March 23, 2019

Foods to Avoid When You’re Pregnant

Foods to Avoid When You’re Pregnant

We are well aware that As an expecting mother whatever we consume, eat and drink influences us and therefore would influence your child’s health, possibly forever, and for future generations.


It could have an impact on the family’s fInances and corporate wellbeing.

According to Dr Babajide Alalade,  Everyday foods and beverages take on new meaning, as care must be taken as some may present a danger to your developing baby. Whole and lightly processed foods, such as whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables, legumes, and low-fat dairy should form the basis of your pregnancy diet. Some food are associated with organisms that cause miscarriages, fetal body defects etc. I have make a short summary in terms of what to avoid while you’re pregnant.



  1. Raw or Undercooked Food of Animal Origin


Undercooked animal foods — such as rare meat, raw oysters, clams, sushi, unpasteurized eggs, raw cookie or cake dough, and homemade eggnog), usually contain an assortment of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. In order to reduce your risk of foodborne illness, ensure then food is well prepared and the food preparation is kept clean to avoid contact with areas contaminated by unprocessed / uncooked food and cooked food.

Always test the doneness of meat, poultry, and fish with a food thermometer, cook eggs until they are no longer runny, and follow baking instructions — never attempt to consume raw dough.

For those linking abroad, hot dogs, luncheon meats are very prone to contamination with listeria monocytogenes (with very strong association with miscarriage, stillbirth and other health problems.

Pregnant women should ensure that their hands are thoroughly washed after handing raw meats like beef chicken turkey etc.

Besides hot dogs and luncheon meats — which include deli ham or turkey, bologna, and salami — other processed meats and seafood that may contain listeria include refrigerated pates or meat spreads, and refrigerated smoked seafood (such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel). These items may be labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.”

Pregnant mums should avoid getting the fluid from hot dog packages on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces, and wash hand always after coming in contact with raw food or its juices.

Unpasteurized dairy foods are also prone to listeria. During pregnancy you should avoid raw milk and dairy products made from unpasteurized milk, such as Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, blue-veined, queso blanco, queso fresco, and queso Panela.



  1. Certain Seafood and Fish


Large fish — such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel –do contain very high concentrations of mercury, compared to other fish. Mercury is a byproduct of coal-burning plants that interferes with the normal development of a growing child’s brain and nervous system.

There many reviews on amount / quantity of seafood that pregnant and nursing women may eat but for the sake of simplicity I would suggest avoid them for the 9 months of pregnancy, but for curious, you may consume up to 12 ounces weekly of seafood low in mercury, including salmon (farmed and wild), shrimp, canned light tuna, pollock, sardines, tilapia, and catfish. Because albacore (white) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, the FDA recommends that pregnant women limit albacore tuna to no more than 6 ounces a week, and include it in the 12-ounce limit.

NB: Fish caught for sport in rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams may also contain industrial pollutants that play havoc with a developing nervous system.



  1. Raw Vegetable Sprouts

Regardless of pregnancy status, no one should consume, raw sprouts — including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts, as bacteria can get into sprout seeds and are “nearly impossible” to wash out. Thoroughly cooked sprouts is ok to for consumption.



  1. Alcohol

There is not agreed limit on the amount of alcohol allowed, I would suggest avoid at all cost. Alcohol (beer, wine, or spirits) robs developing cells of oxygen and nutrients, preventing normal fetal development. The effects of alcohol exposure in the womb on intellectual abilities and physical growth are permanent. According to the CDC and the March of Dimes, there is no level of alcohol consumption that’s known to be safe at any time during pregnancy.

Always ensure that all consumed products like juices, including ciders are pasteurized. They are known to be prone to germs, including E. coli.

NB: Lead is linked to low birth weight, preterm delivery, and developmental delays in children. If you have an older home with pipes made of lead, it can leach into your tap water. Always ensure your drinking water is well filtered.

There are conflicting research regarding the fact that Caffeine from coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy beverages, and other sources may increase the risk of miscarriage, reduced birth weight, and stillbirth. The March of Dimes recommends limiting caffeine consumption to 200 milligrams a day. That’s about the amount found in 12 ounces of coffee.



Herbal Teas and Supplements

Herbal teas are caffeine-free, but their safety is unclear when you’re expecting. There are no reliable human studies on the safety of herbal preparations, including supplements such as Echinacea and St. John’s wort, during pregnancy. I would suggest pregnant women should avoid large quantities of herbal tea, and completely avoid herbal supplements,” Lu says.




Talk to your obstetrician about any herbal supplements or vitamins before taking them during pregnancy.



Lilian Osigwe Editor

A Creative and Versatile Writer.  
Currently writes for SabiNews Media

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