Following a well-balanced diet is very important at all times, especially when you are pregnant. During pregnancy, you need to get many essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins that your growing baby needs. Although most of the foods are safe to eat, there are some foods to avoid when pregnant for women that you should keep in mind. Now, in this article, Healthy Guide will show you some of the common foods you should not eat during pregnancy.
- Top 19 Healthy And Nutritional Foods For Eyes Improvement/ Top 34 Best Foods For Fat Loss And Muscle Gain
List Of Foods To Avoid When Pregnant For Women
When you are pregnant, it is very important to pay attention to what foods you should avoid. Some certain foods should only be limited, while other foods should be completely avoided. In this article, I will show you some things on the list of the foods to avoid when pregnant for women that all of my female readers should know and then try to exclude these foods from your diet if you are pregnant.
1. Deli Meat
When it comes to list of foods to avoid when pregnant for women that work well, you should avoid eating Deli meat. This is because Deli meat is often contaminated with listeria that can contribute to miscarriage. Actually, listeria can cross the placenta and affect the baby, which can cause blood poisoning or infection. If you are pregnant and want to eat Deli meats, you have to reheat the meats until they are steaming.
If you want to know some of the best recipes for pregnant women, read on List Of 25 Best Healthy Pregnant Recipes For Women To Go!
2. Undercooked, Processed And Raw Meat
Eating raw or undercooked meat can help increase the risk of developing infection from a few bacteria or parasites such as Toxoplasma, Listeria, E. coli and Salmonella. These bacteria can affect the development of the unborn baby. They can cause stillbirth or many neurological illnesses such as blindness, mental retardation and epilepsy.
Some whole cuts of meat include sirloins, tenderloins or ribeye from lamb and beef may be safe to eat when they are not cooked throughout. Cut meat, including burgers, meat patties and minced meat should not be consumed undercooked or raw. Also, pregnant women should avoid consuming processed meat products unless these products have been reheated until hot.
3. Smoked Seafood
This is another one on the list of foods to avoid when pregnant for women that I want to mention in this article and want all of my readers to limit its consumption for good. Smoked seafood labeled as kippered or jerky should be avoided when pregnant because it may be contaminated with listeria. This type of fish can be found in the grocery store. Canned smoked seafood may be fine to eat.
4. Soft Cheeses
Soft cheeses can contain listeria. Therefore, you need to avoid eating soft cheeses such as Camembert, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, as well as Mexican- style cheeses unless they are made from pasteurized milk. All of the soft cheeses made from pasteurized milk are safe for pregnant women to eat.
List of Top 15 Foods To Reduce Bloating And Gas On Stomach will show you some of the best foods that can help you reduce gas and bloating on your stomach, so check it out!
During pregnancy, drinking alcohol is not safe and therefore, pregnant women should avoid drinking alcoholic drinks during this period. Actually, the exposure to alcohol can affect the health of your developing baby. Depending on the amount, and pattern of use, drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome or other disorders. If you drank alcohol before you noticed that you were pregnant, you should stop drinking now.
6. Raw Eggs
Pregnant women should avoid eating raw eggs or any foods containing raw eggs due to the potential exposure to salmonella. Some symptoms the pregnant women can experience are nausea, fever, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Some foods that can be made with raw eggs include homemade Caesar dressings, homemade custards or ice cream, mayonnaise and Hollandaise sauces. If these dishes are cooked at some point, they will be able to reduce the exposure to salmonella. Generally, commercially- manufactured dressings, ice cream, and eggnog are made from pasteurized eggs and they will not increase the risks of salmonella.
To know some of the best ways that can help you prevent diarrhea in both adults and children, read on How To Prevent Diarrhea In Children And Adults – 15 Tips
7. Restaurant-made Salads
Pregnant women should avoid eating restaurant-made salads, including Caesar salad dressing, seafood salads and pre-made meats because they could carry harmful microbes. The raw vegetables, leaves and eggs used in salads could contain salmonella and listeria bacteria, which may cause food poisoning. Eating these salads can cause some symptoms in the mother and a few health conditions in babies. Instead, you can make homemade salads by following some food- safety basics. Clean and cut vegetables and fruits in clean surroundings, and then cook eggs and meat properly.
8. Processed Junk Foods
Processed junk foods are low in nutrients while they are high in sugar, added fats and calories. Actually, added sugar is linked with a higher risk of getting a few diseases such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Also, excess weight gain during pregnancy has been associated with many health complications and diseases.
Read on 26 Best Smoothies For Diabetes Treatment And Relief to discover some of the best smoothies that patients with diabetes should drink to get a quick relief from the symptoms of diabetes
9. Raw Shellfish
Other things on the list of foods to avoid when pregnant for women that you should know must include raw shellfish. During pregnancy, you should avoid eating raw shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels to prevent seafood-borne illnesses as well as food poisoning. Raw shellfish may contain harmful bacteria, toxins and viruses that can cause illnesses. To reduce the risk of getting infections, you can consume cooked shellfish.
Caffeine is commonly found in tea, coffee, soft drinks and cocoa. Although drinking caffeine in moderation is permissible, some other studies show that there is a relation between caffeine intake and miscarriages. Also, during pregnancy, high caffeine intake can restrict fetal growth and simultaneously lead to low birth weight, which is associated with an increased risk of chronic illnesses in adulthood, including heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Therefore, pregnant women should avoid drinking caffeine during the first trimester in order to reduce the risk of a miscarriage. Generally, the daily intake of caffeine should be fewer than 200mg during pregnancy. Drinking caffeine can help to remove fluids from the body because it is diuretic.
11. High-Mercury Fish
According to a study , mercury is known as a highly toxic substance and is commonly found in polluted water. When you are exposed to higher amounts of mercury, it can cause damages to the immune system, nervous system and kidneys. Pregnant women should reduce their consumption of high-mercury fish to 1-2 servings a month.
However, not all fish are in high amounts of mercury. Some high-mercury fish are swordfish, shark, albacore tuna, King mackerel, etc. During pregnancy, consuming low-mercury fish is healthy, and pregnant women can consume these fish twice per week. Especially, fatty fish contains high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the health of the growing baby.
12. Organ Meat
Organ meat is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron and copper and all of these nutrients are good for pregnant women and their growing babies. Nonetheless, taking the high amounts of vitamin A is not good during pregnancy because it can lead to vitamin A toxicity and abnormally high copper levels, which may lead to birth defects and liver toxicity. As a result, pregnant women should avoid eating organ meat more than once per week.
There are other foods to avoid when pregnant for women in this article. So, keep reading this article to discover all of the foods you should not eat during pregnancy.
13. Unwashed Fruits And Vegetables
According to a research about food poisoning , unwashed or unpeeled vegetables and fruits can contain a few bacteria and parasites such as Toxoplasma, Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. The contamination can occur at any time during harvest, transportation or storage. These bacteria can cause harm to the pregnant women and their unborn babies. For example, infants infected with Toxoplasma can experience some symptoms such as intellectual disabilities or blindness in their later period of their life. As a result, when you are pregnant, you should rinse the vegetables and fruits thoroughly under running water. Scrub the surfaces, cut off the bruised areas because they can contain bacteria and then, cook the vegetables.
14. Unpasteurized Milk And Fruit Juice
Raw milk and unpasteurized juice can contain a few harmful bacteria, which can all cause life-threatening problems for an unborn baby. The bacteria can naturally occur during collection or storage. Generally, pasteurization is the best way to kill off harmful bacteria, without changing the nutrition facts of the products. To reduce the risk of infections, women who are pregnant should consume only pasteurized milk and fruit juice. Also, pregnant women can choose non-dairy milk such as rice milk, soy milk, oat milk and almond milk because they are safer to consume.
15. Refrigerated Pate
When you are looking for the list of foods to avoid when pregnant, you should not skip refrigerated pate. Actually, refrigerated pate should be avoided during pregnancy because they can contain the bacteria listeria. Instead, canned pate may be safe to eat.
According to a study , women should avoid consuming licorice during pregnancy because it contains a substance called glycyrrhizin, which is associated with a few fetal developmental problems. This substance allows the stress hormone to get into the baby and this can affect its IQ, cause ADHD in children and even early puberty in girls. Also, licorice is associated with higher blood pressure as well as preterm labor. Therefore, it is advised to avoid all forms of licorice during pregnancy.
17. Raw Sprouts
Raw sprouts, including clover, alfalfa, broccoli and radish, may contain Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli bacteria. All of these bacteria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and infections in growing baby. Unlike most of the other vegetables, the bacteria are able to get into the sprout seeds, so they are impossible to wash off. As a result, pregnant women should avoid eating raw sprouts. Nonetheless, sprouts are safe to eat if they have been cooked. Actually, raw sprouts are known on the list of foods to avoid when pregnant; therefore, pregnant women should stay away from this kind of food as soon as possible.
18. Certain Fruits And Vegetables
When it comes to the list of foods to avoid when pregnant, there are some fruits and vegetables you should stay away. Some fruits and vegetables that you should avoid eating when pregnant include:
- Papaya: It is rich in latex, which could cause uterine contractions
- Pineapple: It is rich in bromelain, which could soften the cervix, hence causing early labor.
- Black grapes: They can build heat in the body and this is harmful to the growing baby.
- Cabbage and lettuce: They could carry foodborne illnesses
- Eggplant: It contains properties that couldlead to abortion
19. Nitrate-rich Foods
Avoid eating sandwich meats, bacon, sausages and hot dogs because they could contain nitrates, which are used to enhance the food’s color and extend the time of using. When consuming nitrates, they could turn to nitrosamines in the body, increasing the risks of cancer in pregnant women as well as the abnormalities in the fetus. Besides, nitrate-rich foods are also rich in sodium and saturated fats. Actually, nitrate-rich foods should be included in the list of foods to avoid when pregnant that all of my female readers should know and avoid eating for good.
20. Street Foods
When pregnant, you may be craving for sour, sweet, and spicy treats. However, they could increase the risk of developing infections, food poisoning and stomach problems. They are harmful due to the low water hygiene standards and low-quality foods. Some street foods you should avoid include hot dogs, churros, burritos, soft pretzels, cotton candy, corn in a cup, and chicken rice. If you want to eat street foods, you should find recipes of your favorite foods online and then make them at the comfort of your own home.
21. Artificial Sweeteners
Someartificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin are safe if taken in moderation while some others are not. However, you should avoid aspartame in case you have a genetic disease called phenylketonuria. Also, you should avoid phenylalanine because it could cause birth defects and saccharin because it could remain in the fetal tissues. To be safe, you should use natural sugars. If you are using artificial sweeteners, check with a doctor about their safety.
22. Sugar-rich Foods
When pregnant, you should limit the consumption of sugar-rich foods such as candies, desserts, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, ice creams and sweetened beverages. This is because these foods could worsen pregnancy discomforts such as vomiting, nausea, constipation and heartburn. Also, these foods could cause weight gain, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, preeclampsia as well as metabolic syndrome in babies.Instead, you should opt for healthier sugar food choices such as dates, pears, grapefruit, and apricots because they can be alternatives to sugar-rich foods.
23. Homemade Goodies
When you are pregnant, you should avoid eating homemade cookies because the raw dough may contain bacteria, hence causing food poisoning. This is also true when you eat homemade ice-creams. Instead, you should purchase the baked treats from reputable brands.
Do you want to know other ones on the list of foods to avoid when pregnant? If your answer is “yes”, you should keep your eyes on the remaining of this article.
24. Herbal Teas And Supplements
Herbal teas, seasonings and supplements could cause damages to both the mothers and growing babies. Some certain herbs such as kava kava, black and blue cohosh, borage oil, dong quai, mugwort, etc. are uterine stimulants, so they should be completely avoided when pregnant. Comfrey, fenugreek, black walnut, echinacea, horsetail, goldenseal, licorice root, motherwort, St.John’swort, wormwood, etc. may cause miscarriage. Some other herbs that are not safe to use when pregnant are ginseng, green tea, aloe, wheatgrass juice and evening primrose. You should also ask your doctor before using dandelion, nettles or chamomile teas. It is better to drink regular chai or tea instead of herbal tea. If you want to reap the benefits of herbal tea, ask a doctor to prescribe a multivitamin.
25. Fatty Foods
Another one on the list of foods to avoid when pregnant is fatty foods. You should avoid trans-fats or hydrogenated fats that can be commonly found in processed foods and fast foods to reduce the risk of obesity, heart diseases, increased fetal growth as well as preterm labor.Instead, opt for fat-free options and foods that contain omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids. These healthy fatty acids are essential for both mothers and their growing fetus. You can opt for olives, avocados, nuts, flax seeds, and healthy fish.
You should stay away from foods that are set at room temperature for longer than two hours as they could harbor bacteria. Instead, consume freshly cooked foods. If you do not want to waste leftovers, store them in the fridge and then reheat thoroughly. Actually, leftovers are known foods to avoid when pregnant that all of the female readers should know for good.
27. Excess Of Vitamins
When pregnant, you need to increase the intake of some nutrients, including iron, folic acid, and calcium. However, be careful about the dosages and avoid taking water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins too much. According to a study about prenatal vitamin limits , excess intake of fat-soluble vitamins could be stored in the body fat and liver, causing harmful effects on both of the mothers and their fetus. Meanwhile, excess intake of water-soluble vitamins could have irritating reactions on the digestive system. Instead, you should take more natural vitamin sources rather than taking supplements.
28. Foods That Cause Allergy
Soy, eggs, wheat, cow’s milk, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc. should not be consumed in case you are allergic to them. Nonetheless, some studies show that consuming these allergy- causing foods during early pregnancy could reduce the chances of the unborn baby developing asthma and allergies later in life, but there is not enough evidence for that. Therefore, it is advised to check with a doctor what is not safe, especially something related to allergies.
This is the last one on the list of foods to avoid when pregnant that I want to mention in this article and want all of my readers to stay away from it. MSG or monosodium glutamate  is known as a food additive and it can be found in many processed foods. While MSG is recognized to be safe, some people reported that they experienced headaches, nausea and dizziness after consuming foods containing this food additive.
These side effects can be unpleasant when you are suffering from other side effects of pregnancy. So, although MSG is considered to be safe for pregnant women, avoiding foods with MSG is necessary if you are experiencing adverse effects.
Also, if you want to make sure that your baby is growing in a healthy way, follow all of the following safety tips:
- Separate raw meats, vegetables and fruits from pre-cooked foods or ready-to-eat foods.
- Wash your hands, knives and chopping boards before use and when switching to handle other types of foods.
- Cook all of the foods thoroughly, especially poultry, eggs, meat and fish
- Clean the refrigerator regularly and keep it at a proper temperature.
- Before eating, reheat meats and pre-cooked foods.
It is important for you to be cautious about what to eat and what not to eat when you are pregnant. Keep in mind that your foods you consume can affect both of women’s health and your baby’s health. After reading this entire article, we hope that pregnant women could pay attention to their diet and stay away from these foods mentioned above. All of these foods could cause health problems in both the mothers and their unborn babies. Therefore, if you are pregnant, it is best for you to avoid consuming these foods. One more thing, if you know other foods to avoid when pregnant, share them with us by leaving your comments in the comment section below.