You want what’s best for your baby. That’s why you add sliced fruit to your fortified breakfast cereal, put extra veggies in your favorite recipes and eat yogurt for dessert. But do you know what foods to avoid during pregnancy?
Avoid seafood: high in mercury
Seafood can be a great source of protein and iron, and the omega-3 fatty acids in many fish can help promote your baby’s brain development.
However, some fish and shellfish contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury. Too much mercury may damage your baby’s developing nervous system.
The bigger and older the fish, the more mercury it may contain.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourage pregnant women to avoid:
- King mackerel
pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces (340 grams) a week or two average-sized portions of:
- Canned light tuna (limit albacore tuna and tuna steak to no more than 6 ounces or 170 grams a week)
Avoid raw, undercooked or contaminated seafood. Avoid undercooked meat, poultry and eggs
During pregnancy, changes in your metabolism and circulation may increase the risk of bacterial food poisoning.
To prevent food-borne illness::
- Avoid raw fish and shellfish.
- Avoid refrigerated smoked seafood, such as lox.
- Fully cook all meats and poultry before eating.
- Avoid refrigerated pates and meat spreads. Canned and shelf-stable versions, however, are OK.
- Cook eggs until the egg yolks and whites are firm. Raw eggs can be contaminated with the harmful bacteria salmonella. Avoid foods made with raw or partially cooked eggs, such as eggnog and hollandaise sauce.
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. But anything containing unpasteurized milk is a no-no. These products may lead to food-borne illness.
Unless these soft cheeses are clearly labeled as being made with pasteurized milk, don’t eat:
- Blue cheese
Also, avoid drinking unpasteurized juice.
Avoid unwashed fruits and vegetables
To eliminate any harmful bacteria, thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables and cut away damaged portions. Avoid raw sprouts of any kind — including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean — which also may contain disease-causing bacteria.
Avoid large quantities of liver
Liver is OK during pregnancy, but don’t overdo it. Liver is high in vitamin A, and too much vitamin A may cause birth defects.
Avoid excess caffeine
Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect your baby’s heart rate. Some studies suggest that drinking too much caffeine may be associated with a small decrease in birth weight or an increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirthCaffeine is not only found in coffee but also in tea, soda, chocolate, and even some over-the-counter medications that relieve headaches. Be aware of what you consume..
The less caffeine you consume, the better. Some experts say more than 150 mg of caffeine a day is too much, while others say more than 300 mg a day is too much.
When you consume alcohol, so does your baby. Alcohol freely passes through the placenta to your baby. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the chance that a baby will be born affected by a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are the full spectrum of birth defects that are caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. These effects are life-long and irreversible. The good thing is that they are 100% preventable.Many sais, 1 drink now and then won’t hurt you but there is no known amount of alcohol that is safe to consume during pregnancy, but the more you drink, the more you raise your baby’s chances of having problems.
Using Artificial Sweetener during Pregnancy
There is a lot of concern about diet and nutrition during pregnancy. One of these concerns is regarding artificial sweeteners.
What artificial sweeteners are questionable or NOT safe to use during pregnancy?
Saccharin: Although it is not used as much today as in the past, it still appears in many foods, beverages and other substances. The FDA does consider saccharin to be safe to use for the general public.
Stevia: This sweetener is derived from a South American shrub.
Cyclamate: This sweetener has been linked to cancer and is currently banned in the United States. Cyclamate is not considered safe for anyone including pregnant women.