What Not to Eat When You’re Pregnant
Congratulations, mama! We highlight a list of certain foods and beverages you should steer clear of during your pregnancy.
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There are a few foods and beverages you should steer clear of that can be potentially harmful to you or your developing child — mainly due to risk of foodborne illness or high levels of mercury. From sushi to safe caffeine levels, we’ve got you covered.
By avoiding certain meats, you will reduce your risk of contracting Listeria, a foodborne illness that may cause premature delivery, miscarriage and even fetal death. Avoid:
Eating that delicious queso at your favorite Mexican joint has to be put on hold for now. Unless they’re clearly labeled “made with pasteurized milk”, Dr. Starck recommends avoiding all soft cheeses, including:
Pre-pregnancy, your favorite meal might have included raw eggs. Now, however, it’s best to avoid eating those raw eggs and anything else that includes them because of potential exposure to Salmonella. Steer clear of:
Avoid fish with elevated levels of methyl mercury as they can cause brain damage or developmental delays. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), also known as environmental pollutants, should be avoided, too. Talk with your doctor about how often it’s safe to eat certain fish lower in mercury. It’s best to avoid the following fish:
You may be putting your baby at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) if you drink alcohol during pregnancy. FAS can affect your baby’s development and also put them at risk for behavioral, physical and learning problems.
“Avoid all beer, wine and hard liquor during pregnancy,” says Dr. Starck. “There is no safe level of consumption.”
Yes, you can still have your daily morning coffee, but only to a certain extent. How much caffeine a drink has can vary tremendously depending on how it’s prepared.
“Make certain you limit your consumption to no more than 200 mg per day,” she says. “And, make sure to drink no more than two 5 ounce cups of coffee and three 5 ounce cups of tea per day.”
Salt causes your body to retain water, so Dr. Starck recommends eating salty foods in moderation.
“Too much salt could cause your blood pressure to rise, increasing your risk for pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and swelling due to fluid retention,” she says.