Health Conditions Help Determine What Not To Eat During Pregnancy
Pre-pregnancy, you may already have an existing health condition like diabetes or hypertension. Your dietitian will take this into consideration before setting any food restrictions during pregnancy. For example, fruits are highly beneficial for your health, but you may have to take a break from some of them if your blood sugar spikes every time you eat one. The same goes if you develop an allergic reaction to other foods.
Nausea, vomiting, morning sickness and fatigue are common symptoms of pregnancy that occur during the first and second trimesters. Food may have something to do with the degree of these symptoms. They can be worse or almost non-existent. To know exactly how to alleviate them, it is important to talk to a certified prenatal nutritionist near you, who will provide you sound guidance on what to eat during pregnancy.
Is It Safe To Drink Herbal Tea
Because you want to keep your caffeine intake down, you may want to sip on a cup of herbal tea. However, there is little data on the effects certain herbs can have on a developing baby. This is why itâs best to play it safe and avoid herbal tea unless you get the OK from your healthcare provider. Check with your provider about those herbal teas marketed as safe for moms-to-be, too.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Sushi
If you develop a craving for sushi, be sure to stick with the cooked options such as shrimp tempura, California roll, or vegetable rolls. Stay far away from raw fish options, as the traditional raw fish combos are a definite no-go due potential parasite contamination.
“It is not uncommon for raw fish to contain parasites. Should a pregnant woman consume raw fish with parasites, she would be exposed to complications that would be more difficult to treat because of the pregnancy,” Tao says. “Medication options would be more limited and the stress of contracting an illness would also be a lot for a pregnant woman to deal with.”
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Avoid Raw Milk Raw Milk Soft Cheeses And Other Raw Milk Products
Raw milk is milk from any animal that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. Raw milk, also called unpasteurized milk, may contain bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella or the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. To avoid getting these foodborne illnesses, only consume pasteurized milk and milk products, including cheese.
Dont eat the soft cheeses listed below unless theyre made with pasteurized milk. Make sure the label says made with pasteurized milk.
- Queso blanco
- Queso fresco
Cheese made with unpasteurized milk may contain E. coli or Listeria. Instead of eating soft cheese, eat hard cheese such as Cheddar or Swiss.
Pregnant woman should pay particular attention at farmers markets to make sure that fresh and soft cheeses are pasteurized.
Raw And Undercooked Meat
Pregnant people are at a higher risk for foodborne illness because pregnancy affects their immune system’s ability to fight off those infections, according to the FDA. Meat served raw or undercooked can carry harmful bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, salmonella, toxoplasma and make you and your unborn baby severely ill.
So while you’re pregnant, it’s best to order that burger or steak well-done.
There’s a long list of fish to avoid while expecting, but well-done salmon or other low-mercury fish are healthy options for you and your pregnancy.
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Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy: The Rules For Coffee Sushi And More
Advice on what to eat when you’re expecting can be confusing. We rounded up what you should avoid, and where guidance gives a little wiggle room.
Checking food labels can become the norm during pregnancy.
Pregnancy gives a whole new meaning to food. Not only does what you eat help nourish and grow a human being, but it can also send you running for the bathroom as you discover smell that disgusts you. On top of that, it can be stressful to stay on top of which foods you cannot eat while pregnant and which are OK, in moderation.
Because you likely have a lot on your mind right now if you’re expecting, we rounded up a list of foods and beverages to avoid so you can continue to figure out how best to fill your plate during this important time in your life. We also rounded up a list of foods that experts continue to debate if they are safe to eat during pregnancy.
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Raw Or Undercooked Greens And Sprouts
Greens and sprouts are generally great foods to add to the diet as they contain large amounts of fiber and nutrients. However, some greens or sprouts may contain bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. coli, which can cause infection.
A study in the Clinical Microbiology and Infection notes that bacterial infections of the blood, of which E. coli infections are among the most common types, are potentially fatal during pregnancy. It is essential to avoid E. coli while pregnant.
The CDC note that E. coli infections are hard to pin down because they can derive from many different sources.
About 20 percent of E. coli infections are due to contaminated foods, which may include greens and sprouts.
Avoid raw or undercooked sprouts, such as:
- mung beans
- queso fresco
Soft cheese may contain harmful bacteria, such as Listeria or E. coli. It is safer to eat hard varieties, such as Swiss or Cheddar cheese. Pasteurized cheese is an even better choice, so check the label to ensure the cheese is made from pasteurized milk.
While some people can enjoy a small amount of caffeine during pregnancy, doctors often recommend that pregnant women avoid it completely because caffeine can pass to the fetus.
A fetus is unable to break down caffeine, which can cause problems.
As a 2016 study in
Unpasteurized milk may contain E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella.
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Why Are There Foods To Avoid In Pregnancy
Whether food safety and handling excites you or not, its one of those things you have to be aware of because of the potential consequences that could arise with improperly prepared foods. This is true for us all of the time, but its particularly problematic when it comes to pregnancy food safety. Pregnant women and their unborn babe are particularly vulnerable to foodborne illnesses because the mothers immunity is weakened while pregnant, making it difficult to fight against them. Listeriosis, caused listeria bacteria, is one of the more common and dangerous ones because it can cause illnesses for newborns, stillbirths and miscarriages.
Even if you think chances are low for contracting a foodborne illness or ingesting something harmful, its often better to play it safe because the health of your baby is so much more important than eating any risky food. Yes, some of the foods to avoid listed here are maybe unlikely to be problematic, but if you ever feel that you may end up feeling guilty or worrying about pregnancy food safety while eating your meal, it probably isnt going to be that enjoyable anyway. Lets take a look at some of the riskiest foods to avoid.
Raw Undercooked Or Deli Meats
Raw or undercooked meats can carry harmful things like toxoplasmosis and salmonella, while other foods can have listeria. These include:
- Hot dogs
- Cold cured meats like salami and smoked fish
To be extra safe, cook meat well and either avoid cold cuts while youre pregnant or heat them thoroughly. And be sure to wash your hands really well with soap and hot water after handling raw meat such as chicken and pork.
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Can Pregnant Women Eat Shrimp
Still following the rule of two-three servings of seafood per week, shrimp is a safe choice for pregnant women, when cooked of course. It’s low in fat, high in protein, and contains healthy vitamins and minerals including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential during pregnancy.
“While shrimp does contain some cholesterol and cholesterol levels are typically heightened during pregnancy, consuming shrimp is still safe,” Tao says. “The omega-3 fatty acids in the shrimp may actually help lower levels of bad cholesterol and increase levels of good cholesterol , per a 2011 study.”
Herbal Teas To Avoid In Pregnancy
You may be thinking you should switch to herbal if youre trying to cut back on caffeine, but that may not necessarily be your best pregnancy drink. Even though tea is all natural, the research on herbal tea is sparse and in some cases, there is concern that if consumed in excess, it could be problematic concerning pregnancy food safety for a wide range of reasons. Some herbal products may stimulate uterine contractions, or increase the risk of birth defects. Again, its likely just a concern if youre drinking large amounts daily, but always speak to your doctor first before making anything a regular part of your routine.
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Factors That May Affect Your Pregnancy Diet
A balanced diet is composed of fruits, vegetables, healthy protein and dairies, plus grains. Its recommended for everyone. However, expecting moms have special dietary needs and may be given food restrictions during pregnancy. Your nutritionist may strongly advise you against eating specific foods depending on your symptoms, lifestyle, health condition, allergies and several physiological changes.
For example, consuming fruits is healthy but if it aggravates your nausea, your nutritionist may suggest an alternative or a different serving size. Aside from symptoms, other factors may contribute to your dietary plan.
Weight Loss And Weight Gain Are A Big Deal
Weight gain or weight loss that is outside the recommended range is a cause for concern. If you gain too much weight, your baby could be born larger than expected. Just the same, losing too much weight puts your child at risk of being born smaller. Both instances may come with health complications.
Doctors and nutritionists will quickly advise you to eat more if they detect constant weight loss. Malnutrition will have adverse effects on you and your babys health. It weakens your body and may lead to low birth weight or premature labor. Doctors set a standard weight depending on your height. If you measure outside the recommended range, its important that you mind your eating habits and make sure your body is properly nourished.
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Certain Foods Are Not Safe To Eat For Pregnant Women
Being pregnant means that whatever you eat, your baby eats also. In addition to helping you stay well, a healthy diet during pregnancy is an important part of your babys development and growth.
How do you know which foods are best and which might be harmful?
Immune system changes during pregnancy place women and their babies at increased risk of foodborne illness. These illnesses can be worse during pregnancy and affect the fetus or newborn.
Certain foods have a higher risk of containing harmful bacteria and other things that can cause food poisoning, such as listeria, E. coli, salmonella and toxoplasmosis. Pregnant women and their newborns, for example, are much more likely to get a listeria infection from foods contaminated with this bacterium, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Understanding which foods to avoid during pregnancy can help you make smarter choices for you and your baby, Dr. Dunn says. You dont want to run the risk of accidentally eating something that might be contaminated.
Look for your doctor to provide you with specific guidelines about foods that you should and should not eat.
Raw Processed And Undercooked Meats
The pregnant individuals body is more susceptible to infections and illnesses caused by various types of bacteria and parasites. These could harm your babys well-being eventually even if you develop a simple fever. Bacteria and parasites can come from untidy places and the foods that you eat, such as raw, processed and undercooked meats. Put these on top of your what-not-to-eat-during-pregnancy list!
Toxoplasmosis, for example, is an infection caused by Toxoplasma parasite and can be found in raw or undercooked meats. It is usually harmless in non-pregnant people. In pregnant individuals, it can cause stillbirth, miscarriage or organ damage to your baby. As much as possible, stay away from raw meat, or make sure to wash and cook thoroughly before consumption.
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What Foods Should I Eat During The First Trimester
Your first-trimester diet is crucial for the baby’s development. So, if you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to eat foods that you would typically eat if you were pregnant and avoid foods that could be harmful to a developing fetus.
These foods are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients your body needs to thrive.
Lean meat– A good source of iron and protein, thoroughly-cooked lean meats like chuck steak, sirloin, turkey, pork tenderloin, turkey, and chicken offer lots of amino acids, the building blocks for cells.
Yogurt– The calcium and protein in each cup support bone structure.
Edamame– These soybean pods are packed with protein, plus some calcium, iron, and folate.
Kale– This dark, leafy green is packed with nutrients, including fiber, calcium, folate, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Bananas– Bananas are an excellent source of potassium. And they’re bland and easy on a queasy stomach.
Beans and lentils– Iron, folate, protein, and fiber are all hiding inside these tasty powerhouses.
Ginger tea– Ginger products may help combat nausea, especially if you’re experiencing morning sickness.
Certain Kinds Of Fish
Fish is a good source of many vitamins and minerals. If fish is part of your diet, you should aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week. You should also aim to eat one portion of oily fish a week, such as salmon, trout, mackerel or herring. Oily fish helps your baby’s nervous system to develop. However, you should not eat more than 2 portions of oily fish a week as they may contain pollutants that can harm your baby.
You should also limit how much tuna you eat, because it has more mercury in it than other fish. If you eat too much mercury, it can be harmful to your unborn baby. You should eat no more than 2 tuna steaks or 4 medium-size cans of tuna per week.
There are some other types of fish you should limit. Don’t eat more than 2 portions a week of:
- cola and other energy drinks
It is recommended to reduce your caffeine intake as much as possible below 200mg a day during your pregnancy.
You can work out how much caffeine you have each day with this caffeine calculator.
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What Role Do Healthy Fats Play In Nourishing The Body And Baby During Pregnancy
Not only do consuming these fatssupport the hormonal shifts and rapid development of your body, studies also show that the essential fatty acid intake during pregnancy mirrors the levels found in the baby. Based on this finding, the importance of consuming healthy fats during pregnancy is quite high.
Here are a few more ways that healthy fats nourish and support us during pregnancy:
Raw Or Undercooked Meat
Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly so it is steaming hot and there is no trace of pink or blood. Take particular care with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat, including burgers.
Don’t eat rare meat. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in meat, soil, cat faeces and untreated water. If you are pregnant the infection can damage your baby, but it’s important to remember that toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is very rare.
If you feel you may have been at risk, discuss it with your doctor, midwife or obstetrician. If you are infected while you’re pregnant, treatment for toxoplasmosis is available.
Wash all surfaces and utensils thoroughly after preparing raw meat. It’s also important to remember to wash and dry your hands after touching or handling raw meat. This will help to avoid the spread of harmful bugs such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli that can cause food poisoning.
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Foods High In Saturated Fat
Pregnant mothers should reduce consumption of foods that are high in saturated fat, including fried foods, butter, cheese, baked goods, and meats that contain a lot of fat like beef or pork. Healthier fats should be opted for instead.
“Studies have shown that obesity and a maternal diet high in fat during gestation can lead to the development of unfavorable cardiac health for their baby,” Tao says. “Diets high in saturated fat lead to an increased chance of being obese. Obesity can lead to a lot of complications for a woman during pregnancy or even while trying to get pregnant.”
And now that you’re aware of the foods to avoid when you’re pregnant, check out our guide of the best-ever foods to eat during pregnancy.