The minute you find out that you’re pregnant, you become a mother. Although your baby is yet to be born, you are already caring for it and changing your lifestyle to accommodate it. You watch what and how much you eat and drink. You’re immediately more aware of what you’re putting in your body because what you eat, your baby eats. In fact, your entire diet is modified, and it’s one of the biggest aspects of your life that change during pregnancy.
There are certain things we know we have to avoid without giving them much thought, like alcohol, or sushi. But there’s a whole list of foods you should stay away from during pregnancy that go beyond the basics and may even surprise you.
What are the most common foods we all know to avoid?
Let’s start with what you may already know.
Undercooked meat, poultry, or fish
This is a big no-no during pregnancy. Raw foods can carry harmful bacteria that could be passed to your baby and affect its development. So it’s vital that you make sure anything you eat is properly cooked. Unfortunately, that means putting a pin in any sushi plans because that craving will have to wait. You can also forget about runny eggs for breakfast in the morning and if you like your steak on the medium side, you better get used to ordering it ‘well done’.
You can use the help of certain kitchen appliances to avoid undercooked foods.
Unpasteurized milk or dairy
The pasteurization process kills any harmful strains of bacteria. When you’re pregnant, you’re at a higher risk of contracting food-borne illnesses and although these are usually mild, there have been cases that have been life-threatening or resulted in severe complications.
This is a tough one to get used to, especially if you rely on multiple cups of coffee to get you through your day. When you’re pregnant you need to try avoiding caffeine and that also includes tea, or soft drinks like Coca Cola. High levels of caffeine can be dangerous to the fetus and can even result in miscarriage. Try limiting yourself to 1 or 2 mugs a day maximum and opt for decaf when you feel like you just need to have another cup.
Foods to avoid that may surprise you
This may come as a shock because not a lot of people know this, but Shawarma can be dangerous during pregnancy. Because of the multiple layers of meat, you can be at risk of eating a sandwich consisting of slightly undercooked pieces of Shawarma. Also, many restaurants use raw egg whites when making garlic sauces.
2| Cured Meats, Luncheons or Processed Meat
Deli meats are preserved with a ton of harmful additives. How else do they have a long shelf life? While there’s no immediate risk, they’re not healthy for you or your baby.
3| Soft Cheese
Feta, Ricotta, Brie, Camembert and Blue Cheese are but a few, and these are potentially harmful because they’re often made with unpasteurized milk, meaning some of the bacteria hasn’t been killed off.
4| Unwashed raw vegetables
Vegetables are extremely good for you and your baby, but if not properly washed, they can pose quite a risk by potentially carrying several kinds of harmful bacteria and parasites like Toxoplasma. Let’s say you go out to eat for dinner, avoid ordering a salad because you don’t quite know how well the vegetables have been washed. When you’re home, make sure you’re thoroughly washing and even peeling, your produce.
5| Certain types of fish
Certain kinds of fish can carry high levels of mercury, potentially harming your baby. This list includes tuna, marlin, mackerel and shark. Instead, opt for salmon, cod, or tilapia. Salmon, high in omega-3 fatty acid is an excellent alternative during pregnancy. Just make sure it’s cooked all the way through!
6| Junk Food
We all get a craving for junk food, and pregnancy can heighten that urge for many women. But when you’re carrying a baby, it’s vital that you’re eating the right nutrient and vitamin rich foods to support your baby and your body through the pregnancy. We hear the phrase “eating for two” a lot, but in fact, pregnant women aren’t expected to overeat as that can cause some complications. So, instead of eating junk food that won’t add much to your overall health, go for the foods that will benefit the both of you.
A mother’s diet during pregnancy has to be balanced, and nutritious. Although this might seem like a long list consisting of many of your favorites, it won’t be difficult to avoid them. The truth is, somehow your maternal instinct kicks in early on and you automatically have an intense desire to make the necessary changes for the health and safety of your baby. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it. Nine months will fly by and who’s to say you can’t celebrate the birth of your healthy baby with a Big Mac?
Click here heck out which Cosmetic ingredients to avoid when pregnant.