You can enjoy your pregnancy appetite a little more than you did in your pre-pregnancy life. Moderation and portion control are the keys to a healthier appetite during your pregnancy. There are just a few foods to avoid during pregnancy that might be dangerous to you and your baby.
You can enjoy your appetite during the pregnancy just a little more than you did in your pre-pregnancy life. Moderation and portion control are the keys to a healthier appetite during your pregnancy or after it. While you may crave odd foods and combinations, remember to not give in to your cravings all the time. Sure, you are allowed to have fun during your pregnancy but remember that eating unhealthy during this time is bad for you and your baby as well. So, be educated about your choices. Plus, you can eat whatever you want (in moderation). There are just a few foods to avoid during pregnancy that might be dangerous to you and your baby.
So let’s break it down:
1. Unpasteurized dairy products
The keyword here is unpasteurized. Dairy products are a great source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Dairy help the baby and the fetus to develop healthy bones. Many doctors recommend consuming three cups of milk daily for pregnant women. However, unpasteurized dairy products carry infections such as listeriosis which can harm your baby. While a few others carry salmonella, which will not harm your baby but can give you serious food posing. Therefore it’s best to avoid foods that might be unpasteurized.
Now, you may be wondering: Okay! But what is unpasteurized?
Raw dairy products are called an unpasteurized dairy. For example, milk contained from cows that have not been processed to kill the bacteria in unpasteurized milk. Therefore, avoid consuming raw dairy products that also include mold-ripened soft cheese e.g. Brie, blue-veined, chevre, Camembert, and others with similar rind. As they may contain listeria infections that can severely harm your baby. Similarly, anything made from unpasteurized milk can also be harmful and may contain listeria.
2. Raw meat
When you can’t have raw dairy then raw meat is a bold obvious. Even the slightest bit of blood or pinkness in your meat is a big NO while you are pregnant. So, say no to that medium-rare steak for good. Raw meat contains bacteria that can cause an infection called toxoplasmosis. Bacteria are easily found in any shape and form of raw meat. Hence, it’s better to take precautions.
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasites and doesn’t affect non-pregnant people much. But, for a pregnant woman, this infection can increase the risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, undeveloped organs, or damaged organs.
3. Shellfish and high mercury fishes
I love fish myself. It is a scrumptious source of protein, vitamin A and D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a good fish can help the better development of your baby’s brain and eyes. Again, avoid eating raw fish. Instead, opt for 100 percent well-cooked fish like salmon which is also low in mercury.
You have to keep in mind that most seafood contains some amount of mercury. Mercury can directly affect the nervous system of your baby to a very large extent. You should be avoiding all foods that are high in mercury.
If you are a seafood lover and can’t live without it then, it’s best to limit your seafood consumption up to 12 ounces per week. This means that you can have 100 percent cooked seafood about twice a week. Although I would suggest keeping the fish feast just once a week with portion control – just to be safe.
Avoid the following:
- Refrigerated seafood is contaminated with listeria and hence you should completely ignore the refrigerated seafood aisle.
- Look out for labels like “lox”, “kippered”, “nova style”, “jerky”, and” smoked”
- Local water fishes are also usually contaminated. Always opt for fresh organic farm seafood as they are less likely to be contaminated.
- Raw seafood of any kind (yes! Including sushi too)
- Fishes with high mercury levels like king mackerel, marlin, shark, ahi tuna, bigeye tuna, tilefish, and swordfish
4. Deli meat
Deli meat, cold cuts, or sandwich meat are also high at the risk of listeria. Although food additives are used over the deli meats to pasteurize them. But, it’s better not to risk your and your baby’s health just for a sake of a deli meat sandwich. Listeria can cause infection in utero and can even be life-threatening. I am sure nobody wants that. So what should you do? You should avoid it.
5. Soft-boiled or Raw eggs
Eggs are a superfood. They are so versatile and a good source of nutrients that your baby needs like protein, amino acids, and omega-3. Plus, eggs contain choline with a dozen other vitamins and minerals which is great for your baby’s development.
However, raw eggs may carry salmonella bacteria which can disrupt your immune system and can cause severe food poisoning. Even if you are consuming soft-boiled or half-fried eggs, try to avoid consuming them regularly.
6. Raw greens and sprouts
Some greens or sprouts are at risk of containing salmonella bacteria. Therefore, it is advisable to use fresh and organic greens and sprouts and cook them thoroughly to kill the bacteria. Avoid foods that are raw sprouts such as alfalfa, clover, mung beans, and radish.
7. Liver and liver pâté
Although having a properly cooked liver is not forbidden during pregnancy it’s better to avoid eating it. The liver contains high levels of retinol which is a type of vitamin A. Consuming vitamin A during your pregnancy is a game of balance that you have to play blindfolded. Where vitamin A helps in the development of your baby’s eyes and contributes to the immunity, and skin cell production of your baby. It can also be harmful to your baby and can cause congenital birth defects which include undeveloped eyed, lungs, heart, and skull when consumed more than the required amount.
8. Certain fruits
Fruits are undoubtedly one of the richest sources of nutrients and vitamins. However, even with the fruits, moderation is the key. Certain fruits may cause more harm than benefits when consumed out of advised portions.
- Pineapples: You should not even look at pineapples especially if you are in your first trimester. Pineapples are loaded with an enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme softens the cervix and can lead to sharp uterine contractions, which probably will result in a miscarriage. I ate pineapples when I was 38 weeks pregnant because wanted to induce labor at home. And you know what? It worked like a charm and I delivered my baby at 38 weeks and 3 days.
- Papayas: While it is a powerhouse of micronutrients and vitamins it is forbidden for pregnant women. Papaya contains papain which will trick your body into inducing labor, which will result in a miscarriage. Papain can also weaken some of the most essential membranes which support the development of the fetus.
- Tamarind: It is a livewire of vitamin C (without exaggeration). Tamarind can sometimes even help with morning sickness and nausea While vitamin C is good for your and your baby developing in the fetus, tamarind won’t be a great choice to get all that required vitamin C from. Just a little bit of excess tamarind can supply a high dose of vitamin C to your body which will disrupt the production of the pregnancy hormone – progesterone. Low levels of progesterone may lead to pre-term births, cell damage, and even a miscarriage.
- Frozen fruit or canned fruit: Eating fresh and organic fruits should be a part of your diet daily. It would be best to avoid frozen and canned fruits as they have added sugar which may lead you and the baby to gestational diabetes.
Appetite in pregnancy is so tricky. Because you may crave the forbidden fruit that is not going to do any good. You may have noticed, that most of the foods that you avoid during pregnancy are raw. And that’s the thing. Raw foods contain bacteria that can harm your baby. Therefore, it is best to consume properly cooked and hygienic foods.
You can also consult your OBGYN to provide you with a food chart or a meal plan to make your life a tad easier.
Read more about the things you should be doing during pregnancy.
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