Foods to avoid during pregnancy- ‘Pregnancy is something that can alter your thinking forever. It makes you realize how important and fragile life is and why it must be protected at all costs.’
Pregnancy is one of the most vital and sensitive times in any women’s life which is why it is most important for pregnant women to eat a healthy diet. Women who are expecting must pay the closest attention to what food should they be eating and what foods to avoid during pregnancy as apart from the mother’s health, it also directly impacts the unborn and its development.
Here are some foods to avoid during pregnancy…
Mercury is a highly toxic element that is most commonly found in polluted water. This is why pregnant women should not eat fish containing high-mercury levels. Shark, Swordfish, Tuna, and Mackerel are some fishes that have high-mercury. So, avoid eating high-mercury fish and you can instead opt to eat low-mercury fish up to a maximum of two times a week. Low-mercury fish during pregnancy can be healthy as fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids and that is important for the baby.
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Raw or Undercooked Fish
Raw fish and especially shellfish can cause several infections like viral, bacterial, or parasitic because they can be easily contaminated by these bacteria and parasites. This can also cause adverse health effects and harm both the pregnant woman and the fetus. Some examples are norovirus, Vibrio, salmonella, and listeria.
Processed, Undercooked or Raw Meat
Eating any type of meat can increase your risk of infections from Toxoplasma, E.coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. These bacteria and parasites can threaten the health of your unborn baby and can also possibly lead to stillbirth or severe neurological illnesses including intellectual disability, blindness, and epilepsy. Hence, make sure you eat only fully cooked meat.
Raw Eggs also can be contaminated by Salmonella which again are bacteria that can threaten the fetus’s life as it can grow very fast. Make sure to consume only properly cooked eggs.
Although organ meat is a great source for numerous nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and copper all of which are good for a pregnant woman but eating too much animal-based vitamin A is not recommended during pregnancy. This can cause vitamin A toxicity which is why one must avoid eating it.
Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
Pregnant women need to limit their caffeine intake to nearly 200mg in a day because high caffeine intake during pregnancy can limit the growth of the fetus and can also cause the low birth weight of the baby. You can limit to around 2-3 cups of coffee in a day and make sure to keep it less than 200mg.
Raw sprouts usually have an easy contamination possibility inside seeds which is why pregnant women should not eat raw sprouts and must opt to eat sprouts only when it is cooked.
Washed Veggies and Fruits
During pregnancy, women must not consume any vegetable or fruit that can be contaminated with bacteria which is harmful. It is most important to eat fruits and vegetables only when they are thoroughly washed and rinsed.
Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese or Fruit Juice
These food items are mostly open to bacterial infections that further cause harm to the fetus. Always use pasteurized mil and preferably boil it before consumption. If you feel like having fruit juice and cheese, make them fresh at home.
Drinking alcohol increases the risks of miscarriages, stillbirths, and fetal alcohol syndrome and hence should be avoided.
Processed Junk Foods
Processed foods during pregnancy can increase the risk of gestational diabetes, excess weight gain, and other complications which can have long-term health implication on your child’s life in the future.
Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
Fish Liver and other foods with Vitamin A
Multivitamins containing vitamin A or fish liver oils are not safe for the baby’s growth and must be avoided. Similarly, cod liver oil must also be avoided as it contains vitamin A.
From all the different types of cheese, a pregnant woman must avoid mould-ripened soft cheeses like brie, camembert, goat cheese, feta, blue-veined cheeses like Danish blue, gorgonzola, Roquefort and other Mexican style cheese like Quesco Blanco and Quesco Fresco. Always remember that cheese made with pasteurized milk is the only safest cheese to eat during pregnancy.
Energy Drinks are usually not recommended during pregnancy because it contains caffeine and other various ingredients which aren’t recommended during pregnancy.
All pre-packaged fruit or vegetable salad from buffets and salad bars have high risks of contamination of listeria which is why it must be avoided at all costs. Similarly, chilled seafood like sashimi, sushi, raw oysters, ready-to-eat seafood or prawns also have a high risk of contamination of listeria and so must be restricted.
You must never forget – ‘A baby is something that you carry inside yourself for nine months, in your arms for three years, and in your heart forever.’ So, keep your baby protected and follow this list of foods to avoid during pregnancy to keep your baby fit and active.
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Disclaimer: This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.