Pregnancy Information Diet Avoid Food

Mothers who consume healthy diets rich in nutrients during pregnancy tend to have healthier babies than mothers who don’t adhere to a nutritious diet. In addition, these mothers often find it easier to lose weight after giving birth.

However, while women should seek out fresh and healthy foods to eat on during their pregnancies, there are also some foods that they should avoid. Here are some guidelines to help you adhere to a healthy pregnancy diet.

Raw, Cooked and Processed Meat

Under-cooked or raw meat, poultry or seafood should be completely avoided on a pregnancy diet. A good way to ensure you do not consume under-cooked meat is to use a meat thermometer when cooking.

When pregnant, you should cook your meat and poultry to the following temperatures:

  • Pork and beef should reach 160°F.
  • Chicken breasts should be cooked to 170°F.

Sausage, hot dogs and deli meat all need to be cooked prior to eating during pregnancy. You should cook all of these processed meats until they are steaming. This will kill any bacteria that may be present in them.

Eating Eggs during Pregnancy

Pregnant women should take care when eating eggs during pregnancy. Runny scrambled eggs, homemade salad dressings and egg nog are not safe for pregnant women to consume. With raw or undercooked eggs, you run the risk of salmonella poisoning.

Pregnant women should eat eggs only if they are cooked until both the whites and the yolks are firm. When ordering eggs at a restaurant, make sure to ask for them to be cooked well-done.

Avoiding Sprouts During Pregnancy

Pregnant women shouldn’t eat any form of raw sprouts during pregnancy. Sometimes, you will find sprouts on sandwiches or in salads at restaurants. Be sure to ask for your items to be prepared without them, as raw sprouts may contain bacteria.

Soft Cheeses and the Pregnancy Diet

Many soft cheeses, including feta, brie and queso fresco, are not safe for pregnant women. These cheeses are made with unpasteurized milk and run the risk of containing the Listeria bacteria. If you get food poisoning from Listeria, you run the risk of having a miscarriage, going into premature labor or even having a stillbirth.

If you are pregnant and are craving soft cheeses, look for pasteurized versions of these products. Many stores carry pasteurized soft cheeses. Just make sure to read the label carefully.

Eating Fish During Pregnancy

Rules about eating fish change often. As a general rule, however, women should avoid fish that can retain high levels of mercury. Fish to avoid include:

  • grouper
  • king mackrel
  • marlin
  • orange roughy
  • shark
  • swordfish
  • tilefish.

Pregnant women should limit their intake of the following fish to no more than three 6-ounce servings per month:

  • bluefish
  • croaker
  • halibut
  • lobster
  • saltwater bass
  • sea trout
  • tuna (canned, white albacore)
  • tuna (fresh bluefin and ahi).

In addition, pregnant women should limit their intake of other fish, including those that are low in mercury. Talk to your doctor about how much fish you can include in your pregnancy diet.

Raw Fish and Shellfish

Raw fish and shellfish can be a source of the parasite Toxoplasma. If consumed, Toxoplasma can cause brain damage to your developing baby and fetal blindness.

Caffeine and the Pregnancy Diet

Until recently, caffeine was considered to be completely off limits to pregnant women. Today, however, many doctors agree that having one or two servings of caffeinated beverages a day while pregnant is acceptable.

Pregnant women, however, should be careful to monitor their levels of caffeine. Consuming too much could cause a miscarriage. Due to this fact, many pregnant women opt to avoid caffeine throughout their pregnancies.

If you want to limit your caffeine intake, drink water, caffeine-free soda and coffee or juices.

Resources

American Pregnancy Association (2007.) Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy. Retrieved October 6, 2007 from the American Pregnancy.org Web site: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/foodstoavoid.html.

Brody, J. (2007, July 24). Dispelling Pregnancy Myths: Eating for 1.5. New York Times, p. F7.

Encyclopedia Britannica (2007). Pregnancy. Retrieved October 5, 2007, from the Encyclopedia Britannica Online Web site: http://search.eb.com/eb/article-76067.

Mayo Clinic (2007). Pregnancy Nutrition: Foods to Avoid. Retrieved October 6, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic.com Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-nutrition/PR00109.