Foods To Eat When Pregnant: What Are The Pregnancy Foods To Avoid?

Now that you are an expectant mother, it is very important to make the right health choices, especially when choosing foods to eat when pregnant. Proper nutrition when pregnant is not any different from what proper every-day nutrition should be. You need to aim for a well-balanced diet with the right proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and even fat.

When pregnant, you need to increase your calorie intake by approximately 300 calories a day (which by the way is equivalent to one glass of milk), and your intake of proteins and some vitamins and minerals (such as folic acid and calcium). You have to eat foods rich in fiber such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals and whole grains.

However, if there are pregnancy foods that you will need to eat more of, there are also certain pregnancy foods to avoid.

Junk Foods:

Junk foods are first and foremost, a no-no. Junk food offers you empty calories – you take in calories but get no nutrients.

Seafood high in mercury:

Although seafoods are excellent sources of protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids, they can pose potential risks as they can contain dangerous levels of mercury. Intake of too much mercury can hamper the proper development of your baby’s developing nervous system. Care must be taken to avoid seafoods like tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel and shark. Seafoods such as shrimp, salmon, tuna, catfish and cod, are generally safe foods to eat when pregnant.

Raw or undercooked foods:

If you are fond of sushi or rare steaks, you will need to tighten your belt and avoid them during pregnancy. Raw foods contain high levels of bacteria which can obviously increase the risk of food poisoning which can be serious for your unborn baby. To be safe, keep away from these foods and eat only those that are cooked properly. This applies to eggs – make sure your egg is cooked until the egg yolk and the egg white are completely firm.

Unpasteurized foods:

Dairy products that are low in fat, such as skimmed milk and cottage cheese can provide a health boost. However, products made from unpasteurized milk are among pregnancy foods to avoid – this includes soft cheeses such as feta, blue cheese or camembert.

Large quantities of liver:

Liver can be a rich source of iron, which is one of the most important nutrients during pregnancy. However, make sure you don’t eat too much. Liver contains high levels of Vitamin A, too much of which can cause birth defects.

When talking about what foods to eat when pregnant and what foods not to eat, you might wonder if there are drinks to avoid as well. Generally, too much caffeine (from coffee or tea) and alcohol are definite no-no’s in your pregnancy diet. Although there is no significant proof as to the damage these could cause, it is safest to avoid them entirely.