You have probably heard that there are specific foods and nutrients that are promoted for a healthy pregnancy. But what about food that is harmful to pregnant women? We know that food cravings are real and sometimes you can’t help them. But before you go deeper, we want to help you understand which foods are not safe to eat during pregnancy.
Here is a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy:
1. Raw meat. During pregnancy, you should avoid raw or undercooked meat. When you eat raw meat, you run the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, a bacterial infection caused by one of the most common parasites. Infection with this disease can harm you and even your baby, so it is best to avoid completely raw and undercooked meat.
2. Meat for delicacies. Like raw meat, gourmet meat can contain a number of different types of bacteria (the Listeria bacterium is the most common) that can continue to grow on meat even if it is chilled. Although the chances of getting Listeria are low (only about 2,500 individuals are infected with the bacterium each year), a developing baby who comes in contact with the bacterium can suffer serious complications or even death.
3. Fish with mercury (shark, swordfish, tuna – contains low levels, but should be eaten only in moderation). You have probably heard that pregnant women should not eat large amounts of fish with mercury. Why exactly? If you eat fish with mercury regularly, small amounts of mercury can actually build up in your blood for a period of time. Moreover, the abundance of mercury in your blood can lead to neurological damage to your baby’s brain and nervous system. To be safe, pregnant women should limit their intake of fish to one serving (150 g) of fish every two weeks.
4. Smoked seafood. Eating smoked seafood is as challenging as gourmet meat, as it can carry listeria and eventually infect a pregnant woman with listeriosis. Listeriosis can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, as it has the potential for stillbirth, miscarriage and other complications.
5. Raw mussels (oysters, mussels and mussels). Because raw mussels (such as oysters or mussels) do not require fish to be cooked to a safe temperature, they are not safe foods to eat during pregnancy. This is due to the potential for bacteria and other viruses.
6. Raw eggs. As much as you want to eat your eggs with a light or sunny side up, you should avoid eating raw eggs if you are pregnant. Eggs that are raw or under-processed can carry organisms such as the Salmonella bacterium, which can lead to food poisoning and other diseases. This in turn can negatively affect the baby.
7. Soft cheeses (brie, feta, gorgonzola, keso blanco – avoid anything made from unpasteurized milk). Cheese made from unpasteurized milk is at risk of transmitting listeria. And as mentioned above, there is a small chance that listeriosis infection during pregnancy can lead to a number of complications.
8. Pate. Wondering what pate is? The word is French for “pasta”. Traditionally prepared with a mixture of minced meat and fat, it is usually consumed as a pasta, pie or bread filled with meat. Although not a raw dish, it is usually prepared with liver, which may contain the bacterium Listeria.
9. Caffeine: Caffeine is especially important to avoid during the first trimester. Studies show that high levels of caffeine can be linked to miscarriage. Do not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine per day.
10. Alcohol. While this may be the most obvious addition to the list, it is certainly worth mentioning. Because you and your baby share nutrients, everything you eat is also “consumed” by your baby. And your baby – no matter what stage of pregnancy – is not able to process alcohol like your body. Too much exposure to alcohol can lead to a number of problems in your baby’s development. Plus, alcohol consumption in the first trimester, in particular, increases the risk of miscarriage.
We know this list may seem daunting, but fortunately there are many foods that you can safely consume during pregnancy.
Your nine months will surely fly by and you are likely to be so grateful that you have chosen foods that are healthy for both you and your baby.