By Beverley Brooke
Many women have questions about the types of food that are safe to eat during pregnancy. It is actually easier to discuss the types of foods you should avoid during pregnancy than it is to discuss the foods that are safe to eat.
There are a lot of food to avoid during pregnancy because they may be harmful to you or your developing baby.
Deli and Processed Sandwich Meats - these meats might be contaminated with Listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria that can result in miscarriage or even a stillbirth. While listeria is relatively harmless to most ordinary people, it can be life threatening for your unborn baby. Pregnant women are more susceptible to listeria because of their lowered immune system. If you want to eat deli meats, be sure that you cook them until they are steaming hot, which will help kill any bacteria that might be present.
Raw meats - much lie deli meats, raw meats should be avoided because they can carry bacteria that are harmful for both mother and baby.
Certain types of fish - while most fish is healthy, there are certain kinds of fish that contain high levels of mercury, which is harmful for your unborn baby's brain. Consuming too much mercury during pregnancy can result in developmental problems and even brain damage. The types of fish that contain the highest levels of mercury include: swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tuna, sea bass and tilefish.
Raw eggs - like raw meat, raw eggs have the potential to carry bacteria, particularly salmonella. Believe it or not raw eggs are in a number of various products including some forms of Caesar dressing, mayonnaise and even ice cream. If you are uncertain about whether or not something you are eating contains raw eggs, avoid it unless you can find out for certain whether or not it is harmful.
Unpasteurized soft cheeses - some chesses that are imported also have the potential to carry life threatening Listeria if they are not pasteurized. The most common types of cheese that carry this risk include certain forms of Brie, Camembert, feta, Gorgonzola and Mexican cheeses like queso. If these cheeses are pasteurized however they should be safe to consume.
Unpasteurized milk or juices - remember that any type of milk product or juice that has not been pasteurized has the potential to carry Listeria and other bacteria that may be harmful for you and your baby during pregnancy.
You should also avoid alcohol during your pregnancy. There is no known safe amount of alcohol that can be recommended during pregnancy. There are numerous fetal abnormalities and birth defects as well as developmental problems that have been associated with alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol should also be minimized or avoided during breastfeeding, because it can pass through the breast milk.
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