Becoming pregnant is an amazing process that is often full of joy, excitement, and, of course, some stressors. However, it also means some aspects of your life will change over time and some aspects have to change overnight. One thing that changes immediately is your diet. Unfortunately, it can be a little confusing when it comes to knowing foods to avoid while pregnant. Which is exactly why we wanted to write this article. So let’s dive into our guide on what foods you should avoid while pregnant!
Why Should I Change My Diet?
There can be a few reasons as to why you should change your diet and why you’ll need to change how you order your favorite meals. For example, the way you order your meat will have to change. The days of ordering your steak medium-rare or rare have come to an end. Why? Eating any meat that still shows pink can put your baby at risk, due to any bacteria that may not have been completely eliminated. Other diet adjustments can be more easily related to foods that can trigger or worsen morning sickness.
The age of Volcano Rolls has come to an end. Sushi may taste fantastic, but you should add it to the list of foods to avoid while pregnant. Unfortunately, consuming raw fish can bring a number of harmful bacteria and parasites into your system. One common risk of eating sushi is the possibility of coming down with listeria, which is a harmful infection for both you and your baby. So as much as you love sushi, you’ll have to give yourself a break, but just think about all the sushi you can get down the road!
Next on the chopping block is alcohol. Consuming alcohol while pregnant can lead to a multitude of problems, including FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. It’s often said that you can have a safe amount of alcohol while pregnant, but the CDC states that there is no known safe consumable amount of alcohol while pregnant. Any alcohol consumed travels through your blood into the umbilical cord and directly into your baby. So your safest option is to simply wait until after your pregnancy is over to resume drinking.
Whether it’s part of a new diet trend or you’re just trying to bulk up and add muscle, you’ll have to put aside the raw eggs. The FDA warns that just like raw fish, raw eggs can carry a number of harmful bacterias that can cause a number of problems.
Avoid Herbal Teas
There has been much discussion on whether or not herbal teas are safe for pregnant women. The safest choice to make is to avoid these teas altogether. The herbal teas you buy at the grocery store are not strictly regulated by any governing body, which means they may have been inadvertently contaminated by unwanted compounds.
You’re gonna wanna wash those fruits and vegetables before eating them. Why? It’s easy for fresh produce to be contaminated by harmful bacteria and as a result, they are often sprayed with pesticides. So it’s always best to clean your produce before consuming or cooking them. To learn more about fresh produce tips for a safe diet, visit the FDA’s website.
Ready to Eat Meats
Who isn’t a fan of picnics and cookouts? Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to cancel all of your upcoming cookout plans. What you will need to do is be watchful of your “ready to eat meats”. So what falls under that umbrella?
- Deli meat
- Cold cuts
Now if you heat these meats up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit then you’re good to go. But I don’t think cooked jerky will be too tasty… It’s best to add these ready-to-eat meats to your list of foods to avoid while pregnant.
Fish High In Mercury
This is something that most people aren’t very aware of. It’s also something that isn’t really advertised on menus or on grocery labels either because, unless you’re pregnant, you don’t have to worry about it much. So what’s an easy rule to follow in regards to mercury levels in fish? Think small! The smaller the fish the better. All fish contain mercury and the bigger the fish the more mercury it has. So what are some fish to avoid?
- Sea Bass
Fish from Local Areas
If you love fishing then I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you can still fish! The bad news is that you may not be able to keep any of your catches to cook if it’s from local areas such as lakes and ponds. You’ll need to look at your local advisories to see if there are any known contaminants in your local area. If none are available then limit your intake to 6 ounces. If you’re out in the great outdoors, then feel free to cook whatever you catch. Just remember, small fish only.
No More Energy Drinks
The mornings of waking up half-awake and chugging a Red Bull or Monster are over. These drinks are filled to the brim with caffeine, which is exactly why they are loved by millions, but unfortunately, you need to watch how much caffeine you drink while pregnant. You’ll need to make sure that your caffeine intake doesn’t surpass 200 milligrams a day.
Say Goodbye to Sprouts
Sprouts, just like any produce item, can be a risk, but even more so than other produce. Your typical veggie or fruit is perfectly fine after you wash it, but sprouts have a larger history of causing their consumers to fall ill. All forms of sprouts can carry a number of health risks but the two main ones are E Coli. and Salmonella. Sprouts are grown in warm and moist conditions, which can be perfect for the rapid growth of bacteria.
No More Unpasteurized Foods
It’s time to cut out many of the soft cheeses like brie, mozzarella, and camembert unless the label specifically states that pasteurized milk was used. Not only do we want to avoid unpasteurized milk, but the same goes for juices. A good rule of thumb is that everything needs to be pasteurized.
Speak With Your OB-GYN About Your Diet
The most important thing you can do is sit down and talk with your OB. Never feel bad about bouncing your questions and concerns off of them. It’s their job to help you and they will most likely have a few pamphlets or guides that you can take home to help you. Trust me, your OB is going to become your best friend over these nine or so months. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help!
How We Can Help
It’s important not to stress during your pregnancy, which is easier said than done. That’s why our team at LivingWell Medical Clinic is dedicated to helping you during this process. Whether you need help finding a good OB-GYN or are looking for community support such as housing or aid, we can help. If you have any questions or need support, call us at 530.272.6800. We would love to meet you.
The content on this page has been reviewed and approved by our Nursing Director.