Foods That You Should Not Eat While Pregnant

1. Peanuts

If you would like to eat peanuts or food containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) during pregnancy, you can choose to do so as part of a healthy balanced diet, unless you are allergic to them or your health professional advises you not to. Exclusion of any particular foods (including foods considered to be highly allergenic) from the maternal diet during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended, as this has not been shown to prevent allergies.

2. Raw Meat

Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

3. Raw or undercooked eggs

You should not eat raw, undercooked, or soft-boiled eggs as they contain harmful salmonella bacteria which cause food poisoning. You may experience diarrhea, severe vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, and high temperature. All these symptoms are unlikely to harm your baby, but your immune system will become weaker, which may impact the baby’s development.

The following foods contain raw egg and must be avoided:

  • Homemade Caesar dressings
  • Custards
  • Ice creams
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hollandaise sauces
  • Béarnaise sauce
  • Aioli sauce

Desserts including

  • Mousse
  • Tiramisu
  • Meringue
4. Deli meat

You should avoid deli meats, also called ready-to-eat meats, such as sandwich meat, cold cuts, lunch meat, hot dogs, and sliced meats. They are known to contain listeria bacteria, which can readily move from the mother to placenta causing serious complications including fetal death.

5. Organ Meat

Organ meat is a great source of several nutrients.

These include iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and copper, all of which are good for an expectant mother and her child.

However, eating too much animal-based vitamin A (preformed vitamin A) is not recommended during pregnancy.

It may cause vitamin A toxicity, as well as abnormally high copper levels, which can result in birth defects and liver toxicity.

Therefore, pregnant women should not eat organ meat more often than once a week.

6. Unpasteurized (raw) milk and juices

While there are plenty of people who tout the benefits of raw milk and raw juices, there are serious health risks to drinking these during pregnancy. The main concern is listeriosis, a bacterial infection that can be very dangerous to your baby. You’re especially at risk during pregnancy because your immune system is suppressed.

The bacterium Listeria monocytogenes can lurk in unpasteurized milk and dairy products, unpasteurized juice, and other foods, and it can continue to grow, even in the refrigerator. That’s why it’s best to avoid these beverages completely.

7. Energy drinks and excessive coffee

Up to 200 milligrams, a day of caffeine is considered safe during pregnancy. That amounts to about 12 ounces of drip coffee, which sounds like a lot until you consider your consumption throughout the day. The stimulant can lurk in many other drinks and some foods, pushing you over the maximum. For guidance, see a list of how much caffeine is in common foods and beverages.

Skip the energy drinks during pregnancy. While some contain less caffeine overall than a cup of coffee, they’ve been linked to increased blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms.

And avoid drinks with “natural” energy boosters such as guarana, ginseng, yerba mate, and green tea extract, all of which are stimulants that have not been proven safe to use during pregnancy.

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