Food products to avoid during pregnancy

Are you a sushi or a raw steak fan? Well, we have a bummer! The healthy development of your unborn child necessitates that you stay away from certain food products. You can heave a sigh of relief because the number of food items you should restrict outweighs you need not. Having the right knowledge about essential nourishment can go a long way. So, go through this list to add to your info bank.

  1. High mercury fish
  2. Processed junk food
  3. Undercooked or raw fish
  4. Alcohol
  5. Raw eggs

1. High mercury fish

Mercury, a highly toxic substance, should be avoided altogether. If consumed in a large quantity, it can wreak havoc on your nervous system, immune system and kidneys. Even intake in lower amounts can be detrimental for the healthy growth and development of your child.

See, water pollution is a pressing reality, and the large fish are hardly left untouched by it. Thus, it is a good idea to avoid them altogether during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Here’s a quick list of the fish you should avoid eating –

  • Shark
  • Orange roughy
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • King mackerel
  • Marlin
  • Tuna

Well, fret not. We have a solution for your taste buds too. Consuming low mercury fish isn’t only perfectly fine, but it is also recommended.

Your plate should have these fish at least twice or thrice in a week –

  • Anchovies and salmon – fantastic sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Cod
  • Tilapia
  • Flounder
  • Freshwater trout
  • Haddock

2. Processed junk food

If you have been taking a resolution to bid goodbye to junk food year after year but in vain, now is the time to stand by it. During pregnancy, a mother’s body demands increased nourishment. Adequate intake of protein, choline, iron and folate will be incredible for your little one too.

Myth – During pregnancy, you are eating for two.

Fact – You can consume your regular diet. You only need to add 350 calories every day during the first trimester and 450 calories per day during the second.

One prerequisite for a food item to be an ideal choice during pregnancy is that it should be full of nutrients which off course junk food isn’t. Cut the excess calories, sugar, and added fats and switch to whole foods to relish the magic of healthy eating.

Though gaining a couple of inches around your waistline during pregnancy is fine, you must keep a check on excessive weight gain. It can lead to gestational diabetes and a host of other complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

You should include more of these food items in your diet –

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Products with a high composition of healthy fats
  • Fibre-rich carbohydrates like whole grains, beans and starchy vegetables

3. Undercooked or raw fish

Here comes the bad news for the sushi fans. Raw fish, especially shellfish, can be disastrous and can come with viral bacterial and parasitic infections like Vibrio, Salmonella and Listeria. While a handful of these infections only affect the mother and can cause dehydration and weakness, the others may pass on to the baby and lead to fatal consequences.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are up to ten times more likely to be affected Listeria than the general population. The bacteria, generally found in soil, or contaminated water or plants is passed on to the raw fish during processing.

The sad part is that even if you don’t show any symptoms, this bacteria can be passed on to the baby through the placenta. It can lead to –

  • Premature delivery
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Other serious health complications in the baby

Good things come to those who wait. Just hold on, and soon you will be devouring your favourite sushi with your tiny tot.

4. Alcohol

The quantity of alcohol which is safe to consume during pregnancy is….. zero! Nothing increases the chances of stillbirth and miscarriage like alcohol. Even a small amount can negatively impact the development of your baby. It can also cause foetal alcohol syndrome, which involves facial deformities, intellectual disability and heart deformities. Do yourself and your kid a favour and put that wine glass away.

5. Raw eggs

Raw eggs can be a host for the Salmonella bacteria. The symptoms of the infection are –

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhoea

In rare cases, it may even induce cramps in the uterus, which can lead to stillbirth or premature delivery. Thus, you should keep an eye open for these food products as they can contain raw eggs –

  • Lightly scrambled eggs
  • Poached eggs
  • Homemade cake icings
  • Homemade ice cream
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Some homemade salad dressings
  • Homemade mayonnaise

If it is unavoidable, you can consume the product after reading the ingredients carefully since many brands have now switched to pasteurized eggs due to increased awareness.

Well, that’s a wrap! If you have any other doubts, you know that Ninio is your best friend. Happy parenting to you!

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