Health and FitnessWomen’s Interests

8 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

You’ve been eating some of these foods during your pregnancy and thinking that there’s no harm in them, but it turns out that there are certain foods to avoid during pregnancy for various reasons. Here’s a list of some of the foods to avoid during pregnancy, followed by the reasons why you should eliminate them from your diet if you’re expecting a child.

1) Alcohol

Alcohol is often something you think about during pregnancy. It’s important to understand that there are two camps with alcohol and that neither camp has a monopoly on what’s right. One camp argues no alcohol at all. The other camp argues light drinking up until the last trimester (or a glass of wine each night). The question is not about absolutes but about a level of comfort for you and your developing baby. More on this in our post on foods to avoid during pregnancy . . .

2) Raw Meat

Raw meats contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can give you a higher risk of getting sick. In addition, some raw meats are more likely to contain listeria, which is one of the most common causes of food borne illness. Your best bet is cooking these types of meat thoroughly before you consume them.

3) Sushi

Sushi is an acquired taste for some and not for others. If you find that you can’t stomach the idea of raw fish for nine months, stay away from these types of sushi: sashimi, tartare, cherish, poke bowls. Anything with raw meat should also be avoided: ahi tuna poke bowl, steak tartare. The last thing you need to worry about is high mercury levels because this could put your unborn baby at risk for developmental problems. Luckily there are a few things that are still on the menu as long as you eat in moderation: edamame (soybeans), pickled ginger, non-sushi rolls (cucumber roll) – seaweed wrap and rice are still safe!

4) Salad Dressing

Some salad dressings can contain gluten, which is not recommended during pregnancy. You should also try to avoid high-mercury fish as mercury exposure has been linked to birth defects and reduced IQ scores in children. Finally, it is important not to drink alcohol, which can have major effects on the unborn child.

5) Fish

Certain types of fish are particularly high in mercury, a type of metal that may harm an unborn baby’s developing nervous system. Here are the types of fish you should avoid during pregnancy: tilefish from the Gulf Coast, shark from Florida and the Atlantic coast, swordfish from all regions except for Hawaii, king mackerel from all regions, marlin from all regions, and bigeye tuna from all regions.

6) Soft Cheeses

Soft cheeses can be considered a food that should be avoided during pregnancy. Soft cheese includes goat’s milk, Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, and other similar types of cheese. The most common problem when pregnant women eat soft cheeses is an increased risk of listeria infection.

7) Deli Meats

Deli meats are always popular, and many of them are low in fat. However, the nitrates and nitrites that are used to preserve these meats can lead to an increased risk of spontaneous abortion. Moreover, these same substances have been found in animal studies to cause birth defects when pregnant animals were given high levels of these chemicals. When it comes down to it, deli meat is just too risky for pregnant women; it should be avoided if at all possible.

8) Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is not a pregnancy food to avoid but rather it is something that pregnant women should eat in moderation. Eating peanut butter often can increase the risk for a type of food allergy called sensitization. With peanut allergies on the rise, scientists are beginning to think that we need more research into what might be causing these allergies and how we can prevent them before more children have life-long allergic reactions.

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