Your pregnancy can be an extremely rewarding and enjoyable period of your life, but it also comes with plenty of anxiety. One of the most common things that expectant mothers worry about is whether certain foods and drinks are safe to consume during pregnancy. Although many of your favourite snacks and meals are perfectly compatible with a healthy pregnancy, there is a small group of foods that you should Avoid due to their potential to damage your unborn baby. Read on to discover the ten most important things you must exclude from your diet while pregnant.
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Top 10 Foods Avoid When Pregnant
#1. Particular cheeses foods avoid when pregnant
Cheese tends to confuse pregnancy, as there are rumours that pregnant women should not eat any form of cheese. In truth, hard cheeses (such as parmesan, cheddar, and stilton) are safe for you and your baby because they have low water content and are therefore unlikely to contain any harmful microbes. In contrast, many soft kinds of cheese (such as brie and gorgonzola) are made with a mould and contain a listeria bacterium.
Studies on problematic pregnancies have conclusively established that Listeria can lead to stillbirths, miscarriages, and life-threatening illnesses during a child’s early years. In addition, cheeses like feta, ricotta, mozzarella, and goat’s cheese are sometimes made with unpasteurized milk, which is not safe to consume during pregnancy. If you are purchasing any of these final cheeses, make sure that you carefully check the labels and only pick out ones made from pasteurized milk.
#2. Liver (and foods that contain liver)
Foods that contain liver usually contain a high amount of retinol, which is a form of vitamin A. Most pregnant women are aware that some forms of vitamin A can cause congenital disabilities, but many do not know that liver is such a rich source of retinol. On the other hand, vitamin A in the form of carotenoids can actively help your baby’s development, so make sure that you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
#3. High levels of caffeine foods avoid when pregnant
It is perfectly fine to continue enjoying regular cups of coffee or tea while you are pregnant. Still, you need to be careful that your caffeine intake is never higher than 200mg per day (i.e. approximately the amount contained in two cups of coffee). It would help if you also tried to avoid painkillers or flu remedies that contain caffeine. Studies show that women who consume excessive amounts of caffeine during their pregnancies are substantially more likely to have babies born at low birth weight.
These babies are more likely to develop a wide range of health problems as they age. In addition, it is worth noting that there is at least some evidence that high caffeine consumption can lead to miscarriages.
#4. Raw or undercooked meat
For the entire duration of your pregnancy, it is best to err on the side of caution and only eat well-done meat. Even if you normally prefer rare meat, all the meat you consume while pregnant should be cooked until the juices run clear and there is no remaining pinkness. If you cook your meat in this way, you will dramatically reduce your likelihood of serious bacterial infections like E. coli, salmonella, and Campylobacter. All of these bacteria can put your baby at risk by causing severe food poisoning. Less commonly, rare meat can also carry toxoplasmosis, a potentially deadly infection caused by a certain parasite that can live in meat.
#5. Particular types of fish
Oily fish such as tuna, sardines, and salmon can contain levels of mercury that are high enough to endanger your baby’s developing nervous system. As a result, you should not eat any more than two portions of oily fish per week. You also need to avoid all shark and swordfish meat for the same reason.
#6. Pâté foods avoid when pregnant
Both meat and vegetable pâtés often contain the bacterium Listeria, which (as mentioned above) is associated with an increased risk of stillbirths, disease, and miscarriages.
#7. Undercooked eggs foods avoid when pregnant
Raw or undercooked eggs are entirely off the table during pregnancy. You must cook your eggs until the yolks and whites are entirely solid to make sure that you avoid contracting salmonella. Given that partially cooked eggs pose this danger, you should avoid certain types of mayonnaise as well.
#8. Vitamin A supplements foods avoid when pregnant
Since certain forms of vitamin A can cause congenital disabilities while you are pregnant, you should always avoid vitamin A supplements and multivitamins that contain vitamin A. If you are concerned about any other ingredients in multivitamins, ask your doctor for advice on the right type to take.
#9. Unwashed fruits and vegetables
Eating plenty of fresh fruit will provide you and your growing baby with an excellent range of important nutrients, but you need to practice extremely good hygiene to make these foods safe. Always wash fruits and vegetables, even if you are going to cook them. There is sometimes still soil on fresh produce even if you cannot see it with the naked eye.
#10. Certain types of sushi
If you want to continue eating sushi during your pregnancy, you need to be very careful about selecting the right kind. More specifically, you should only eat sushi made from fish that has been frozen before being used to make sushi. Potentially dangerous parasites live in many types of fish, and these can remain in sushi if they are not killed through freezing.
Also Read: 10 Best Foods To Eat While Pregnant