There are essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals your developing baby needs, which some foods provide. But there are also certain foods that can be harmful to your little one. Here’s a list of foods to avoid for the duration of your pregnancy:
Liver and liver products
Avoid foods or supplements that contain high levels of Vitamin A. Liver and liver products, such as liver sausage, liver pâté and cod liver oil all contain high concentrations of Vitamin A, which can be harmful to a developing baby.
Vitamin A plays a role in the metabolism of the essential fatty acids, which are very important in pregnancy, and it helps to keep the digestive tract, lungs and mucous membranes healthy. Other foods containing vitamin A, such as red, orange and green veggies, and fruit such as mangoes don’t contain large doses of Vitamin A and can be safely eaten during pregnancy.
Certain types of fish
Avoid shark, swordfish or marlin as they contain methylmercury, which may be harmful to an unborn baby’s nervous system. Even though tuna contains a lower amount of methylmercury, it should be eaten in moderation. Certain types of fish used in sushi should also be avoided. They contain high levels of mercury and, in their raw state, have an added food-poisoning risk, as well as an iodine-allergy risk in some cases. Raw- or undercooked shellfish like oysters, clams and mussels should be avoided during pregnancy as they sometimes contain harmful bacteria or viruses that can cause food poisoning.
Soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert, and cheeses with blue veins may occasionally contain listeria, so it’s best to avoid these during pregnancy. Hard cheeses such as Cheddar, or spreadable cheeses such as cottage-, creamed- and processed cheese pose no risk to your pregnancy and can be enjoyed, except in the case of dairy sensitivity and allergy.
Raw and lightly cooked eggs
It is best to avoid raw and lightly cooked eggs or dishes containing raw eggs. These products may contain salmonella bacteria and there is a risk that consuming them may lead to food poisoning.
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