19 Aug 6 Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy

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Eating well during pregnancy is one of the keys to feeling healthy, and your cravings will no doubt give you a voracious appetite. However, there is always a possibility that the food you’re craving the most can be harmful for your little one. Here is a list of foods to avoid.

1. Raw or Undercooked Meat

Meat is generally an excellent source of protein and minerals, but raw meat can make you susceptible of toxoplasmosis (contamination with coliform bacteria) and salmonella. Request for “well-done” steaks and only eat fully cooked entrees!

2. Deli Meat

Fresh cut deli meat is known for carrying the bacteria called listeria. These bacteria can affect your little one by cross-traveling through the placenta, and both you and your baby can fall into a critical condition if left untreated. When you have a huge, unstoppable craving for deli meats, make sure you completely heat and cook them one more time. Let the deli cut to be grilled until steam comes off.

3. Raw Fish

This is a tough one for sushi lovers. (I am sushi lover myself so this would be a major challenge for me too!) Not every raw fish is bad, but some can be worse than others. Many raw fish contain high levels of mercury and it is known to trigger developmental delays and brain damage to your little one. The top fish to avoid during pregnancy are big, predatory fish, such as tuna and king mackerel.

4. Raw Shellfish

Undercooked (or raw) shellfish – such as oysters, clams, and mussels—has a risk of developing algae-related infections that are associated with red tides. Some shellfish are susceptible to algae-related infections even after they are fully cooked. Long story short, avoid shellfish as much as you can!

5. Raw Eggs and Unpasteurized Dairy Products

Raw eggs or any foods that are cooked with raw eggs can be contaminated by salmonella. Commercially manufactured ice creams, dressings, and eggnog are usually made with pasteurized milk, so those are safe to eat. Soft cheese (there goes my all time favorites again) brie, camembert, feta, gorgonzola and Mexican style cheeses are the ones that you should look out for when you’re pregnant.

6. Excessive Caffeine

Previous studies have shown that moderate intake of caffeine isn’t too harmful. Watch out for the word ‘moderate’ from my previous sentence because the excessive intake of caffeine can increase the chance of miscarriage. Try to avoid taking too much caffeine especially during your first trimester. Restrain yourself from drinking or ingesting too much caffeine (less than 200mg/day). One tall size Starbucks coffee contains approximately 235mg of caffeine. Excluding coffee and tea, caffeine is nearly omnipresent in our modern day nutrition – from coffee ice cream to Oreo cookies (one Oreo cookie has 1.3mg of caffeine)! Carefully calculate and monitor your caffeine intake every day.