“Eating for two” is an age-old saying…
But as soon as you look into anything about pregnancy diets, pregnancy meal plans or what you can/can’t eat during your pregnancy you realize it’s not that simple.
In fact, it’s quite easy after a simple Google search to figure out that just because you are trying to consume enough to sustain yourself and grow another human being, doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want.
Pregnancy can be a busy time, your whole life is changing…
But there’s something else you need to be focusing on too… and that’s what you eat!
Pregnant women need to be keeping an eye on what you eat!
It’s not about calories or weight gain, this is about making sure we nourish our bodies as best we can.
We need to be sure we get enough of the “right stuff” (vitamins, hydration) and none of the wrong stuff (bacteria, parasites, food-borne illnesses).
Even though I did not do this (I think it seems a bit extreme) – many say to buy a thermometer to ensure your food is at a proper temperature (basically ensuring you that it’s well cooked.)
While it’s totally up to you if you want to do things like this – there are easier ways to make sure you’re staying as healthy as you can be during your pregnancy.
Table Of Contents
- 1 What Foods To Avoid During Your Pregnancy
- 2 🧀 Cheeses – Which Are Safe (and which are not!)
- 3 🍳 Raw Cake Batter, Cookie Dough and Eggs (almost anything raw)
- 5 🍣 Smoked Seafood (and other fish)
- 6 🥗 Store Bought Salads…(just check first)
- 7 🥩 Meat (the landmine field of pregnancy)
- 8 ☕ Junk Food (yes, that includes coffee!)
- 9 Related Questions
What Foods To Avoid During Your Pregnancy
🧀 Cheeses – Which Are Safe (and which are not!)
Let’s talk about cheese – is something I never thought I’d type given how seemingly odd it is to dive into the world of cheese on a blog that has also talked about fertility, vagina muscles, and yeast infections…but this is important, okay?
If you’re a dairy lover or frequent lasagna eater such as myself, knowing what cheese you’re consuming becomes super important when you’re pregnant.
Read the labels on your cheese, if you aren’t too sure. If it says “unpasteurized” – it’s not safe…
One of the reasons for this is because of cheeses made from unpasteurized milk because it may contain e-Coli.
The same goes for some kinds of milk and juices…unpasteurized milk or juice may contain bacteria not safe for pregnant women to ingest.
Here’s a quick rundown of a few types of cheeses you can and cannot eat while pregnant.
Here’s what you CAN’T eat…
- Queso Blanco
- Queso Fresco
What you CAN eat…
- Swiss cheese
- Any other cheese made with pasteurized milk.
🍳 Raw Cake Batter, Cookie Dough and Eggs (almost anything raw)
Make sure you don’t lick the spoon after making those yummy cookies for your baby shower or gender reveal party…just eat the BAKED cookie! The same logic applies to other “raw” foods (alfalfa, clover, mung bean, radish, etc) because ingesting these when uncooked increases your risk of e-Coli or salmonella.
Egg products can be fine – just as long as you COOK them. Raw eggs are a big no-no when you’re pregnant.
Any type of dish that contains eggs should be heated to super hot temperatures (160 degrees F) to eliminate the risk of salmonella.
For more information on salmonella (and how to avoid it) – read this article!
If you’re interested in a rundown on your first-trimester food plan (including prenatal and what to avoid!) check out the video below!
🍣 Smoked Seafood (and other fish)
There is a bit of confusion around seafood, and if you’re not a huge seafood eater to begin with, you might just decide to skip fish in general throughout your pregnancy.
While there are certain fish you cannot eat, there are actually others that give you positive things like omega 3!
What you CAN’T EAT due to higher mercury content…
- king mackerel
- tilefish and golden
- white snapper
Pregnant women are able to consume about 12 ounces a week of cooked fish (145 – 165 degrees F) that are lower in mercury.
You CAN eat due to lower mercury content…
- shellfish (oysters or clams)
🥗 Store Bought Salads…(just check first)
There are certain pre-made salads in your grocer that can actually be bad for you when you’re pregnant.
These often contain ham or other kinds of meats…it’s best to avoid these. They are considered a bit unsafe because of the meat in them…there is a chance it may contain listeria.
🥩 Meat (the landmine field of pregnancy)
Meat is a tricky one. A lot of different meats pose a few different potential problems for pregnant women.
- all styles of lunch meat
- ground meat
- hot dogs
- fermented or dry sausage
All of these could pose a risk of some kind – the biggest of the bunch being e-coli.
Be sure to always heat to crazy hot before eating (165 degrees F) – obviously cool this back down before ingesting so you don’t burn yourself, but the idea is to make sure it is very, very well done.
☕ Junk Food (yes, that includes coffee!)
Also (and of course the obvious one) is to avoid junk food. Research has shown that these types of “foods” contain acrylamide, a chemical that is used in things such as papers and dyes.
They have also recently found this chemical in foods such as potato chips and french fries, however, because these are baked or browned (basically that are cooked 248 degrees F and above), you can be a bit more lenient with these.
Ingesting high amounts of junk food (containing acrylamide) can affect your pregnancy with a low birth weight for your newborn, roughly 4 ounces lower and smaller head circumferences.
This chemical is also found in coffee, which is one of the reasons pregnant women are suggested to decrease or halt there coffee intake (along with the caffeine levels).
If you’re interested in a little deep dive into the world of food and pregnancy, check out the video below with Dr. Keith Eddleman, author of Pregnancy for Dummies.
- sesame seeds (with honey)
- animal liver
- unripe papaya
- mercury high fish
These types of foods (along with others on this list) are linked to miscarriages in very early pregnancy.
Talk to your doctor about what foods to avoid, especially if you have suffered from previous miscarriages or have had trouble conceiving.
What should you avoid in early pregnancy?
The first thing that comes to most minds about “avoiding while pregnant” is alcohol…
But in reality, there are quite a few things you should be avoiding or decreasing during early pregnancy. The first trimester of your pregnancy is very important as this is a critical growing time for your fetus.
Check out this super informational article about the do’s and don’ts of early pregnancy, including what to avoid!
Which fruits should be avoided during pregnancy?
- sesame seeds
These are among some of the fruits to avoid during pregnancy.
While most things are okay in low quantities, some of these can be dangerous for your pregnancy.
Read this article for more information on fruity foods to avoid or decrease during your pregnancy.
Is cucumber bad for a pregnant woman?
This might seem like a peculiar and specific question – but cucumbers can actually cause allergic reactions in women, and are generally labeled as a bit of a question mark for women who are pregnant.
Generally, women who suffer from the following should consider staying away from cucumbers during their pregnancy in case of reactions…
- Chronic Nephritis (kidney inflammation resulting from a urinary tract infection).
- Pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
If you don’t have any of these conditions, you’re free to eat cucumbers – and you’ll be happy to know that they have quite a lengthy pro list of reasons why they are an excellent treat!
Cucumbers can be beneficial for pregnant women for a number of reasons including vitamin K, hydration, high fiber content (which can reduce constipation) – as well as being rich in antioxidants! Cucumbers are grand (most of the time!)
The best thing we can do for our unborn baby and our ever-growing bodies is to be aware of what we’re eating.
Awareness, education, and information…
Knowing what is good and bad for your body and your baby can lead you into making the smartest choices for your pregnancy.