Foods prohibited during pregnancy: what should you avoid eating while pregnant?

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Foods prohibited during pregnancy: what should you avoid eating while pregnant?

Some foods are very strongly discouraged from the moment you are pregnant, because they can put the future mother or the fetus at risk. So as not to be mistaken on your plate, you can forget all non-pasteurized cheeses, raw meat and charcuterie, raw eggs, raw or undercooked shellfish and fish… And alcohol.

What foods are prohibited during pregnancy?

Am I allowed to eat this? This question constantly torments us from the moment we know that we are pregnant! Our diet must indeed be closely monitored in order to protect us, with baby. For example, to limit the risk of listeriosis and toxoplasmosis, one should abstain from eating soft or raw milk cheeses (which are not pasteurized), such as Camembert or grated cheese in sachets.

With regard to seafood products, raw or undercooked shellfishthe surimi and the Tarama are also to be banned. We also favor shellfish that we cook ourselves over shelled shellfish sold cooked.

To avoid getting your cutlery tangled up, remember that anything raw is strongly discouraged during pregnancy, which includes:

  • On the charcuterie side: rillettes, pâté, raw ham, sausage, liver mousse, salami…
  • All raw meats, tartare, carpaccio, smoked, marinated and game
  • All raw fish, especially in sushi, smoked or marinated
  • Fish potentially containing a high level of methyl-mercury: eel, barbel, bream, carp, swordfish, lamprey, marlin, shark, catfish, siki, tuna…
  • Surimi, tarama and lump eggs
  • Unpasteurized raw milk cheeses, including industrial grated cheeses
  • Raw shellfish, sea urchins and oysters (even cooked)

Pâté, charcuterie, raw meat… the risks of toxoplasmosis

These parasites and bacteria causing listeriosis or toxoplasmosis therefore hide in products bought by the slice, raw and smoked fish, and raw or cooked meat or charcuterie artisanal, including pâté or rillettes. We therefore cook all our meats and egg-based preparations thoroughly.

During the holidays: we prefer a well-cooked foie gras

As you will have understood, the golden rule during pregnancy in order to avoid all risks and to cook meat, fish and eggs well present on our plates! This also applies during the end-of-year celebrations: smoked salmon, oysters and rare lamb are put aside. On the other hand, you can have a little foie gras, provided it is well cooked, at 100°C, again to avoid the risk of listeriosis.

Foods not recommended: what should you not eat too much when you are pregnant?

Several foods are not strictly prohibited during pregnancy but simply not recommended. Better to eat some in reduced proportions for nine months, as a precautionary principle. It’s the case :

  • livers
  • preparations based on raw or partially cooked eggs (homemade mayonnaise, custard, chocolate mousse, etc.)
  • soy

Animal livers should be avoided because of their high vitamin A content, large doses of which can pose risks to the fetus. This concerns all animal species, as well as liver products. Regarding soy and products made from this plant, it is the phytoestrogens they contain that can interfere with the hormonal system of mother and baby. As a precaution, it is therefore advisable during pregnancy to avoid consuming food supplements containing soy extracts and to limit soy foods to no more than one per day.

Furthermore, the products enriched with phytosterols – margarines, yogurts, milk drinks, etc. – are reserved for people who have “too much cholesterol”. However, even if this is your case, it is not recommended for future mothers to consume it, as a precautionary principle, the possible risks not being known.

Last point, if the latest report from the National Food Safety Agency (ANSES) stated that sweeteners, especiallyaspartame, did not entail any proven risk for pregnancy, nor any benefit, other studies have questioned a causal link with the increasing number of premature births, cancers or disruption of the intestinal flora. As a precautionary measure, avoid sweeteners.

Fish during pregnancy: what can a pregnant woman eat?

Raw, marinated or smoked fish: watch out for listeriosis

Fish is a nutritionally very interesting food, so it is often recommended to eat it twice a week, including a fatty fish. On the other hand, we always make sure to cook our fish well, as those raw, marinated or smoked risk carrying a risk of listeriosis.

In addition, some fish are likely to be contaminated by toxic chemicals, including mercury, but also by microorganisms. ANSES issued an opinion in 2012 on the assessment of the risks associated with the consumption of fish. Expectant mothers, who are particularly vulnerable, must be extra vigilant. All wild fish such as monkfish, wolf (bass), eel, emperor, halibut, pike, sea bream, ray, tuna should be avoided. The same is true for swordfish, marlin, shark…

What are the fruits to avoid during pregnancy?

Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite present in the soil. To avoid contamination during pregnancy, therefore wash vegetables, fruits and aromatic herbs very carefully, in order to remove any residue of earth. He is even recommended to peel them. These precautions taken, no fruit or vegetable is not recommended for pregnant women.

However, in order to avoid any risk, we can do without raw shoots during our pregnancy: grown in a humid and warm environment, they can contain bacteria such as salmonella, listeria and E.coli. If this worries us, we can reduce our consumption of alfalfa, clover, radishes, mung beans and other bean sprouts, or we can cook them.

Diet during pregnancy: can a woman drink coffee or tea?

Tea and coffee are two stimulants to consume with great moderation during pregnancy, especially since a large consumption of tea reduces the absorption of iron contained in food. It is therefore often recommended that pregnant women limit themselves to 3 cups of tea and coffee per day.

Studies have shown that consuming more than 600 mg of coffee per day can reduce the birth weight of the baby and that from 800 mg per day, the risk of mortality is increased. Caffeine consumption can also cause tachycardia or cardiac aphasia in the fetus : our consumption must therefore be very reasonable.

Ban alcohol while pregnant

There are countless studies demonstrating the harmful effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy for the fetus: risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal alcohol syndrome… To avoid taking any risks, it is advisable to do not drink a single glass of alcohol throughout our pregnancy.

In video: My postpartum food survival kit | Emilie Fumet

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