Foods Which Should be Avoided During Pregnancy

When you are expecting, your risk for getting bacterial infection is more, hence extra care should be taken. You should not only have a balanced diet, but also try to avoid the following food items.

Raw eggs – Raw eggs can be infected with salmonella bacteria, which can be killed only by thorough cooking. But many of the ice creams, puddings, custards, salad dressings and sauces have raw egg as an ingredient. Pregnant women should strictly avoid these.

Raw Fish – Raw shellfish, sushi and other smoked or uncooked fish dishes are a strict no to expecting mothers as these may contain parasites or bacteria.

Raw/Undercooked Meat –During pregnancy you should altogether avoid eating partially or undercooked meat as these pose risk of Salmonella, E. Coli, toxoplasmosis etc.

Unpasteurized Milk Products – Unpasteurized milk may be infected with listeria, which is a serious threat to expecting moms. Listeriosis is extremely dangerous as this can cause miscarriages and stillbirth. Don’t forget to check the label of the product and confirm that it is pasteurized. Certain types of cheese like Brie cheese, feta cheese and bleu cheese are made from unpasteurized milk.

Processed Deli Meats – Processed deli meats like sausages, mortadella, salami, hotdogs, and most deli meat should be avoided at all costs. They are high in nitrites or other preservatives. Best if you can find preservative free.

Raw Sprouts – The FDA has advised not to eat sprouts without cooking as bacteria can enter the sprouts and doesn’t leave even after washing.

Fish with high mercury content – Sea food is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which is good for the baby, but fishes like King Mackerel, Sword fish, Shark and “farm raised” fish, have high levels of mercury which can harm your baby’s nervous system and cause brain damage.

Caffeine/Alcohol – Caffeine found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks is said to increase the chance for miscarriage and low birth weight. So it is better not to take chances and stay away from caffeine. No level of alcohol can be termed safe during pregnancy. Alcohol elevates the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth; can cause heart defects, mental retardation and curb brain development.

Aspartame – Aspartame is found in artificial sweeteners used by diabetic patients and calorie conscious people. But recent studies have shown that this does more harm than good. It may also trigger a miscarriage. Do not use any artificial sweeteners.

MSG – Commonly know as ajinomoto, or Chinese salt, is not only bad for pregnant ladies, but also for children.

Don’t forget to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, so as to avoid bacterial infections. Fresh juice is good during pregnancy make it a point to make them fresh at home.