Everyone should watch foods they are consuming to maintain their health and keep their body in best shape. But, a pregnant woman should constantly pay closer attention to her food plan and eating habits because anything that she eats not only affect her, but also affects her baby.
If you are expecting a new born soon, and want to make sure the foods you are consuming are not dangerous or have bad impacts on the baby’s health, we have a list of eleven foods that you will need to avoid during your time of pregnancy.
11 FOODS AND BEVERAGES TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY
- UNDERCOOKED OR RAW MEAT
It is known that undercooked or raw meat can contain numerous bacteria on its surface: toxoplasmosis, salmonella and listeria are just few examples. But, the thing that most ignore is that they easily lay into the muscle tissue too, which make them impossible to avoid.
These bacteria are dangerous and can have bad impacts on your baby’s health by affecting his/her neurological system. It can result into mental retardation, epilepsy and blindness in some extreme cases. Sometimes, it can even lead to stillbirth.
Make sure that whatever meat you are consuming (sausages, salami, ham etc.) is well cooked to avoid catching on any bacteria or parasites you do not want in your body.
- RAW EGGS
Some people are fond of raw eggs, ignoring their unhealthy aspect. Ever heard of salmonella? It is a food poisoning form caused by raw eggs, not only it will make you feel sick (diarrhea, vomit, and stomach cramps are the most common effects), but it will also have health consequences on your baby. Some more severe cases can even cause uterus cramps which can harm your baby and result in premature birth or stillbirth.
This is why it is best to avoid raw eggs or any recipe that uses them. We are talking about poached or scrambled eggs, hollandaise sauce or salad dressings, cake icing etc. And be careful they are well cooked making sure that the yolks and the whites are solid enough.
Caffeine is not only found in coffee (around 95mg per cup), but also chocolate (around 50mg per bar) and cola (around 40mg per can). People realize that a big intake of caffeine can be dangerous but still consume it anyways to boost their energy up.
When pregnant, a woman should be very careful to how much caffeine she consumes. Why? Because if the amount of caffeine exceeds it limits, it might result in very dangerous effects such as miscarriages and low birth weight.
If you are used to take a daily caffeine amount and feel like you can’t live without it, we will not be asking you to cut your caffeine dose off (even if it is the right thing to do), but at least lower it to less than 200mg per day.
There are still no valid opinions about whether to consume alcohol during pregnancy or not. While some might say that it should be avoided at all costs during pregnancy and that it might result in unwanted consequences, some others think that it is acceptable and that there is no harm in drinking some of it.
What does the medical opinion say? It says that alcohol can actually be passed down from mother to baby. But there is still a question mark over the amount that can actually harm the baby.
So, in order to be precautious and avoid any risks, you should pass on drinking alcohol during your pregnancy.
- FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables can easily be contaminated during every phase of their production, whether it is harvesting, storage, or retail. The number of bacteria and parasites contained in them, especially if they are unwashed or unpeeled, can be very unhealthy and harm your baby.
Toxoplasma is one of many diseases that result from fruits and vegetables’ contamination and it is with no doubt a very dangerous one. It usually shows no specific symptoms or come as a flu or worse, which can be cured easily for the mother. But the fact that it might result in intellectual disabilities and even blindness for the baby is enough reason to avoid these bacteria at all costs.
Make sure to peel all of your fruits and vegetables and rinse them very well before eating them.
- CERTAIN CHEESES
Unpasteurised cheese such as soft cheese, instance brie, gorgonzola and other types should definitely be avoided as it might contain listeria, which can be very dangerous for people with weak immune systems or pregnant women and can put you in a very serious illness, sometimes even resulting in stillbirth.
There are cheeses that are safe to eat though, such as hard ones (cheddar, parmesan, feta etc.)
However, if you are craving soft cheese, Philadelphia and Boursin are not harmful and will not be a risk to your baby’s health.
- ICE CREAM
It is also better to avoid ice cream, since almost all of its types are made with raw eggs. And, like we said above, raw eggs can be very unhealthy and eventually cause salmonella.
This is not the only reason behind ice cream being unhealthy, because the one that you buy from seaside or a van can contain many other parasites and bacteria, and you can never guarantee that the machine is totally clean.
- READY MEALS
We all realize that ready meals are the easiest way to make a fast and tasty dish with almost no effort. But we also realize the dangers they hide. Usually, when you keep a ready meal in the fridge for a long time, bacteria become a part of it. And, if you do not cook it for the right amount of time, you are putting these bacteria right through your body. Cooking is the only efficient way to eliminate all of the bacteria, this is why you want to make sure that your food is cooked and hot enough before eating it.
Listeria. Does it sound familiar? We just talked about it above and how dangerous this bacterium can be. Pate might also contain it among other bacteria, but this one can lead to listeriosis which is very harmful to your baby and can put him in serious states of illness.
And even though the different types of pate (including vegetable pate and liver pate) are rich in vitamin A which can be good for your baby, you can find this vitamin in other foods. Prevention is always better than cure.
Are you surprised to find fish on our list? Do not worry. Not all fish can turn out to be harmful. Fish that is low in mercury is actually very beneficial for your body and your baby, as well as fatty fish which is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
However, mercury is a toxic element, and your immune system can’t handle a large amount of it, as well as your kidneys and nervous system. Not only that, but it is also a threat to your baby’s health since it can result in numerous developmental problems and disabilities.
Our advice to you is to lower your consumption of fish that is high in mercury (shark, swordfish, tuna, etc.) and limit it to no more than one or two servings per month. If you are sticking to low mercury fish you can eat up to two servings per week.
If you or anyone in your family ever dealt with an allergy, a severe hay fever, or asthma, peanuts should definitely be avoided. Consuming such foods in a family with a history of food allergy can increase the risk of the baby ending up developing a reaction too.
If you are not sure about your family’s allergy history, you might want to avoid them anyways, to avoid any risks.
It is very hard to maintain a good and totally healthy food plan, but it is a parental duty before the baby is even born. Not only that, but you should also consider increasing your food hygiene.
The process might seem easy: washing your hands before and after touching your food, keeping children and pets out of the preparation and cooking area and keeping these areas constantly clean are simple ways to achieve a better hygiene. It just needs a bit of care and a nine months perseverance.
Also, it is always better to know the source where your food is coming from, which might be hard considering that most of us buy their food from shops.
So, to prevent any unwanted consequences and have a good conscience, it is better to avoid the foods we listed above, considering they do more harm than good