What Not To Eat When You’re Pregnant
Some of the foods that you eat that may look safe at first may actually pose some serious health risks for the baby. Here are foods that one should avoid to keep the growing baby in the womb safe.
1. Large fish like swordfish, shark, tilefish, king mackerel, canned albacore and tuna fish contain higher levels of methyl mercury. This compound can be dangerous to the growing brain and nervous system of the unborn child. There are, however, safe levels of consumption for these kinds of fish. Pregnant and nursing women should follow a weekly total limit of 12 ounces of seafood low in mercury; this may include about 6 ounces of white tuna fish as well as salmon, shrimp, canned light tuna, Pollock, and catfish.
2. Pregnant women should also avoid fish from rivers, lakes, streams, or any other body of water because fish caught for recreational purposes may contain or harbor harmful bacteria or chemicals. It is always wise to check how safe the fish is first from fishing grounds and local health departments.
3. Cooked food is always safer than raw or undercooked delicacies. Undercooked or raw food items like meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (even the ones used in cookie dough and cake batter) may contain a variety of bacteria and viruses. A good way to check if meat, poultry, or cooked eggs are safe for consumption is to use a meat thermometer.
4. Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that causes listeriosis. This condition can cause miscarriages, stillbirth, or other serious health conditions to the unborn. Processed meats like hotdogs, luncheon meats, deli ham, turkey, bologna, and salami are prone to this bacterium, so it is best to reheat these items first until very hot to ensure that these are safe for consumption.
5. Listeria bacteria can also be found in harmful levels in unpasteurized dairy foods (some milk and certain cheeses like brie, feta, camembert, Roquefort, blue-veined, queso blanco, queso fresco, and panela), refrigerated pates or meat spreads, and refrigerated smoked seafood like salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel (usually labeled as “nova-style”, “lox”, “kippered”, “smoked”, or “jerky”). When part of a cooked dish, however, such as casseroles, refrigerated smoked seafood is safe.
6. Products that are sold under unsanitary conditions are prone to germs like E. coli. These products include unpasteurized juices like cider sold in roadside stands, farms, and stores. Pregnant women should check the labels to make sure these food items are pasteurized to ensure safety.
7. Everyone including pregnant women should avoid raw vegetable sprouts like alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean. Raw vegetable sprouts contain harmful bacteria.
8. Some food items have not been studied for their effects on pregnant women – these items should be avoided. Included in this category are herbal supplements and teas.
9. Keep the baby sober; avoid any kind of alcoholic drink because these prevent developing cells from acquiring the oxygen levels required for normal development. Alcohol can damage intellect irreparably.
10. There is no insurance that tap water in developing countries is safe. It is best to opt for bottled water instead to avoid bacteria and other viruses.
Food allergies can be passed on to the unborn infant by way of genetics. Your baby could be allergic to foods that you are allergic to as well. In any case, an allergy can also develop in the unborn child, so it is wise to stay away from foods like peanuts and peanut products during pregnancy and while nursing a child. Diet changes can pose serious health risks to both the pregnant mother and the unborn infant, so it is best to consult a registered dietician to make sure that your child is kept away from the risk of food allergies.