Foods to avoid during pregnancy: What are they if I’m a non-vegetarian?

Foods to avoid during pregnancy

Is raw meat safe to eat?

By now it has been established that deli meats such as turkey, salami, ham, and bologna) are certainly foods to avoid during pregnancy. Unless these meats are cooked or steamed thoroughly, it’s best to avoid these. The reason for this is that these meats can contain a dangerous bacteria called listeria which can cause listeriosis that can be very dangerous for you and your baby. However, if you’re sure the meats have been cooked well, there’s no reason to worry as the heat would’ve killed all harmful bacteria.

What about seafood?

While seafood is an excellent source of nutrients - vitamins & minerals, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, it may turn out to harm you and your baby if you don’t choose the right fish. Ideally, you want to choose fish that has least level of pollutants and contaminants. Mainly, mercury has been found to be high in large fish at the end of the food chain like sharks, marlins and mackerels. These contaminants can cause developmental delays in your baby if you have been exposed to them through pregnancy or when the baby’s brain is developing rapidly.

These fish are not just safe but also high in Omega-3 fatty acids: herring, anchovy,lake whitefish, rainbow trout (farm raised), sardines, salmon (wild or farm raised), and shad (American).

Finally, most experts recommend avoiding raw fish (sushi) and/or shellfish during pregnancy, since they may contain bacteria that can make you sick.

Is non-organic produce ok?

The reason most people choose organic during pregnancy is that they contain no pesticides. This is one of the main reasons why they come on the list of the kinds of foods to eat during pregnancy. However, if you can’t afford it, or if you can’t find it where you live, there’s no reason to worry. There’s no evidence that any side effects are there from consuming non-organic produce. However, take the usual precautions as you should on an everyday basis, pregnant or not: Wash everything multiple times in plenty of running water. This can eliminate excess residue, bacteria and other organisms that can cause food poisoning.