Trying to remember everything you are suppose to remember while pregnant can be overwhelming, especially when it is your first pregnancy. Recently, I wrote about foods to eat while pregnant and today I want to share with you foods to avoid while pregnant.
Pregnancy Facts to Keep In Mind
- During pregnancy, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
- Excess weight gain may also increase your risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy or birth complications
- The number of calories required will increase in the second and third trimesters
- Pregnant women are more susceptible to foodborne illness than most people because their immune systems are weakened.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience. Check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes.
Foods to Avoid While Pregnant
On my post about what to eat while pregnant, I mentioned that some fish can actually be good for you, like salmon. However, the key is to be careful what fish you choose while pregnant. This is due to the high mercury in some fish, which can be very toxic to the mom and baby.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, here are some fish to avoid:
- Gulf of Mexico Tilefish
- Big Eye Tuna
- King Mackerel
- Orange Roughy
It is also recommended to avoid raw or undercooked fish like in sushi.
Tip: Cook all fish to a temperature of 145 degrees F.
Be careful when it comes to deli meats, cold cuts, hot dogs, and other ready-to-eat meats because they have been known to be contaminated with listeria. Listeria can cause a miscarriage. However, I say this lightly because, to be honest, I remember eating turkey sandwiches and hot dogs with both my boys. In fact, I craved chili dogs with orange juice with my second. Don’t judge! Haha! I know orange juice and chili sounds horrible together now. It is recommended to heat these to steaming and eat hot.
Raw meat should be avoided. Rare or undercooked seafood, beef, or poultry increases the risk of contamination coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.
Eggs can be a great source of protein. However, undercooked or raw eggs may contain Salmonella. Here is a list of what to avoid when it comes to raw or undercooked eggs:
- Poached or fried eggs with a runny yolk
- Salad dressings that contain egg, such as Caesar dressing
- Cake batter
- Cookie dough
- Hollandaise sauce
Tip: Cook all eggs and egg products to 160 degrees F.
Unpasteurized Milk or Fruit Juices
Unpasteurized milk can contain E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella and unpasteurized fruit juices can also contain E. coli. All of which can cause infections in pregnant women.
Many cheeses contain some form of bacteria. However, some of these types of bacteria can be harmful to pregnant women. It is recommended to avoid the following soft cheeses:
- Queso Fresco
Soft cheeses can contain Listeria or E. coli so it is recommended to stick with harder cheeses, such as Swiss.
Vegetables,themselves, are safe and a necessity during pregnancy. However, unwashed vegetables can be an issue. Washing your vegetables helps to avoid possible exposure to toxoplasmosis.
I am going to be honest with you, there are mixed reports on whether you should avoid caffeine completely or not. Most studies do say that caffeine in moderation is ok. However, some studies do show that caffeine intake can be related to miscarriages. I, personally, avoided caffeine during the first trimester when the chance of miscarriage is at the highest. However, I did allow myself one cup of coffee or one glass of sweet tea every other day, after the first trimester.
Tip: As a general rule, it is recommended to limit caffeine to fewer than 200 mg per day.
I know that alcohol can be a touchy topic when it comes to pregnancy because most believe that it is a black and white issue and, honestly, for me I stayed clear because I would rather be safe than sorry.
Some articles will say that small amounts won’t hurt you or the baby during pregnancy. However, there is NO absolute amount of alcohol known to be safe during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that any alcohol in the woman’s blood passes to the fetus through the umbilical cord, which can lead to physical or mental developmental issues.
In closing, I hope that you have found this list of foods to avoid while pregnant to be helpful. I also hope that this can help ease the burden when it comes to the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. I know that it can be overwhelming, but it is so very worth it!
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31