It’s hard to understand what to avoid eating while you’re pregnant. There are so many different foods that could potentially have an ill effect on the development of your baby for a lot of reasons. Discriminating between all of the potentially negative foods is a challenge, especially considering that not all of the information posted on the internet is necessarily truthful.
When you determine your diet it’s important to consider all of the facts and the opinions and make decisions based on moderation. Anything in excess is not a good idea. You can’t maintain a full and healthy balanced diet if you’re only eating one or two types of foods on a daily basis. Without moderation you can develop risks that aren’t normally there by oversaturating your diet with one nutrient, which can actually be harmful.
Fish is the constant point of concern. While fish has lots of nutrients and the Omega fatty acids that are healthy for you and your developing baby, it also poses certain health risks that aren’t worth the risk in most opinions.
The biggest concern is, of course, mercury. Mercury laden fish causes birth defects. The biggest problem with mercury is that it won’t flush from the system. It stays in your body and your baby’s developing body for more than 13 months. It’s a toxin that can cause serious complications.
Most experts recommend learning the difference between a high mercury fish (which are usually prey fish) and the low mercury fish and sticking with no more than three servings of low mercury fish per week. A serving is laid out in ounces, not by the fillet. This is considered acceptable, but many women choose to forego fish except perhaps on a monthly basis.
Never eat raw or undercooked seafood when you’re pregnant under any circumstances. It’s absolutely one of the worst foods that you can eat when you’re pregnant and can cause a host of bacteria borne illnesses and in extreme cases, death. Avoid raw and undercooked fish.
Unpasteurized Milk Products
Unpasteurized milk products pose a health risk to pregnant women and their unborn children. This includes soft cheeses. The pasteurizing process is done to help kill the bacteria that are present in natural milk sources. Without this process, the bacteria remain present in the product and can make the mother extremely ill and cause, at a minimum dangers for the baby’s development.
The condition caused by unpasteurized milk products is known as campylbacteriosis. This is a serious condition that can Listeriosis is also commonly contracted through pathogens in foods that are carrying high levels of bacteria. It’s vital to avoid soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk products during pregnancy in order to aim for the best healthy conditions for you and your baby.
Meats and Chicken
Meats and chicken are actually quite healthy for you provided that they are cooked properly. The only reason why these proteins make the list is to encourage you to make sure you wash chicken and make sure that it is thoroughly cooked before eating it. This includes other poultry like turkey.
The potential from picking up diseases and illnesses from undercooked meats, pork, and poultry is large enough that you should develop some tastes for some well done portions. A woman’s immune system is simply not as strong and durable when she’s pregnant, and therefore extra precautions are necessary when cooking proteins.
Believe it or not, hummus makes the list of foods that you should avoid eating when pregnant. Homemade hummus is usually safe, but the same bacterial issues that prevent the safe eating of unpasteurized cheese and milk products tend to exist in many prepared forms of hummus.
The bacteria can promote listeriosis, and cause serious health problems for the mother as well as the fetus. If you love hummus making it in small portions at home is usually what is recommended. This is actually a high value food with lots of good nutrients. The main issue is how long the bacteria have had to grow and how much was there in the first place. Making it at home gives more control over this issue.
Tofu and Soy
Tofu is on the controversial list of foods to avoid when you’re pregnant. There are studies that suggest that the consumption of soy products in large amounts is contributing to the increase in autism in children. These studies merely suggest that this is the link. There is some scientific evidence to support these claims, but there is no clear cut outcome or scientific stance on the topic. If you are one who is inclined to eat tofu or a lot of soy products, it’s worth the time to do some research of your own and determine how you wish to proceed, especially if you’re a vegetarian.
The proper preparation is one of the keys to avoiding contamination. Not only do you want to cook your foods well enough that you eliminate or significantly decrease bacteria but you also want to develop some other food preparation habits that make eating during pregnancy a bit safer. These are habits that you’re likely to instill for the rest of your life to protect the health of your new baby and your child as he or she grows.
Cross contamination is a problem. Don’t use the same cutting board and knives for raw vegetables that you used for cutting raw chicken. Keep all of your elements as clean and uncontaminated as possible. That way you’re less likely to pass bacteria from one source to another.
Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. This should be common practice whether you’re cooking or you’re out and about. Washing your hands prevents the spread of illness.
Drinks to Avoid
Naturally, you’ll want to avoid alcoholic beverages and an abundance of caffeine. You’ll also want to be very carefully about drinking herbal teas and herbal remedies. While some people swear that they are safe, there are other reports that herbal remedies, especially when taken in tea form, can be detrimental. Always ask a physician before you drink any herbal remedy.
Sugar that is present in soda, fruit juices, and powder drink mixes isn’t harmful in small amounts. At the same time you certainly don’t want to drink much of these types of drinks. Too much sugar is generally unhealthy and the chemical additives that are used can be dangerous in copious amounts.