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Home / Pregnancy Tips / Foods to Avoid When Pregnant
Foods to Avoid When Pregnant

Foods to Avoid When Pregnant

When it comes to your little one, you want to make the healthiest choices. You eat healthy, devote time to exercise and also take your prenatal vitamins regularly. But are you aware of the foods you should avoid?

Food choices you make have a lasting impact on your baby’s health. Selected food items though otherwise healthy may pose serious threat to the developing baby and hence are better avoided. If you do not know what they are, you still have a chance to learn about them. Quickly read through the foods you should avoid for the next nine months. And if you’re curious to know “Why” you can find your answers right here. 

Caffeine

This may be a real Heartbreaker for women who start their day with a cup of coffee. Studies state that caffeine intake in larger quantities raises the chances of miscarriage. It could also cause still birth or low birth weight. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, tea, cocoa, cola drinks and energy beverages. If you cannot avoid caffeine completely, you can limit the intake to not more than 200 milligrams a day. Another option is to drink decaffeinated beverages. 

Seafood

Not all seafood; only certain varieties. River and sea water is highly polluted. The two most commonly found industrial pollutants are mercury and lead. These pollutants are ingested by small fish which in turn are fed on by big swimmers. The concentrations of mercury and lead magnify as they travel through the food chain. When consumed by a pregnant woman, it passes to the baby. Mercury impairs the development of the brain and the central nervous system. Fish varieties you should avoid are shark, swordfish, king mackerel, albacore tuna and tilefish as they contain high concentrations of mercury. However, you can eat salmon, crab, shrimp, canned light tuna, catfish, Pollock, sardines, and tilapia. 

Raw and Undercooked foods

Raw and undercooked foods – both of seafood and food of animal origin- should be avoided. Uncooked or undercooked food contains parasites, bacteria and viruses which are killed by cooking. Not only this, pregnancy increases the risk of bacterial food poisoning. It may harm the developing fetus too. When cooking foods make sure they are cooked properly. Avoid eating clams, raw oysters, sushi, rare meat, cake and cookie dough.

Eggs

Eggs are considered very nutritious as they are a good source of protein. However, you may have to be a little more careful about how you eat eggs during pregnancy. Eggs may contain salmonella, potentially harmful bacteria for pregnant women. Choose a full fried or scrambled egg over a sunny-side up. Do not eat homemade eggnog or ice cream. Avoid eggs that have been kept for a long time and those with cracked shells.

Unpasteurised Dairy Foods

Dairy products made of unpasteurised milk such as Brie, Camembert, Blue Cheese, feta and Mexican styles such as Queso Panela, Queso Fresco and Queso Blanco are an absolute no. These foods contain Listeria monocytogenes which causes Listeriosis. This food-borne illness increases the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage. When buying dairy products, look at the labels for terms such as “made with pasteurized milk” or “Pasteurized”. 

Alcohol

There is no limit of alcohol considered safe during pregnancy. Heavy alcohol consumption places the unborn baby at a higher risk of fetal alcohol spectrum syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by physical deformities, mental retardation and learning disabilities. Children also display behavioral problems in childhood. Alcohol cuts the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus hampering proper development and growth. Avoid drinking alcohol – wine, beers and spirits. It is only a question of 9 months.

Herbal Teas and Supplements

The problem with herbal tea is the constituent elements. There are very few studies establishing the safety of herbs during pregnancy. Hence it is advised that you steer clear of herbal teas and supplements during pregnancy.

About Shalini Mittal

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