Thursday, 12 March 2020

10 Foods To Avoid When Pregnant.

Foods to avoid when pregnant

 Making healthy food choices is very important for women when pregnant. Their diet will provide the right nutrients for the baby to develop and grow and it should keep the mother healthy. Eating a healthy diet that contains all the necessary vitamins and nutrients is recommended.

However, there are some foods that to avoid when pregnant as they can be harmful to you and your baby. They include:

1. Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables

The surface of unpeeled fruits and vegetables may be uncontaminated with bacteria and parasites like Salmonella, Listeria, E.Coli, and Toxoplasmosis. This contamination can occur from the soil or by handling. 

One very dangerous parasite that may be found on unwashed fruits and vegetables is Toxoplasma. Conditions such as blindness or brain damage may develop later in the life of infants infected while still in the womb. Be sure to wash all unpeeled fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.

2. Organ Meat

Organ meat like liver contains several important nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and copper. These nutrients are important for the expectant mother and child.

However, eating too much animal-based vitamin A (preformed vitamin A)  contained in these meats is not recommended during pregnancy. This is because it may cause vitamin A toxicity and high copper levels. These abnormally high levels can cause birth defects.

Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women should not eat organ meat like liver more than once a week.

3. Alcohol

Pregnant women are advised to completely avoid drinking alcohol, as it increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. 

Since no level of alcohol has been proven to be safe during pregnancy, it’s recommended to avoid it altogether. Even a small amount can negatively impact your baby's brain development.

It can also cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which involves facial deformities, heart defects, and intellectual disability.

3 foods to avoid when pregnant

4. Raw or undercooked meat

It is advisable to cook any meat thoroughly until there is no trace of pink or blood. This is because eating undercooked or raw meat increases the risk of infection from bacteria or parasites like Salmonella, E. coli, and Toxoplasma.
These organisms could cause blindness or even stillbirth.

5. Caffeine

Drinking a lot of caffeine has been linked to miscarriage and low birth weight. Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, and chocolate. Not more than 200 mg a day is advised.

6. Raw Eggs

Pregnant women should cook eggs properly before cooking because raw eggs can be contaminated by Salmonella. Salmonella can cause an infection in the mother with symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, and nausea. Severe infections may cause cramps which can lead to premature death and stillbirth.

7. High Mercury Fish

Severe infections High mercury fish include Shark, Swordfish, Tuna, King Mackerel. High amounts of mercury can cause kidney problems, nervous system issues, and serious developmental challenges in children.
Pregnant women can eat low mercury fish during pregnancy which is healthy because it contains omega-3 fatty acids.

8. Unpasteurized Milk and Cheese

Raw milk if contaminated can contain bacteria like Listeria, Salmonella, E Coli, and Campylobacter. If only raw or unpasteurized milk is available, it is better to boil it before drinking.

9. Sushi

Chilled seafood like sushi, raw oysters, cooked ready-to-eat prawns, and smoked ready-to-eat seafood have a high risk of Listeria contamination.

10. Pre-packaged salads

Prepackaged fruit and vegetable salads from buffets and salad bars have a high risk of Listeria contamination.

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