Diet for pregnant women: Foods avoid when eating out

Pregnant diet

During pregnancy, some foods are not safe to eat and some others lack the hygienic preparation that you want.

Foods to avoid when pregnant

While you can mostly continue eating what you were used to eating before pregnancy, you must avoid certain others, not only because they may be harmful but also because the hygiene might be compromised. What not to eat when pregnant include:

  1. Street food

When you are pregnant, you are more vulnerable to infections so though you might be used to eating street food, it is best to avoid it during pregnancy. The water or curd used in street chaats might be contaminated. Be especially careful in summer or monsoon when water is more often contaminated. Some safe chaats include aloo tikkies without curd, pav bhaji or channa bhatura without raw onions.

  1. Raw fruits and vegetables

Unclean raw fruits and vegetables can cause food poisoning, diarrhoea or water-borne diseases such as hepatitis or typhoid. They can also contain bacteria called listeria.

  1. Monosodium glutamate (MSG):

Packaged foods, Chinese food and some fast foods are often made with MSG (ajinomoto). Although there have been no proven risks of this additive, it is known to trigger headaches and allergies in some people so it is best avoided when pregnant.

  1. Dishes containing raw eggs

Uncooked eggs carry the risk of salmonella poisoning. This will not directly harm your baby, but it'll make you very ill and dehydrated.

  1. Dishes containing uncooked, undercooked or cured meat

Some forms of raw meat like salami, Parma ham, could be infected by salmonella and may also cause toxoplasmosis. A toxoplasmosis infection, though rare, may harm your unborn baby.

  1. Certain seafood

Raw fish or uncooked seafood can cause food poisoning if it is not fresh.

Exotic fish such as such as shark, swordfish and marlin, contain mercury and can be harmful to your baby.

  1. Cheeses

Cheeses are a good source of calcium, but don't have unpasteurized cheeses, such as brie or stilton. Paneer is safe to eat during pregnancy but only eat it in restaurants with good hygiene levels.