Now that you are pregnant, there are many precautions that should be taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your child. These precautions inevitably affect what foods you can consume and which ones you should avoid for a healthy pregnancy. It can and will be difficult because pregnancy can cause some undoubtedly intense cravings. For some moms, they feel like they are only able to eat one thing. Other food items outside of that make them nauseated at the thought. Therefore, it is a good idea to work through your cravings, and be on the safe side to avoid illness and other complications.
List Of Foods To Avoid While Pregnant
1. Dairy Is First And Foremost
The first thing you should be avoiding while pregnant is raw dairy products. Raw dairy products are touted as being very beneficial to one’s health as they don’t have all the nutrients destroyed. This is due to the fact that raw dairy products are not pasteurized and it is said that pasteurization destroys all the essential nutrients.
However, when you are pregnant it is actually better for you to consume pasteurized dairy products. This is because pasteurization also kills bacteria and other germs that can be harmful to you and your baby. Some examples of these germs and bacteria that you may be exposed to when consuming raw dairy are mycobacteria, listeria, and E Coli. These germs/bacteria can have fatal consequences for you and your baby during pregnancy.
When we speak of raw dairy products, this also includes all type of cheese, cream, eggs, ice cream and yogurt as well. You should read all labels when purchasing dairy products. This is especially true of foreign and imported cheese and other dairy products as they may not pasteurize them. Some popular examples are Brie, Queso Franco, and Queso Blanco. It is best to find a safer equivalent of these products altogether. Furthermore, these dairy products will also make you look fat during pregnancy, which you don’t want!
2. Some Meats Are Detrimental
Other foods to avoid while pregnant are cold cuts and deli meats. A nice turkey or bologna and cheese sandwich might be something you have a strong craving for, however just as with unpasteurized dairy products, cold cuts pose a serious risk. This is due to the fact that they too put you at high risk for exposure to harmful bacteria. The harmful bacteria that is most commonly associated with cold cuts is listeria. Listeria can cause life-threatening complications to your baby, most notably miscarriages and premature births. It is best to avoid all cold cuts and deli meats until after pregnancy.
If you absolutely can’t go without them, you can have deli meats under the circumstance that you heat them thoroughly. They must be steaming hot. Once you cook them to that point it will kill the bacteria and should be relatively safe for consuming.
This brings us to avoiding certain meat dishes as well. Meat dishes that are not thoroughly cooked as in the case of rare steaks and/or rare burgers should be avoided at all costs. They can expose you and your unborn child to harmful bacteria such as listeria and salmonella. Meat spreads should also be avoided as they are known to also put you at risk for listeria. If you don’t necessarily eat meat, but eat foods like poultry and fish you still have to be careful. Undercooked and raw poultry should be avoided for the same reasons as raw and undercooked meat.
3. Avoid Certain Types Of Fish
Fish and seafood should be avoided in smoked form.
Common types of smoked fish and seafood are lox, kippered, jerky and nova style. Smoked fish and seafood have a grave risk of being contaminated with listeria. Speaking of fish, there is also the risk of fish containing high levels of mercury. Mercury consumption is known to cause serious birth defects in children. Some of these birth defects linked to mercury are developmental delays and even severe brain damage. Fish that are found to be high in mercury are a shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish. Tuna is perhaps the most common fish that has a considerable amount of mercury inside it.
Furthermore, it is best to avoid sushi as sushi usually contains fish that is high in mercury. Fish that are caught locally should also be avoided due to environmental pollution concerns. This fact renders it a good idea to just not eat fish altogether while you are pregnant.
4. What About Drinks?
Think you were clear for drinks, weren’t you? Well of course not, as there are certain beverages that should be avoided while pregnant. The most important beverage to avoid while pregnant and an obvious one is alcohol. There is no amount that is safe enough to consume for pregnancy, so you must avoid it completely. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy causes fetal alcohol syndrome in children, a very serious and easily avoidable problem.
Caffeinated beverages are also of concern as they can raise blood pressure and increase the heart rate. There have been reports that caffeine can cause miscarriages in some women if taken in high doses. The amount of caffeine you consume should be limited to the amount in a 12ounce cup of coffee.
If you have consumed these foods before you found out you were pregnant, do not worry. However, it is still a good idea to contact your care provider and let them know what foods you should be avoiding altogether and which ones are safe.
#GuestPost by Natalie Michele. You are welcome to hop on her blog Maternityathome.com
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