23 Foods to Avoid In Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most important and vital moments in a woman life, but it comes with a lot of nutritional challenges to deal with. You might not been bothered to find out the foods to avoid in pregnancy

It is very necessary as a pregnant woman to find out the right diet good for your health.

Expecting mothers have the burden to consider what they consume to avoid harmful foods and beverages.

Certain foods should be avoided completely whiles others should be taken with caution. It is always important to consider your health first, since any contamination can harm both you and your baby.

Here are 23 foods to avoid or minimize in pregnancy.

#1. High-mercury fish

Fish containing high amount of mercury

Mercury can imbed your unborn baby brain and nervous system. It can affect the immune system and the kidneys in large amount. High-mercury fish is considered toxic and as such, should be counted among the foods to avoid during pregnancy.

It is therefore advisable for pregnant women to limit their consumption of high-mercury fish to not more than 1-2 times per month.

In addition to that, pregnant women should note that not all fish are high in mercury.

High-mercury fish includes:

  • Shark
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Swordfish

Taking low-mercury fish as an alternative during pregnancy is very healthy and can be taken 2 times per week.

#2. Under-cooked raw meat

Avoid under-cooked raw meat, sea food, fish, beef and poultry. You can be exposed to vibrio, salmonella and listeria if not cooked well.

Raw fish and contaminated water or plants are common source of listeria infections.

It should be noted that, pregnant women are up to 20 times more likely to get infected by listeria and as such should be very careful when dealing under-cooked meat or poultry.

#3. Unpasteurized cheese

Unpasteurized cheese should be avoided because of the high tendency to get infected with listeria.

Food labels can be used to guide your choice of selection when to avoid unpasteurized cheese. e.g. Blue cheese.

Read More: 7 Nutritional Guidelines During Pregnancy

#4. Energy drink, tea and coffee

It is unsafe for a pregnant woman to take energy drink, tea, and coffee regularly. Coffee contains caffeine and when taken in excess can lead to miscarriage, low birth and the likelihood of difficult birth.

#5. Avoid Raw Egg

raw eggs to avoid in pregnancy

Raw egg can be contaminated with salmonella when not stored well. Doctors recommends the avoidance of raw egg consumption since the symptoms of salmonella can affect the mother and can be very fatal.

Fiver, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps are common symptoms usually experienced by the infected mother.

In rare cases the infection can lead to premature birth or stillbirth. Foods that usually contain raw eggs includes:

  • Salad dressings
  • Homemade mayonnaise
  • Poached eggs
  • Cake icings

Pasteurized eggs are always recommended by pregnant women and in most situations, commercial products have labels to guide your choice of selection.

#6. Unclean fruits and vegetables

Wash all fruits and vegetables from traces of soil and dirt. Improper washing of fruits and vegetables can be harmful to the health of the mother and the unborn baby.

#7. Unpasteurized milk

Listeria contamination is usually common with unpasteurized milk and therefore it is advisable for pregnant women to check labels to avoid it.

Read More: 23 Healthy Tips To Consider as a Pregnant Woman

#8. Organ meat

Organ meats are great source of nutrients, which includes vitamin B12, A, and copper which are good for you and your unborn baby.

However, high consumption of organ meat in the body will increase the concentration of vitamin A and copper in the body which can lead to vitamin A toxicity as well as high levels of copper. This can result to birth defects. Hence, pregnant women are cautioned to reduce organ meat consumption to not more than once a week.

#9. Alcohol

Alcohol used should be completely avoided in pregnancy. The use of alcohol during pregnancy has shown to increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and difficulty in giving birth.

It can cause brain impairment or affect your baby’s brain development.

#10. Processed junk foods

Junk foods to avoid during pregnancy

Much nutrients is required during pregnancy and as a pregnant woman there is the need to stick to foods containing high proportion of nutrients.

Processed foods are known to contain less amount of nutrients required for the proper development of your baby and your health. Processed foods contains high calories, sugars and fats which can lead to additional weight gain and other secondary diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

#11. Raw shellfish

Raw shellfish such as crabs, lobsters, prawns, oysters, scallops, mussels and crayfish are among foods to avoid in pregnancy since they can contain harmful bacteria and viruses which can lead to food poisoning.

#12. Raw sprouts

Among foods to avoid in pregnancy is Raw sprouts, since sprouts are normally not boiled before eating and can contain harmful bacteria which can both the mother and the unborn baby.

#13. Salami, sausage, and bacon

Nitrate is one of the major ion found in salami, sausage and bacon. Nitrate is harmful to both the mother and the unborn baby, and these foods should be avoided in pregnancy.

#14. Unripe Papaya (Pawpaw)

Eating unripe pawpaw can be detrimental to your health as a results of certain chemicals present. It can lead to uterine contractions and eventually premature birth.

#15. Canned foods

The lining of the canned foods can cause fertility problems and food poisoning.

#16. Herbal teas and supplements

There are many herbal teas and supplements which are not recommended for pregnant women due to the questions surrounding their right dosage and detailed research with respect to their effect on the mother and the unborn baby. These includes:

  • Chamomiles tea
  • Green tea ( contain high caffeine)

The following herbs should also be avoided since they can interrupt the normal process of pregnancy.

  • Alfalfa
  • Black cohosh
  • Comfrey
  • Hibiscus
  • Kava
  • Rosemary

#17. Foods that cause allergy

During pregnancy, there are lots of chemical reactions and changes that goes through the body of the mother and can cause the body to react to certain foods which can be harmful to your health.

There are certain types of food your body will be allergic to and it is important to pay attention to such foods and restrain from eating them, in order to maintain your health and your unborn baby.

Foods such as soya beans, pea nuts should be avoided if you are allergic to them.

#18.Vitamin A supplements

Vitamin A can naturally be found in organ meats, and therefore additional intake of this vitamin through supplements can lead to vitamin A toxicity which can lead to birth defects and other birth complications.

#19. Liver products

One of the major nutrients in liver is vitamin A, which when taken in high amount can also lead to vitamin A toxicity resulting to birth complications.

#20. Leftovers

Foods which are left open at room temperature for more hours should be avoided. Such foods can harbor bacterial and can be harmful to both the mother and the fetus.

#21. Licorice or mulethi

Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid, which can cause complications when taken in large quantities. It is advisable to avoid the use of licorice during pregnancy since it can cause several fetal developmental issues and preterm labor.

#22. Pineapple

The consumption of pineapple should be avoided or minimized during pregnancy. Pineapple contain bromelain and can lead to early labor.

#23. Ajinomoto or MSD

If you are a Chinese food lover you would have heard about Ajinomoto or MSD (Monosodium Glutamate) which is a kind of seasoning amino acid which is used in seasoning to make food more delicious. It is also known to be popular in India.

However, it is also not safe to be used by pregnant women since it can majorly affect the brain development of the fetus.

Bottom line

Well the list is endless, but I have tried to come up with the most common ones.

I hope this information will be helpful to you. You can share or you can ask me any question concerning this article and I will be more than able to help you.

Leave a Comment