What are the foods and fruits you should avoid during pregnancy? Are there any specific items that should be cut out of your diet altogether, or is it just eating everything in moderation? The answer lies somewhere in between, so take a closer look at these seven foods and fruits to avoid during pregnancy. After all, you want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to ensure both you and your baby stay healthy throughout this process.
1. Raw Meat
Pregnant women are instructed not to eat raw meats, such as beef or lamb, because they may contain harmful bacteria that can contaminate the animal’s flesh. In pregnancy, raw meat can lead to food poisoning when bacteria cross-contaminate the person handling it or other foods that come into contact with it.
In order for these harmful bacteria to transfer from an animal’s body to its meat, several factors need to be in place. The most common way for bacterial transfer from a live animal to its meat is through poor hygiene on a farm before processing begins. Some diseases found in animals (such as tuberculosis) can be transferred through the ingestion of their raw flesh and could be detrimental to unborn children. The advice regarding pregnancy raw meat applies even if you’re buying pre-packaged cuts of red meats; if you’re pregnant and unsure about whether a particular product contains fresh, uncooked protein like ground beef, check with your doctor first before eating it since he or she will have access to all your medical history at hand. Eating out?
2. Unwashed Produce
During pregnancy, some foods are better avoided. Unwashed produce should be avoided because it could have bacteria on it. Raw eggs, raw fish and unpasteurized dairy should also be avoided because of the risk of food poisoning. Certain other types of meat should be avoided too, such as lunch meats or deli meats that aren’t labelled as sliced or ready-to-eat. These meats may not have been cooked long enough.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to serious birth defects in your baby. Consuming just one or two drinks a day could lead to vision, hearing, or developmental problems for your child. It may also increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and prematurity.
You should avoid drinking alcohol if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant because there are no safe levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy puts your baby at risk for lifelong disabilities.
Caffeine is one of the most commonly consumed stimulants, with an average American consuming upwards of 200mg of caffeine daily. Caffeine can be found in many different beverages, including coffee, tea, soda, chocolate and even some medications.
Although there is no consensus on what the safe limit for caffeine intake during pregnancy is, experts suggest that pregnant women should avoid consuming more than 200mg of caffeine per day.
5. Fish with High Mercury Levels
Fish is often a staple for pregnant women because of its high protein content. However, certain fish, such as swordfish and sharks, should be avoided during pregnancy due to their mercury levels. Other types of fish that are safe to eat include salmon, trout, tilapia, cod and catfish. While fresh fruits are best, you’ll need to avoid some when you’re pregnant. Avocados and raw foods like strawberries need to be eliminated from your diet during pregnancy. Soft cheeses also pose a health risk so these must be removed from your diet as well.
6. Unpasteurized Dairy
Unpasteurized dairy is a common cause of foodborne illnesses in adults. Unpasteurized milk can contain harmful pathogens, such as listeria, salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter.
Unpasteurized dairy has been linked to premature births and miscarriages.
Be sure to avoid all unpasteurized dairy products during pregnancy to ensure your baby’s health.
7. Certain Types of Fish
Fish is a great source of protein for pregnant women, but some fish are higher in mercury than others. Canned tuna has the lowest levels of mercury, followed by shrimp and then salmon. Shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels have high levels of mercury, so pregnant women should avoid eating these types of fish altogether. It is also important to mention that some fish may be contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or methylmercury. PCBs can cause developmental problems in children while methylmercury can cause neurological problems in adults and babies when they are exposed during pregnancy.