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What food should I avoid during pregnancy?

There aren’t too many foods you need to avoid during pregnancy but if you’re anything like me, you’ll constantly be googling things to see what you can or can’t have.

Here’s a list of foods to avoid to help make it easier for you.

Let’s talk seafood.

Sushi lovers, this is a killer but you’ll need to stay away from raw or undercooked fish.

Raw fish, especially shellfish can potentially cause infections which will not only affect you but may also be passed on to your baby. These infections can have some serious consequences, so best to avoid. Just remember, it’s not forever and you can head back to the sushi train in a few months’ time.

Some fish can also be high in mercury which can cause developmental problems in children.

I didn’t have a clue which fish can be high in mercury so here’s some of the fish to avoid; shark, marlin, king mackerel, tuna and swordfish.

It’s not all bad though! You can still eat low mercury fish like salmon, haddock, cod, anchovies and trout. Fish like salmon and anchovies are also high in omega 3 fatty acids which is important for your baby.

Raw or undercooked meat and processed meat.

The reasons to avoid raw and undercooked meats are similar to that of raw seafood. There’s potential for risk of infection from bacteria or parasites, so best to make sure that the steak you are about to enjoy is fully cooked!

This also goes with hamburger patties, minced meat, pork or poultry. So, if you’re out at a restaurant and you’re asked “how would you like your steak” say “well done”.

Cold cut meats, deli meats, hot dogs, lunch meats are all a no, no too. Once again this is the potential of the meat to become infected with various bacteria. If you are going to eat them, make sure they’re reheated and hot.

Raw eggs.

Raw eggs can be contaminated with the salmonella bacteria. Foods that can contain raw eggs are soft poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, homemade cakes and ice cream. Most commercial products that contain raw eggs are pasteurised raw eggs which are safe to consume so always check the label.

If you’re having eggs at home, make sure that they are pasteurised and always cook them all the way through. No more runny yokes!

Raw sprouts/takeaway salads

It’s advised to steer clear of raw sprouts like alfalfa, clover, mung beans, radish as these may be contaminated with salmonella.

Something else to be wary of are salads that have been sitting premade in a store. It’s hard to know how things have been washed and how fresh the ingredients of the salad are and what temperature they’ve been sitting in.

In general, with salad ingredients, vegetables and fruits, just make sure they’re all thoroughly washed, cleaned and peeled.

Unpasteurised milk, cheese and fruit juice.

There’s a list of harmful bacteria that can be found in raw milk, unpasteurised cheese and soft cheeses. The same goes for unpasteurised juice.

You’re able to drink pasteurised milk, juice and eat cheese that is pasteurised and it is my understanding that all cheese in Australia has to be pasteurized, but for me in the end I just decided to stay away from it all.

There are just a few things to avoid while pregnant and all of it is precautionary. I kept reminding myself that it’s for the health of me and my baby and any urges I had to eat those sorts of foods tended to go away.

Enjoy all the healthy delicious foods that you CAN eat and know that you can get stuck into those runny eggs, raw fish and soft cheeses again soon!

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