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11 Foods and Beverages to Avoid During Pregnancy – What Not to Eat

When pregnant, one of the most important things they learn is what they cannot eat. If you are a big fan of rare steaks, sushi, coffee or coffee, this can be very frustrating.

There’s more to eat than you might think. It’s up to you to know how to navigate these waters (low mercury waters). To stay healthy, you will need to be careful about what you eat.

Some foods should be avoided entirely, while others should not be eaten at all. These are 11 foods and drinks you should avoid while pregnant.

10 Foods & Beverages You Should Avoid during Pregnancy: What to Avoid

Avoid foods and drinks that could put your baby and you at risk for harmful bacteria.

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  1. High mercury fish

Mercury is highly toxic. Mercury is highly toxic and has not been proven safe to be exposed.

In higher quantities, it can cause damage to your nervous system, immune system and kidneys. Even in low amounts, it can cause severe developmental problems in children.

Large marine fish can accumulate large amounts of mercury because it is found in polluted waters. It is best to avoid mercury-rich fish during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Avoid high-mercury fish such as

  • shark
  • swordfish
  • king mackerel
  • tuna (especially bigeye tuna)
  • marlin
  • Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
  • orange roughy

It’s important to remember that not all fish contain mercury.

Low-mercury fish is good for pregnancy. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these fish can be consumed up to three times per week trusted Source.

Low-mercury fish are abundant and include:

  • anchovies
  • cod
  • flounder
  • haddock
  • salmon
  • tilapia
  • trout (freshwater)

Anchovies and salmon are good choices for babies, because they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acid.


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  1. Uncooked or raw fish

This one is not easy for sushi lovers, but it’s crucial. Many infections can be caused by raw fish, particularly shellfish. These infections can be viral, bacteria, or parasitic.

These infections can only affect you and cause weakness and dehydration. You may pass on other infections to your baby, which can have serious or fatal consequences.

Listeria infections are more common in pregnant women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are 10 times more likely to contract Listeria from a resting Source than the general population. Hispanic pregnant women are at greater risk than the general population, 24 times higher.

This bacteria can also be found in soil, contaminated water, and plants. Raw fish can be infected by bacteria from processing such as smoking and drying.

Even if you don’t have any symptoms, Listeria bacteria can pass to your baby via the placenta. According to the CDCTrusted source, this can cause premature birth, miscarriage or stillbirth and other serious health issues.

Avoid raw fish and shellfish. This includes sushi. It’s safe to eat again, but you will enjoy it more once your baby is born.

  1. Uncooked, raw and processed meat

Raw fish can also cause problems in undercooked meat. Consuming raw or undercooked meat can increase your risk of contracting several parasites or bacteria, such as Toxoplasma and E. Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli.

Bacteria can cause serious neurological problems in your baby, such as intellectual disability and blindness.

Most bacteria can be found on the surface and in whole meats, but other bacteria could lurk within the muscle fibers.

Whole cuts of meat, such as sirloins, tenderloins or ribeye, may be safe to eat if they are not fully cooked. This applies only if the meat piece is not cut or seasoned and has been cooked to the outside.

You should never eat raw or undercooked cut meats such as burgers, meat patties and minced meat, poultry, and pork. Keep those burgers warm on the grill. Bravo!

Hot dogs, lunch meats, and deli meats are all of concern. This is sometimes surprising for pregnant women. These meats could be infected by bacteria after processing or storage.

Women who are pregnant should not eat processed meat products until they have been reheated to steaming hot.

  1. Raw eggs

Raw eggs may be infected with the Salmonella bacteria.

Salmonella infections can cause fever, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps.

In rare cases, cramps may occur in the uterus that can lead to stillbirth or premature birth.

These Foods often contain raw eggs

  • Lightly scrambled eggs
  • poached eggs
  • hollandaise sauce
  • homemade mayonnaise
  • some homemade salad dressings
  • homemade ice cream
  • homemade cake icings

Most products that include raw eggs in commercial products are made from pasteurized eggs. They are safe to eat. To be sure, always check the label.

For your safety, always cook eggs well or use pasteurized eggs. Keep those egg yolks that are too runny and homemade mayo for when baby is born.

  1. Organ meat

Organ meat can be a good source of many nutrients.

These include iron and vitamin B12, vitamin A and vitamin A, as well as zinc, selenium and copper. All of these nutrients are good for your baby and you. Pregnancy is not a good time to eat too much animal-based vitamin B12 (preformed vitaminA).

Having too much vitamin A in pregnancy, particularly the first trimester, can cause congenital malformations or miscarriage.

This is mainly associated with trusted sources with vitamin A supplements. However, it is best to limit your intake of organ meats such as liver to a few ounces per week.


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  1. Caffeine

Perhaps you are one of millions who enjoy their morning cup of coffee, tea or cocoa. When it comes to caffeine, you’re not the only one.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises pregnant women to consume less than 200 mg of caffeine per day.

Caffeine is quickly absorbed and easily passes into the placenta. High levels of caffeine can be caused by the fact that babies and their placentas lack the main enzyme required to metabolize it.

Studies have shown that high caffeine intake during pregnancy can reduce fetal growth and increase the chance of low birth weight.

Low birth weight is defined as less that 5 lbs., 8oz. Low birth weight (or 2.5kg) is associated with a higher risk trusted Source of infant mortality and a higher likelihood of developing chronic diseases later in life.

Keep an eye on the caffeine in your baby’s daily coffee or soda.

  1. Raw sprouts

Rogue ingredients may also be present in healthy salads. Salmonella can be found in raw sprouts such as clover, radish and alfalfa.

These bacteria thrive in the humid environment that seeds require to sprout. It’s almost impossible to get them off.

You should avoid sprouts that are raw. According to FDATrusted Source, sprouts can be consumed once they’ve been cooked.

  1. Unwashed produce

Unwashed and unpeeled fruits or vegetables can be contaminated by a variety of bacteria and parasites.

Toxoplasma and E. These include E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria.

Contamination can happen during harvest, processing, storage and transportation. Toxoplasma is a dangerous parasite that can remain on vegetables and fruits.

Many people who contract toxoplasmosis don’t experience symptoms. However, some may feel like they have had the flu for several months.

Most infants who are infected by the Toxoplasma bacteria infected while still in their womb do not experience symptoms when they are born. However, some symptoms like blindness and intellectual disabilities can develop later in life.

A small number of infected babies also have brain or eye damage.

It is important to avoid infection while pregnant by washing your hands thoroughly and peeling or cooking vegetables. It’s a good habit to continue this practice after your baby arrives.

  1. Unpasteurized milk and cheese

Unpasteurized and raw milk as well as soft-ripened cheeses fromTrusted Source may contain harmful bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. E. coli and Campylobacter. These are likely to sound familiar. )

Unpasteurized juice is also susceptible to bacterial contamination. All of these infections can have serious consequences for a baby’s health trusted Source.

It can either be naturally occurring, or it can be caused by contamination during storage or collection. Pasteurization is the best way to eliminate harmful bacteria from products without affecting the nutritional value.

Avoiding pasteurized milk, cheese and fruit juice will reduce the chance of getting sick.

  1. Alcohol

Avoiding alcohol during pregnancy is a good idea. It can increase the chances of stillbirth and miscarriageTrusted Source. Even a small amount of alcohol can have a negative impact on your baby’s brain development. Trusted Source.

Fetal alcohol syndrome can also be caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. This includes facial deformities and intellectual disabilities.

Because no amount of alcohol rushed Source has been shown to be safe for pregnant women, it is recommended that you avoid it.

  1. Processed junk foods

You and your baby are at the best time to eat nutrient-dense foods. Increased intakes of essential nutrients such as iron, folate, choline and protein will be necessary.

There is no such thing as “eating for two”.

A healthy pregnancy diet should include whole foods that are rich in nutrients. Junk food, which is often processed, lacks nutrients and is high in calories, sugar and other added fats.

Although weight gain during pregnancy is normal, excessive weight gain has been linked with many complications and diseases. These include increased risk for gestational diabetesTrustedSource and pregnancy complications.

Make sure you eat meals and snacks that are high in protein, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, fiber-rich carbohydrate like beans, whole grains, and starchy veggies. There are many ways you can sneak vegetables into your meals, without losing taste.

The bottom line

Avoid foods and drinks that could put your baby and yourself at risk.

While most foods and drinks are safe to eat, there are some that should be avoided.

Avoiding certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, and sugary beverages, is important for a healthy pregnancy.

To learn more about healthy eating during pregnancy, visit this article: Healthy Eating


  • Avoid high mercury fish like sharks, swordfish and tuna.
  • It is possible for raw fish and shellfish to be infected with bacteria or parasites. These can have adverse effects on your health and cause harm to you and your baby.
  • Harmful bacteria can be found in undercooked or raw meat. It is best to cook meat all the way.
  • Raw eggs could be contaminated by Salmonella, which can put your baby and you at risk. Before you eat eggs, make sure they are cooked thoroughly.
  • Organ meat is rich in iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin A. Limit your intake to just a few ounces of organ meat once per week in order to avoid over-consuming vitamin A.
  • Limit your caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day. This would be equivalent to 2 to 3 cups of regular coffee. A high intake of caffeine during pregnancy can limit the growth of a baby and lead to low birth weight.
  • Raw sprouts could be contaminated by bacteria. You should only eat them fully cooked.
  • Toxoplasma, a type of harmful bacteria, can be found in fruits and vegetables. All fruits and vegetables should be washed with lots of clean water.
  • Avoid unpasteurized milk, cheese and fruit juice. They increase the risk for bacterial infections.
  • Avoid all forms of alcohol. Consuming alcohol can increase your risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Consuming processed foods during pregnancy may increase your risk for excess weight gain, gestational diabetic complications, and other health issues. This could have long-term consequences for both you and your baby’s health.

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