Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy

Posted by Trupti Shirole on Mon, Nov 29, 2010  
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During pregnancy it is safe to consume most foodstuffs. However, there are some foods that you should avoid during pregnancy-

 

Raw Meat- Avoid eating raw meat such as sushi, seafood, rare or uncooked meat, or poultry. Raw meat should be avoided because of the high risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

 

Liver- Liver and liver products contain very high levels of vitamin A. Research has shown that excessive intake of vitamin A can cause birth defects. Similarly, vitamin A supplements should not be taken during pregnancy.

 

Fish- Some fish may contain high levels of mercury. Such fishes (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish) should be avoided during pregnancy. Consumption of mercury during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Avoid eating fish from lakes and rivers that may be contaminated with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls.

 

Raw Shellfish- Most of seafood-borne illness is caused due to undercooked shellfish, which include oysters, clams and mussels. Raw shellfish should be avoided altogether during pregnancy.

 

Raw Eggs- Raw eggs or any foods that contain raw eggs should be totally avoided because of its potential risk of exposure to salmonella.

 

Soft Cheese- Soft cheeses (Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Feta, Gorgonzola and Mexican style cheeses) may contain bacteria called Listeria. This bacteria can cause miscarriage. Cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat.

 

Unpasteurized Milk- Unpasteurized milk may contain the bacteria listeria. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta. It may infect the baby, which may be life-threatening.

 

Alcohol- Prenatal exposure to alcohol interferes with the healthy development of the baby. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders.  

 

Unwashed Vegetables- It is essential to make sure that the vegetables are washed before cooking to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis.

 

Just because you are pregnant you need not give up your favorite foods. But avoid eating too much processed foods, snacks and sugar-packed desserts. Enjoy every bite that you eat!

 

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