pregnancy, diet, foods to avoid

What you eat and drink while pregnant can have a huge impact on you and your baby. You may not have paid too much attention to what you ate before your pregnancy, but those same foods can now pose health risks. A proper pregnancy diet requires eating the right amount of vitamins and nutrients but also knowing what to avoid. Here are a few items you should avoid during your pregnancy:

Seafood that is high in mercury

While seafood is a provider of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, some types of fish could contain harmful mercury levels. Eating fish that is rich in mercury can have a detrimental effect on the development of a baby’s nervous system. Large fish will more than likely contain a lot of mercury. Swordfish, tilefish, shark and king mackerel are a few of the types of fish that should be avoided.

Unpasteurised products

Unpasteurised products are susceptible to listeria and other food-borne illnesses. Doctors advise that women avoid drinking and eating foods like unpasteurised milk, eggs, cheese, juices and any produce make using unpasteurised ingredients. The product label will tell you whether certain foods are pasteurised or not.

Deli meat

Deli meats can often become contaminated, so replace your usual ham or turkey sandwich with freshly-roasted chicken sandwiches, or veggie sandwiches. A great idea is to roast your own lamb, beef or pork, and thinly slice and use instead of deli meats.

Runny eggs

Eggs may be rich in protein and choline, but they can also pose a danger to pregnant women. You should avoid consuming eggs that are runny and any type of batter that contains raw eggs. Only purchase eggs there are refrigerated and keep the eggs stored in the refrigerator. Discard any eggs that have cracked or dirty shells.

Raw sprouts

Raw bean and alfalfa sprouts have been connected to outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli. Avoi eating sprouts during your pregnancy, and if you need to add texture to your salad or sandwich, consider baby spinach, arugula or fresh herbs.

Smoked seafood

Refrigerated, smoked seafood is on the list of foods you should not eat because of its potential to expose you bacteria. Examples include anything labeled “lox”,“kippered”,“nova-style” or “kippered”. Only eat these foods if they are prepared in a cooked dish like a casserole. Eating the canned versions of these fish is also safe.

Following a pregnancy diet means avoiding foods that are potentially dangerous and enjoying the ones that will help the development of your baby. If you need more information in determining what you should or should not eat, read this guide on food safety.