Types of Food to Avoid During Pregnancy

Types of Food to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnant? Read here for types of food you must avoid during this sensitive time in your life

Pregnancy is one of the most challenging times for a pregnant woman. Challenging because there are many restrictions, food being one of them. Nutrition is of utmost importance for the mother and for the fetus, but, you must also consider that not all food items are safe and healthy for you and your baby. There are actually some foods you must really avoid. Here is a list of some of them:

– Eggs

Eggs may be considered staple for anyone’s breakfast, but for you, as a pregnant woman, there is a health risk to eating eggs. Eggs can be a source of harmful bacteria called “Salmonella”. Even eggs that are perceived to have clean and uncracked shells can carry Salmonella.

Salmonella is a group of bacteria and the number 1 cause of food poisoning in the US. Salmonella can cause severe abdominal cramps, fever, diarrhea and heavy vomiting. The symptoms can even be more severe for pregnant women, especially when the bacteria have travelled from the intestines to the blood stream.

– Sushi

Sushi is one of the more famous cultural imports from Japan and is defined as “cold rice in various shapes decorated with raw fish or seafood.”

The operative word here is raw. Eating raw food during pregnancy is a health risk.

Sushi may contain Mercury that can cause mercury poisoning, a type of metal poisoning. Toxic effects of Mercury poisoning can damage organs such as kidneys, lungs and the brain. Moreover, for pregnant women, Mercury exposure is especially harmful to fetuses and infants.

– Fish

In relation to sushi, a component of it, which is fish, can also pose a health risk to pregnant women. Though fish can be a source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help in the brain development of the fetus, there are some risks to eating some types of this popular seafood.

In fact, certain types of fish have various amounts of Mercury.  According to the American Pregnancy Association, some of the fish that should be avoided are:  Shark, King Mackerel, Swordfish and Tilefish. These kinds of fish were found to have high levels of Mercury.

– Unpasteurized Fruit and Vegetable Juices

First off, what does pasteurization mean? It is a process that exposes liquids to heat at a specific temperature to kill harmful bacteria.

Some of these mouth-watering juices are tempting, but if unpasteurized, can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Escherichia Coli or more popularly known as “E.coli” bacteria. E.coli are harmful and some strains can cause kidney failure, Anemia or Urinary Tract Infection.

– Caffeinated Coffee / Tea

Some women at the height of pregnancy, get addicted to caffeinated products such as coffee or tea. It is advised that pregnant women lessen caffeine during pregnancy as some studies have shown after testing, that caffeine given to pregnant animals had higher incidence of malformation on the offspring.

It was also shown that caffeine can also increase the heart rate of the fetus.

Excessive caffeine consumption, which is described as having “3 or more cups of coffee or tea a day” during the first trimester of pregnancy, must be avoided as some cases have resulted to lower birth weight and miscarriage.