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A Food Guide for Pregnant Women

Red-Light Food

During pregnancy, there are some things that might stress but eating should not be one of them. Unfortunately, all the advice you hear – friends, family, and yes, even strangers – about what is and is not safe during pregnancy is enough to confuse anyone. “There are a lot of old wives tales out there,” says Elizabeth Ward, RD, of Reading, Massachusetts. So if you are wondering what is okay to eat (and if you have to give your favorite foods boot for nine months), check out our guide.


Foods to avoid

Why some foods off limits when you’re pregnant – but it’s okay if you’re not? First, changes in their immune system now make you more vulnerable to foodborne diseases. Which it would have meant an upset stomach could mean serious complications before now -. Dehydration involuntary


So to be safe, avoid the most common foodborne illness culprits:

Eggs: Because raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella, a bacterium that can cause fever, vomiting and diarrhea, careful with the restaurant-made Caesar salad dressing, homemade eggnog, raw cookie dough, soft scrambled or fried eggs – any dish in which eggs ( both yolk and white) is not fully cooked. “If the eggs are cooked, the risk is gone,” added Madeleine Sigman-Grant, PhD, of maternal and child health and extension specialist in nutrition at the University of Nevada.

Sushi :. With the exception of California rolls and other cooked, sushi foods it is unsafe when you are waiting, either, because it may contain parasites that induce disease

unpasteurized juices: Stay away from juice (such as cider) sold at farm stands; You can not have suffered pasteurization, a method of processing that kills bacteria and toxins. Although most milk and juices sold in stores is pasteurized today, there are still some brands on the shelves that are not, so read the labels.

Other foods are unsafe due to possible contaminants that can damage the fetus:

Some varieties of fish: Fish that has omega-3 help baby’s brain development, is a great choice of food at this time. However, some varieties must be rejected due to high levels of methyl mercury, a pollutant that can affect the nervous system of the baby. These include swordfish, shark and tilefish – all larger species live longer, accumulating more mercury in their flesh. (You may want to avoid these fish in full during their childbearing years because your body stores mercury for up to four years, Ward advises.)

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In fact, most types of fish contain traces of mercury, so it is appropriate to limit their weekly consumption also safer varieties. According to the new FDA guidelines, you can enjoy up to 12 ounces a week (about two meals) of fish less mercury, such as salmon, catfish, pollock, shrimp and canned light tuna. Of those 12 ounces, only 6 should come from canned “white” albacore tuna, which tend to contain more mercury than light tuna. If you are eating fish caught in local waters, check online with your state department of health warnings (if you can not find any information, limit yourself to 6 ounces).

Yellow-Light Food

Some foods are fine in small amounts, but do not go overboard.

high levels of caffeine: When it comes to caffeine, “studies can be very confusing,” says Sigman-Grant. While a small study link caffeine to increased health risks to the fetus, studies have demonstrated stronger caffeine is not harmful in moderate amounts. So now the guidelines suggest no more than 300 milligrams per day, about the amount found in two or three 8-ounce cups of coffee. And that comes as a relief for many mothers-to-be. Stephanie McClure, a mother of two children, in Columbus, Ohio, had a terrible time going at once. “After a few months went to my doctor and asked if there was any way I could have just a little coffee,” recalls McClure, who says his doctor gave him the go-ahead for a couple of cups a day. “I ran immediately to Starbucks and ordered a mocha coffee.”

nitrate-rich foods: is also smart to go easy on the hot dogs (which should always be eaten cooked) and meats like bacon and sausage cured. These contain nitrates, additives have been questioned for their possible link to brain tumors and diabetes. Although studies are inconclusive, it makes sense to limit their consumption – these foods are not very good nutritional choices anyway. What’s your diet soda ones? They are considered safe during pregnancy and beyond will not be a stellar nutritional option, there is no scientific evidence that they cause damage. But on the downside, at least one artificial sweetener (saccharin) that is often found in diet sodas does cross the placenta, and artificially sweetened beverages are generally low in nutritional value. So again, moderation is recommended.

green light Food

Good news! Some foods that may have thought they were banned in reality they are not.

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soft cheeses: Soft cheeses such as Brie, feta, Gorgonzola and were once considered potentially harmful because they can harbor listeria. Listeriosis, a disease caused by Listeria bacteria, can pass to the fetus, leading to miscarriage, premature delivery or stillbirth. However, the FDA now allows soft cheeses during pregnancy, as long as it is made with pasteurized milk. Most cheese sold in the United States is, but “not always take for granted,” says Ward. It is important that you check the labels, especially with imported brands. If you live in a border state, stay away from soft Mexican cheeses like queso blanco markets (typically not pasteurized).

cheese during pregnancy: safe or not

cooked sausages: When Jennifer Vito, a mom in San Antonio, heard the meat shop was also off limits because of concerns of listeriosis, it was difficult to remove when she was waiting. “If I can not have cold cuts, what am I supposed to eat for lunch?” He says. “I ate a lot of peanut butter and jam and snacked vegetables.” But cold cuts is fine during pregnancy, provided it is first heated to kill bacteria (pop your sandwich in the microwave or order a hot or roasting in the deli sandwich – just make sure that the meat is steamed before eat). “It’s a pain to heat, but it would be worse for listeriosis,” says Ward. If you prefer to spend on cold meats, try other foods high in protein, like a veggie burger, a bean burrito, or chicken salad made with some grilled chicken breast and plenty of low-fat mayonnaise.

Fresh Produce: Finally, fruits and vegetables should be a staple in their diet, especially during pregnancy, because they are rich in vitamins and fiber. But take some common sense precautions: rewash bagged lettuce (even if the label says it is triple washed) to remove any traces of salmonella or E. coli. In fact, you wash the exterior of all fruits and vegetables – even if you will not eat the skin. “Otherwise drags germs in the flesh when cut,” says Sigman-Grant.

But what is the bottom line best advice on what to eat these nine months? Mix. “Do not rely on the same food every day,” says Sigman-Grant. “You dramatically reduce your risk of being exposed to something harmful if you eat a variety.” What’s more, changing your diet, you also deliver a healthy mix of nutrients to your growing baby.

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