10 Top Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy – You Must Know!

Pregnancy is the most delicate and important time in a woman’s life. Read further to know all 10 top foods to avoid during pregnancy. At this stage, you have the additional responsibility on you of serving the fetus. You need to take extra care as the baby is growing inside the womb. Pay attention to what food to eat and foods to avoid when pregnant. In pregnancy, avoid harmful habits, do regular exercise, visit your gynecologist regularly, etc. Following all these good habits will make sure your baby grows well.

10 Top foods to avoid during pregnancy, what not to eat during pregnancy, What to eat when you are pregnant, which food is good for pregnant women

10 Top Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Be very selective and alert about what you eat when you are expecting a baby. Cravings can be pampered sometimes but try to make those foods at home and relish your taste buds. Consume foods that have more amounts of essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Eat safe and stay healthy.

Generally, pregnant women crave sour, spicy, or sweet delicacies. Street food or fast food is another craving normally experienced. Keep in mind that we cannot maintain the hygienic standards of these foods and they are out of our control. Eating such foods with low hygiene quotient can cause various problems. You might suffer from food poisoning, stomach flu, vomiting, etc. Some of the exes of such foods are chaats, fried foods, pizza, burgers, etc.  Now let’s start with the 10 top foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Fish with High Levels of Mercury

  • Not all fishes are bad for a pregnant women’s health. Fish is rich in omega fatty acids, and protein. It contributes to the physical and mental development of the fetus and the pregnant woman. It is a very healthy food option if the mercury levels are low. Fishes such as salmon, catfish, and tuna are excellent choices.
  • But foods to completely avoid when pregnant are fishes like mackerels, sharks, tilefish, swordfish, etc. These fishes have high levels of mercury present in them. The mercury gets converted to methylmercury inside the human body and acts as a neurotoxin. This neurotoxin can hamper the nervous system of the baby. Therefore, it is advisable to limit fish consumption which is high in mercury. You must ask your doctor about the kind of fish you can consume.

Undercooked or Raw Fish and Shellfish

  • Raw fish harbors a lot of microorganisms such as salmonella, Vibrio, Listeria, etc. This can cause severe food poisoning and can even pass the fetus causing fatal consequences. Pregnant women are very susceptible to Listeriosis because of their weakened immune systems. This can result in miscarriage, premature birth, or still birth.
  • Hence, it’s best to completely avoid raw fish, shellfish, etc. Keep in mind that sushi may have the presence of raw fish so it is best to avoid it till delivery.

Raw, Processed, and Undercooked meat

Consuming raw or undercooked meat increases the chances of bacterial infection in pregnant women’s bodies. The type of infection can be caused by Listeria, salmonella, E.coli, etc. These bacteria are so harmful that they can pass through the placenta to the fetus. These can affect the nervous system thereby resulting in complications like stillbirth, mental retardation, epilepsy, blindness, etc. Avoid eating deli meats, burgers, cold cuts, and minced meat either raw or undercooked. Never consume processed meat products until they are cooked to perfection and are steaming hot.

Raw Eggs

Pregnant women should not eat undercooked, half fry, raw, or even half-boiled eggs. Eggs may contain salmonella bacteria responsible for food poisoning. You may suffer from severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, high temperature, and headache. These things may not harm the fetus.  But affects your immunity thus, affecting indirectly your baby. Also always buy pasteurized egg products because they’re safe for you to consume. Keep in mind that ice creams, custards, mayonnaise, cake, etc. contain raw eggs. So, make a habit to read labels before buying. This helps you to decide what not to eat when pregnant.

Organ Meat

This meat has nutrients ideal for pregnant women. It has the presence of vitamin B12, iron, vitamin A, copper, etc. These are great for pregnant women and their fetuses. However, when you eat too much vitamin A which is animal-based it can result in vitamin A toxicity. Also, it increases the levels of copper in your body. And this results in liver toxicity and birth defects. So, limit your intake of organic meat to once a week.

No Caffeine

Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine daily intake. It should be 200 mg i.e. 2 cups of coffee or tea. Remember that caffeine is also present in cocoa so don’t eat more chocolates. Caffeine is absorbed quickly by the human body and passes to the fetus through the placenta. The enzyme which is required to metabolize the caffeine is not present in unborn babies. So, it leads to the accumulation of caffeine in them. This restricts the growth of the fetus. Thus, it can lead to low weight at the time of birth.


Pregnant women must completely avoid alcohol. As per scientific research, even a small amount of alcohol can increases the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage. No level or amount of alcohol is proven safe during pregnancy. It can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome wherein the baby may develop deformities. So, it is best to avoid the temptation completely.

Raw Sprouts

Sprouts are very nutritious as well as fibrous. However, they are unsafe for consumption in pregnant women in the raw state. They harbor microorganisms like salmonella, E.coli, and Listeria bacteria. As mentioned previously this can be the reason for stillbirth, miscarriage, and premature birth. So, don’t eat raw sprouts like moong bean, onion, soybean sprouts, etc. It’s difficult to rid of the microbes from raw sprouts even after washing. However, sprouts can be consumed safely after cooking.

Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables

Unwashed fruits and vegetables are contaminated with various bacteria and parasites. These bacteria are such as Listeria, Salmonella, E.coli, etc. This contamination generally occurs at the time of harvest, processing, transportation, or storage. These bacteria may affect the fetus as well as the mother. It can cause serious complications like Toxoplasma wherein there are no symptoms in the unborn baby. But can cause intellectual disabilities or blindness in babies. A few of them can also suffer from serious brain damage. So, it is advised to wash them thoroughly, peel and then cook.

Unpasteurized Cheese, Fruit Juice, and milk products.

These are one of the foods to avoid during pregnancy. Pasteurization is the best way to kill microorganisms from any food substance. And this won’t even affect its nutritional content. Unpasteurized or raw milk, cheese, and even fruit juices have an array of harmful bacteria. They can cause life-threatening complications in an unborn baby. The bacteria may be present naturally. Or caused due to contamination at the time of production or storage. Minimize the complications by consuming pasteurized cheese, fruit juice, and milk. Choose hard cheese such as Swiss, or cheddar over the soft ones.

Processed Fast Foods

Processed fast foods have low nutritional value. These are high in sugar, carbs, and fats. They do nothing but increase the calories. Munching on a lot of junk foods can make you gain excess weight. And this becomes very difficult to lose post-pregnancy. It can also lead to complications of heart and diabetes. They also increase the risk of birth or pregnancy complications or gestational diabetes. It can elevate the chances of a baby becoming overweight. Also, resulting in long-term health issues.

10 Top foods to avoid during pregnancy, what not to eat during pregnancy, What to eat when you are pregnant, which food is good for pregnant women

Ajinomoto is used in street foods. Keep in mind that Ajinomoto can hamper the brain development of your child. So, avoid these foods. Also, fruits to avoid during pregnancy are papaya, pineapple; black grapes. These fruits can stimulate uterine contractions and also soften the cervix.

Pregnant women’s immune system is weak which puts both baby and the mother at risk. They can catch different bacterial infections easily. This causes food-borne diseases. This can complicate the pregnancy and can lead to some serious health issues. It can cause Listeriosis, toxoplasma which is responsible for miscarriage, premature labor, as well as other health issues in newborns. Therefore, it is your responsibility to be aware of foods to avoid during pregnancy. And choose foods that are safe, healthy, and nutritious. Also, maintain hygiene while preparing them.

  • Cook all poultry, fish, eggs, and meat products thoroughly.
  • Segregate raw meats, vegetables, and fruits from pre-cooked foods.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands, knives, and chopping boards before using.
  • Clean the refrigerator often.

Foods You Can Eat During Pregnancy

Now that you are aware of foods to avoid when pregnant let’s see what you must eat

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables –berries, apples, oranges, strawberries, melons, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, spinach.
  • Whole grains –wheat, rice, bread, oatmeal.
  • Dairy products – pasteurized yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt
  • Well-cooked eggs
  • Chicken and meat –lean meat, chicken breasts, and fat-free red meat
  • Dried lentils, beans – black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans

So, by now you’ve got the list of 10 top foods to avoid during pregnancy. For more such informatory articles stay connected!


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