pregnant woman eating fruit

NOURISH

What NOT to eat when you’re pregnant

  • When you are pregnant, you are not really eating for two. Recommendations are to add no more than about 500 additional kilocalories per day during your pregnancy.
  • Avoid unpasteurized milk and milk products, raw or undercooked meat, seafood and eggs and unwashed fruits and vegetables during your pregnancy.

Congratulations, you’re going to have a baby. You’re probably starting to get a lot of advice, both good and bad, about everything including nutrition. What should you eat? What should you avoid? How do you know if you’re doing it right?

Your health care provider is a good source of information about what you should or should not eat during this time. But here are some simple rules you can follow that will help you.

What to avoid

  • Unpasteurized milk and foods prepared with unpasteurized milk, such as imported soft cheeses. These products may expose you to listeria, a food-borne bacterial infection that can be fatal to unborn babies.
  • Fish that may contain mercury. Mercury can harm your baby, causing brain damage and organ failure. Fish that are high in mercury include King mackerel, marlin, shark, swordfish, orange roughy and bigeye tuna.
  • Raw or undercooked meat, seafood and eggs
  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables
  • Raw sprouts
  • Processed meats, such as hot dogs, lunch meats and cold cuts. You can eat these if they have been heated until steaming hot just before your meal.
  • Pate, meat spreads and smoked seafood
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Eating for two. You’re not really eating for two. There’s no need to double your portion size. Recommendations are to add no more than about 500 additional kilocalories per day during your pregnancy.

What you should eat

  • Fruit, either fresh, canned, frozen, dried and 100 percent fruit juice
  • Whole grain bread, pasta, oatmeal and cereal
  • Vegetables, either raw, cooked, frozen, canned, dried or 100 percent vegetable juice
  • Lean protein, including beef, poultry, beans, peas, eggs, soy products and nuts
  • Pasteurized milk and milk products, yogurt and ice cream
  • Water
  • Healthy seafood, including sea bass, catfish, shrimp, haddock, herring, oysters and many others. For a complete list of best choices, good choices and fish to avoid, visit the Food and Drug Administration web site Advice about eating fish.

Proper nutrition is a simple way to help improve your health, the health of your baby and the experience of pregnancy. Remember to talk with your health care provider if you have any questions about your diet.

 


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