Healthy eating is vital at all times, but it’s even more important when you’re expecting a baby. Certain foods can harm you and your unborn child, leading to stillbirth, miscarriage, foodborne illness, and other pregnancy problems. Thus, you need to plan your diet carefully and make wise food choices. Eating well can increase your odds of a healthy pregnancy and keep your baby safe.
So, here are eight dangerous foods all pregnant women should avoid:
Undercooked poultry, beef, or seafood can lead to foodborne illnesses. They may contain parasites and bacteria that increase your risk of contamination. To stay safe, cook fish and seafood to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature should reach at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit for ground meat, and 165 degrees Fahrenheit for poultry.
High Mercury Fish
Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and tuna are high in mercury, which may cause growth problems and brain damage. The same goes for most types of fish used in sushi. Canned tuna has lower mercury levels, but it still should only be consumed in moderation.
Luncheon meat, hot dogs, sausages, salami, and other similar foods may contain Listeria, a bacterium that has the ability to cross the placenta and poison your baby. If you still want to eat deli meat, reheat it to steaming hot or 165 degrees Fahrenheit prior to consumption.
Unpasteurized milk and soft cheese can lead to severe food poisoning. These foods may be contaminated with Listeria, Salmonella, E. Coli, and other bacteria responsible for birth defects, premature birth, miscarriage, and other health problems.
Raw or undercooked eggs are prone to salmonella, which may cause foodborne illnesses, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion. To protect your health, avoid any foods containing raw eggs, such as chocolate mousse, mayonnaise, cakes, eggnog, Hollandaise sauces, and homemade Caesar dressings. In general, commercial dressings and ice cream are made with pasteurized eggs, so they are safe during pregnancy.
Unpasteurized juice, including freshly squeezed varieties, may contain E. Coli, salmonella, and other bacteria. To quench your thirst, choose commercial and pasteurized juices. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables.
Radish, clover, alfalfa, and other raw sprouts can contain germs that are impossible to wash away. Cook them thoroughly before eating.
Research shows that licorice may cause uterine contractions during pregnancy. This spice can increase your risk of premature labor, so it’s better to avoid it in all its forms.