Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such an exciting time, whether you just found out you’re pregnant after feeling cramps, nausea and tender breasts or because you counted down the days to ovulation. Either which way, seeing the pink positive sign on the stick is a feeling no one can quite describe. After coming down from you high, your mind starts to race with thoughts and questions about what needs to change or modify now that I am pregnant.
This blog is going to help spell out the foods you should stay away from or limit during pregnancy. Look at it as a quick guide to help you make the best choices for you and your little one.


Unpasteurized Dairy Products and Soft Cheeses

This does not affect many people in America, since majority of the dairy products sold inside supermarkets are pasteurized. But some people do choose to consume unpasteurized dairy products. The reason to stay away from these products is due to the high potential of food posioning due to bacteria. The other important item to be vigilant about when you are expecting is soft cheeses such as unpasteurized feta and brie. This is due to their higher potential to carry Listeria bacteria which have been linked to causes miscarriages. So rule of thumb, stick to pasteurized dairy products and cheese.

Raw Food

This seems obvious when is comes to raw sushi, but it still holds true about certain other foods consumed raw. For example sprouts should be cooked prior to consumption while pregnant due to the potential of some harmful bacteria or virus which may cause food poisoning. I know some of you are thinking wait what about salad?!? Yes you can eat salad, I personally suggest that you are sure that where it was prepared you’re certain of the quality of food and level of hygeine involved (but really this goes for any type of food you eat cooked or raw during pregnancy). So don’t get too anal about the raw vs. cooked scenario when it coms to fruits and veggies. Just make smart choices.

Excess Caffeine

This is something you have probably seen in almost every pregnancy book or heard from your doctor. I for one stopped drinking coffee and caffeinated tea when I found out I was pregnant, and then only drank it when I really was exhausted and needed to get things done. My reason was because this way the effect was stronger when I did consume caffeine since I didn’t have it every day. According to the literature it is safe to have 200 mg/day. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it helps eliminate fluids from the body. This can result in water and calcium loss. It is important that you are drinking plenty of water, juice, and milk rather than caffeinated beverages.
If you choose to consume caffeine, please note that not all tea and coffee cups are NOT the same. But if you are in doubt about how much caffeine is in your cup of coffe or caffeinated beverage please refer to the table below. As for anything during pregnancy, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor about consuming caffeine, since some woman are more at risk then others.

Specific Seafood

Don’t be disheartened here, this does not mean NO seafood consumption while pregnant. I have written about this in my Mercury and Seafood blog as well, but the rule of thumb is to stay away from certain seafood due to the high mercury levels found in some seafood. The fish to stay away from are: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Canned, chunk light tuna generally has a lower amount of mercury than other tuna, but still should only be eaten in moderation.

Raw or Uncooked Non-Vegetarian Food

This refers to all cured meats such as prosciutto (parma ham) and salami.The reason to steer away here is once again due to you being more susceptible to getting two illnesses listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. These illnesses both cause flue-like symptoms a few weeks after you’ve been affected and is hard to pinpoint the direct cause. Although they are both fairly mild illnesses for you, they can be very harmful to your unborn baby. It’s okay to have these ingredients on pizza or pasta per se, only if it has been cooked.
Also stay away from consuming raw eggs. I know this may be obvious, but please pay attention to salad dressing labels, desserts like mousse, soufflé as they contain raw eggs in their preparation. As for consuming eggs for breakfast the safest way to prepare your eggs is to make sure they are cooked all the way through so the yolk is firm. This doesn’t mean that ALL the time the runny yolks will have salmonella, but I err on the side of caution and I didn’t consume over easy eggs.

Deli Meat and Smoked Salmon

The rule of thumb is to not consume deli meat for its potential to carry listeria. I was told I could consume deli meat in moderation during my pregnancy. I waited until I was out of the first trimester to do so. As for smoked salmon (lox, nova style) they say to stay away from those as well. I consumed some but tried to hold back. A trick I learned was to take the smoked salmon and throw it on a frying pan and heat the smoked salmon on both sides quickly this way to kill bacteria that may be present.


There is NO amount of alcohol that is known to be safe during pregnancy, and therefore alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere with the healthy development of the baby. Depending on the amount, timing, and pattern of use, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders.
I hope this food to avoid guide was helpful and please don’t hesitate to contact me about any questions or additional pregnancy related blog topics.
Eat Well and #beNaturAli

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