If you are pregnant, you may have to overhaul your diet plan and eat healthily in order to deliver a healthy baby. There is a huge list of essential foods that all pregnant women should eat but I am not going to delve into that.
Many women are unaware of the dangers of some foods that can lead to fetal anomalies and birth complications. In order to better your chances of having a safe pregnancy, here is a list of five danger foods that you must avoid during your pregnancy.
Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
Mercury Contaminated Seafood
Fish is supposed to be very healthy for the unborn baby but not all fish are safe to eat during pregnancy. Some fish are very high on mercury. Mercury is exceedingly dangerous for humans and can cause irreversible brain damage in the fetus. Certain fish like shark, swordfish and mackerel have high levels of mercury that can harm the mother and the baby.
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It is best to avoid eating these varieties. Stick to prawns, pomfret and salmon. Since you are never too sure about the level of mercury in most seafood, it is best to limit consumption.
Undercooked, Raw Meat
If you are planning to eat out, stay away from undercooked meat. Most fast food joints especially burger joints serve burgers with meat that is partially cooked or semi cooked. This can cause a series of infections in the mother like toxoplasmosis, salmonellosis and other lethal forms of food poisoning.
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Severe food poisoning can lead to immediate abortion or miscarriage. It is altogether best to avoid eating out. It is perfectly ok to eat meat and eggs, as they are high sources of vital proteins. Just ensure that they are home cooked. Clean your meat properly and make sure it is cooked on high heat so that all potential parasites are killed. Avoid eating runny eggs. Have them full boiled.
Alcohol should be avoided at all costs. Even a glass a day can cause potential harm to the unborn baby. Excessive alcohol leads to a condition called as fetal alcohol syndrome, which leads to physical anomalies and developmental defects in the unborn baby. Remember that your baby eats what you eat and alcohol can be severely toxic for the developing baby’s body.
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Mono Sodium Glutamate And Artificial sweeteners
The use of artificial sweeteners and mono sodium glutamate during pregnancy has brought to the fore many controversial debates. It has been said that consumption of artificial sweeteners like aspartame is not good for the baby. Mono sodium Glutamate is a flavour enhancer, which is used in oriental cuisine like Chinese. Research has shown that consumption of mono sodium glutamate or ‘ajinomoto’ is harmful and can cause developmental anomalies.
Moderate amounts of caffeine are ok but tea/coffee is best avoided during pregnancy. They are said to cause restlessness and sleep disturbances and may exacerbate nausea and morning sickness.
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It is also said to increase the heart rate and blood pressure. Having 1-2 cups a day will not do you any harm though.