Every pregnant woman wants to give birth to a healthy baby by following a healthy and nutritious diet. Along with the pampering, love and care that pregnant women receive, they are also bombarded with lots of advice on “What to eat” and “What not to eat” during pregnancy. Take a look at these food items to avoid during pregnancy.
In case, you also had the confusion about what food items to avoid during pregnancy and its reasons, here is a list below.
Also read: Cramps During Pregnancy – Top Causes And Solutions
11 Food items to avoid during Pregnancy
#1. Unpasteurized Milk and Cheese
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When we’re hungry, a cheese sandwich sounds delicious, doesn't it? And during pregnancy, these hunger pangs are bound to strike more often. Therefore, it's important to know which types of cheese are safe for you and your unborn baby.
During pregnancy, it’s advisable to avoid unpasteurised or “raw milk” completely. Raw cheeses such as blue cheese, feta cheese, brie, camembert and Mexican style cheese should also be avoided. Unpasteurized cheese can cause “Listeriosis” which is a very popular foodborne illness caused due to listeria bacteria. If You are infected with this bacteria, it may increase the risk of miscarriage, premature labor, birth defects and severe Illness.
Solution: Go for pasteurized or hard cheeses like cheddar and Mozzarella. Before buying any cheese, check the label and make sure its made of pasteurized milk.
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Soyabean is one of the most commonly Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) and can cause danger to a fetal life. Also, avoid processed and highly refined products that are made from soya.
Solution: Go for olive oil instead of refined soyabean oil. Also instead of soyabean, opt for more fresh ingredients like paneer.
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#3. Raw vegetable sprouts
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Raw sprouts are a rich source of minerals and proteins. As sprouts are consumed raw, they can be contaminated with bacteria which cause food poisoning.
Solution: As an added precaution, during pregnancy you can consume sprouts after shallow frying or light steaming them. In this way, the existence of bacteria will be minimised and also it will taste good.
#4. Certain Fruits
Fruits are a rich source of vitamins, but there are certain fruits that should be avoided like:
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If the papaya is unripe, then a big “NO”, as it isn’t safe. An unripe or semi-ripe papaya is rich in a substance called latex. Research has shown that concentrated form of latex can trigger uterine contractions resulting in miscarriages.
Avoid consuming pineapple during pregnancy as they are rich in bromelain, which can cause softening of the cervix leading to early labor.
Solution: Gorge on the other numerous fruits available in the market!
#5. Raw, Undercooked and Deli Meat
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Meat is a rich source of protein, which is good for pregnant women and the growing fetus. Raw, undercooked and deli meat can have presence of Listeria. Listeria is a rare bacteria and pregnant women are prone to get infected with this virus from unwashed meat and poultry products.
More so, because their immunity is low. Pregnant women should avoid all kinds of processed deli meats (ham, turkey, chicken, salami etc) as well as uncooked hot dogs, bologna and uncooked sausages (such as salami and pepperoni) as it can cause Listeriosis.
Solution: Try to have home cooked meat which you can be sure has been washed and cooked properly.
#6. Raw and Uncooked Eggs
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Many of us include the eggs in our morning breakfast to boost up the protein content in our diet. During pregnancy, a woman should try to avoid raw eggs, runny or undercooked eggs.
Desserts, cookies, cakes and mayonnaise can all have eggs. There is always a risk of contamination with salmonella bacteria. Salmonella can cause early labor and dehydration. This can also lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
Solution: Consume only those eggs that have been pasteurized or fully cooked.
Also read: 13 Foods which You Should Avoid During First 3 Months of Pregnancy
#7 Teas and Caffeinated Drinks
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There is differing opinion regarding the consumption of caffeine during pregnancy. Many women cannot start their day without a cup of coffee or tea. The amount of caffeine consumption should not be above 200 milligrams. Caffeine is controversial because it can cross the placenta and may affect baby’s heart rate. It can also adversely affect your baby as it poses high risks of foetal deaths, stillbirths, low birth weight and spontaneous abortions.
Some herbal teas are safe while some may contain some herbs which are not good for pregnant women. Hence, it is advisable to avoid herbal teas completely.
Solution: Opt for decaffeinated beverages.
#8. Alcoholic Beverages
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Expecting mommies should try to avoid alcoholic drinks as it could be harmful for you and your baby. Studies have shown that drinking during pregnancy has caused an increased risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
Solution: Drink nariyal pani and other kinds of fresh juices.
#9. Canned Juices
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Fruit juices are indeed a good addition to any diet. But pregnant women should always try to have whole fruits and fresh juices instead of opting for packed or canned juices.These canned juices have huge amounts of preservatives and sugar which are not good for a growing fetus.
Solution: Drink fresh juices and opt for whole fruits instead.
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Seafood should be avoided by pregnant women because it contains mercury. Research has linked mercury consumption during pregnancy to developmental delays and brain damage in babies.
Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish are some of the fish that are very high in mercury. While tuna has a lower amount of mercury than other kinds of fish, but it’s always advisable to eat in moderation and avoid as long as possible.
Solution: Switch to poultry or red meat for nine months.
11. Sugar Rich Foods
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Sugar rich foods like cakes and pastries should also be avoided. If you have a craving, then it is best to eat in moderation. Artificial sweeteners are a strict no no. They are a highly chemically processed product and can harm your baby.
Also read: Postpartum Diet – What Foods To Eat & Avoid After Delivery – Chart Included
Solution: If you have a sweet tooth then keep fruits like chikoo, apples and bananas handy. They will satisfy your sugar cravings, while at the same time providing nutrition. You can also opt for honey and oatmeal cookies which will be semi sweet as well as nutritious.
Few Tips To Keep In Mind
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- Avoid junk and street food as they are low in calories and nutrients.
- Do not consume leftovers as they pose higher risks of bacteria after being kept overnight.
- Also each pregnancy is different and moms may react differently to different food items. So assess yourself and eat a healthy and nutritious diet.
- Consult your doctor before introducing any new food item into your diet.