Women generally put on weight during pregnancy due to the increasing nutrient requirements of the baby growing inside of them. While a healthy and varied diet is important, there are some specific foods to avoid during pregnancy. Here’s a short list of what not to eat when pregnant.
Generally meat is fine during pregnancy and recommended because of the high level of nutrients, especially the protein and iron that it offers. Just make sure it’s cooked medium to medium-well with no visible pink or red. Cooking the meat well avoids contamination of toxoplasma, a rare parasite that may cause infection.
Although the risk is relatively small, cured meats from the deli such as hams and salamis may cause listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. Pregnant women may wish to err on the side of caution. Eating cooked cured meats is fine, as long as they are eaten whilst piping hot.
Despite its high levels of iron, pregnant women are generally recommended to refrain from eating liver. Liver contains high levels of retinol (Vitamin A), which can be harmful to a developing fetus.
Fish is fine so long as it is with low levels of mercury. Some fish to avoid, which are known to have high levels of mercury, include Shark, Ray, Swordfish, Barramundi, Gemfish, Ling and Southern Blue fin Tuna. The bigger the fish, the more potential mercury it has. Salmon is fine, but just make sure you cook it. A general rule is to cook all your fish, so no sushi.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are fine for pregnant women so long as they are cooked well. This is due to the risk of salmonella. Make sure the eggs are cooked well with no runny yolks.
What to eat while pregnant
Eating a healthy and varied diet full of fruits, vegetables, cereals, grains, dairy and lean meats is essential for pregnant women. Pregnant women should be aware of an increase in specific nutrients due to the developing fetus inside them. Iron and Iodine and two important ones. Iron can be found in meat and green leafy vegetables and a good source of iodine can be found in milk, eggs and tuna. Also, omega 3 is vital for brain and nervous system development. Good sources of omega 3 include salmon, anchovies and flaxseed. Choline is also important for brain development and can be found in beef, chicken liver, soybeans and eggs.