Top 7 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

These nine months may be the most challenging months of your life. With your body undergoing a number of changes, you need to be extra careful about yourself as well as your surroundings. And watching your diet should on top of your list. There are certain precautions you should take when it comes to foods to avoid during pregnancy. Let’s take a look at those who could pose a risk to you or your baby’s health while you are pregnant.

Top 7 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Here are a list of things you must avoid to ensure a smooth pregnancy.

1. Deli Meat:

Deli meats have been known to be contaminated with listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which may be life-threatening. If you are pregnant and you are considering eating deli meats, make certain that you reheat the meat until it is steaming.

2. Certain Seafood and Fish:

Large fish such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel harbor higher concentrations of mercury, compared to other fish. Mercury is a byproduct of coal-burning plants that interferes with the normal development of a growing child’s brain and nervous system.

Fish caught for sport in rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams may also contain industrial pollutants that play havoc with a developing nervous system. Recreational anglers should check the safety of waterways with their local health departments.

3. Avoid Unpasteurized Foods:

Many low-fat dairy products such as skim milk, mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese can be a healthy part of your diet. Anything containing unpasteurized milk, however, is a no-no. These products could lead to foodborne illness.

4. Mould-ripened Cheeses:

Mould-ripened soft cheeses and cheese with blue veins (e.g. Stilton, Danish Blue) may also occasionally contain listeria so should be avoided. However, there is no risk from hard cheeses (such as Cheddar) which are good sources of calcium and cottage cheese, cream cheese and processed cheese.

5. Raw Poultry and Raw Meat:

Toxoplasmosis is a rare illness caused by a parasite occasionally found in raw meat. It can be harmful to unborn babies (may cause blindness and metal retardation), so pregnant women should avoid raw and undercooked meat.

5. Be Careful with Unwashed Fruit and Vegetables:

Be careful with unwashed fruit and vegetables during pregnancy always wash them thoroughly and cut away damaged portions. Avoid raw sprouts as well as large quantities of liver which is very high in vitamin A.

6. Soft Cheeses:

Imported soft cheeses may contain bacteria called Listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which can be life-threatening. All soft non-imported cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat.

7. Alcohol:

It is a good idea to avoid alcohol completely when planning a baby and in the early stages of pregnancy but there is little evidence to suggest total avoidance is necessary once pregnancy is established. However, pregnant women should be warned against regular or heavy drinking and should limit themselves to no more than 1 or 2 units of alcohol, once or twice a week. One unit of alcohol is a small (125ml) glass of wine, half a pint of standard-strength beer, lager or cider, or a single pub measure (25ml) of spirit.

Depending on your family history, your child may be at risk for developing food allergies. Avoiding foods including peanuts and peanut products during pregnancy may reduce allergy risk in susceptible children.

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