Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Congratulations! You are now entering a wonderful and exciting phase of womanhood – pregnancy. Being given a chance by the Creator to bring a new life on earth means that He has confidence in you that you can take good care of the baby from the moment it has existed in your womb. This is a special gift from God that should be nourished and loved the way He first loved us. That is why it is very important that you should know the right kind and amount of foods you need to consume or avoid during this time. This is to ensure that you and your baby will have a safe and healthy diet.
These are some of the foods, beverages and products that may be harmful for you and the baby:
- Raw Meats and Seafood. Undercooked, rare and raw meat dishes are definitely a no-no. Avoid sushi and Carpaccio because all of them may contain bacteria, salmonella, E. coli, to name a few. Make sure that your meat has been well-prepared to decrease the chance of food poisoning.
- Deli Meats. Say goodbye to hotdogs, smoked or cured meat and other cold cuts, if you don’t want to get listeria or toxoplasmosis. Listeria bacteria are extremely harmful because they can cause a miscarriage or a stillbirth delivery.
- Shellfish. Raw and undercooked mussels, oysters and other shellfish can cause seafood-borne diseases and illnesses. Even when they are cooked, you can never be sure that they wouldn’t be harmful for your unborn baby’s health.
- Meat Spreads and Pate. Refuse any refrigerated pate, including the vegetables, and meat spreads because they may also be contaminated with listeria.
- Liver and Vitamin A: Birth defects are closely associated with having a large Vitamin A intake which can be found in liver and other liver products. Vitamin A in retinol form is dangerous during pregnancy so be careful if you are taking Vitamin A and fish-oil supplements.
- Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for the development of the baby’s brain and vision, can be found in fish. But the high level of mercury in some fishes, which causes brain damage, is also another reason why you should choose the kind of fish you should eat. Do not eat shark, swordfish, sea bass, king mackerel, and tilefish at any time during your pregnancy. By the way, farm-raised fish are great sources of cancer-causing toxins so just to be very, very sure, ask your midwife or health care provider for a list of fish that are safe to eat.
- Caffeine and Alcohol. No amount of alcohol or caffeine is good for your baby’s health. They are usually associated with many foetal abnormalities, birth defects and other developmental problems. Alcohol consumption may lead to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome while excessive caffeine levels in the body increases the risk of having a miscarriage.
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables. If you don’t wash your fruits and vegetables properly, you might get toxoplasmosis. so
- Unpasteurized Products. For the same Listeria bacteria that are present in it, soft cheeses such as Brie, camembert, feta and goat cheese should be avoided. Add to the list queso blanco, queso fresco, panela, gorgonzola and blue-veined cheeses. Cheeses that are labelled as pasteurized are safe to eat. Raw milk is also unpasteurized so you might want to talk to your midwife or health care provider before consuming it.
- Raw Eggs. Salmonella is always present in raw eggs. Avoid eating them so take extra precaution when eating out. Some ice cream products may contain raw eggs, as well as salad dressings, unpasteurized eggnog, Hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise.