Expecting a baby is a wonderful phase in any woman’s life. For the whole nine months or so, any pregnant woman would have the most wonderful experiences of carrying a child in her womb. Along with this stage would be challenges as well, such as making needed alterations in one’s diet, workouts and usual care for one’s self. This is because the expectant mother isn’t just caring for her health, but the well-being of the unborn bundle of joy as well.
As for you, it is important to look even more carefully at what you eat because it affects the health of your baby as well. So you look into the healthiest meals and snack options as well as know the pregnancy diet foods to avoid.
As much as there are so many nutritious foods that would help your baby grow healthy and strong, there are also many others that could put fetal development at risk. There are also pregnancy diet foods to avoid as they could cause digestive disorders for expectant moms such that their delicate stage could be affected as well. More so, there are foods that could put really serious incidents like miscarriage and poisoning for both mother and the baby in her womb.
A few foods are also known to impact the baby so bad that they are linked to developmental delays, brain damage and very weak immune system. While the effects might not be immediate and happen during pregnancy, they become clear once the baby is a few months old after birth. Having said all these, it must be always stressed that pregnant women like you must know very well all these types of foods that are harmful to the baby’s growth and health.
Here are the top pregnancy diet foods to avoid as collated by health and pregnancy experts:
Uncooked meat and seafood
Eating raw harvest from poultry, farms and the sea means higher risk of contamination from harmful bacteria. This includes coliform, salmoneall and toxoplasmosis. Even deli meats are known to be contaminated with listeria which often leads to miscarriage, poisoning in the blood or serious infection.
Don’t settle for smoked seafood as well as they’re known to carry listeria as well. The best way to go with seafood and all types of poultry and farm meats such as beef, veal and pork is have them cooked well.
Seafood exposed to pollutants
Be very cautious about fishes and other seafood from water bodies known to be contaminated with pollutants. While the fresh harvest from lakes and rivers may look tempting, they could also be exposed to alarming levels of polychlorinated biphenyls that could pose dangers to you and your baby’s health. These chemicals are reported to be closely associated with low IQs among children, and memory loss as well.
There’s also alarming reports of high-mercury fishes, particularly the big ones such as king mackerel and sword fish. It’s best to avoid shellfish types as well because they are known to carry infections caused by red-tide. Stay away from sushi and sashimi, mussels, oysters and clams as well because these pregnancy diet foods to avoid could contain parasites as well.
Milk, dairy products and fruit juices that aren’t pasteurized
The process called pasteurization eliminates the harmful bacteria in milk and dairy products, as well as many fruit juices. Those that didn’t go through thorough pasteurization are known to contain listeria as well, particularly soft cheeses. Milks are known to be contaminated with the same injurious bacteria.
There are also fruit juices such as apple cider that are known to be contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. So be very watchful of these so-called refreshing drinks in glasses, juice bars and even smoothies for they are potential carriers of the dangerous bacteria.
Processed and cured meats
Like the deli meats, processed and cured foods like hotdogs, bacon, sausages and others aren’t recommended for expecting mothers. They are known to be contaminated with listeria as well, sending many pregnant women to emergency rooms for listeriosis treatment.
Besides, such foods are known to be heavy with sodium nitrates and other unhealthy ingredients that makes the among the top pregnancy diet foods to avoid. If you do want to eat some of cured or treated meats, it is strongly recommended to have them reheated properly at over 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Doing so get rid of the risks.
Unwashed veggies and fruits
While vegetables and freshly picked fruits are great for your health and the baby’s development, eating them unwashed isn’t a good idea. It is very important that when you do have veggies among your meals and snacks, they should be thoroughly washed. This helps eliminate exposure to toxoplasmosis, as well as prevent intake pesticides and other chemicals that aided the growth of such vegetables and fruits.
Be careful of sprouts as well, such as clover, radish, alfalfa and others. They are definitely pregnancy diet foods to avoid because the E. coli and other bacteria they carry are very difficult to eliminate, even after washing thoroughly. If you must, then these sprouts must be cooked very well – and never eaten fresh!
Of course, you wouldn’t eat eggs raw as in the whites and the yolk, right? But there are women who take in cake batter, the raw dough of cookies and other pastries, mayonnaise and custards. Well, this ain’t a healthy or safe thing to do because all these contain raw or uncooked eggs. As it is, raw eggs actually carry a very high risk of salmonella which isn’t a good thing for expecting mothers.
Alcohol and caffeine
While they don’t necessarily fall into the category of food, both alcohol and caffeine have become a staple part of many household meals. Thus, it’s only right to include both among the pregnancy diet foods to avoid. Alcohol has a strong cause for fetal alcohol syndrome, a serious developmental interference that you wouldn’t want to happen to your unborn child. Other developmental disorders are also traced to taking in alcoholic beverages so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
On the other hand, caffeine in coffee and other beverages have been linked to many miscarriages. This is because caffeine is a diuretic that flushes out essential fluids from the mother’s body, and leads to loss of calcium and iron. Intake of too much caffeine is also associated with premature birthing and low birth weights among babies.
Now that you know the top seven pregnancy diet foods to avoid, you are sure to have a healthy pregnancy and an even healthier baby. In addition, make sure that you always read the label of food products because they could provide the essential information on safe and hazardous foods. Remember that not all risky food choices come as they are, and instead, are posed as ingredients of some products. Also, it is important to have foods that are fresh, without preservatives and cooked suitably for expectant moms like you.