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Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

During pregnancy you need to take special care with your diet, as several foods can hinder the baby’s development and be harmful to your pregnancy health.

In addition to toxic substances such as alcohol, and sugar in excess, raw fish, and fruits or vegetables that are not washed properly should be avoided as they may be contaminated with micro-organisms that can affect the baby. 

Here is a list of foods that should be avoided during pregnancy:

1. Raw fish and undercooked meat

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Raw fish, such as sushi and undercooked meat should be avoided because they can be contaminated with a bacteria called listeria, which can cause miscarriage and premature labor. These foods may also cause infections like cysticercosis, which can affect the nervous system and hinder the brain’s development.

2. Raw eggs

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Raw and undercooked eggs should be avoided because they can contain bacteria called salmonella, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and death.  

So it is important to avoid eating desserts, sauces, and homemade seasonings that are made with raw eggs, such as homemade mayonnaise or Caesar salad dressing. 

3. Unpasteurized milk

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Unpasteurized milk, such as milk that comes directly from farms, should be avoided because it contains high levels of bacteria that can cause bowel infections, diarrhea, and general discomfort.  

Therefore, you should always have UHT or pasteurized milk because these types of milk are processed at high temperatures in order to eliminate any microorganisms that might be present. 

4. Soft unpasteurized cheeses

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Soft cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola, and Danish Blue, contain a lot of water, and they may contain listeria, which can cause headaches, chills, convulsions, and meningitis, and also affect the baby’s nervous system and, in more serious cases, cause a miscarriage.  

5. Under washed fruit and vegetables

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Fruit and vegetables that are not washed correctly are sources of contamination of toxoplasmosis, which can lead to premature labor, malformations, and even miscarriage and death of the baby.

Therefore, all fruits and vegetables should be washed properly before being ingested and you should avoid eating these foods outside your home.

6. Tin tuna

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Fish such as tuna, mackerel, sword-fish, dogfish, and grouper should be avoided during pregnancy because they contain high levels of mercury and heavy metals which can affect the development of the baby’s nervous system. 

On the other hand, sardines, trout, herring, gray snapper, mackerel, and tuna from fish farms are safe for mother and baby and are good dietary options. 

7. Coffee

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Some studies show that too much caffeine can cause miscarriages. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to limit caffeine intake to 300 mg per day, which is about two to three cups of coffee. 

8. Food with caffeine

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

In order for the expectant mother to stay within the caffeine intake limit, foods and drinks that contain caffeine should also be avoided. This includes coca-cola, green tea, black tea, and mate tea. 

9. Sweeteners

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Even though most sweeteners are safe for your health, pregnant women should avoid artificial sweeteners, such as cyclamate and aspartame, and opt for natural sweeteners made from sucralose or stevia, which are safe for the baby, even in high quantities.

10. Alcoholic drinks

Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Alcoholic drinks should be avoided because alcohol accumulates in the baby’s organism as she is not able to eliminate it. This can cause the onset of premature labor, growth delay, and heart malformations.

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  • AMERICAN PREGNANCY ASSOCIATION. Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy. Available on: <https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/caffeine-intake-during-pregnancy/>. Access in 09 May 2019
  • LUTZ, Carrol; PRZYTULSKI, Karen. Nutrición y dietoterapia. 5.ed. México: McGraw Hill, 2011. 180-214.
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