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February 20, 2018 | OB/GYN
The female body’s nutritional needs change during pregnancy and your doctor may ask you to adjust your diet by avoiding or being careful consuming certain foods. You may also hear myths about pregnancy nutrition, and it’s important to know fact from fiction. If you are ever uncertain about a certain type of food, talk to your doctor.
Foods to Avoid
Pregnancy affects your immune system, so both you and your baby are more susceptible to certain food-borne illnesses. Here are some foods that pregnant women should generally avoid:
Pregnancy Nutrition Myths:
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to dietary restrictions during pregnancy. Here are a few of the most common myths:
Dairy products are off limits: Some people assume that all dairy is bad for pregnant women, but this often isn’t the case. Make sure any dairy you do consume, however, is pasteurized—this refers to dairy that’s been subject to a sterilization process. With other dairy products like eggs and cheese, it’s important that they are pasteurized as well. Consider hard cheeses like cheddar or swiss and always check food labels to make sure the product is pasteurized.
Pregnant women cannot eat fish: Although pregnant women should avoid raw fish like sushi, there are many types of fish that are just fine if they’re properly cooked. Also avoid fish that are high in mercury, like swordfish, mackerel and shark. Fish that have lower mercury levels, on the other hand, including salmon, catfish, cod, shrimp, light canned tuna and tilapia, are fine to eat for pregnant women if cooked properly. Use this checklist from the FDA to know which types of fish are safe.
Deli meat is safe for pregnant women: Deli meat may contain listeria, which can lead to a serious infection. Deli meat may also contain high levels of sodium, fat and preservatives. If possible, look for alternatives.
You should eat for two while pregnant: Although pregnant women do need more nutrients, it is not necessary or healthy to double your caloric intake. The American Pregnancy Association says you need only about 300 extra calories in the second and third trimester.
Your doctor or OB/GYN can offer additional recommendations for your diet throughout pregnancy.
Obstetricians/gynecologists at Revere Health OB/GYN provide a full range of healthcare services to women throughout all stages of their lives including; puberty, child-bearing years, menopause.
“Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy.” Penn Medicine. https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/womens-health/2016/march/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy
“12 worst foods for pregnancy.” BabyCenter.com. https://www.babycenter.com/0_12-worst-foods-for-pregnancy_10395224.bc?page=1
“Pregnancy Nutrition.” American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-nutrition/
“Checklist of Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy.” FoodSafety.gov.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.