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Pregnancy

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there are many precautions you need to take in various aspects of your life. Besides visiting your gynaecologist and making sure you are taking the right supplements and vitamins, you also need to be careful when it comes to your diet in order to avoid food-borne illnesses and high levels of mercury. Here are some food and beverages to avoid in order to ensure a smooth sailing pregnancy.

Meats

  • Cold meats/deli meats
  • Fermented/dry sausages
  • Refrigerated meat spreads (Those that are uncanned)
  • Rare meats/undercooked meat and poultry

Make sure that all meats consumed are heated upwards of 75°C, and it would be best to steamed hot before consumption. Otherwise, there is a risk of contracting Listeria, a food-borne illness known to cause premature births, miscarriage and possibly fetal death.

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Cheese

  • Feta
  • Brie
  • Camembert and other blue cheeses
  • Queso blanco/fresca/panela

Try to avoid all soft cheeses unless they are labeled ‘Made with Pasteurised Milk’.

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Condiments

  • Raw eggs (may be included in some dressings and sauces)
  • Caesar dressing
  • Fresh mayonnaise
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Uncooked cake batter and cookie dough

Canned/stable mayonnaise sold on store shelves is suitable for consumption.

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Fish

  • All raw fish
  • Seared or undercooked fish/shellfish
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • King Mackerel

Fish that are high in methyl mercury or polychlorinated biphenyls, which can cause brain damage or developmental delays, should be avoided.

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Alcohol

All forms of alcohol, like beer, wine and hard liquor, should all be avoided. Contrary to what is sometimes joked about through fictional characters on the media sometimes, there is no safe level of consumption for alcohol during pregnancy. As opposed to physical defects that are obvious to the naked eye, it can affect the fetus by deterring brain development at a later stage.

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Caffeine

Limit your tea drinking to three small cups a day or coffee drinking to two small cups per day if you find it hard to give up caffeine. To be precise, make sure your caffeine intake does not exceed 200mg a day.

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Salt

Eat salty foods in moderation as too much salt retains a lot of water in the body, which can lead to increased blood pressure. This increases the risk of pre-eclampsia, where you may suffer from excessive swelling due to an impairment of the kidneys and liver.

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