During pregnancy, your baby will get all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins from the food you eat. The importance of a mother’s diet is immense and it can provide plenty of benefits to the fetus and later baby or a lot of side effects. Now you know why pregnant women should eat a specific type of food while avoiding some potentially dangerous foods.
In short, your diet should be made of whole grains, organic fruit and vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy. Most of the food can be consumed through 9 months, but the accent is one a few foods that should be avoided. Reason is in the risk they carry usually paired with bacteria, harmful ingredients and etc. Below is the food new mothers must eliminate from a diet.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Undercooked meat and eggs
The first and the most dangerous kind of food that should be avoided is raw meat and eggs. In general, they are not dangerous all on their own, but raw meat or undercooked eggs may contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites (1) which will infect your body. Several studies found that the actual risk of these threats is the highest when they are consumed daily. Obviously, the first way to prevent the risk of these issues is to stop eating meat and eggs, but this isn’t possible for most mothers.
A useful alternative is to use a food thermometer and to make sure each piece of meat and each egg are properly cooked. Following the instructions is useful as well. The bottom line is to avoid eating meat which isn’t completely cooked.
Hot dogs, dairy products and processed meat
Once again, we have types of meat which must be avoided during pregnancy. In this case, the actual threat is listeria (2). This is, in fact,a simple bacteria, but in the human body, it will cause severe chemical reactions and eventually cause listeriosis. For adults, the disease isn’t very dangerous, but for pregnant women it is! The bacteria is responsible for stillbirths, miscarriages and several other issues.
Hot dogs and processed meat are the most common sources of the bacteria, so they should be avoided first. Just in case, we will add the fact that bologna, salami and etc.
Seafood which is labelled as jerky, smoked, lox or kippered is dangerous as well, due to same bacteria. Most of it will have to be refrigerated, but this will only make the things even worse. On the other hand, the foods are safe to eat when they are cooked. For example, the casserole is still safe to eat during pregnancy.
Unpasteurized dairy foods are not safe as well. The risk from listeria is still high, so avoiding them is something you should use. Don’t forget that here, feta, queso fresco, wuesoblanco and all other dairy products, made from this kind of milk are dangerous!
Certain kind of fish
Fish in generally healthy to consume and even the FDA recommends to pregnant women up to 12 ounces of fish per week. However, certain types of fishes are not so healthy! The main concern is mercury, which in high amounts can cause childbirth complications. All species of fish have mercury in their body, but some have a lot of it.
Sharks, swordfish, and marlin are the most common. White tuna is also higher in mercury than other species from the same family. The FDA (3) recommends consuming no more than 6 ounces of white tuna per week, which is twice as low as with other fish. Just in case, the best and the healthiest fish to eat is salmon, shrimps, sardine, light tuna, and catfish.
Fish that can be caught in your local area may be infected with specific pollutants, besides high levels of mercury. As such, it should be avoided as well. Just in case, contact the Environmental Protection Agency and have a consultation with them. Addition: High levels of mercury can cause damage to the brain of the unborn baby.
Vegetable sprouts and dirty fruits
Actually, this point relates to all, unwashed fruits and vegetables. You probably believe that this is a well-known fact and that all people already wash their fruits and veggies, but you would be wrong. In a matter of fact, more than 78% of people never wash veggies and fruits!
This is definitely a reason to be concerned an issue that should be solved. Unwashed fruit and vegetables may contain toxoplasma gondii (4), listeria or pesticides. In rare situation, they may contain all there! Regardless of the issue veggies and fruits may have, pregnant women must keep their body safe from it!
The only alternative is to wash it before you consume it or add it to a meal. Maybe this will require a few minutes more, but safety will be significantly improved.
Sprouts are delicious and a great type of food, most people like, but during pregnancy, they are not so ideal. They also contain viruses and bacteria which may harm your unborn baby. The solution is to cook or fry them before eating them.
Avoid nuts you are allergic to
Nuts are common treats today and correspondingly, all mothers like them. If you are into a healthy diet, you should know how important nuts are. We agree completely on the matter, but there is a dark side of the story. Many individuals are allergic to some kind of nuts. It may be chestnuts, peanuts, pistachios or walnuts, but the point is the same.
Allergies will cause your body to swell and it will force the immune system into overdrive. Additionally, some allergies are even more dangerous. The only thing to do is to have a consultation with your healthcare provider. An additional thing to know is that your body may develop an allergy to nuts at any given moment. Make sure you have regular controls, while pregnant.
Street and fatty food
Usually, these two types of foods are closely related. Just in case, we will advise you to avoid both of them. First of all, street food is usually linked to poor hygiene, while a number of nutrients are low. Fatty food will increase the levels of your bad cholesterol, which is another bad thing. You will get weight which will stay with you after the childbirth. You may know that obesity and overweight problems increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes!
This may be a difficult part of the advice because you will have several cravings per day and street and fatty foods are the easiest to get. Actually, you can get organic fruit or vegetables which will help you when a craving occurs, but it won’t have a negative effect on pregnancy.
Food rich in nitrate
Bacon and sodas are rich in nitrate. They are not dangerous to consume in most cases, but while pregnant you must avoid them. All of the foods and drinks from this type is rich in nitrate, while it doesn’t have other ingredients! They are also associated with high levels of artificial sweeteners,, which are bad as well.
In smaller amounts, they are not dangerous, but if you consume too much of them, deformities and poor growth of a baby may occur. Try to remove nitrate-rich foods from your diet. Top tip: Do a proper research and make a long list of all beverages and foods with high levels of nitrate. Then simply avoid them all the time.
Salads made in restaurants
We all like salads made in popular restaurants. They are a perfect combination of taste and source of healthy ingredients. A drawback comes from the preparation. In some restaurants, all the ingredients won’t be properly treated before making a salad. Eggs may be raw, while vegetables may be unwashed.
As we have already mentioned, this is a potential risk of listeria bacteria. It is known for causing pregnancy issues. Perhaps it isn’t an ideal solution, but try making your own salads at home and enjoy them, at least for 9 months.
All kinds of canned food
Canned food is known for many things, but the source of the ingredients isn’t one of them. In a matter of fact, this type of food is more than dangerous to consume during pregnancy. We discovered that there are two main issues with it.
The first and probably more dangerous is the inner part of a can. It will leak BPA (Bisphenol A) which has a negative effect on the endocrine activity of unborn babies. The second concern is the fact bacteria may be common here.
The final thought
You may believe that all of the foods from the list are difficult to remove from your diet, but they aren’t. In reality, all of them are known as ‘’ must avoid’’ if you want to have a healthy diet. By avoiding the food we mentioned here and using alternatives we explained, your health and health of your unborn baby will be superb. Equally important, after the childbirth, you will still lead a healthy and happy life, while providing the same benefits to your child.