8 Foods That Are Unsafe For You During Pregnancy

Healthy diet and nutrition is very essential during pregnancy so that adequate nutrients can be supplied to the mother and the unborn child for proper development. However, certain foods may contain substances which may cause food borne illnesses and can pose danger to your baby’s health. Listed below are some foods that have been shown to be potentially dangerous for you and your baby.
  1. RAW OR UNDERCOOKED MEAT
Be it beef or poultry, consumption of raw or undercooked meat increases the risk of contamination with bacteria such as salmonella, listeria and infections such as toxoplasmosis. Some of these bacteria have been linked to food illnesses that can cause weakened immune system, miscarriage, severe illness and even still birth. Ensure that your meat is cooked properly before consumption. If you are a lover of the traditional ‘suya’ meat, beware!
  1. LIVER
Liver and liver products should be avoided during pregnancy. Liver contains high amount of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A is dangerous to the health of your unborn child as studies have shown its link to birth defects in babies. Also avoid high dose of vitamin A supplements and any supplement containing vitamin A. Talk to your doctor before using any multivitamin supplement.
  1. RAW MILK
Pregnant women should not drink raw milk (as known as unpasteurized milk); it does not matter if the milk is gotten from a cow, goat or sheep. Raw milk may contain listeria, the bacteria which cause food illness known as listeriosis. It is a dangerous infection which can lead to miscarriage, severe illness or still birth.
  1. UNCOOKED EGG
Uncooked or partially cooked eggs pose a high risk for food contamination as it may contain the bacteria called salmonella which cause food poisoning. Products containing uncooked or partially cooked eggs should also be avoided such some salad dressings and mayonnaise. Home-made smoothies in which uncooked eggs are added should also be avoided.
  1. CHEESE
Cheese is often made from unpasteurized milk and such milk may contain bacteria such as listeria and salmonella which are harmful to your unborn child’s health. If you must eat cheese, check the label to see if it is made from pasteurized milk. Also beware of the local cheese known as ‘wara’ commonly prepared from unpasteurized cow milk and sold in along the roads and in the market places.
  1. CAFFEINE
While some studies have related that consumption of moderate amount of caffeine is good during pregnancy, other studies have shown that it may be linked to miscarriages. It is safest for you to avoid caffeine and caffeine-containing products such as caffeinated coffee, tea and some sweets. It is better to drink plenty water, natural fruit juices and milk.
  1. UNWASHED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables are highly recommended for pregnant women; they are safe to eat! However, it is very important to ensure that they are properly washed before you eat them. This is to avoid potential exposure of vegetables to germs through contaminated soil in which these vegetables are grown and to other harmful chemicals. Do not mix fruits and vegetables with uncooked meat, fish or egg to prevent contamination. Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
  1. ALCOHOL
It is safest that pregnant women should not drink alcohol. Exposing your unborn child to alcohol through consumption can interfere with healthy development of your baby. Some studies have linked intake of alcohol during pregnancy to fetal developmental disorders such as fetal alcohol disorder. If you are worried or confused on what to eat or not during pregnancy, it is advisable you talk to a nutritionist, dietitian or doctor to find out exactly what your diet can contain. Hafsah Babatunde is a nutritionist, writer, poet, blogger and a social entrepreneur. She values good health and loves to share healthy tips for healthy living. With a passion for the pen, she believes ideas can be shared to make a difference and to create positive impact on many lives.

Hafsah Babatunde

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