Feeding during pregnancy is important. You’re growing a baby, so be sure you stay clear of these foods to avoid when pregnant. After all, you need to maintain your body strong and healthy.

High-Mercury Seafood

As a general rule, some of the foods to avoid when pregnant are the shark, tile fish, swordfish, or King Mackerel.This is because of their levels of mercury.A high intake of mercury can be toxic to the nervous system.Thus, it’s not recommended during pregnancy or if you’re breastfeeding.

Under-cooked Eggs, Meat, Fish, Poultry or Shellfish

Cooking your meat submits it to high temperatures, killing all bacteria and parasites.Raw proteins are foods to avoid when pregnant because of their subtenant risk of contracting one of these bacteria and parasites.Eating undercooked proteins may put you at risk of:

Toxoplasmosis:

This is a disease which usually doesn’t produce any symptoms, but which you may pass to your unborn baby.Babies born with toxoplasmosis may be born also without showing symptoms.But they are at greater risk of developing blindness or learning disabilities later in life.

Listeria:

Listeriosis is a grave infection which raises the risks of fetal death, premature birth, or infection in newborns.

Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese, and Juice

As it happens to under cooked protein, unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juice is also rich with bacteria and parasites.Pasteurization is a process in which products are put through high temperatures.This process effectively kills any living bacteria that may be potentially harmful to humans.The Listeria particularly loves growing in unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juice. Always drink pasteurized milk and cook well your food, which kills the Listeria for good!

Poorly Washed Vegetables or Raw Sprouts

Although vegetables are a great source of nutrition and you shouldn’t generally avoid them during your pregnancy, they all need to be thoroughly washed with to kill germs and parasites.

Toxoplasmosis can be found in the surface of vegetables, so wash them under hot, soapy water along with cutting boards, surface, and kitchen utensils.However, some raw vegetables do fall under the list of foods to avoid when pregnant.

Eliminate raw sprouts completely from your diet.Avoid radish, beans, alfalfa, and clovers.Sprouts grow in warm and humid conditions, which makes them ideal habitats for the E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.No amount of washing can make them safe to eat.

But you can always cook them and eat them cooked!

Coffee and Energy Drinks

The studies of the effects of caffeine during pregnancy aren’t conclusive but they all have a negative tendency.The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women avoid consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine per day.Any more than that and it could lead towards miscarriage, low birth weight, or stillbirth.Although the evidence isn’t yet conclusive, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

For high-risk pregnancies, however, the risk can be greater depending on your condition.Caffeine raises your blood pressure and heart rate, so if you have developed pre-eclampsia in a previous pregnancy, have a history of high blood pressure, or are at risk of developing pre-eclampsia, you shouldn’t drink caffeine at all.

Sugar

For non-high-risk pregnancies, eating sugar is risky.But, for high-risk pregnancies, it’s downright dangerous.

Eating sugar may…

  • Promote the development of the fatty liver.
  • Contribute to baby’s low birth weight (due to Intrauterine Growth Restriction.)
  • Increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Cause unborn babies to be prone to metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
  • Contribute to increasing the risk of pre-eclampsia.
  • Increase the risk of heart diseases in your unborn baby’s lifespan, and…
  • May cause preterm delivery.

Straight to the point: Avoid sugar!

Soda

Granted, this isn’t one of the foods to avoid when pregnant, it’s one of the drinks to avoid when pregnant.Soda is a big no-no for pregnancies, high-risk or not, because they contain sodium, sugar, and caffeine.As you know now, those three are risky elements, particularly in an already high-risk pregnancy!Sweetened drinks, such as canned ice tea, or bottled juices, are also dangerous for the same reasons!Stay on the natural side with water and juices with no sugar.

Processed Junk Food

Last but not least, you should avoid processed junk foods.The last of my list of foods to avoid when pregnant is one of the most important ones!They contain high levels of sodium, trans fat, and sugars. And they pose additional risks of their own.

Junk foods may…

  • Increase the risk of having gestational diabetes.
  • Promote digestive problems.
  • Cause low birth weight in babies.
  • Increase the chances of genetic abnormalities in babies.
  • Increase the risk of your unborn child developing allergies later in life.
  • According to a study done on pregnant rats, babies may develop a liking for fatty, unhealthy foods.

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