Five Foods to Stay Away from While Pregnant
A baby’s health is every expectant mother’s priority. This is why most mothers take good care of their bodies to ensure that their babies grow healthy. From hygiene to diet, every decision a mother makes affects not only her but her baby. Therefore, mothers should pay close attention to the food they are eating to ensure their babies are as healthy as possible.
Fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins are ideally the basic components of a person’s diet. However, there are some foods and beverages that mothers must not eat while pregnant. Take a look at some of them below:
- Raw or undercooked food
Undercooked meat, unpasteurized eggs, and raw cookie dough should be avoided as these may contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can harm you and your baby. Raw food, like sushi and sashimi, is not advisable as it contains high percentages of mercury. Make sure that any meat you eat is thoroughly cooked. Salads, although raw, can be eaten as long as the vegetables are thoroughly washed to get rid of toxins such as toxoplasma, which can cause hearing loss and blindness. It is also recommended to be particular with the dressing on your salad as some brands of Caesar’s salad dressing contain undercooked eggs. Always read the label before purchasing.
- Hotdogs, sausages, and other processed food
Processed food such as hotdogs, luncheon meats, and sausages may cause listeriosis, a condition that results in miscarriage, stillbirth, and other serious problems for you and your baby. Even the fluid from hotdog packaging can trigger the disease, says UCLA Doctor Michael Lu. Therefore, pregnant women should thoroughly wash their hands, utensils, and other surfaces that were in contact with processed food to reduce contamination.
- Fresh juice and unpasteurized dairy products
Fruits, if unwashed before juicing, may contain toxoplasma from the soil that their peels were exposed to. When cut and juiced, these toxins are usually transfered to the juice. FDA recommends avoiding unpasteurized freshly-squeezed juices unless you personally prepare them. To be on the safe side, it is better to purchase pasteurized fruit juice available in supermarkets. Unpasteurized milk and dairy products, such as brie or feta cheese, may contain salmonella, listeria, E. coli, and other bacteria that can cause complications for your growing baby. To be on the safe side, read product labels to ensure they were pasteurized.
- Fish with High Levels of Mercury
As much as possible, avoid fish with high levels of mercury such as swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, tuna, and lapu-lapu. Similarly, fish caught in local rivers and streams can contain pollutants and unwanted chemicals that may harm your growing baby. Eating contaminated fish can impede your baby’s development, particularly of the Central Nervous System. If you’re craving for seafood, then indulge in fish that have low levels of mercury, such as anchovies (dilis), salmon, tilapia, and catfish, which you can eat up to 12 ounces weekly.
Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid caffeine. However, if you can’t avoid it, then try to keep your consumption to a maximum of 100mg daily. A recent study showed that expectant mothers who drink more than 200mg of caffeine per day have a high risk of miscarriage, while those who consume more than 100mg experience fetal growth restrictions. To be on the safe side, experts recommend consuming less than 100mg a day if you are unable to completely stave off caffeine from your diet.
Your choices impact not only you but also your growing baby. This is why you must pay extra care and attention when it comes to diet and lifestyle.
Do you have more questions on any preparations you need during pregnancy? Learn more about pregnancy here.
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