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Foods to avoid during pregnancy

Foods to avoid during pregnancy
June 17
12:43 2013

Foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy

A healthy diet is important at all times, but eating well-balanced meals becomes more necessary when you are pregnant. There are essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients that your developing baby requires. There are some foods that a pregnant woman should avoid during pregnancy.

  1. Raw or undercooked animal foods: Due to risk of contamination of parasites, viruses, and bacteria eating raw or undercooked animal foods during pregnancy should be avoided.Avoid eating animal foods such as: rare meat, sushi, clams, raw oysters, unpasteurized eggs. You can decrease the risk of foodborne illness, by testing the doneness of fish, poultry, mean etc. with a food thermometer. Also when cooking eggs make sure you cook them until they are no longer runny.
  2. Some sea food and fish: Fishes that contain higher level of mercury should be avoided during pregnancy. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been associated to brain damage and developmental delays. Some of these types of fish include: king mackerel, tilefish, shark, and swordfish. According to FDA, pregnant women may eat up to 12 ounces weekly of seafood low in mercury. Some of these include: shrimp, salmon, Pollock, tilapia, catfish and sardines.
  3. Avoid unpasteurized foods: Unpasteurized milk may contain bacteria named listeria which can cause miscarriage, as a result avoidanything containing unpasteurized milk. Low fat dairy products like: skim milk, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese can be healthy part of your diet. Moreover, make sure you consume products that are labeled as being pasteurized or made with pasteurized milk.
  4. Soft cheese: Soft cheese may also contain Listeria which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby causing blood poisoning or infection, which can be dangerous. Therefore, avoid soft cheeses like: Mexican style cheeses, Gorgonzola, Brie, Feta, Roquefort, Camembert chesses that include quesoblancoand queso fresco. Cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat, but make sure that it is clearly mentioned that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk.
  5. Raw vegetable sprouts:Raw vegetable sprouts are considered to be extremely healthy and loaded with proteins. FDA recommends everyone, irrespective of pregnancy, not to eat raw sprouts which includes: alfalfa, mung bean sprouts, radish and clover. Reason behind- bacteria can get into sprout seeds and are almost impossible to wash out (stated on FDA’s site). Pregnant women are requested to avoid raw sprouts. Nevertheless, according to FDA it is ok to eat thoroughly cooked sprouts.
  6. Alcohol: One drink is not likely to harm your baby, but no studies show that how much alcohol consumption is safe during pregnancy. As a result, avoiding alcohol completely isa good idea. Mothers who drink alcohol have a higher risk of stillbirth and miscarriage.
  7. Caffeine and green tea: Although a number of studies show that caffeine consumption in moderate amount is OK during pregnancy, then, there are some studies that relate caffeine consumption to miscarriage. You should also avoid drinking too much green tea because it contains only a little less caffeine than standard tea.As a general rule, limit caffeine consumption to lesser than 200 mg per day. This limit should include all sources of caffeine, which can include: cola, soft drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks.
  8. Cigarettes: Due to obvious reasons,cigarettes are bad for pregnant women. Cigarette not only contains nicotine, but smoking also exposes your baby to nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide within the womb. This consequently, decreases the oxygen that reaches the baby, which can cause birth defects like a low birth weight or even a cleft lip.
  9. Fish oil supplements: There are two types of fish oil supplements, one is safe to take in pregnancy, and one is not. Supplements made from body of fish, generally called Omega-3 supplements are safe to consume in pregnancy. On the other hand, supplements made from the liver of fish such as cod liver oil should be avoided during pregnancy.
  10. Excess calories: When expecting a baby, there is simply no need to eat for two, especially if we talk about the calories. No need to double the intake of calories. Gaining too much weight threatens your health and may increase the risk of childhood overweight in your child.
  11. Street foods: Not all foods that are available in roadside food stalls is bad during pregnancy, but what one must worry about is the water and the hygiene. Eating street foods can make you prone to infections and if illness strikes, medication would be essential and not all medications aregood for the baby.

We hope this blog post will help you eat right and eat healthy during your pregnancy. If you doubt something including in your diet, then consulting your doctor is highly recommended. Make sure you are well aware of nutritional value and effects of foods that you eat.

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