For many reasons that even scientists do not fully understand, the immune systems of a woman during pregnancy is weaker than at other times and she is not able to withstand infections as well as she would otherwise.
Also, she becomes more sensitive to certain tastes and smells and her digestion also slows down, so that the list of foods to avoid in pregnancy can become rather long.
So what are the foods to avoid in pregnancy altogether?
- Raw meat, fish and poultry, are items that pregnant women should steer clear of. From uncooked or inadequately cooked seafood, beef and poultry there is the apprehension of infections such as salmonella, coliform bacteria and toxoplasmosis being acquired; so they should be avoided.
- Raw eggs and foods containing raw eggs, such as mayonnaise, certain mousses and desserts, some sauces, etc could also be contaminated with salmonella, and should be part of the list of foods to avoid in pregnancy.
- Things made with unpasteurized milk, and a number of soft cheeses also present the problem of possibly passing on harmful bacteria .
- Certain kinds of fish should be avoided during pregnancy, since they are to have higher levels of mercury in them. The mercury content in fish such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, etc cause the apprehension of possible brain damage in the unborn child.
- Also fish from contaminated lakes and those that contain industrial pollutants or PCBs should be avoided, so with all fish, it is important to check what is safe for consumption in pregnancy. There are some fish that should form part of foods to avoid in pregnancy.
While some foods are to be avoided in pregnancy, others can be consumed by taking some care and exercising caution –
- Certain deli meats could present the problem of listeriosis, when they have been stored at insufficiently low temperatures. So when having them, be sure to heat them sufficiently to be sure of killing all the harmful bacteria in them if consumed in the right way there is no real need for deli meats to be foods to avoid in pregnancy.
- Another possible reason to avoid deli meats and cold cuts is if they contain MSG, which is a flavor enhancer which some medical professionals advice against consuming during pregnancy.
- It is MSG again that can be part of a number of items in Chinese food, so this should also be consumed with care during pregnancy.
- It isn’t just foods to avoid in pregnancy; be careful of the beverages that you drink as well. Though artificial sweeteners are safe on the whole, you may want to be extra cautious during pregnancy. Artificially sweetened beverages should be avoided and even if you have fruit juices avoid the sort that has added artificial sugar in them.
- Try and avoid raw sprouts since these have also been associated with salmonella. Though sprouts are very healthy to eat, for pregnant women, it is best to eat these cooked, rather than put them of the list of foods to avoid in pregnancy.
- Steer clear of fried and over spiced food during pregnancy since this can increase your chances of getting acidity and indigestion, which can be quite a problem for pregnant women.
- Be extra careful of hygiene, wash hands thoroughly, directly after handling any raw meat, and make sure that you don’t eat anything that looks dodgy. Foods that are stale or look iffy should be foods to avoid in pregnancy.