9 Foods and Beverages to Avoid During Pregnancy
As you embark on your pregnancy journey, getting the right nutrients becomes inevitable to keep you and your unborn baby in good health. While you start increasing the number of various nutrients in your diet, there are several foods you need to cut out of your diet right away. You should consume these foods either rarely or avoid them altogether when you’re pregnant. If you’re confused about what not to eat when you’re pregnant, here are nine foods and beverages to avoid or minimize during pregnancy.
#Raw, Unpasteurized, or Undercooked Anything
According to the ACOG, pregnant women should avoid consuming raw, unpasteurized, and partially-cooked foods, including poultry, meat, seafood, and eggs, to prevent pregnancy complications, such as premature birth, low birth weight, and jaundice. They make you prone to catching severe diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, salmonellosis, and listeriosis. If possible, avoid them after pregnancy as well. Raw, unpasteurized, and undercooked foods to avoid during pregnancy include:
- Unpasteurized cheese, milk, and juice
- Raw seafood, eggs, meats, and sprouts
Deli meats can contain listeria, a genus of bacteria that could cause a miscarriage or premature birth. Avoid eating hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, sandwich bars, and other deli meats such as bologna, salami, ham, and turkey breast. If you still want to eat them, cook until steaming hot. Otherwise, go for homemade sandwiches packed with well-cooked fresh meat!
While fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to a nutritious pregnancy diet, unwashed or unpeeled fruits and veggies may contain several bacteria and parasites like toxoplasmosis and listeria. Take a little extra time to wash them well before cooking or eating. Also, avoid precut fruits and vegetables!
#High-mercury, Undercooked, and Raw Fish
Mercury is a highly toxic element that is mostly found in polluted seas. If consumed in higher amounts, it can damage your kidneys, nervous, and immune system and adversely affect your unborn baby’s growth and development. Therefore, you should avoid high mercury fish during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Fish that have high levels of mercury include:
- Bigeye and ahi tuna
- King mackerel
- Orange roughy
Given seafood is rich in minerals, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids; you should consume low mercury fish during pregnancy. These include:
- Trout (freshwater)
- Canned light tuna
You can eat these fish up to three times per week.
Unrefrigerated leftovers are a breeding ground for bacteria. If they have been left out of refrigeration over two hours, sitting in the sun at all, or you don’t remember how long they have been sitting out, it’s best to throw it away.
#Coffee and Other Caffeine-Related Drinks
Should pregnant women have caffeine? Yes, but as less than 200 mg per day, according to ACOG. Caffeine is a stimulant that may disrupt your sleeping patterns, increase your blood pressure and heart rate, which is not recommended during pregnancy.
Caffeine can be absorbed quickly through the placenta, where the baby doesn’t have the main enzyme required to metabolize it. Consequently, high caffeine intake leads to low birth weight and restricted fetal growth. Be aware that caffeine could be hiding in iced tea, cola, soda, chocolate, and even coffee ice cream.
There is no amount of alcohol safe to consume during pregnancy. Even a small amount can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol syndrome. Your safest bet is to avoid all beer, wine, and hard liquor altogether until you give birth and breastfeed—this crucial to keep you and your baby safe and healthy.
#Pre-prepared or Pre-packaged Salads
Avoid consuming pre-prepared or pre-packaged salads, such as seafood salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, and ham salad, while pregnant. Store-bought deli salads may be contaminated with listeria bacteria, causing you preterm labor, stillbirth, or even miscarriage. Instead, opt for freshly prepared salads.
#Anything Spicy or Salty
Avoid eating foods high in sugar because they can contribute to excessive weight gain. Although spicy foods cannot harm your unborn baby in any way, it’s best to keep their intake limited to avoid discomforts caused by indigestion and heartburn. Additionally, eat salty foods in moderation because their high consumption can cause your body to retain more water, leading to high blood pressure and swelling in body parts.
Hope you find this article informative and helpful for you. You can visit WobblyWalk.com to get comfortable and trendy maternity wear or read more about pregnancy, parenting, and baby care.