Foods that you should avoid during pregnancy -

Foods that you should avoid during pregnancy

Foods that you should avoid during pregnancy

by: Dr. Neha Pathania
Senior Dietitian

When you’re expecting, what you eat and drink influences your child’s health, possibly forever. Everyday foods and beverages take on new meaning, as some may present a danger to your developing baby.

When you’re eating for two, you need to take extra care when planning your meals. There are a lot of foods that may be good for you, but bad for your baby. Over nine months it is essential that you put the needs, of your baby first and only consume food that you know will be safe ,good and healthy for the baby, and when you do treat yourself you must ensure that you are not risking your child’s health.

When it comes to pregnancy, there are certain foods that need to be definitely avoided. Foods that are too high in mercury or Vitamin A can pose a health risk to your baby, as can foods that are known to cause food borne illness such as Listeriosis and Salmonella poisoning.

Whole and lightly processed foods, such as whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables, legumes, and low-fat dairy should form the basis of your pregnancy diet. Here are items that you may want to avoid while you’re pregnant.

Unpasteurized Milk:

Unpasteurized milk may contain listeria. Make sure that any milk you drink is pasteurized. Unpasteurised milk and unpasteurised soft cheeses aren’t safe to eat in pregnancy. They are more likely to contain bacteria, which could give you food poisoning. However, hard cheeses such as parmesan and pecorino, even if they have been made with unpasteurised milk, are safe to eat, as the risk of listeriosis in these is low.

Avoid Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables:

Vegetables are safe, and a necessary part of a balanced diet. To eliminate any harmful bacteria, thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables. While most fruits and vegetables are safe to eat when pregnant, you do need to avoid unpasteurized juices and raw sprouts. Unpasteurized juice might contain the bacteria E. coli, which can cause nausea and severe vomiting or diarrhoea. Eating raw sprouts increases your risk of salmonella poisoning, which causes fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.  Be sure to cook sprouts thoroughly.

Avoid raw or partially cooked Eggs:

Make sure eggs are thoroughly cooked, until the whites and yolks are solid, to prevent the risk of salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella food poisoning is, unlikely to harm your baby, but it can give you a severe bout of diarrhoea and vomiting. Avoid foods that contain raw and undercooked eggs, such as homemade mayonnaise.

Avoid excess Caffeine:    

You should limit caffeine during pregnancy avoid having more than 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day. High levels of caffeine can cause babies to have a low birth weight. Too much caffeine can also cause a miscarriage. Caffeine is found naturally, in some foods and is added to some soft drinks.

Avoid Alcohol:

There is NO amount of alcohol, that is known to be safe during pregnancy, and therefore alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Consider the risks; mothers who drink alcohol have a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere, with the healthy development of the baby. Depending on the amount, timing, and pattern of use, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders. If you consumed alcohol, before you knew you were pregnant, stop drinking now. You should continue to avoid alcohol, during breastfeeding as well.

Undercooked or Raw Food of Animal Origin:

Undercooked animal foods such as rare meat, raw oysters, sushi, unpasteurized eggs, raw cookie or cake dough, and homemade eggnog, may contain an array of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. To reduce your risk of food borne illness, test the doneness of meat, poultry, and fish with a food thermometer, cook eggs until they are no longer runny, and always follow baking instructions, don’t eat raw dough.

Do not eat raw or undercooked meat. Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly, so it’s steaming hot and there’s no trace of blood, especially with poultry, sausages and minced meat, including burgers .Wash all surfaces and utensils, thoroughly after preparing raw meat to avoid the spread of harmful bugs. Wash and dry your hands after touching or handling raw meat.

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