Diet is a vital part of the baby’s nutrition and well-being; the power of a healthy and whole diet can eradicate any kind of genetic abnormalities to the baby’s body; and also minimize the severity of pregnancy symptoms that brings discomfort to the woman.
Not only that, diet plays a vital role in maintaining the woman’s homeostasis and equilibrium, so if you’re trying to have glowing and beautiful skin and body even during pregnancy; always make sure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in antioxidants; phytonutrients, and amino acids.
With that said; most pregnant women are very picky when it comes to the food they eat and sometimes it could create a problem when it comes to picking, and eating the right food; they always ask what can they eat during pregnancy that will ensure proper growth; and development of their baby and at the same time improve their well-being.
Make sure you only take in the best and healthiest diet plan during pregnancy. It is generally considered that fruits and vegetables are the safest; healthiest and most nutritious foods to be incorporated in the woman’s body; however, there are some exceptions; certain foods have been proven by science to cause complications during pregnancy, therefore, it should be avoided at all costs.
Food should be avoided by the pregnant woman for a number of reasons:
- Unhealthy food has a lot of saturated omega 6 fatty acids, processed chemicals, additives, and food colorings.
- The food can be a potential home to bad bacteria and fungi which causes body infections.
- The food contains special substances that specifically cause miscarriage or fetal abnormalities.
- Food offers no nutritional value.
Although these general guidelines are approved by FDA and other health specialists; it is best to consult your doctor or a licensed dietician to help you create a pregnancy diet plan or everyday meal plan that will suit your body’s needs.
Now that we have presented the overview. Here are the following top 5 foods to eat and avoid during pregnancy:
1.Highly Processed Fruit Jams
Fruit Jam even though is considered a great snack option for many pregnant women; Fruit Jam or any kinds of Jam in general even though it is derived from natural fruit compounds generally have a high-sugar content per serving which can increase your chances of getting gestational diabetes; it is also important to mention that jams can contain certain additives and food colorings that should be avoided during fetal growth in the uterus.
If you’re craving a sweet jam during pregnancy it is best to avoid highly packed sugar jams or it is best to avoid one during pregnancy; you don’t need too much sugar in your diet at this point, try switching to yogurt or unsweetened foods instead.
2. Canned or Packaged Goods
Is there even anything to say about this? Canned goods contain a lot of sodium; additives and unnecessary saturated trans fat that is not needed during pregnancy; not to mention there are certain dangers of putting food in a can wherein it can leak chemicals; it is best to avoid this during pregnancy to prevent risks or complications during your pregnancy stage.
Instead of eating these canned goods that are rich in omega 6 fatty acids; it is better to consume wild and organic mercury-free salmon and other fishes that are rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids, DHA and EPA which are vital components of the proper heart and brain development of the baby.
Avoid eating tuna, sardines, corned beef, meatloaf or any other foods that are packed in a tin can; try to eat as organic as possible, try incorporating low-fat meat or fish into your diet that can replace those unhealthy meat cravings, your baby will surely thank you for that.
3. Unwashed and Raw Fruits and Vegetables (cantaloupes, unripe papayas, and pineapples)
The next on our list is raw fruits and vegetables; most people will be surprised to think that raw fruits and vegetables are on the list and it is placed here for a good reason.
Raw fruits and vegetables may appear like a superfood that is good during pregnancy but they should be taken with precautions; certain deadly bacteria can live on the surface of this unwashed vegetables and fruits which can be deadly to the fetus.
Certain fruits and vegetables can be dangerous to eat especially when eaten raw, uncooked or unwashed properly; these fruits and vegetables are:
Cantaloupes have been recently found to be very risky when eaten by a pregnant woman due to the listeria bacteria which is found on the surface of the fruit; unripe papayas, and pineapples; on the other hand, can cause uterine contractions that are caused by the latex substance found in the unripe fruit which triggers oxytocin and prostaglandin like contractions in the uterus, pineapples, on the other hand; can cause acidity due to its substance which causes bloating and sometimes nausea.
Other raw vegetables that should be avoided are the sprout seeds; this is because the cracks in the shell of the sprout seeds generally contain a handful of bacteria that can be very dangerous to the pregnant woman as it can cause viral infections.
Other raw vegetables that can contain listeria and other kinds of harmful bacteria are clover; bean sprouts, alfalfa, radish and other kinds of vegetable sprouts.
There are also farm-grown fruits which were tested to have high toxoplasma content which can come from insecticides and chemical fertilizers; some of the fruits you need to be careful with are apples, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes.
Read also: Effects of eating plums during pregnancy
Always take note that these foods are considered to be avoided only when it is raw and unwashed especially in most salads and sandwiches where these vegetable condiments are present.
It is also essential to make sure that if you are going to eat any of these. It should be washed properly and cooked properly to destroy the bacteria on the surface, if you are still not convinced, you should ditch these foods.
Always remember that no matter how healthy fruits and vegetables are if they are improperly unwashed or uncooked; it can give rise to bacterial growth and toxic chemical residue that causes complications.
4. Unpasteurized raw milk and fruit juices
While milk and other fruit juices provide the essential amounts of vitamins and minerals that help promote the well-being of pregnant women; there have been studies that have proven the health risks of drinking milk and fruit juices, especially the raw and unpasteurized types.
For instances, raw milk has several and thousands of animal growth hormones that are present within a single glass; this hormone could potentially disrupt the pregnant woman’s hormonal fluctuations; some raw milk brands have been also tested for high saturated fat content which can be unhealthy for you and the baby.
Raw milk and juices can also listeriosis, a serious bacterial infection in infants and growing fetuses that can cause miscarriage. Listeriosis is a serious threat during pregnancy because your immune system is at its lowest peak; therefore your body cannot properly fight bacterial infections that easy.
Studies have shown that the particular bacteria Listeria monocytogenes which causes Listeriosis can thrive and grow exponentially in unpasteurized dairy products mainly milk and unpasteurized fruit juices; always make sure to completely avoid these foods to avoid any infection.
5. Trans-fat, High-sodium, High-Glycemic and Caffeinated foods and drinks
Trans fat foods are highly processed foods that contain the unhealthy type of fat called saturated fat or omega 6 fatty acids which entails numerous diseases such as clogged arteries, heart diseases, liver diseases, slower brain development, endometriosis, infertility, mood disorders, obesity and many types of cancers.
Trans fat is an epidemic because many people consume this type of food without them knowing, aside from the numerous diseases caused by this bad fat; there have been numerous studies that trans fat can significantly increase LDL cholesterol in pregnant woman which can cause degenerative disorders to the fetus and likelihood of the pregnant woman gaining more weight or becoming obese.
The dangers of trans fats have been widely known to the people, however, people still heavily consume this food which they do not really pay attention to.
Trans fats rich foods are the following:
- Fast foods
- Mozzarella sticks
- Hash browns
- White bread
Most fast foods that are present in the market and the other processed packaged meat foods that contain hydrogenated oils are very high in trans fats.
Other foods with high trans fat are the meat of the cake, ice frosting, creamer, ice cream, cookies and any kind of dough related products. there are also various food products that don’t accurately label their nutrition facts; therefore, you should always check for the ingredient list and look for the ingredient called hydrogenated oil or fat.
Aside from trans fat, high-glycemic foods or foods that have very high sugar content should be avoided; whether it is an organic sugar or processed sugar, it will still be deliberately absorbed by your body and produce unwanted effects, although there is a recommended sugar intake for pregnant woman; often consider limiting sugar intake and it your getting it always choose organic sugar or honey instead of the processed sugar found in most market.
Always check if the product has any of these ingredients: white sugar, brown sugar; artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, and bread molding sugars.
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Always remember to keep in mind that there are many hidden sugars in most common food items you eat and it all adds up with the other naturally-occurring sugars in the fruits or fruit juices you eat,
Items with a lot of high sugar content are:
- Frozen meals
- Snack bars
- Ice cream
- Artificial yogurt
- Salad dressing
- Fruit juices
- Powdered fruit and tea drinks
- Other sweetened beverages not mentioned above
High-glycemic index during pregnancy could potentially result in gestational diabetes and other complications from the baby; that’s why it is essential to read labels of the food you eat and if possible eat organic; raw vegetables and fruits.
Aside from trans-fat and hidden sugars; the things that should also be avoided on the list are caffeinated drinks and high-sodium foods
caffeinated drinks are considered bad for the baby and the pregnant woman; too much caffeine in your system could make your baby more prone to spasms and forceful movements in the womb; because the baby is active due to the caffeine which could result in pain.
Caffeinated drinks can also cause uterine contractions which can be harmful to the baby; besides the fact that caffeine is a form of psychoactive drug that needs to be consumed in small amounts; it offers no nutritional value during pregnancy, instead of drinking caffeinated drinks such as soda, coffee, tea, and other caffeine-infused beverages; switch to water instead.
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High-sodium foods; on the other hand, creates more water retention inside the woman’s body which makes the symptoms worse;always make sure to limit your sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day; high-sodium foods are usually processed and dried in the process so be wary of eating food products with these kinds of food preparations.
Overall this list of trans fat; sugary, salty and caffeinated foods, and drinks are often processed and has a high shelf life, it is also self-explanatory that these foods can cause degenerative diseases even if you’re not pregnant; so how much more damage it could make to your tiny baby living inside you? That’s why it is best to avoid these foods at all costs.
You don’t necessarily have to be picky about choosing which foods that are good for you; you just have to be the right consumer who chooses their food and checks the labels for any unwanted ingredients that can cause pregnancy complications.
At the end of the day; foods during pregnancy shouldn’t be worried if you’re knowledgeable enough about the food you eat, it should be enjoyed well with your friends, loved ones, and spouses!