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6 Foods to Avoid While Pregnant

6 Foods to Avoid While Pregnant

We’ve all made some questionable eating choices now and again. We tried that mysterious leftover in the fridge. And we chanced it with that week-expired carton of milk. But when it comes to eating while pregnant, there are a few more precautions you should be keeping in mind.

Make sure to avoid or reduce your intake of the following foods and drinks.

Soft Cheeses

It’s the Midwest – we all love a little cheese now and again. But when it comes to your pregnancy, there are certain varieties you should avoid for the duration. A lot of soft cheeses, such as feta, blue cheese and brie, tend to come unpasteurized, which means they’re more likely carry with them unpleasant illnesses. While it’s a risk regardless of whether or not you’re expecting, these digestive illnesses can be especially damaging to a growing baby. Stick with pasteurized dairy, such as milk and harder cheeses, while pregnant.

Buffets

You’re “eating for two,” so the more the better, right? Well, not exactly. And especially not so when it comes to buffet restaurants. A public buffet comes with a lot of potential dangers to your baby if you’re expecting. Often times, foods are left sitting out for a great deal of time, which encourages bacteria to grow and can cause contamination. And the effects of food poisoning are amplified when you’re pregnant.

Soda

This is sort of a blanket bit of advice for caffeinated beverages in general, but soda comes with a few other detractors that aren’t particularly healthy for the baby or for the mother. Caffeine can have negative effects on fetal heart rate, causing it to race and increasing chances of miscarriage. While coffee and tea should be limited due to their higher levels of caffeine, soda is also troublesome due to the high levels of sugar. With gestational diabetes on the rise, a diet rich in added sugars can spike the likelihood of the onset of diabetic conditions.

Tuna

Grabbing a can of tuna for lunch can be an easy, quick way for a burst of protein when you need it. However, tuna tends to contain higher levels of mercury than other seafood, like shrimp or salmon, and should be eaten in moderation – especially when you’re pregnant. Mercury in unsafe amounts can have damaging effects on a growing baby’s nervous system. Remember this rule of thumb if you’re a big fish eater – limit your intake to two meals a week, and stick to mercury-low seafood like the ones mentioned above.

Spreads and Dips

Snack time often calls for a box of crackers and (of course) something to dip them in or spread on top of them. But when you’re expecting, it’s best to avoid these types of foods – for the most part. Perishable, meat-based dips that you find in the refrigerator aisle, such as ham spread or chicken dip, carry with them a higher risk of food poisoning than less-dangerous canned or non-perishable spreads.

Sprouts

They’re a great boost of healthy nutrients and a mainstay of made-to-order sandwich places everywhere. But raw sprouts can also be carriers of bacteria that can spur diseases. They’re definitely a food to avoid when you’re expecting, because these harmful bacteria can pass disease on to the baby as well. Steer clear of alfalfa, clover and bean sprouts, among other varieties, during your pregnancy.