Thursday, January 20, 2011

Foods and Things to Avoid While Pregnant


There are sadly foods that one should avoid while being pregnant.  Just for 9 months right? And if that's what it takes to ensure better chances of having a healthy happy baby, like Nike says, "JUST DO IT!"

Firstly, What are the bad food bacteria?
  • LISTERIA- causes listeriosis.  Causes miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn.
  • CAMPYLOBACTER- source food poisoning.  Causes diarrhea, cramps, fever.  Detrimental to the mom and babe if liquids and electrolytes aren't replaced.
  • SALMONELLA- source of fod poisoning.  Causes diarrhea, cramps, fever.  Detrimental to the mom and babe if liquids and electrolytes aren't replaced.
  • TOXOPLASMOSIS- parasite found in cat poop, and may be found in dirt in unwashed fruits/veg, undercooked meat.  click here for more info Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy
  • High doses of VITAMIN A- high doses can cause liver toxicity and birth defects.

Here is a small compiled list of foods to avoid from HealthCastle.com:
  • Raw Meats and Seafood including sushi - all uncooked and rare meats and seafood should be avoided due to high risk of listeria and salmonella poisoning.
  • Deli meats including hot dogs - these deli meats might be contaminated with listeria bacteria which may result in miscarriage or even a stillbirth. It's safe to eat deli meats if you reheat them until steaming hot.
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood - for the same reason of listeria contamination. It is safe if they are contained in cooked dishes. Canned and shelf-stable versions are safe to eat.
  • Raw eggs - raw eggs may contain salmonella. Some Caesar salad dressings, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream and custards as well as Hollandaise sauces may be made with raw eggs. It is best to check with your server in a restaurant; if in doubt, it is best to avoid it. In addition, unpasteurized eggnog should be avoided.
  • Fish high in mercury - avoid high-mercury fish such as Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel and Tilefish. Also limit fish intake to no more than 2 servings per week.
  • Soft cheese - avoid the following soft cheeses: Feta, Brie, and Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses, queso blanco, queso fresco and Panela. They are safe to eat if they are labelled pasteurized.
  • Refrigerated pâtes or meat spreads - for the same reason of listeria contamination. It is safe to eat the canned or shelf-stable versions.
  • Liver - liver is a rich source of iron. However it contains a high level of Vitamin A. Large amounts of Vitamin A can be harmful to the baby.
  • Unpasteurized milk and juices
  • Alcohol - many documented fetal abnormalities and birth defects have been associated with alcohol use during pregnancy.

More foods to avoid not listed above from various websites are:
  • Caffeine (affects the iron absorbing ability of the baby)
  • SMOKING (for obvious reasons)
  • Various medications (check with your doctor or pharmacists before using anything, even over the counter stuff)
  • artificial sweetners (aspertame, sucralose etc)
  • Shellfish (just make sure the stuff is cooked, ie. no raw oysters)
  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa, radish, clover as they may contain bacteria such as E. coli)
  • Pre-prepared salads (coleslaw, potato salads that are pre-packaged for listeria risks)

of the foods above, i'm really sad about SUSHI!  I'm hungry just thinking about it!  Even if you don't eat the raw sashimi, I wouldn't be 100% trustworthy that the sushi maki rolls are ok as they must cut those rolls on the same cutting board as the sashimi.  Sad!


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