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Ten Foods To Avoid In Pregnancy

by | Diet and Nutrition

Oct 4, 2020

Pregnancy is a very important stage in the life of a woman. It signifies the coming of a new life. It’s a very delicate period, so the women need to take precautions. So many things are happening in your body right now. Thus, it would be best if you were careful about what you put inside your mouth. Here are some of the foods to avoid in pregnancy to ensure peace and safe delivery. 

1. Raw Or Undercooked Meat

Pregnant women need to avoid raw or undercooked meat—especially minced meat and sausages that are common in fast foods. So, be sure to cook every meat and make sure there is no blood or pink trace in them.

Toxoplasmosis is a tiny parasite that lives in raw meat. When taken into the body, it can harm the unborn child. It also causes vomiting, fetal damage, and miscarriages in pregnant women. Listeria bacteria is another parasite found in raw meat and can affect the fetus.

Pregnant women should cook their meat themselves by washing the meat with salt and water. If you want to eat out, make sure you go to a restaurant you trust. 

2. Canned Food

Canned food contains food additives and preservatives that make them last longer. It may also contain Bisphenol A, which affects the endocrine activity of the unborn child. The chemical added to canned foods may cause bacteria’s intake. Your child is very fragile, so stay away from anything with chemicals. Form the habit of eating food from natural ingredients. 

3. Unpasteurized Dairy Products

Pregnant women need to consume enough dairy, like milk and cheese. They contain protein, vitamin D, and calcium. Your fetus needs these nutrients to develop strong teeth, bones, nerves, and heart. However, when taking these products, it is important to make sure they are pasteurized.

Unpasteurized dairy products may contain pathogens. These microbes can cause severe food poisoning and harm the unborn child. Unpasteurized cheese contains Listeria bacteria, which is harmful to both the mother and the unborn child. When making purchases of milk or cheese, you check the label to show it is pasteurized. 

4. Caffeine

Foods to avoid in pregnancy also include caffeine. Too much Caffeine intake during pregnancy can cause miscarriage. Some people who take it during pregnancy also experience low birth weight. Coffee, cola, tea, chocolate, and other soft drinks all contain caffeine.

As a pregnant woman, you should take nothing higher than 200mg of caffeine a day. Caffeine is a stimulant; hence, it increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Consuming caffeine while pregnant may also lead to frequent urination. Too much urination reduces body fluid. Many women have also experienced severe dehydration. Caffeine crosses the placenta to your baby.

Best Foods For Healthy Liver

5. Animal Liver

Vitamin A is a very important nutrient that helps develop a fetus. It also helps tissue repair of a woman after labor and delivery. Prenatal vitamins, eggs, dairy products, fruits, meats, and vegetables all contain vitamin A. However, too much vitamin A can cause congenital disabilities. The liver is one of the products that contain lots of vitamin A. So, pregnant women should stay clear of the liver to avoid complications.

6. Restaurant Or Store Bought Salads

Another type of foods to avoid in pregnancy are restaurant bought salads. Fruits and vegetables are present in the preparation of salads. This makes it nutritious to the body. Buying salads from restaurants or stores can be very dangerous. The ingredients used in preparation may have contamination.

Sometimes, the salad is cut up for a long time, exposing them to germs and bacteria. You never know if there is pasteurized cheese in them. During your pregnancy period, it is advisable to prepare your salad yourself. Washing the vegetables and fruits and cooking it well will ensure bacteria removal. 

7. Alcohol

Alcohol is another thing a pregnant woman should never consume. It may lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). When a pregnant woman consumes alcohol, it passed to the fetus through the umbilical cord. Too much of this can damage and affect the baby’s cells. (1)

Any alcohol can affect and damage the baby’s organs. So pregnant women should stay away from anywhere people are taking alcohol. The most dangerous time to drink alcohol during pregnancy is in the first trimester. If you’re an alcoholic, it’s time for you to stop if you love your baby. What you do in the next nine months might lead to serious issues. Many kids get to live with such consequences for the rest of their lives.

8. Raw Eggs 

There can be contaminations in raw eggs by salmonella bacteria. So, raw eggs are one of those foods to avoid in pregnancy. Consuming it may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, and stomach cramps. Poached eggs, scrambled eggs, homemade ice-cream sometimes contain raw eggs.

You may also want to avoid hollandaise sauce, homemade cake icings, and mayonnaise. You should cook your eggs until the yolk is firm before consumption. Ensure to stay clear from custards and mousse as they sometimes contain raw eggs as well.

9. Raw Sprouts

Raw Sprouts contain minerals and proteins, which are healthy for the body. But raw sprouts are a food a pregnant woman should not take. They may contain viruses and bacteria that are dangerous to the mother and child. Raw sprouts, including clover, mung bean sprout, and radish, might have salmonella bacteria.

The environment where raw sprouts grow makes it difficult for these bacteria to wash off. Once consumed, it becomes very harmful to the fetus and the mother as well. Because of this, pregnant women should stay clear of raw sprouts.

10. Unripe Papaya

Raw papaya may lead to miscarriage when consumed by pregnant women. Unripe papaya contains latex that causes contractions of the uterus. It also contains papain, which can weaken the vital membrane that supports the fetus. Papaya consumed in large quantities can cause surplus bowel movements. Further, it can lead to pressure on the uterus. Unripe papaya is one of the foods to avoid in pregnancy at all costs.

16 Best Foods For Lungs Health

Some Healthy diets you can eat during pregnancy


1. Fruit and vegetables

2. Starchy foods (carbohydrates) in pregnancy

  • Bread
  • Millet
  • Maize
  • Noodles
  • Cornmeal
  • Yams
  • Oats
  • Potatoes
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Rice

3. Protein in pregnancy

  • Beans
  • Poultry
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Meat (avoid liver)
  • pulses
  • fish

4. Dairy in pregnancy

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Fromage

5. Foods high in fat, sugar or both

  • Butter
  • Cake
  • Biscuits
  • Ice cream
  • Puddings
  • Chocolate
  • Oils
  • Salad dressings
  • Pastries

6. Healthy snacks

  • Salad vegetables
  • Plain yogurt
  • vegetable and bean soups
  • Unsweetened breakfast cereal with milk
  • Milky drinks
  • Fresh fruit

Bottom Line

It would be best to pay close attention to what you eat and drink to stay 100% healthy because when you’re pregnant, your baby’s needs come first. Staying clear from these foods can help to keep you and your baby safe and healthy. It’s also good to know that you can eat a lot of foods as a substitute during pregnancy.

Photo Credits: Negative Space from Pexels.

See also: Are Processed Foods Bad For You?


By Sara Leandro

Sara Leandro is a certified health coach who helps others feel their best through individualized lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals. She covers topics ranging from health and productivity to relationships.

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