Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, it is extremely important to avoid certain foods that you may have enjoyed pre-pregnancy. This is because many foods either contain harmful bacteria or environmental pollutants that negatively affect your baby. Listeria, salmonella, E. Coli and methyl mercury poisoning are among these harmful elements. Be sure to post a copy of our complete guide of foods to avoid during pregnancy on your refrigerator! Lastly, poor food safety preparation can also mean exposure to harmful substances.
Unpasteurized Products : Listeria
Unpasteurized products are made from raw milk; if the milk process was not performed properly and the milk is ‘dirty’, then it may be infected with listeria. It is therefore advised that pregnant women not consume the following unpasteurized products:
- raw milk
- soft cheeses : feta goat cheese, brie, camembert
- Mexican-style cheeses : queso blanco and queso fresco
- unpasteurized juice
Listeria is a serious threat: it has been responsible for 2,500 illnesses and up to 500 deaths a year. Some studies estimate that 30% of those deaths involve pregnant women and their fetuses. Listeriosis can cause miscarriage or premature birth.
While ‘dirty’ milk may be contaminated with listeria, there are many advocates of the health benefits of Grade A Certified raw milk. Talk to your doctor to find out more about the benefits of unpasteurized milk.
Raw Eggs : Salmonella
Any dish containing raw eggs is infected with Salmonella. Avoid:
- raw eggs
- Caesar dressing
- egg nog (unpasteurized)
- Hollandaise sauce
- cookie batter
- homemade ice cream
Undercooked Meats : Salmonella, E. Coli, Toxoplasmosis
Pregnant women should avoid all undercooked meats. Remember to take precautions when preparing meats: make sure your steak has an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit and heat hamburger and pork to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot dogs are safe to eat during pregnancy, just be sure to heat them until they are steaming. Avoid:
- deli meats
- raw seafood, especially shellfish
- undercooked chicken or meat
Aspartame is a sweetener made by Monsanto found in many diet foods and available in packets to sweeten your foods. Be advised that aspartame has been linked to cancer as well as neuro- and immunotoxicity due to long term ingestion. Because of aspartame’s bad press, Monsanto has come up with a new sweetener, Neotame. Neotame has not been sufficiently tested and is thought to be more toxic than its predecessor, aspartame; it contains carcinogenic ingredients, such as formeldahyde. Because aspartame contains phenylalanine, it can be toxic for certain children. Make sure the foods you eat do not contain artificial sweeteners. When sweetening foods, opt for natural sweeteners like honey or fruit juice.