You always want to try to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet but when you are pregnant, it becomes more important to do so. Your growing baby needs a number of essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins for proper and healthy growth. So you'd better know there are a few foods to avoid during pregnancy while it is safe to eat most foods while pregnant. 

Foods You Need to Avoid During Pregnancy


Fish and Seafood

Most women know to avoid eating seafood while they are pregnancy because it can cause a number of fetal complications. Swordfish, shark, king mackerel and other fish are known to contain high amounts of mercury which should not be consumed while pregnant. 

Smoked seafood like lox, jerky or kippered seafood contains Listeria bacteria and should not be eaten while pregnant. 

Salmon, bluefish, striped bass, and trout are typically cultured in contaminated rivers or lakes. These types of fish should be avoided since they can are often exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls. Mussels oyster and clams should as not be consumed whether cooked or raw. 

Even cooked shellfish of these varieties can cause algae-related infections.


Undercooked eggs

Runny, sunny side up and raw eggs can be contaminated with salmonella bacteria which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, any dessert or condiments, like mousse, sauces, cakes and mayonnaise that contain raw eggs, should also be avoided.


Undercooked meat

While plenty of meat is necessary while pregnant you want to avoid any undercooked or raw meats. Undercooked meats can contain toxoplasma gondii parasites which can lead to serious illness and even miscarriages or fetal damage. All meats and poultry should be cooked to at least 73 degrees Celsius.


Dairy products that are unpasteurized

You want to ensure you get plenty of calcium while pregnant so you want to consume dairy products, but you want to exclude any unpasteurized products. Unpasteurized dairy products can cause food poisoning in expecting mothers, so these should be on our list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. For those who are looking for non-dairy options, go with rice, almond or soy milk which will provide you with the same vitamins and minerals as pasteurized dairy products.



A cup or two of coffee a day isn't going to be very harmful while pregnant, but consuming an excess amount of caffeine can be. Ingesting too much caffeine while pregnant can cause low birth weight, stillbirths, and even spontaneous abortions. Be aware of some of the products that contain hidden caffeine in them, like cold and flu medicines, chocolates and teas.


Foods that are canned

There are a few reasons why you want to avoid consuming canned products while you are pregnant. Most canned products are lined with Bisphenol A or BPA which can have a negative effect on fetal endocrine activity. Also, canned foods have a higher risk of containing various bacteria that can be harmful to the baby.


Foods rich in nitrate

Foods that contain a significant amount of nitrate contain little nutritional value and this can lead to poor fetal developments and abnormalities. Foods such as diet drinks, sausage, and artificial sweeteners are known to contain a high amount of nitrate which should be avoided.


Unwashed vegetables and fruits

While fruits and vegetables are not foods to avoid during pregnancy, you do want to avoid them until they have been properly cleaned. Raw vegetables and fruits will often be coated in pesticides and other chemicals that need to be washed. Additionally, unwashed fruits and vegetables are more likely to contain bacteria that can be harmful while pregnant. 


Raw vegetable sprouts

Even when washed, raw sprouts can have bacteria that began to grow in the seed, so no washing can get rid of these bacteria. While you can still eat these foods, they should not be consumed in their raw form. Alfalfa, radish, clovers and other types of raw sprouts should all be thoroughly cooked prior to eating. Cooking raw sprouts is the only way to ensure the harmful bacteria is removed from the sprout completely.


Junk foods

During your pregnancy, you will most likely have a number of junk food cravings, but processed junk foods should be avoided. These foods tend to contain high amounts of sugar, calories, and fats that in excess can be harmful during and after pregnancy. These foods provide little nutritional value and can increase your risk of diabetes type 2, heart disease, gestational diabetes, excess weight gain for the mother and high birth weight for babies. Consume too many processed junk foods while pregnant can have long term effect for both mother and child which is why these foods should be seriously avoided.



This should be one of the obvious items to avoid. Any amount of alcohol consumed while pregnant can cause a number of complications. You will increase your chances of miscarriage, stillbirth, and developmental delays or fetal alcohol syndrome. No amount of alcohol has been proven to be safe during pregnancy, so this is one of the foods to avoid during pregnancy altogether.


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