Foods That Can’t Be Eaten When Pregnant

By Callum Atherton 9 months ago

1. High Mercury Fish

Source from Reddit
High mercury fish includes shark, ray, swordfish, barramundi, gemfish, orange roughy, ling and southern bluefin tuna. Mercury can damage many parts of the body including lungs, kidneys and nervous system. Unborn babies are the most sensitive to the effects of mercury, particularly during the third and fourth months of gestation. Even children under 6 should avoid the consumption of mercury.

2.Undercooked Or Raw Fish

Source from Reddit
Though many fish are safe for pregnant women to eat, raw or undercooked fish should be avoided by pregnant women. This includes food such as sushi and sashimi. This is due to the nature of the fishes preparation and the likelihood of containing more bacteria and parasites. Cooking fish thoroughly and ensuring hygiene remains of paramount importance ensures bacteria and parasites are not consumed.

3.Undercooked Or Raw Meat

Source from Reddit
Raw and undercooked meat should be avoided at all costs due to a nasty bacteria. Toxoplasmosis is a bacterial infection found in raw meat as well as sheep, lamb and cat faeces. The bacteria Toxoplasma gondii parasite is normally harmless and symptomless in non- pregnant people. However, the bacteria can cause an increase in miscarriages, stillbirths or organ damage for the baby.

4. Processed and Deli Meat

Source from Reddit
Deli or processed meat is another food that should be avoided by pregnant women. Referred to alternatively as lunch or packaged meat, this common sandwich filling is a convenient protein packed substances. Although delicious, lunch meat can be harmful for pregnant women due to another bacteria. Doctors say there's a slight risk of Listeria infection which can cause serious food-borne illness.

5. Raw Eggs

Source from Reddit
There is conflicting views around the globe regarding the consumption of eggs. Some health professionals say that raw, partially raw or fully cooked hen eggs are safe to eat based on who has produced the eggs. Others say to avoid eggs entirely during the pregnancy cycle. This is due to the risk of salmonella which ,unlikely to harm your unborn, can cause you to get food poisoning. Check the advice in the country that you live for more guidance and advice.

6. Organ Meat

Source from Reddit
Organ meat, also known as offal or variety meat, has lots of nutritional value when consumed. Organ meat includes heart, liver, tongue, skin and kidneys to name a few. The vitamins provided include D, E K2 and vitamin A. Vitamin A however can cause birth defects when consumed by pregnant women. If pregnant, women need to find another source of nutrients during their pregnancy.

7. Raw Sprouts

Source from Reddit
Sprouts are generally consumed raw, but may also be lightly cooked famously in Chinese dishes. Sprouts are just seeds that have germinated into young plants. Low in calories, spouts still contain a rich source of nutrients with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. For pregnant women however, they should be avoided due to the bacteria they may contain such as Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli.

8. Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables

Source from Reddit
Unwashed fruit and vegetables can harbour harmful bacteria. One is Toxoplasma which can be particularly harmful to a mom-to-be or her unborn baby. To prepare properly, thoroughly rinse under water before eating and preparing, especially with fruits that require cutting or peeling. Ensure bruised or damaged areas are cut away as bacteria can thrive in these spots!

9. Unpasteurized Dairy Products

Got me some raw milkđź‘Ś : r/Neverbrokeabone
Source from Reddit
The process of pasteurization is widely used to kill harmful bacteria by heating milk to a specific temperature. Unpasteurized products will still contain harmful bacteria such as Listeria. Listeria, as before mentioned, can cause serious risk to pregnant women and can cause miscarriages, illness or death of a new born. Listeria can be found in raw milk so always consume pasteurized alternatives.

10. Soft Cheeses

This is what violife cream cheese looks like when you put it on a bagel hot out of the toaster : r/ShittyVeganFoodPorn
Source from Reddit
Soft cheese spread on a warm, toasted bagel can be a lovely, light snack throughout the day. However, due to the bacteria Listeria, soft cheeses including goats cheese or cheese spread should be avoided by pregnant women. Due to its moist, white coating, soft cheese allows bacteria to grow easier on the cheese. So when you think about this snack, make sure you choose and alternative.

11. Processed foods

ELI5: Why is processed food "bad" for you? : r/explainlikeimfive
Source from Reddit
Highly processed foods such as fast food tend to be low in nutrients and high in calories, sugar and added fats. This may increase the risk of weight gain. During the pregnancy, you need to maintain a health balled diet to ensure a happy, healthy baby. Weight gain for pregnant women can cause complications in the delivery process as well as childhood obesity.

12. Some Fruit Juices and Smoothies

This orange juice that looks like apple juice... : r/CrappyDesign
Source from Reddit
Certain juices are perfectly healthy to consume, on the other hand, others can be harmful during pregnancy. Sometimes it can be hard to spot which ones are safe or not to drink for women who are pregnant. It is all based on whether the juice has been pasteurized or not to kill any harmful bacteria. Unpasteurized juices are normally found in the refrigerated sections of grocery stores, health-food stores, cider mills, or farm markets. Such juices must have this warning on it.

13. Alcohol

What should I mix together for my 3ed drink of the night, reddit? : r/ alcohol
Source from Reddit
Alcohol is dangerous for pregnant women and unborn babies. There is no known sage amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy or whilst trying to get pregnant. Children born with exposure to alcohol during pregnancy can lead to learning difficulties, speech and language delay, vision and hearing problems and problems with the heart, kidney or bones to name a few.

14. Caffeine

Last Coffee of the Day? How many do you have normally? I had 5 today. : r/Coffee_Shop
Source from Reddit
Cups of coffee may be the only thing to start your day with any sort of energy. However when pregnant, caffeine needs to be limited during the pregnancy or removed from your diet overall. An increase amount of caffeine in your diet can cause complications with the pregnancy such as low birthweight and even miscarriages. For reference, less than 200mg of caffeine is deemed as safe.

15. Contaminated Drinking Water

GRIT™ infused water, courtesy of Shreve West : r/Purdue
Source from Reddit
Polluted, contaminated water is harmful for anyone but especially for expected moms and their babies. Some countries are issuing warning for moms-to-be not to drink the water from the tap in fears of consuming the bacteria which can have serious complications with the birth and the child. Lead which can be found in contaminated water can cause various cognitive and attention-related behavioural problems later on.

16. Soft Serve Ice Cream

After years of thinking about it, I finally bought my own soft serve machine : r/icecream
Source from Reddit
Ice cream stored in a tub and normally sold in the supermarket is used with pasteurized dairy products. However, soft serve ice cream that comes from a machine from a restaurant or ice cream van normally do not have warnings for pasteurization of the dairy products used. This is the same with homemade ice cream if it is made with eggs. The raw eggs could cause food poisoning during the pregnancy.

17. Mayonnaise

5L tub of mayonnaise I found : r/mildlyinteresting
Source from Reddit
Mayonnaise contains eggs and as mentioned before, people have concerns over raw eggs containing bacteria that can have implications during the pregnancy. Shop bought mayonnaise must be made using pasteurized eggs to be sold in the United States. This will make this mayonnaise ok to eat. When at a family bbq or picnic where the source of the mayonnaise is not known it is best to avoid to ensure unpasteurized products are not consumed.

18. Pre- Prepared or Packaged Fruit/ Vegetable Salads

Only 250 calories for this whole bag of salad (including the dressing and toppings) : r/1200isplenty
Source from Reddit
Nobody wants to take a risk during their pregnancy especially when it comes to a bag of salad. That is why when a bag of pre-packaged fruit or vegetables says that it has been washed, it is always advised that you wash it again under cold running water before eating. This is to ensure all dirt is removed and reduce the chance of bacteria such as toxoplasma to be on the produce.

19. Pate

Chicken liver pate on top of a ribeye! : r/zerocarb
Source from Reddit
Pate that we normally spread on toast or meat dishes can add a delicious richness to a snack or meal. An issue with this product is that most products like the one pictured contain liver which as mentioned previously contains a high volume of vitamin A. All types of pâté, including vegetable versions, can have listeria in them. It's best to avoid them.

20. Herbal and Green Tea

This local jasmine green tea just taught me the importance of proper brewing. : r/tea
Source from Reddit
The range of herbal teas you can buy are extremely vast. Whether it be green or jasmine tea, the ingredients that they include drastically vary and the herbs that they contain will have different negative effects on the pregnancy which could be detrimental. Some teas contain caffeine and as mentioned earlier, this can have effects on the baby. So read and research each type of tea and seek advice if required.

21. Raw Cookie Dough

Chickpea cookie dough - I was shocked by how delicious it was! : r/veganrecipes
Source from Reddit
There is nothing better than baking a homemade dessert and before you put it in the oven, you like the spoon and the leftovers in the bowl. However, cookie dough is not safe to eat because it contains uncooked eggs and flour, which can cause food poisoning if they are contaminated with harmful bacteria. Pregnant women, older adults or people with compromised immune systems should not eat raw cookie dough.

22. Homemade Ranch Dressing

The best ranch substitute ever! This stuff is sooo good. I can't tell the difference from this and regular ranch, after trying crappy light ranch dressings. This only has 60 calories in
Source from Reddit
Ranch dressing over a freshly washed salad can upgrade any salad to the next level. Most commercially made ranch dressings are safe during pregnancy due to the buttermilk and sour cream that has been pasteurized. Homemade ranch and most sauces, especially made by other people should be avoided due to the bacteria the unpasteurized products could contain.

23. Homemade Desserts

Homemade] Glazed and flaky apple tart for dessert!! : r/food
Source from Reddit
Like mentioned in previous points, if the homemade desserts are made with unpasteurized products then these should be avoided due to the bacteria they could contain. Normally when making homemade desserts, you may add a little extra spoonful of this and a dash of that. This may increase the sugar or fat content which for a pregnant women, they need to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle and diet.

24. Smoked Seafood

Smoked salmon, laughing cow garlic and herb, crushed red pepper flakes and EBTB seasoning on lightly salted rice cakes <3 : r/safe_food
Source from Reddit
Fish with a high fat content such as sardines, mackerel and salmon should be avoided during pregnancy. Advice regarding smoked fish has altered in recent years, but pregnant women cook all smoked fish products until they are really hot all the way through. So not only can you not have the cream cheese on the bagel, you can't have cold smoked salmon either.

25. Doggie Bags

estimate calories. Chinese take out beef, pineapple with noodles and sauce : r/caloriecount
Source from Reddit
We have discussed the issues of eat fast food on a balanced, healthy lifestyle and its impact on pregnancy. To add, it is important to check the food safety rating of the establishment you are ordering from and ensure that the food arrives promptly and eat it as soon as possible. Taking food home allows the food to cool and the temperature change could help bacteria grow on the food.

26. High Dosage Multi- Vitamins

Do you guys think it's crazy to take this many vitamins? : r/vegan
Source from Reddit
A balanced, healthy diet will give you all the essential vitamins and minerals that you need during pregnancy. Each person has their own medical history and will be able to speak to their doctor about certain supplements that they may need to take that the pregnancy may be starving them of. Do not take cod liver oil as this contains vitamin A which could harm the baby.

27. Liquorice

Is this good licorice? : r/Finland
Source from Reddit
Sometimes, all you need is a chew on some candy for that sugar rush and that sweet taste. A Finnish study may put a stop to that as they confirm that pregnant people should avoid consuming large amounts of black liquorice. The study links excess fetal exposure to a liquorice component to children's cognitive issues. However, more research needs to be done on this as the same study came back clear with red liquorice!

28. Papaya

244g of papaya fresh off the tree : r/Volumeeating
Source from Reddit
Another food which has conflicting studies is papaya. Ripe papaya is a natural healthy source of vitamins and minerals. Unripe papaya contains latex which should be avoided by pregnant women. Latex might cause uterine contractions which may lead to early labor, latex is a common allergen that could trigger a dangerous reaction and papin, which unripe papaya also contain, may mistakenly be detected by your body for prostaglandins which can sometimes induce labor.

29. Game Meat

Anyone have any good recipes that I can use my ground venison on? : r/Hunting
Source from Reddit
Game meat such as pheasant, partridge or rabbit should be avoided by pregnant women due to the presence of lead. Lead is present in such meat as they are hunted in the wild using bullets. Lead exposure can lead to miscarriages, preterm delivery, low birth weight and high blood pressure. Farmyard animals are ok to eat as they will not contain a lead shot.

30. Blue Cheese

Was eating some blue cheese and decided too look up cheese on Reddit, and I'm happy too now be in this subreddit : r/Cheese
Source from Reddit
Blue cheese is often made by unpasteurized milk. This comes with an increase risk of Listeria poisoning, which is extremely dangerous to unborn babies. Listeriosis can lead to miscarriages or stillbirths. This includes avoiding other products that contain blue cheese such as blue cheese sauce. There are alternatives that use pasteurized milk but the majority use unpasteurized milk.