15 Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
There seems to be so much conflicting information on what pregnant women can and cannot eat that things can sometimes get a little confusing. Here are the top 15 foods that are best to avoid completely during pregnancy, along with some solutions to meet your needs!
1. Raw Seafood And Fish High in Mercury:
No, we are not asking you to give away all your fish cravings! Only some type of fishes should be avoided to stay away from any fetal damage possibilities and other complications.
Fish Containing Mercury: Mercury on consumption during pregnancy can lead to brain damage and developmental delays. Therefore, it is advisable not to take fish that contains high levels of mercury. These types of fish include king mackerel, swordfish, shark and tilefish. Fish like chunk light tuna contain low levels of mercury, and can be taken in moderate amounts.
Smoked Seafood: Refrigerated and smoked seafood with labels such as lox, jerky, novastyle or kippered should not be consumed as they will be contaminated with Listeria bacteria. You will get this fish in the deli section.
Fish Exposed to Pollutants: Avoid fish cultured in contaminated rivers and lakes that are highly exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls. They usually include salmon, striped bass, bluefish, walleye and trout.
Raw Shellfish: Undercooked shellfish like oysters, mussels and clams can cause majority of sea borne illnesses. Cooking them can prevent some of the infections, but not algae related infections. Therefore, it is good to avoid any kind of shellfish during pregnancy.
To have a healthy pregnancy these are certain taste sacrifices a mother should go through!!
Solution: Fishes are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids,if you cannot do without fish, you can go for fresh water ones.You can easily enjoy up to 12 ounces, that is two servings a week of very low-mercury freshly cooked fish, such as salmon, shrimp, etc.
2. Raw Or Undercooked Eggs:
Mmmm…yummy cooked eggs are so delectable isn’t it? Yes it is, but as our article illustrates, there are certain ways of having your perfect egg during pregnancy. Raw eggs, runny eggs and undercooked eggs are a big no-no. Homemade desserts and sauces such as chocolate mousse, cakes, mayonnaise, etc., containing raw eggs must be avoided as they may be tainted with salmonella bacteria causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Solution: The one and only way of having safe eggs is that – Eggs should be cooked until the yolks are firm. Go for a well done omelet. Buy salad dressings that are either egg-less or use pasteurized eggs. These kill the risk and you can enjoy a happy egg-tarian meal!
3. Undercooked Meat & Poultry:
Yes we know meat is vital need for any non vegetarian person. Expecting women, who love to gorge on meat, would need some restrictions during pregnancy. Research has proven that raw or uncooked meat must be avoided as they contain listeria bacteria. Refrigerated meat such as goat, lamb, beef, etc., must be heated up to 73 degree Celsius. Same is for poultry such as chicken, ham, turkey, duck, geese, etc.
Due to toxoplasma gondii parasite present in raw meat & poultry expecting mothers can experience food poisoning. These can cause vomiting, miscarriages and fetal damage.
Solution: If at all you need to consume meat, make sure it’s not uncooked or under-cooked.Wash meat and poultry items well before using, so as to remove the bacteria in them. Always prefer to eat meat or poultry at home rather than outside. Use of food thermometer while cooking is recommended.
4. Unpasteurized Dairy Products:
No doubt everyone has been telling you to have lots of milk pregnancy, and they are not wrong. Milk does provide you with calcium, proteins and minerals. However, if unpasteurized dairy products are ingested, you run the risk of contracting severe food poisoning. Therefore, avoid all sorts of dairy products that are not pasteurized.
Solution: If youlove milk and milk products you can easily enjoy a happy pregnancy time with simple quality checks. Always drink fresh and boiled milk. Dairy products such as ice cream, ghee, paneer (cottage cheese), etc should be bought off labels which use pasteurized milk.
Without pasteurized milk the food is not healthy for expectant mothers. The other, rather unconventional, option is to opt for non-dairy milks like rice milk, soy milk (only fermented and organic), oat milk and almond milk. These are safer, contain the same nutrients and are also custom made for the lactose intolerant.
5. Unpasteurized Soft Cheese:
Cheese…this word for sure is mouth watering. Pregnancy has its own set of diet rules. Unpasteurized soft cheese such as Brie, feta, camembert, queso fresco, etc., must be avoided as they may contain Listeria bacteria, causing listeriosis. Miscarriage, premature birth or birth defects are common results for having these cheeses.
Solution: Simple, eat hard cheeses instead. Cheddar or Swiss cheese are better options. Always use cheese made of pasteurized milk. Check labels for listeria free pasteurized milk cheese.
6. Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables:
You’d think that’s a weird point! But you will be surprised to hear that as many as 78% people eat or cook fruits and vegetables without first washing them. If you do this during pregnancy – BEWARE! Besides ingesting harmful pesticides, the fruit and veggie skins can also contain the toxoplasma gondii parasite and listeria. Both can cause considerable damage to the fetus. . Raw sprouts or any unwashed vegetables especially lettuce and cabbage must be avoided.
Solution: Well, there’s no substitute to cleanliness and hygiene! You should wash fruits and vegetables properly, peel them and then keep them separately in clean utensils. Try to avoid eating long-refrigerated fruits and veggies to stay healthy in these nine months. Cook your veggies appropriately, try not to have uncooked vegetables especially leafy ones.
7. Raw Vegetable Sprouts:
You heard that sprouts are excellent sources of proteins and minerals? But, is this another food to avoid during pregnancy? Yes, it is true only when taken raw at this time of your life. When raw, sprouts can harbor harmful bacteria and viruses which can be a cause of bad food poisoning.
Solution: You can have sprouts, but consume them after shallow frying them or better still, cooking them. They will still taste good.
8. Unpasteurized Juices:
Juicing is a best habit for any healthy diet. Isn’t juice good during pregnancy? It surely is, but fresh juice puts you at risk of contracting the very harmful E.coli and salmonella bacteria. It is said that both raw fruits as well as veggies can get contaminated with this strain of bacteria and can wreak havoc on you and your fetus.
Solution: Choose packaged juices as they are pasteurized and are kept under refrigeration. Also it’s better to have fruits and vegetables cut or cooked rather than in juices.
9. Excessive Caffeine-Related Products:
Too much caffeine is never good for you, especially during pregnancy as it acts as a diuretic and is linked to low birth weight. Caffeine is more dangerous as it is often hidden in some product you never suspected. Besides coffee, tea and chocolate, caffeine is a part of energy drinks and some cold and flu medicines. Expectant mommies consuming more caffeine during this phase are at higher risk of stillbirths, fetal deaths or spontaneous abortions.
Solution: Limit your caffeine intake to a maximum of 200 ml or 2 cups of coffee a day. Also check with your doctor and pharmacist to eliminate hidden forms of caffeine.
10. Herbal Teas And Supplements:
Though people may be badgering you that taking herbal tonics, herbal teas and other herbal supplements is good for you, some herbs can do more harm than good during pregnancy. Plus there is always the possibility of buying spurious herbs as you don’t know how to check for genuineness. Avoid herbs like Senna, wormwood, Saw palmetto, as they are not thoroughly tested like medicines.
Solution:If you are worried that you are not healthy enough for pregnancy, ask your doctor to prescribe a good health tonic or multivitamin. It’s better to have a hot cup of regular chai or tea until you deliver, rather than herbal tea.
11. Nitrate-Rich Foods:
It’s a known truth that chemical-contain foods deteriorate our health easily. Bacons, sausages, diet-sodas, artificial sweetener (saccharin), etc., are some of the known nitrate-rich food items. Usually these are not harmful to health, but the low nutritional value of these nitrate-rich foods makes them seriously unhealthy during pregnancy. Consumption in high quantity can lead to fetal abnormalities and poor development.
Solution:Avoid nitrate rich foods, or at least prepare them at home as far as possible. Make a chart of “nitrate-rich food items” and follow it religiously.
12. Sugar-Rich Foods:
During pregnancy women experience crazy cravings, this is absolutely normal. You should check on your Ice creams and chocolates consumption. As midnight snacks these may sound tempting, but in reality they will only increase the sugar content in you.
Solution: Too much sugar is bad for health – you must be aware of this phrase. So as to curb it, decrease your sugar intake especially during nine months.
13. Street Foods:
Do you crave for those spicy, sour treats sold at roadside stalls? Cravings are good during pregnancy; just make sure your cravings are met with high quality standards. Avoid street food during pregnancy as it may give you an upset stomach, food poisoning and other problems. Besides, it is unhygienic.
Solution:If you like street food, find recipes of these foods online and make them at home! It will be a fun activity and safe eating option.
14. Fatty Foods:
So, you think you can gorge on all those fatty, yummy treats during pregnancy because you’re getting big anyway? You’re wrong! Too much fatty food can make your cholesterol sky rocket. Apart from the hideous fat body you’ll be stuck with after delivery, the fatty foods can out you at risk of heart disease and obesity.
Solution:Moderation is the key here. Foods containing the Omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids are vital. But do not binge on fatty food.
15. Artificial Sweeteners:
If you think that cutting back on natural sugar will help your pregnancy, think again. Artificial sweeteners, especially saccharin, are not filtered by the placenta. Hereby, you are giving artificial sugar to your unborn child!
Solution:Substitute normal sugar for artificial sweeteners, but do it in moderation.
Your trainer and friend,