What are some suggestions on what not to eat when pregnant?

As a health-conscious mom, you’re likely always looking for ways to improve your diet. However, so many pregnant women find themselves struggling with what to eat during pregnancy because they’re told they should avoid certain foods and others are recommended by their doctors. Additionally, there’s the fear of gaining too much weight during pregnancy which can cause complications for both mother and baby.

This article aims to provide you with some tips on which foods are best to avoid during pregnancy, as well as how much you should eat during pregnancy and what types of foods are okay to eat.

Avoiding Foods During Pregnancy: General Tips

So many pregnant women find themselves in a situation where they have to give up foods they love. The list of suggested “don’t eat” foods is large, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Ask any pregnant woman about what foods she’s giving up, and she’ll likely tell you it’s an entirely different list. In reality, there are a lot fewer things to avoid during pregnancy than you’d think. This is good news, but it still can be hard to know what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy.

General Tips on What Not to Eat During Pregnancy

#1: Avoid Unpasteurized Cheese and Seafood due to High Levels of Listeria

A lot of foods have warnings about them during pregnancy because they’re high in mercury and other dangerous chemicals. However, some foods naturally contain dangerous bacteria such as Listeria. Considering the risk of a dangerous infection, you should avoid all raw seafood such as oysters and sushi.

Cheese, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult to stay away from because it’s added to so many foods. Always make sure your cheese is pasteurized by checking labels and asking your server or another employee at the establishment where you buy it. However, do be aware that some cheeses are unpasteurized and safe to eat like Parmesan.

#2: Avoid Foods That Contain Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine is found in everything from coffee to colas, and it can have adverse effects when you’re pregnant. Some things like chocolate might be safe in small amounts, but it’s best to avoid caffeine altogether. Additionally, if you’re a mom-to-be who is trying to get pregnant now, then it’s a good idea to stop drinking alcohol as well. It can cause birth defects.

#3: Avoid Undercooked Meat and Seafood as they Carry a Higher Risk of Toxoplasmosis

This is another food-borne illness you should be aware of when you’re pregnant. It can cause serious infections in both mother and unborn child and even miscarriages. If you do choose to eat meat, make sure it’s been thoroughly cooked to ensure it’s at least medium-rare.

In addition, stay away from cat litter because it can contain toxoplasmosis as well. This can be especially hard for those who keep cats as pets. In many households, cat litter isn’t just used by a single cat but the whole family. Make sure you wash your hands after coming into contact with cat poop to ensure your baby isn’t exposed to toxoplasmosis.

#4: Avoid Raw Eggs Due to Salmonella Risks

Salmonella is another dangerous bacteria that can make you and your baby seriously ill. Although the U.S. doesn’t have very high numbers of this disease, the UK does not allow for undercooked eggs to be served to any customers. The FDA recommends that you refer to your local health department for more information.

Raw eggs carry risks such as salmonella and other harmful bacteria, so it’s best to avoid them unless you’re absolutely sure they are safe to eat in small amounts.

#5: Stay Away from Foods Containing Listeria

Although Listeria is a bacteria that exists naturally in the environment, it can be extremely dangerous when present in foods. It is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in pregnant women and their unborn children in the U.S. If you’re pregnant and eat foods containing listeria, be sure to wash your hands right away after touching any part of your mouth or prepare fresh foods using clean cutting boards, knives, and utensils.

Additionally, the FDA recommends washing all utensils and surfaces that come into contact with raw foods.

#6: Don’t Wear Contact Lenses While Cooking

Contacts are often dangerous to health when they’re exposed to heat. It’s recommended that you remove your contacts before preparing food or being around any items that are heated. If you wear contacts, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling food or preparing it. This will keep you from contaminating your food and making you sick later on down the road.

A good thing to know is that contact lenses are actually a very durable piece of equipment. If you’re not careful, however, they can break. You shouldn’t be rough with them and you should never hammer them while wearing them.

Join The Discussion

Compare listings