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You’ve done the test. And now you know for certain. You’re pregnant! It’s an extremely exciting time. But it’s also a time when there’s so much to learn. You want to do everything you can so that the little one stays healthy. And there’s nothing more important for your baby’s health than what you put inside your own body.
As you’ll be aware, there are some foods that you shouldn’t eat at any point during your pregnancy, but perhaps you’re not entirely sure what they are. We’re going to go through the most important foods to avoid during your pregnancy!
What Shouldn’t You Eat While Pregnant?
Soft Cheeses – If you’re a fan of a feta salad at lunch or a nice creamy brie toastie, then, unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait a little while until you can next have these treats. Soft cheeses are usually made from unpasteurized milk, and this is something that you can’t have while pregnant. Camembert, blue cheese, and quite a few other non-hard cheeses are off the menu for you now. But you might be able to find some of these cheeses that have been made with pasteurized milk. So, check the packaging on your favorite cheeses when you next go to the supermarket, as you might be in luck.
Raw Sprouts – Raw sprouts could be tainted with salmonella, which is why you need to avoid them from now on. This includes radish sprouts, mung bean sprouts, and alfalfa sprouts. It’s only raw sprouts that you have to keep away from. If they’ve been cooked thoroughly, then you’re fine to eat them.
Organ Meat – Organ meats contain a lot of Vitamin A. And as a pregnant woman, you need to ensure that you don’t ingest too much of this healthy nutrient, as it can cause certain issues for your child. But once you’ve given birth, then you should start eating organs again, as they’re full of fantastic health nutrients.
Raw Eggs – Of course, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to be mimicking Rocky by chugging a glass of raw eggs first thing in the morning. But there are quite a few foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs. Lots of salad dressings, mayonnaise, and even home-made ice-creams contain raw eggs. And scrambled eggs often still have some raw egg in them. Make sure you always check the ingredients of any food that you buy, as it might contain raw egg. And raw egg means salmonella, which you certainly don’t want.
Undercooked Meat – If the meat hasn’t been cooked thoroughly, then it could be tainted with lots of dangerous bacteria, such as salmonella, listeria, E. coli, and toxoplasma. Most meat is just fine for you to eat as long as it has been cooked through properly. So, no more medium-rare steak.
Raw and Undercooked Fish – Just like raw or undercooked meat, when fish hasn’t been cooked thoroughly, then there are lots of parasites and bacteria that can cause you to become ill. Once again, just make sure your salmon or cod has been thoroughly cooked before you dig in.
Fish That’s High in Mercury – Tuna, mackerel, swordfish, and shark are all high in mercury. And that means you’ll want to keep it off the menu. Why? Too much mercury is toxic and can harm your child’s development. It’s fine to eat a high-mercury fish once or twice a month, but that’s it.
Raw Shellfish – Just like raw fish, raw shellfish is dangerous for both you and your baby, so you need to keep away from it. Shellfish that’s been cooked properly is just fine, though.
Raw Cookie Dough – Don’t worry. Cookie dough ice-cream is still fine. But you shouldn’t eat any other raw cookie dough. It’s another one of those foods that could be tainted with salmonella.
What About Sushi?
There’s a lot of debate about whether sushi is fine for a pregnant woman to eat or not. It tends to depend on the fish and how the fish has been kept. For example, if the fish has been frozen, then you should be fine. That’s because when the fish is frozen, then the little parasitic worms that may be on it will die off. Also, sushi made with smoked fish is fine, too, as the smoking process will also eliminate these little worms.
Are All Fruits and Vegetables Fine to Eat?
Fruit and veg are very important to get into your diet. And you’ll want to be eating at least five servings a day. But you need to ensure that you wash everything thoroughly before you cook or eat it.
What Drinks Should You Avoid During Pregnancy?
Alcohol – There’s a good chance that you’ll already know this, but you’re going to need to cut out those post-work glasses of wine or Friday-night cocktails until the little one is born. Alcohol is one of the worst things that you can put in your body during pregnancy, so keep away from it.
Caffeine – There are more grey areas when it comes to caffeine, though. Many experts think that it’s fine to consume caffeine in moderation during pregnancy, which means keeping your intake under 200mg per day. Others believe that this limit is too high. Generally, a cup of joe from time to time is fine, but if you’re used to mainlining Americanos to get you through the day, then you’ll probably want to reconsider this habit.
That’s it. Now you know what you shouldn’t eat during your pregnancy. Keep these foods out of your diet. Eat lots of healthy fruit and veg. And you’re going to have a lovely, healthy little one to look forward to.