Some foods are simply common knowledge to stay clear from during pregnancy such as alcohol, sushi, coffee and unpasteurized cheeses but why?! Understanding the Why behind why we cannot consume these while pregnant can help in the situations where it is not clear if you should or shouldn't eat something that is put in front of you. So here are the What's, Why's and Tips for pregnancy chow down!
What: Fish are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids which are good for baby's brain and eye development. But some seafood is off limits.
Why: Big fish like swordfish, tuna, halibut and shark have enough mercury to potentially cause harm to baby.
Tip: No more than 12 oz of fish per week. If you are put in front of “big fish” no more than 6 oz a week and all fish must be cooked thoroughly.
What: Lunch meats, hot dogs, pates, smoked seafood and jerkies are not good to eat unless heated by you at 145 degrees!
Why: The threat of e-coli or listeria monocytogenes is highly present and dangerous. It can really harm the baby and make mommy-to-be really sick!
Tip: Treat hot dog water like you would raw chicken juice! Don't let it contaminate anything and clean up really well after!
What: Rich creamy cheeses are a big no no!
Why: Soft cheeses have a higher count of bacteria! Therefore, unpasteurized and raw cheeses have high risks of containing e.coli and salmonella
Tip: Enjoy hard cheeses! There are a lot to choose from and stay away from any soft cheese. Don't buy drinks without making sure its been pasteurized or squeezed freshly by you!
What: Raw shellfish, seared fish, poultry, beef, raw eggs (like in mayo and salad dressing) and raw cookie dough (I know... that last one sucks!)
Why: Contains high risk of food born illness like salmonella and campylobacter
Tip: Be Safe and Eat everything Cooked! Enjoy medium well done burgers and hard boiled eggs or scrambled!
What: Alfalfa, rash and mung bean!
Why: Can contain e.coli and other bacteria
Tip: When ordering Pad Thai, have them cook the sprouts with the noodles!
What: Sure its caffeine free but not guaranteed as safe during pregnancy!
Why: Herbals and supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
Tip: Stay away from ingredients that promote weight loss like: guarana, loa nut, betel, citrus uranium, cocoa extract and more.
What: Take the vitamins prescribed by your doctor! Prenatal vitamins are extremely important! But make sure you ask about others you are currently or wanting to take.
Why: More than 10,000 units of Vitamin A daily for pregnant women can increase risks of birth defects!
Tip: Discuss with your doctor the vitamins you take and everything else. Its time to be honest! Even juicing should be discussed as carrots hold a high level of Vitamin A.
What: Test your water for lead! You can often get a free testing kit from your city!
Why: lead can infiltrate the bones of mommy and baby through the water you drink which can lead to cognitive damage.
Tip: Get an inexpensive filter system which will clear your water of heavy metals! Keep pitchers of clean water around so you can have some when you want!