Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time where an offspring develops inside the womb of a woman. During this time, the mother’s goal is to eat nutritious food in order for the baby to be healthy and to avoid any serious complications. While rainbow-colored veggies and fruits would provide the needed nutrients during pregnancy, there are certain foods that must be avoided or consumed with limitations. Here is a list of these foods.

High Mercury Fish

Certain fish accumulate mercury and other heavy metals from the pollution in ocean waters. These elevated levels of mercury might compromise the baby`s developing nervous system, immune system, and kidneys. Some high-mercury fish include King mackerel, Swordfish, shark, and tuna (especially albacore tuna).

It is advised that pregnant women should limit the consumption of high-mercury fish to no more than 1–2 servings per month.

Raw Eggs & Meats

A pregnant woman should avoid raw eggs (lightly scrambled egg and poached eggs) and other types of food that are comprised of raw eggs (homemade Caesar dressings, custards, homemade ice cream, cake icings). This is mainly due to the possible exposure that can be caused by Salmonella.

Also, eating undercooked or raw meat increases the risk of infection from several bacteria or parasites, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. These may threaten the health of unborn babies, possibly leading to stillbirth or severe neurological illnesses, including blindness, intellectual disability, and epilepsy.


Caffeine can be found in chocolate tea, coffee, cola, and other soft drinks. Drinking lots of caffeine during pregnancy has been associated with low birth weight and miscarriages.

Limit consumption of it to no more than 200 mg a day if pregnant.

Raw Sprouts

Raw sprouts may be contaminated with Salmonella as the humid environment required by seeds to start sprouting is ideal for these kinds of bacteria, and they’re almost impossible to wash off. Due to this, pregnant women are advised to avoid raw sprouts including mung bean, clover, radish, and alfalfa sprouts.


Alcohol can harm both the mother and the baby. Drinking it during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. It’s safest to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy, especially in the first three months.

Unpasteurized Milk And Dairy Products

Pasteurization is the most effective way to kill any harmful bacteria, without changing the nutritional value of the products. To minimize the risk of infections caused by an array of harmful bacteria, including Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter, pregnant women are advised to avoid cheeses that fall into the soft cheese category, such as brie, feta, gorgonzola, queso Blanco, and a few others.  These may not be pasteurized and will lead to the consumption of the bacteria that is also found in raw milk.   If only unpasteurized milk is available, boil it before consuming it.

Processed Junk Foods

Eating junk foods while pregnant increases the chance that the baby to likely eat an unhealthy diet, high in sugar and fat, and be at increased risk of obesity. Try to temper cravings for junk food since these foods don’t provide the ideal nourishment for the fetus.