It’s Wise For Expecting Mothers To Watch What They Eat But What About Fruit All About Women Physicians Discuss Which Fruits To Eat During Your Pregnancy And Which Fruits To Avoid
When it comes to a pregnancy diet, it can feel like the restrictions never end: no caffeine, seafood, deli meat, etc. Women should certainly be cautious about what goes into their bodies because it’s very possible that a baby’s growth and development could be negatively affected by certain foods and drinks.
Fruits can provide women with a plethora of healthy vitamins and minerals that can be very beneficial for a newborn child however, some fruits carry risks when they are eaten during a pregnancy.
Read on to learn which fruits should and should not be eaten while you are pregnant.
Got The Munchies Try Nuts
Want something crunchy? Turn to nuts. Nuts are great to munch on during pregnancy, since they provide protein, fiber, healthy fat and minerals. Plus, theyre a nutrient-dense food, so you dont have to eat a lot to satisfy your hunger, which is ideal for women who struggle with nausea or who tend to get full quickly toward the end of pregnancy.
Any nut will do, but walnuts are particularly beneficial because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat thats commonly found in fish and helps with your babys brain development. If youre a vegetarian or dont eat fish, its important to eat other foods that contain omega-3s such as walnuts. Talk to your doctor about taking a supplement to make sure you get enough of these essential fats.
Nutrition During Pregnancy
Not only is eating nutritious food good for you and your baby, it also can ease some of the discomforts of pregnancy. A balanced diet can help minimize symptoms such as nausea and constipation.
What Eating Well Means
- eating more healthy foods containing folic acid, iron and iodine
- limiting intake of high fat and high sugar foods
- taking vitamin supplements containing vitamin D
- drinking lots of fluids but only small amounts of caffeine
- not drinking alcohol at all
- taking care how you prepare and store food
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Raw And/or Processed Meat
Some of the same concerns that exist with raw fish also exist with undercooked beef. Consuming raw or undercooked meat raises your risk of infection from a variety of bacteria or parasites, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella.
Bacteria can endanger your childs health, perhaps leading to stillbirth or serious neurological disorders such as intellectual impairment, blindness, and epilepsy.
While the majority of germs are located on the surface of complete chunks of meat, some bacteria may stay within muscle fibres.
Some entire pieces of meat, such as tenderloins, sirloins, or ribeye from beef, lamb, or veal, may be safe to eat if not fully cooked. This, however, only applies if the piece of meat is entire or uncut and thoroughly cooked on the outside.
Meat patties, burgers, minced meat, pig, and fowl should never be ingested uncooked or undercooked. So, for the time being, keep those burgers well done on the grill.
Hot dogs, lunch meat, and deli meat are also a source of risk, which might be shocking to pregnant women. Various germs can contaminate certain types of meat during preparation or storage.
Pregnant women should avoid eating processed beef products until they have been thoroughly reheated.
Hot Dogs And Deli Meat
That double turkey, salami and onion with extra mustard might be tempting your pregnancy-crazed appetite, but it may not be the healthiest option out there right now.
As a mom-to-be, you’ll want to steer clear of those foods that have been preserved with nitrates and nitrites, chemicals used in food preservation that aren’t good for a developing fetus.
Along with that double-decker sandwich, you might want to forgo hot dogs and pâté. Besides being loaded with preservatives , these foods also run the small risk of carrying Listeria.
If giving up deli is too big a sacrifice, switch to nitrate-free lunch meats and heat them up until steaming to get rid of any bacteria before you eat them .
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Milk Cheese And Fruit Juice
Alright, we admit, the title may be a tad misleading. What we mean by this is specifically raw milk, unpasteurized cheese, and soft-ripened cheeses can all include hazardous germs such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter .
The same is true for unpasteurized juice, which can potentially be contaminated with germs. All of these illnesses have the potential to be fatal to an unborn child.
Bacteria can arise spontaneously or as a result of contamination during collection or storage. Pasteurisation is the most effective method of killing dangerous germs while preserving the nutritional content of the items.
To clarify, you can eat milk, cheese, and fruit juice, but be sure to eat only pasteurised milk, cheese, and fruit juice to reduce the chance of illness.
What Not To Eat When Pregnant
The TLDR: Avoid raw foods, like fish, shellfish, meat and eggs. Stay away from fish high in mercury, such as tuna and shark. Dont eat unpasteurized cheeses, milk or juices, or cold deli meats or lox. Some caffeine is okay, but you should probably avoid drinking alcohol while pregnant.
Want more detail? Here you go:
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Eat Well To Cope With Pregnancy Symptoms
Nausea and vomiting are common during early pregnancy, and this is often the first sign of being pregnant. This is referred to as morning sickness, but it may occur at any time of the day or night, especially when you are tired or hungry.
Eat as well as you can. Your extra nutrition needs are small during early pregnancy, so nausea and vomiting rarely cause any nutritional problems. However, if your vomiting is severe and you are unable to keep any food or fluids down, seek advice from your LMC.
- Eat regularly, choosing smaller meals or snacks.
- Have fewer high-fat and spicy foods.
- Try a carbohydrate snack before getting out of bed in the morning.
- Drink small sips of flat lemonade or ginger ale.
- Try ginger or foods flavoured with ginger.
- Give yourself extra time in the morning. Rushing can make you feel worse.
- Try and rest more.
- If cooking smells make you feel sick, cut down on cooking as much as you can or have someone else do the cooking while you are elsewhere.
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What Foods Are Completely Off Limits During Pregnancy
Dont eat these foods during pregnancy. They can be really harmful to you and your baby.
Certain meats and fish
- Raw or undercooked meat, including beef, poultry and pork. This includes hotdogs and deli meat . If you eat hotdogs or deli meat, cook them until they are steaming hot or just avoid completely.
- Raw fish, especially shellfish. Dont eat sushi unless the fish is cooked. Also avoid ceviche, sashimi, and raw oysters.
- Fish that can be high in mercury, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Always check with your local health department before you eat any fish you catch yourself.
- Refrigerated pates, meat spreads or smoked seafood. If it is cooked into a dish like casserole it is OK. Pates that are shelf-stable are also OK.
Certain dairy products
- Raw or lightly cooked eggs or foods made with them. This includes cake batter and raw cookie dough.
- Soft-scrambled eggs
- Products made with uncooked eggs like certain Caesar salad dressings, eggnog or certain sauces like hollandaise. Shelf-stable commercially made Caesar salad dressing is OK to eat because it doesnt contain uncooked eggs.
- Unpasteurized juice or milk or any foods made with them
- Unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, queso fresco and Panela
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Avoid Raw And Undercooked Foods
Any raw or undercooked food can have bacteria in it. Because of this, you should make sure that all food you eat has been cooked thoroughly. In particular, certain foods are known to carry Salmonella, such as:
Pregnant women should also wash their hands after handling eggs because Salmonella is commonly present on the shells. You should also rinse eggs thoroughly before cooking.
Fish With Low Levels Of Mercury
Fish is a good source of lean protein, and some fish, including salmon and sardines, also contain omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that’s good for the heart. It is safe for pregnant women to eat 8 to 12 ounces of cooked fish and seafood a week, as long as it’s not a high-mercury fish , according to ACOG.
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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.
What If You Accidentally Eat One Of These Foods While Pregnant
Accidentally ate something you shouldnt have? It happens sometimes. Call your doctor right away if you start to notice possible signs of food poisoning. These include: stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea or flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches or headache. Contaminated food usually makes you sick within one to three days after eating it.
And if youre feeling fine? You dont have to call the doctor, but theres also no harm in reaching out anyway. Some extra reassurance is never a bad thing!
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
- What to Expect: Eating Well When Youre Expecting, 2nd edition, Heidi Murkoff.
- What to Expect When Youre Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
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Better Safe Than Sorry: Know Exactly What Not To Eat During Pregnancy With The Help Of A Certified Prenatal Nutritionist
When pregnant, be careful and find out exactly what not to eat during pregnancy. If there is anyone who can tell you accurately what foods to avoid while pregnant, its a certified prenatal nutritionist and dietitian. Ensure the safe delivery of your baby with the help of a professional. This will also guarantee your babys long-term well-being. If you do go through your pregnancy eating the right way for you, you can be confident that your newborn will be safe from diet-related complications and enjoy their childhood in good health.
Relying on hearsay and the internet is not the best approach. It is true that there are websites that offer legitimate advice, but each pregnancy is different. The foods that you eat should match your current health status, age, symptoms and lifestyle.
To be 100% sure, talk to a professional nutritionist. Having one near you will make you feel confident and safe whenever you get confused about your pregnancy.
Family Health Centers of San Diego specializes in prenatal counseling, as well as complete prenatal care for expecting moms. We have a team of professional and certified nutritionists and dietitians who will guide you through your pregnancy. Our commitment is to help you get through your pregnancy and ensure the safe delivery of your baby through a comprehensive diet plan and regular prenatal consultations.
Restaurant Food Or Store
It is advisable to be extra cautious when ordering food for pregnant women at a restaurant, as one can never be sure of the ingredients that go into making it. It is best to avoid having salads that are available in restaurants or even in the store. The fruits and vegetables used in the salad may not have been washed properly, or they may have been cut a long time ago.
You can always make your own salad at home. Ensure you clean the fruits and vegetables properly and cook your meat thoroughly. Cooking your own food also gives you the liberty to prepare it just the way you like it.
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Precautions For Preparing And Handling Food During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, extra precautions should be taken when preparing, handling and storing food. These precautions include:
- Washing all fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating
- Washing hands with soap and water before preparing food
- Washing hands with soap and water after preparing food
- Washing all surfaces and utensils used to prepare food with soap and water
- Storing cold foods in the fridge
- Not storing leftover food at room temperature, but in a fridge once the food has cooled
Want Something Savory Try Hard
When youre feeling in the mood for something savory and filling, eggs are a good choice. Thats because yolks are an excellent source of choline, a nutrient thats vital for your babys brain development. Cook a batch of hard-boiled eggs or whip up deviled eggs to have on hand for whenever hunger strikes. Just make sure the eggs are cooked all the way through to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
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Liver And Other Foods Containing Vitamin A
Avoid liver and liver products, such as liver pâté and liver sausage. Liver products have lots of vitamin A in them. This can be harmful to an unborn baby. It is not safe to take multivitamins containing vitamin A or fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil. It is fine to eat low levels of vitamin A found naturally in foods like carrots. But it is important to avoid any foods that have vitamin A added . It is okay to use cosmetic products, like face cream, that contain vitamin A.
Herbal Teas To Avoid During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time when the body has several cravings and temptations, but one needs to know what is good and what is bad for the mom and the child. While, there has been a lot of talk about what food to eat and what food to avoid, women have always considered herbal teas to be safe. But, now, there is a lot of research and studies which proves that drinking caffeinated drinks while being pregnant, might not go down well with the baby. But, how does one know which drink is good and which is bad? While herbal teas are supposedly good for the body, there are a few herbal teas, which should definitely be avoided during pregnancy.
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Harmful Myths And Misinformation
There are plenty of articles online featuring wives tales and myths about Chinese food and pregnancy. You may have heard that spicy Chinese food will mean having a badly behaved baby or that the MSG in Chinese food will cause your child to have autism. Neither of these statements is true. Many of these myths can actually be harmful.
Whether they come from a place of blatant cultural insensitivity or ignorance, these myths and tales are not helpful to pregnant people looking for real information. For that reason, they were mentioned, so you can breathe easier if you come across them online. However, there are some legitimate reasons to avoid certain foods.
List Of Fruits To Avoid During Pregnancy
While most fruits do contain the required vitamins and nutrients that your body needs during pregnancy, especially when the foetus undergoes a growth spurt, there are some fruits that may not do any good to your body. Some fruits have even been known to affect the health of the foetus, while others can lead to a miscarriage. Here is a list of fruits that you should not eat during pregnancy:
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Seafood High In Mercury
If you think that seafood is harmless, think again. Some seafood types are on the list of what foods to avoid while pregnant due to their high mercury content. It is true that shellfish and fish provide good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, protein and zinc. But a select few are high in mercury. Mercury is relatively harmless for most adults, but not for pregnant individuals. Regularly eating large servings of seafood high in mercury can damage your babys nervous system and brain development. Heres a list of seafood you should steer clear of:
- Consuming more than 12oz of fish and shellfish a week
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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