Find Out What Foods Pregnant Women Should Avoid So They Will Not Get Sick And Harm The Growing Baby.
"Being pregnant increases certain hormones in your body, many of which can trigger food cravings,” explains Sherri Pinero, RD, “but sticking to safe, low bacteria foods is advised. Being aware of items with multiple ingredients can be tricky, so be a super sleuth food label reader and don’t be afraid to ask your server questions when you eat out. It is better to be safe than to spend nine months worrying if what you ate could have affected your baby."
Although some would argue that a pregnant woman has license to eat whatever she craves, here are the top 10 foods that pregnant women really should take a pass on:
Memorize this phrase now: well done! Whether grilling up a juicy steak at home or ordering a delectable burger in a restaurant, always order your meat well done.
You may be craving sushi, but the risk of exposing your baby on board to food poisoning-causing bacteria is too high. Same goes for smoked fish, such as lox, as well. All foods should be cooked all the way through.
Fish with mercury
Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acid which is important for baby’s brain development, so it’s safe to eat about 12 ounces per week…so long as you are choosey. Avoid fish higher in mercury, such as swordfish, walleye, Chilean bass, marlin, Spanish Mackerel, Orange Roughy, Shark, King mackerel, and tilefish. Canned tuna can be consumed at about 12 ounces per week, according to the FDA.
If caesar salad is calling your name, make sure to check the ingredients list first. Classic caesar dressing is made with raw egg, an ingredient that can be extremely harmful to your growing fetus should it contain salmonella. Homemade mayonnaise and eggnog made with raw egg should also be avoided. Just remember to keep it cooked!
Unpasteurized foods and drinks
Steer clear of foods and juices that aren’t pasteurized. The process of pasteurization heats milk and juices to a temperature that will kill microorganisms without changing the product, so stick to the pasteurized varieties.
They key word here again is unpasteurized. Soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk can contain the bacterial listeria, and should be avoided when you are with child. Cheeses that fall into this category include bleu cheese, camembert, feta, brie, and Mexican-style cheese like the three quesos (blanco, fresco, and decrema).
Deli meat and cheeses
Another common carrier of the bacteria listeria is deli meats and cheeses, especially since cross-contamination is common. If you have a hankering for that super sub at your local deli, ask for the meat and cheese to be heated to steaming to kill those unwanted microorganisms.
Saccharin, also known as Sweet 'N Low, and Stevia have not been approved as safe for pregnant women, and Cyclamate has been deemed unsafe for use by anyone. However, Sucralose (made from sugar), Aspartame, and Saccharin are all consider safe in moderation when pregnant, but recent studies have shown an increase of cancer in lab animals.
The effects of herbal teas on the baby in your growing belly have not been confirmed, so passing on the herbal teas is best if you’re preggers. If you cannot pass up your hankering for this soothing beverage, drinking decaffeinated is probably best, in both the hot and cold versions.
Foods that spoil quickly
Anything with mayo in it, like potato salad or macaroni salad, should be eaten with caution. If you’re feasting on these dishes at an outdoor event, these dishes can spoil quickly without refrigeration. Save these sides for when you’re eating at home.
Feeding your baby what’s best, beginning in utero, will help give your sweet pea the best start possible. In the grand scheme of things, it’s only a short period of time you have to avoid these foods. After your baby is born and you’re finished nursing, the world is your oyster!
Read more on a healthy pregnancy diet: