole.
However, shelf-safe smoked or canned seafood is safe to eat.
Keep off uncooked seafood as well as uncooked poultry and beef as they might put you under the risk of contamination with the coliform bacteria, salmonella, and toxoplasmosis.
Did you know that majority of seafood-borne infections arises from undercooked shellfish? Oysters, mussels, clams- all fall under the category of seafood.
Cooking these fish helps prevent certain types of seafood-broken infections. But it does not preclude the algae-based infections that are attributed to the red tides.
Raw shellfish poses a risk to everyone, especially the pregnant mom should, therefore, be avoided altogether.
Fish Exposed to Various Industrial Pollutants
Fish exposed to the industrial pollutants are those residing in the contaminated rivers and lakes. These fish often suffer exposure to extremely high levels of the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Experts point out that pregnant women exposed to the PCBs are likely to deliver children with significant motor control and neurological problems, not forgetting poor, short-term memory ad lower IQ.
If you’re used to fishing in the local streams and lakes, you might be at a higher risk of getting in touch with these fish. They include bluefish, salmon, trout, pike, walleye, and striped bass.
Always contact your local health department to get to know which fish from your coal stream or lake are safe for consumption.
All imported soft cheese acts as another good source of listeria. You need to avoid soft cheese such as brie, feta, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Camembert, as well as the Mexican-style cheese (e.g. queso fresco and queso Blanco) unless the manufacturer clearly states that they made them from pasteurized milk.
Soft cheeses made from pasteurized milk are entirely safe to eat for the pregnant women.
As a great measure to avoid potential exposure to the salmonella, we advise you to resist raw eggs and any foods containing them. Several recipes that require you to use fresh eggs e.g. homemade ice-cream, Hollandaise sauces, mayonnaise, etc.
If the recipe requires cooking at some point, then this will lower your exposure to the salmonella.
While still at it, note that commerciality manufactured dressings, ice-creams, eggnogs, etc., are made from pasteurized eggs and thus do not raise the risk of salmonella.
Vegetables are quite useful for expectant moms. They help provide the necessary nutrients, vitamins, etc., essential for the healthy development of your baby. You should, therefore, make a point of eating vegetable ONLY after you’ve washed them well.
Washing the vegetables prevents exposure to the Toxoplasmosis. Exposure to this harmful parasite before or during pregnancy might lead to adverse effects on your growing fetus such as premature birth, fever, low birth weight, retina abnormalities, jaundice, abnormal head size, brain calcification, convulsions, etc.
Meat spreads and refrigerated pates should be avoided as they carry the listeria bacteria. Need we say more?
However, shelf-safe meat spreads and canned pate are safe for you to eat.
Drinks/Beverages to Avoid When Pregnant:
Unpasteurized milk is an excellent source of the listeria bacteria. As such, ensure that you always drink pasteurized milk and keep off recipes that require the use of unpasteurized milk.
You can choose to ignore all the foods and beverages we’ve discussed above during pregnancy, but please keep off alcohol.
Even a mere sip of alcohol should not come between you and your pregnancy. Unlike what they may have told you, NO amount of alcohol is good for your pregnancy.
And the reason to keep off alcohol during pregnancy is crystal-clear:
Prenatal exposure to alcohol and related substances interferes with the healthy development of your child. Depending on the amount of use, timing, and amount of alcohol you take when expectant, your child might suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as well as other developmental disorders.
If you’ve been drinking alcohol while pregnant, STOP now.
While breastfeeding your baby, also avoid alcohol. It might reach to the infant and lead to harmful effects on its growth and development.
Although studies have shown that taking small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy is permissible, experts reveal that caffeine intake leads to miscarriage risk.
Thus you should avoid caffeine intake during the first trimester of your pregnancy to lessen the possibility of a miscarriage. As a rule, limit your intake of caffeine to less than 200 mg a day when pregnant.
Note that caffeine is diuretic (i.e., it helps remove fluids from your body). This brings us to the reality that the substance might lead to loss of water and calcium from your body. We’d, therefore, advise you to surrender all caffeinated drinks and switch to plenty of clean water, pasteurized milk, and juice.
Additional effects of caffeine in children include low birth weight, premature birth, and withdrawal symptoms.
Hopefully, you’ve learned all the foods that you should avoid during pregnancy for the sake of your health, that of your child, and for a safe, healthy delivery. People who don’t heed the advice on foods to avoid during pregnancy have fallen victims of giving birth to children with poor health, low birth weight, malfunctions, and so on.
Our ultimate guide above is inclusive of everything- foods, beverages that you should avoid if you don’t want to endanger the health (and life) of your kid.