20 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and are having a great deal of confusions regarding what to eat and what not, this is the post for you. It is obvious that not everything you used to eat before pregnancy is safe for you or your baby growing inside you during pregnancy. There are somethings which do not require any second thoughts to quit such as alcohol and coffee meanwhile; there are some other food and drinks which you are not sure about.
It is very important for a pregnant lady to consume nutritious food which not only works for her physical and mental growth but also that of her baby’s. The food she eats should be a priority during pregnancy as it affects both mom-to-be and the child inside her. But the hard thing is, to choose from a whole lot of variety of food which you have been eating for all your life.
As it is difficult for you to do all the research, we have done it for you and in this post; we talk about those food which should not be placed on your plate while you are pregnant. While you take your time and consult your doctor to know which of the foods you can enjoy during the nine months, here are some of the foods that you must avoid:
1. Uncooked fish and sea food
While the well cooked fish is perfectly okay to consume for pregnant ladies, there are still different varieties of fish which should be avoided.
- Uncooked or under-cooked or raw fish as well as shellfish such as oysters, clams, mussels and similar others should be avoided.
- Fish which consist of high level of mercury such as shark, tilefish, swordfish and others, which is not so hard to resist as they are not so regular foods.
- Smoked, pickled or marinated fish which are not properly pasteurized should be avoided as they are usually contaminated with Listeria bacteria.
- Albacore tuna (i.e. canned tuna) should also be avoided eating more than 6 ounces a week.
- Fish which are cultured in contaminated and polluted rivers or lakes should be avoided.
- And I’m really sorry for the sushi fans but you must be in a hiatus for whole nine-months from these treats.
2. Raw meat
It may sound too dumb to tell you not to eat raw meat, because we normally don’t. But while you are pregnant, you must be very sure that the meat you are going to eat is well cooked. As raw meat is contaminated with germs and bacteria like salmonella, coliform and toxoplasmosis, it is a must that you avoid eating raw meat during pregnancy. Also take care of the followings things related to meat when you are pregnant:
- Don’t eat refrigerated meat spreads if you are not sure it was perfectly cooked or pasteurized.
- Avoid eating smoked meat as they are also prone to bacteria.
- Eat hot-dogs or sausages after making sure that they are cooked perfectly.
- Use thermometer to check if the meat is well cooked or not.
3. Unpasteurized dairy
Milk is one of the most important parts of our daily diet. For an expectant mother, it is essential that she consumes dairy products which are pasteurized. It is because the unpasteurized dairy products like milk, feta cheese, cream and other unpasteurized dairy. To avoid this, use pasteurized products from groceries by examining their tags for validity.
4. Raw eggs
It is very important to understand that raw eggs contain salmonella bacteria which have adverse effect in an expectant mom and the to-be-born child’s health. So take care of the following things when you want an egg on your plate:
- Never consume raw eggs or soft boiled eggs during pregnancy.
- Avoid mayonnaise, mousses and other products which contain raw eggs.
- Make sure your omelet is perfectly cooked in both sides and does not contain any raw pockets before eating.
- Consume only those eggs which are perfectly cooked and the yolk along with their whites is solid.
- Avoid consuming cakes or any bakery which you have doubt in cooking process.
- Always opt for pasteurized eggs when you are pregnant.
5. Unwashed and raw products
Even when you are eating the healthiest and nutritious of all foods, make sure that these are properly cleaned. While you are consuming a fruit, take time to wash it in hot water so that it does not contain any germs, bacteria or dust. Also, the raw and uncleaned vegetables tend to contain toxoplasma gondii parasite as well as listeria which can pose risk to the growth of fetus.
Apart from these, there is also a chance of ingesting harmful pesticides while eating raw fruits and vegetable without cleaning properly. So make sure you wash the vegetables properly while cooking and avoid eating leafy vegetables outside home. Also, wash and peel the fruits before eating and do not eat fruits which are refrigerated for a long time.
6. Raw sprouts
Yes, sprouts are very rich in protein and minerals and yes you do require these nutrients during pregnancy. But, try to avoid eating the vegetable sprouts raw in this phase of your life. As raw sprouts may contain harmful virus bacteria and germs, it is better to eat sprouts by cooking or by frying. As the bacteria can harm the fetus, you must avoid eating raw vegetables during pregnancy.
Nuts can be a healthy snack that you like to enjoy in any part of your day. But during pregnancy, these nuts can have adverse effects in your body and the baby. The risk is; nuts can sometimes cause allergies and swelling in your body while also causing food poisoning. So, it is better to avoid nuts during pregnancy. But if you really want to eat some, consult with your doctor first.
8. Fatty foods
Are you secretly happy that you can binge on all the fatty foods now that you are getting fat anyway? Well, you can’t. The fatty food that you consume during pregnancy can cause your cholesterol level to skyrocket. Also, there happens to be a risk of heart diseases and of course, you will be stuck with an obese and fat body even after delivery.
But while avoiding fatty foods, don’t try to get rid of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids which are found in fish and other food items as they are very essential for you. Key is, find the right amount of fats in your food.
9. Artificial sweeteners
While you may be craving for sweet treats during your pregnancy, it is recommended that you avoid eating artificial sweeteners. As these are not filtered by placenta which ends up in you giving the extra burden of artificial sweeteners to your baby even before it’s birth.
The solution is, eat sugar in moderation and use normal sugar rather than artificial sweeteners during pregnancy.
10. Restaurant-made foods
While you are pregnant and are very serious about your diet, why jeopardize with restaurant-made foods. As the quality of food and meat and the cooking process of the food in restaurants are not healthy, it is good if you avoid going to restaurants during pregnancy. Better yet, check out the recipes and cook the varieties in your home. This way you can enjoy the food with the health benefactors that you must take care of during pregnancy.
Also, do not fall trap to the salads made in restaurants as these may be highly contaminated with germs and bacteria like listeria, salmonella and others.
11. Caffeine-related products
As much as you may find caffeine to be your best friend during normal times, it can affect you largely during your pregnancy. Too much of caffeine is directly related to low birthweight and extends way up to the still births and spontaneous abortions. And in the meantime, you can also forgo the habit of having extra caffeine and stick to only two cups of coffee a day, even after pregnancy as too much caffeine is never good for your health.
As caffeine is found in many surprising parts of your meal, consult your doctor to find out what you can do to reduce your caffeine intake.
12. Unpasteurized juice
However healthy it may sound to grab a fruit and juice it for drinking, it is in the best interest of your health that you avoid it. Also, don’t make fresh juice at home to drink as the fresh juice can be highly contaminated with bacteria like salmonella and e coli.
The solution is to buy the juice from groceries which has been labeled as pasteurized and make sure the company of the juice is trustworthy. Also, never buy juice from local markets during pregnancy as they may not be pasteurized at all.
13. Foods rich in nitrate
Foods such as bacon, sausages, diet sodas and others should be avoided during pregnancy as these are seriously unhealthy. They have low nutritive value and pose risks to the overall growth of fetus. So, it is better if you avoid eating these nitrate-rich foods during the nine months of your pregnancy.
Also, if you really love these food and are craving, make sure you prepare and cook at home as the store bought nitrate rich products need to be avoided.
14. Street foods
If you are having a bundle of joy in your belly, it’s time to say goodbye to street foods for nine whole months. We already know why, because they are unhygienic and you need to eat as hygienic and nutritive food as possible during your pregnancy.
Also, the street foods are fatty, and are highly contaminated with germs and bacteria which can have an adverse effect on the fetus as well as your body.
15. Simple carbohydrates
Consuming white breads, muffins and cakes can cause painful constipation in pregnant ladies. Even though it may not affect your child, you will still have a hard time to digest these goodies.
The solution is to avoid bakes and cakes as well as the varieties of them like pizza, burgers, sandwiches which contain white bread. And you can replace these carbs with whole grain carbs like brown bread made of high fiber flour.
16. Cookie dough and homemade bakes
If you love baking at home, I know how much you can be tempted by cookie doughs. But for your and your baby’s sake, you need to get pass this temptation and eat the bakes which are completely cooked. As the bakery items contain eggs and more usually raw eggs in them, it is in the interest of your health that you avoid eating them during pregnancy.
However, you can always treat yourself with store brought bakeries which have been commercially manufactured from trustworthy bakeries.
17. Leftovers and potluck
While it may seem rude to decline your friend’s offer in a potluck, it’s what you got to do during your special nine months. The logic is; potluck foods are prepared and traveled before they are unpacked to eat. You need to eat food which is prepared within two hours of eating during pregnancy.
If the food remains in room temperature for more than two hours, it gets contaminated with germs and you need to avoid eating it at any cost.
Licorice, also known as Mulethi, is harmful for you during pregnancy. This spice is very common in different cuisines around the world, and is connected directly with the uterine contractions. Consuming licorice during pregnancy can cause preterm labor and also sometimes false alarm you.
So, examine your food for hints of licorice and to avoid the unexpected encounters, prepare your food at home under your own surveillance.
19. Excessive vitamins
Too much of anything is bad and this applies to vitamins during pregnancy as well. While it is recommended that you take enough vitamins to suffice the healthy growth of your child, it is also recommended that you stick to the required dose.
The higher dose of vitamins can pose direct threat to your health and your child’s development. It can also cause pre-term labor, so it is best to avoid consuming excessive vitamins. But you should make sure that you are having the dose of vitamins as recommended by your doctor.
20. Alcohol related food and drinks
Last but not the least, take your pregnancy seriously and avoid alcohol in every possible way. Even a little amount of alcohol can have an adverse effect on the growth of your baby and also yourself. So, make it your resolution to avoid all the alcohol related foods and drinks during your special nine months.
While we are in the topic, I would also like to remind you that there are many bakery items which also take alcohol while preparing. And the most important thing, avoid eggnogs at any cost as it contains raw eggs and alcohol both of which can pose threat to your and your baby’s health.
And the list of foods that you need to avoid is even longer. So, you must consult with your doctor about the food and drinks that you can enjoy during your pregnancy. Eat safe and have a happy and healthy nine months!
If you have some more to add to the list, be free to enlighten other expectant moms who really need your advice. Please put your opinions in the comment box below.