Every mother wants the best care for her baby. But most of the women while pregnant are not properly aware of which foods to avoid. Pregnancy is the most awaited and beautiful phase in a woman’s life. It brings a complete change in the body of a woman. It is also the most sensitive period in a woman’s life. So it becomes essential to understand that the extreme hormonal changes during pregnancy can have a huge impact on senses of taste and smell. And that is why craving for food is considered perfectly normal during this time. However, it is extremely important to take care of what you are eating during your pregnancy. There are certain foods that should be completely avoided in order to protect the health of your unborn baby. This is the time when pregnant women are showered with lots of advises but one should always consult a doctor regarding what food one must not eat in pregnancy. Meanwhile, you can have a look at some foods which are a big no during pregnancy.
Here is a list of foods that have proven to be dangerous during pregnancy and must be avoided-
10. Raw Vegetable Sprouts-
As sprouts are the best sources of proteins and minerals one might get confused that how can raw sprouts adversely affect the health during pregnancy. But the reality is that one should definitely avoid them as they are carriers of bacteria and viruses when eaten raw. Pregnant women have weaker immune systems and are more at risk of developing food borne diseases spread by theses sprouts. Raw sprouts like radish and beans cause salmonella- a disease caused by the bacteria residing on sprouts. Salmonella can proliferate very quickly and that is why raw sprouts become highly infectious. E-coli and salmonella bacteria also cause conditions like nausea, abdominal cramping, fever, diarrhea etc.
9. Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables-
Fruits and vegetables are very essential for a complete balanced diet especially if one is pregnant. But a recent study has found out that most people eat or cook fruits and vegetables that are not cleaned and washed properly. It can cause serious health problems especially when one is pregnant as the fruits and vegetables one is eating might contain harmful pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals. These can cause damage to the fetus. This also increases the chance of toxoplasmosis from the soil. Also one must avoid long refrigerated fruits and vegetables during these nine months in order to stay healthy.
Alcohol is the worst thing you can have during your pregnancy. There is absolutely no amount of alcohol that should be consumed during pregnancy. The prenatal exposure to alcohol is considered dangerous and can interfere with the healthy development of the baby. The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy might also cause fatal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders. If one has consumed alcohol before they got to know that they are pregnant then they should completely stop drinking it now. Alcohol should also be avoided during the breastfeeding period as alcohol reaches the baby during breastfeeding which causes health risks for the baby.
7. Uncooked Eggs-
Uncooked and soft boiled eggs are not recommended during pregnancy because the eggs might contain bacteria called salmonella which can be risky for the health of the baby. Salmonella poisoning is very much unpleasant while it cannot be passed on to the baby but it can cause side effects which can affect the baby’s health. Washing the eggs will also not help to get rid of the bacteria. So there is a need for proper cooking of the eggs in order to kill the germs. Eggs that are properly cooked i.e. where the yolk and the egg white have turned solid should only be consumed. Mayonnaise, mousses, fresh sorbets should be avoided as they are sometimes made using raw eggs.
6. Unpasteurized Milk-
Unpasteurized milk can pose huge health risks to your unborn baby. Start avoiding raw milk as these are the agents for carrying pathogens which can make you sick. Raw milk is at a significantly higher risk of being contaminated with Listeria compared to pasteurized milk, which can cause diseases like Listeriosis. Raw milk is known to cause various foodborne diseases and Listeriosis can be very dangerous. It can lead to severe illness, and the worst part is that it can cause miscarriage and still birth. Almost every doctor will advise their pregnant patients to stop consuming unpasteurized milk because of the various health dangers.
The liver is a good source of protein and is rich in vitamins and minerals. However, it is recommended not to eat them during pregnancy. The reason behind it is that liver and most of the liver products contain very high amounts of Vitamin A. Consuming too much Vitamin A especially during the first few months of pregnancy, has been linked to birth defects in babies. It is important to avoid high-dose multi-vitamin supplements, fish liver oil supplements and any supplement containing Vitamin A. The vitamins received from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are safe and do not pose any problems for the unborn baby.
4. Canned Food-
Pregnant women are more vulnerable to food poisoning after eating canned foods. Before canning these food products are heated to an extreme temperature to process them and kill the bacteria which also destroys essential nutrients and enzymes. Canned fruits and vegetables contain a compound called BPA or bisphenol which is a toxic substance in the plastics that line food cans. And when these types of food are eaten by a pregnant woman they are exposed to high levels of BPA. This toxic substance can also cause cancer, liver problems, birth defects etc. Pregnant women are also advised to not to eat canned tuna as they contain high levels of mercury which can be poisonous for health.
A pregnant woman should only consume 200 milligrams of caffeine per day according to doctors as caffeine can cause a lot of harm to the baby. It crosses the placenta and can affect the unborn baby’s heart rate. It is better to avoid caffeine during the first trimester to reduce the chances of miscarriage. It eliminates fluids from the body which can give rise to water and calcium deficiency in the body. If one is not sure about how much caffeine can be consumed then it is better to avoid it. Some doctors do not feel the need to cut off caffeine while others advise to avoid it. Studies have shown that consuming a high amount of caffeine often leads to premature birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants.
2. Some Seafood and fishes-
Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids but one must be careful while eating a fish during pregnancy. There are many foods that can cause serious health issues for both the mother and the baby. Some seafood and fish should be avoided while pregnant. Seafood that is refrigerated for long or smoked should be ignored as they can be easily contaminated with bacteria called listeria. Fish like mackerel, swordfish and shark contains high level of mercury which should be avoided as they cause brain and nervous system damage of the baby and developmental delays.
1. Foods rich in nitrate-
Whether you are pregnant or not it is always advised to limit the consumption of food containing chemicals as they can deteriorate our health very easily. Nitrates are added to foods like salami, bacon, sausages, diet sodas etc to provide color and to prolong their shelf life. When these nitrates and nitrites are added to food products they form nitrosamines which in turn increase the chances of developing cancer. These nitrates and additives can also cause diseases like brain tumor and diabetes. However, it is not proven whether these diseases occur solely due to consumption of foods rich in nitrate but these foods have very low or no nutritional qualities. So it is better to avoid them and the health risks associated with them.
Eating a balanced diet is important every day, but it becomes even more essential when you are pregnant. There are various essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your developing baby needs. So one should keep in mind both theirs and the health of their baby in order to have a healthy pregnancy time.