Through pregnancy you may notice that you become more susceptible to colds and other bugs and that isn’t a coincidence. Your body is so busy nourishing and growing a baby. Your immune system decreases and you’re more likely to get sick. Therefore, these food borne illnesses that may not normally affect you, are more likely to get into your body and cause some problems. While most foods could be safe to include in your daily menu, there are many that should not be had. Here you will learn what you need to avoid for a healthy pregnancy. Here is a list of pregnancy foods you should avoid.
Foods To Avoid Through Pregnancy
You’ll have to kick the habit when you’re expecting. Caffeine can actually work as a diuretic and lead to lower birth weight. Because it can be found in teas, coffees and even chocolate, it’s best to read the labels before consuming anything that might contain caffeine. The amount of caffeine intake during pregnancy is still controversial but it is advisable not to consume more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. There are studies that show that consuming 200 mg or more of caffeine a day increases the risk of miscarriages and stillbirth. Also caffeine is a stimulant so it can increase your heart rate, makes you feel jittery and also causes insomnia. Caffeine can also contribute to heartburn and also increase the need to urinate due to its diuretic properties.
Another reason to cut down on coffee and tea is because it contains compounds called phenols. This compound can make it harder for your body to absorb iron, which is important in pregnancy as many pregnant women already have low iron levels.
According to medical studies, if liver is organic it is an extremely healthy food to eat during pregnancy. However, liver is essentially a sponge and if you can’t source it organically you’ll be consuming all the toxins the liver has soaked up. Better safe then sorry.
Raw or Under Cooked Eggs
You should not eat raw, under cooked, or soft-boiled eggs as they contain harmful salmonella bacteria which cause food poisoning. You may experience diarrhea, severe vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, and high temperature. Eggs should be cooked well until the egg whites and yolks are firm before consuming. All these symptoms are unlikely to harm your baby. Your immune system will become weaker, which may impact the baby’s development. These foods contain raw egg and must be avoided: Homemade Caesar dressings, custards, ice creams, mayonnaise and Hollandaise sauces, Béarnaise sauce, Aioli sauce, desserts including mousse, tiramisu, and meringue.
It is advisable not to drink alcohol during pregnancy as there is no known safe amount of alcohol intake during pregnancy, or afterwards during pelvic health physiotherapy. It is safer to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy as alcohol intake trough pregnancy may lead to miscarriages, stillbirth, long term medical problems and birth defects in the newborn. Heavy intake of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to a group of defects in the baby known as foetal alcohol syndrome which is a lifelong condition and includes behavior and attention problems, heart defects, abnormal facial features, developmental delays, low birth weight and poor growth.
Unpasteurized Dairy Products
These dairy products may contain listeria, so before picking up milk or cheese at the store, check that it’s been properly pasteurized. Feta, Brie, Camembert and other blue cheeses, chevre, fresco or panela. Avoid all soft cheeses unless they’re labeled “Made with pasteurized milk”. Unpasteurized soft cheeses contain listeria. You’ll also need to ditch other unpasteurized products such as raw milk and apple cider.
The FDA advises everyone, pregnant or not, to avoid raw sprouts because they are almost certainly contaminated with bacteria. Do not eat raw sprouts including clover, alfalfa, mung bean, radish, broccoli, sunflower, onion, soybean, and snow pea sprouts. They are highly prone to listeria, salmonella, and E.coli bacteria. As you know, listeriosis could lead to premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, and infections in newborns. Salmonella and E.coli can lead to severe illnesses.
Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables
Make sure you wash all vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating. Unwashed fruits and veggies carry Toxoplasma parasite that harms the developing baby. Toxoplasmosis contaminates the soil where fruits and vegetables are grown and you may ingest the harmful microbes if you eat them unwashed.
Sorry mamas, these foods can yield bacteria growth, even if properly stored in a fridge. The best thing for you and your baby is to eat fresh and well-cooked foods using clean utensils.
Eat salty foods in moderation. Salt causes your body to retain water and could cause your blood pressure to rise, increasing your risk for pre-eclampsia (a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and swelling due to fluid retention.
You should avoid deli meats, also called ready-to-eat meats, such as sandwich meat, cold cuts, lunch meat, hot dogs, and sliced meats. Avoid cold cuts or hot dogs unless they are cooked or microwaved to the point that they are steaming. They are known to contain listeria bacteria, which can readily move from the mother to placenta causing serious complications including fetal death.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient and has several important functions such as helping cells to replicate, essential for good vision and also plays an important role in growth, reproduction and immunity during pregnancy. However, high levels of vitamin A intake during pregnancy have been linked to multiple birth defects in the newborn. It is advisable not to eat liver or liver containing products such as liver pate, liver or haggis as they contain high levels of vitamin A.
Certain antibiotics may alter the genetic material of the placenta and the vagina. Setting up a possible lifelong risk for many diseases and conditions including allergies and autoimmune disorders. So it’s best to buy hormone free meat and poultry instead.
Fish is a great source of protein and some contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can be beneficial for your baby’s eye and brain development. But some other fish may contain dangerous levels of mercury that can affect your baby’s health. Shellfish, saltwater and freshwater fish can be tricky, however, and you must be very aware of the mercury levels within the fish you are consuming. Certain fish have very high mercury levels, and those are the ones you want to avoid. Avoid shark, tile fish, swordfish and king mackerel as they have some of the highest mercury levels. When eating fish, be sure that it is cooked properly and to the correct recommended internal temperature for the different kinds. Avoid eating raw shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels to stay away from seafood-borne illnesses and food poisoning.
Mercury, an element found in oceans, streams, and lakes, converts into methylmercury in the human body. It is a neurotoxin and is linked to brain damage and developmental delays in babies. You could choose fish such as salmon, catfish, cod, and canned light tuna, which have low mercury levels. According to the US FDA, you can eat up to eight to 12 ounces of fish per week, which is two to three servings. Consumption of white tuna (albacore) should be limited to six ounces per week.
Do not take smoked and refrigerated seafood, which are labeled as lox, jerky, nova style and kippered as they contain Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. This bacteria causes listeriosis (associated with symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting) that could lead to illness in newborn and even miscarriage or stillbirth. Moreover, processed seafood contains high levels of salt which can lead to increased blood pressure and swelling of the body parts.
How to Squash Cravings
When the craving hits for one of the No-No foods it can be hard to resist with all of the crazy pregnancy hormones. No problem. This is some alternative options to help fulfill some of your red flag cravings. Seafood Up to 12 oz. a week of well-done, low mercury fish, shrimp, canned tuna, catfish, or fish sticks. Pasteurized cheese like cheddar. For caffeine, try the decaf options of your favorite drinks. Ask your doctor for his or her recommendations as to daily limits of caffeinated drinks.
When you are pregnant, you want what’s best for your unborn baby. What you eat and drink will be absorb by your baby and have an effect on your baby’s health, possibly forever. Make sure you discuss any foods that you may have questions about with your doctor.