(Image source: http://propregnancyplanner.com/2015/03/18/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/)
Eating well during your pregnancy is more than simply increasing the amount of food you eat, you must also consider what you eat. You should avoid eating some foods during your pregnancy, because they can cause food poisoning, and the presence of bacteria, parasites or chemicals in these foods could harm your unborn infant. Products that include all the things listed above are dairy products, meat, seafood and fish, unwashed fruits and vegetables, and drinks.
Food to Avoid: Dairy Products
Dairy products are great sources of calcium, vitamin D, protein, and phosphorus. These nutrients are very important for your baby’s developing bones, teeth, nerves, muscles, and heart, and for blood clotting. But some dairy products like cheeses, especially soft cheeses, can contain a bacteria that’s called listeria, and even a mild form of this infection can lead to stillbirth, miscarriage, or severe illness in your newborn baby.
- Soft cheeses – such as Chèvre, Camembert, Brie, Panela, Feta,
- Moldy cheeses – such as cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and cream cheese.
- Mexican style cheeses – especially Queso Blanco and Queso Fresco, unless they openly claim that they are made from pasteurized milk.
- Soft, blue-veined cheeses – like Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Danish blue.
Solution: Simply, eat hard cheeses. Swiss cheese or Cheddar are better options. Always consume cheese that is made of pasteurized milk.
Do not drink unpasteurized milk, including unpasteurized sheep’s or goats’ milk, or any food that’s made of them, as the soft goats’ cheese.
If only raw (unpasteurized) milk is available, boil it first.
Solution: Always drink pasteurized milk, or fresh and boiled milk. And if you love dairy products such as ice cream, paneer (cottage cheese), ghee, etc., need to be bought off labels that use pasteurized milk. The food is not healthy for expectant mums if it’s not made with pasteurized milk.
Food to Avoid: Meat
Any non-vegetarian person has meat cravings. Mums-to-be just love to gorge on meat, but they will need to make an exception on some meets during pregnancy. Recent research has proven that raw or undercooked meat should be avoided because they contain Listeria bacteria. Refrigerated meat such as beef, lamb, goat, etc., must be heated up to 165 F. The same is for poultry such as ham, chicken, turkey, geese, duck, etc.
Mums-to-be can experience food poisoning due to the parasite Toxoplasma gondii present in raw meat and poultry, which can cause fetal damage, vomiting, and miscarriages.
Cook all meats and poultry thoroughly so there’s no trace of blood or pink. Be particularly careful with minced meat and sausages.
The latest advice from FSA (Food Standards Agency) is that pregnant women should care more when eating cold cured meats such as chorizo, salami, Parma ham and pepperoni because these meats are not cooked but fermented and cured so they can contain coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. So when dining out, make sure your meat is thoroughly cooked and steaming hot. When you cook at home, the temperature should reach 145 F for whole cuts, for ground meats like hamburger 160 F, and for chicken breasts 165 F.
Solution: If you have strong meat cravings, make sure it’s not undercooked or uncooked. So wash the meat well before consuming, so as to remove the nasty bacteria in them. We also recommend you to use food thermometer while cooking.
Click here to learn more about what foods to avoid during pregnancy, including seafood and fish, raw eggs, unwashed fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized juice and caffeine-related products.