Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

WHAT IS NOT SAFE TO EAT WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT

Alfalfa in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat alfalfa during pregnancy? No

Raw sprouts - like alfalfa or bean sprouts - have been linked to E. coli and salmonella outbreaks, so they definitely belong to the "better-safe-than-sorry" category of foods to avoid during pregnancy. That said, you're not condemned to forgo that crunchy texture until you give birth. Try substituting baby spinach or baby arugula in your sandwich or salads or try adding some thin-cut, French-style green beans. 

Avoid Alfalfa during pregnancy

Brie cheese in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat brie cheese during pregnancy? NO. It's better not.

Soft cheese - like brie, camembert or chèvre (a type of goats' cheese), and others with a similar rind - may contain listeria bacteria, so pregnant women are advised not to eat them. It's not certain the cheese will contain listeria, but there's a higher risk than with other types that are safer.

Brie and other soft cheese in not safe during pregnancy | Picture Credit: wikipedia

Chamomile in pregnancy

Is it safe to drink chamomile tea during pregnancy? No.

When we are not sure - we prefer the "no" option. In this case the answer is not that clear. Chamomile (usually German chamomile) has many benefits like help with sleep issues, include a dose of antioxidants and more. But it also contains anti-inflammatory agents that may be dangerous during pregnancy. It depends on your medical history, the ammount you consume, and other factors. While there is not enough research reggarding the effect of cusuming chamomile during pregnancy it's better to ask your doctor about it. You can read here that it's better to avoid chamomile if you want to be sure.


Chamomile tea - herbal tea or not

Hollandaise sauce during pregnancy

Is hollandaise sauce is safe to eat during pregnancy? No.

We are talking abou the creamy, tasty and lemony sauce poured over eggs benedict. The reason it's forbidden for pregnant women to eat is because it could contain raw eggs. Raw eggs can be breeding grounds for salmonella, which can cause digestive distress, and, in rare cases, uterine cramping. So just skip hollandaise sauce for now.


Hollandaise sauce on eggs Benedict

Meringue in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat meringue during pregnancy? No.

Meringue is made from raw egg whites and sugar. Usually it’s not cooked enough to be safe to eat for a pregnant woman. The risk of eating undercooked meringue is salmonella. That’s why we would skip meringue for this period and find healthier sweets to improve your day.

Meringue top on a cake

Raw eggs during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat raw eggs? NO.

If you google it, you'll find a discussion from the past few years weather it's OK to eat it (especially in the UK), but most of the internet says that raw or undercooked eggs should be avoided during pregnancy because of the risk of Salmonella you don't want to take during your pregnancy. And BTW, foods made using raw egg, such as mayonnaise or mousse, should also be avoided.


Don't eat raw eggs. It's safer

Roquefort cheese during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat roquefort cheese during pregnancy? NO. It's better not.

Soft cheese - like roquefort, gorgonzola, soft blue-veined cheese sanish blue - 

 may contain listeria bacteria, so pregnant women are advised not to eat them. It's not certain the cheese will contain listeria, but there's a higher risk than with other types that are safer.

Soft cheese is out during pregnancy

Sashimi during pregnancy

Can I eat sashimi during pregnancy? NO.

The problem with raw fish is that fish such as salmon may contain small parasitic worms, such as anisakis. Cooking the fish usually destroys the worm. If you eat raw or undercooked fish which may contain these worms then it can cause health problems which can happen to anyone, not just pregnant women.

Infection with these worms results in a condition known as anisakidosis (formerly known as anisakiasis or anisakiasis). you can read about the symptoms here.

Sashimi is raw fish - which isn't safe

Soft cheeses during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat soft cheese during pregnancy? NO. It's better not.

Soft cheese - like roquefort, gorgonzola, soft blue-veined cheese sanish blue - 

 may contain listeria bacteria, so pregnant women are advised not to eat them. It's not certain the cheese will contain listeria, but there's a higher risk than with other types that are safer.

Soft cheese - skip during pregnancy

Tilefish in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat fish during pregnancy? It depands.

In general fish contain vital nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron. The problem is with fish with high mercury rate such as tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel. According to americanpregnancy.org it's better to avoid those 4 types of fish during a pregnancy.

It’s also recommend for pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid eating raw fish as they are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses.


Fish is great during pregnancy - if you choose right

Undercooked sprouts during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat undercooked sprouts during pregnancy? NO.

Together with their advantages they also carry harmful bacteria so concerns about their ill effects on pregnancy health have arisen. The bottom line of the full explanation you can find here is that raw sprouts should not be consumed by pregnant women because of the potential health hazards they pose.

Better not to eat undercooked sprouts during pregnancy

Aperol spritz during pregnancy

Is it safe to drink Aperol Spritz during pregnancy? No, unfortunately. 

Aperol spritz, the orange and tasty Italian cocktail contains alcohole and that's the reason it's not recomended to drink as long as you are pregnant. 

But we heard that the same company of Aperol also offers non alcoholic drink named Cordino that might be a good option when you have Aperol spritz craving. You can see a discussion about it here.

Drink of Aperol spritz. Want!

Camembert cheese in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat camembert cheese during pregnancy? NO. It's better not.

Soft cheese - like camembert, brie or chèvre (a type of goats' cheese), and others with a similar rind - may contain listeria bacteria, so pregnant women are advised not to eat them. It's not certain the cheese will contain listeria, but there's a higher risk than with other types that are safer.

Camembert and other soft cheese in not safe during pregnancy | Picture Credit: wikipedia

Chocolate Mousse in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat chocolate mousse during pregnancy? No.

The answer is short since it incorporate raw eggs into their decadent recipes, so you have the risk of salmonella. It's recommended not to consume chocolate mousse as long as you are expecting.

Chocolate Mousse dessert

King mackerel during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat king mackerel during pregnancy? NO.

Many fish contain vital nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron. The problem is with types of fish with high mercury rate such as king mackerel, swordfish, shark and tilefish. According to americanpregnancy.org it's better to avoid those 4 types of fish during a pregnancy.

It’s also recommend for pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid eating raw fish as they are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses.

Don't. Just don't.

Oregano in pregnancy

Is it safe to consume Oregano during pregnancy? Not recomended.

While the use of dry oregano in samll amounts consider safe,

pregnant women should not take oregano in medicinal amounts because the oils the contain could reach the baby and harm it or may cause miscarriages. Whenever we are not sure we prefer to take the conservative option and skip Oregano for nine months of pregnancy.

Dry Oregano on pasta

Raw meat during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat raw meet in pregnancy? NO.

Sometimes it's very clear. Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

Skip the raw meet if you are pregnant

Saffron in pregnancy

Is it safe to consume Saffron during pregnancy? No.

Well, at least no during your first trimester. You probably want to use Saffron for a sufisticated recepie since it considered the most expensive spice in the world. Anyway, as you already know, the first trimester may be the most significant for your baby and  research suggests that it may be best to avoid saffron during your first trimester. Also some research has shown that exposure to a large amount of saffron after the first trimester may increase the risk of miscarriage. 

Saffron in a bowl ready to be cooked

Shark during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat shark during pregnancy? NO.

In general fish contain vital nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron. The problem is with fish with high mercury rate such as shark, tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, swordfish, and king mackerel. According to americanpregnancy.org it's better to avoid those 4 types of fish during a pregnancy.

It’s also recommend for pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid eating raw fish as they are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses.

No sharks during pragnancy please

Swordfish during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat swordfish during pregnancy? It depands.

In general fish contain vital nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron. The problem is with fish with high mercury rate such as swordfish, shark, tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico and king mackerel. According to americanpregnancy.org it's better to avoid those 4 types of fish during a pregnancy.

It’s also recommend for pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid eating raw fish as they are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses.

Swordfish isn't safe during pregnancy

Tiramisu during pregnancy

Is tiramisu safe to eat? NO

Since usually it contains raw eggs. Sorry, this time it's better to skip your favorite dessert.

If you still have a huge crave, maybe you can find a solution. According to webmd there is a safe way to prepare your favorite recipe. Some supermarkets sell pasteurized eggs, which are OK to eat raw. Make sure the label on the eggs specifically states "pasteurized."

Personally, we would skip tiramisu for 9 months.

be careful from the raw eggs inside

Unpasteurized milk during pregnancy

Is it safe to drink raw milk during pregnancy? Easy. NO

Any raw milk product that is not pasteurized (has not heated to a high temperature to kill microbes) can carry disease-causing microbes. The worry of these is the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause an infection called listeriosis.  As explained in babycenter Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to it, and the infection can be devastating and even deadly for unborn babies. 

Skip any Unpasteurized milk or raw milk

Brandy in pregnancy

Is it safe to drink Brandy during pregnancy? Easy - NO

As part of the alcoholic drinks out there, it's not safe for you to drink alcohol as long as you are pregnant. Experts agree that drinking alcohol during pregnancy could pose a long-term risk to your unborn baby, and the more you drink, the higher the risks. Why not? When you have an alcoholic drink, the alcohol goes into your bloodstream. Alcohol freely crosses the placenta, so once it's in your bloodstream, it soon reaches your baby - and this is not really good. You can read more about it in many sites on the internet. Here is one option to check. 

Brandy drink during pregnancy is not a good idea

Ceviche in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat ceviche during pregnancy? No.

We know that it might be confusing sometimes that the fish in ceviche looks cooked, but it isn't. In ceviche dish while the fish is soaked in acidic lime juice still there's no heat in the cooking process, so the fish is cold and no bacteria gets killed. This is the reason that it's better to wait with this craving and eat ceviche only after your give birth.

Ceviche dish with toasts

Gorgonzola cheese in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat gorgonzola cheese during pregnancy? NO. It's better not.

Soft cheese - like gorgonzola, roquefort, soft blue-veined cheese sanish blue - 

 may contain listeria bacteria, so pregnant women are advised not to eat them. It's not certain the cheese will contain listeria, but there's a higher risk than with other types that are safer.

Gorgonzola? Not during pregnancy

Mayonnaise during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat mayonnaise during pregnancy? NO.

Unless the eggs you want to eat have a red British Lion Quality stamp on the shell (in the UK), you should avoid eating them raw or runny. British Lion eggs have a very low risk of carrying salmonella, a bacteria that causes food poisoning.

Don't eat fresh mayonnaise from delis or restaurants, unless you're sure that British Lion eggs have been used. However, supermarket salad dressings and ice creams are usually made using pasteurised egg, so are safe to eat.

Mayonnaise is risky during pregnancy

Oysters during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat oysters during pregnancy? No.

Although some websites argue that it's safe to eat oysters during pregnancy - the common recommendation is to avoid it during the 9 months of your pregnancy. Both the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration recommend that pregnant women only eat fish and shellfish that has been cooked to 145 degrees F (This temperature destroys any potentially harmful parasites and pathogens). If you love Oysters - cool, but it's better to stick with cooked fish and shellfish, including cooked oysters.

Fresh oysters dish

Raw shellfish during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat raw shellfish or raw oysters during pregnancy? NO.

We founbd that the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration recommend that pregnant women only eat fish and shellfish that has been cooked to 145 degrees F. The reason is simple - cooking fish to this temperature destroys any potentially harmful parasites and pathogens. In any other case - skip the dish and avoid the risk of eating raw shellfish during pregnancy.

Not during pregnancy - Raw shellfish

Sage during pregnancy

Is it safe to consume sage during pregnancy? No.

Some sources says it's ok to drink sage tea, but in general taking sage during pregnancy is likely unsafe because of the possibility of consuming thujone, a chemical found in some sage. Thujone can bring on a woman's menstrual period, and this could cause a miscarriage. We would skip this herp as long as you are pregnant.

Fresh Sage herb

Smoked Salmon during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat smoked salmon / lox during pregnancy? No.

During those nine months it's important to avoid unheated cold-smoked fish since it's not fully cooked and there is a risk for you and your baby. Salmon lox isn't heated high enough to kill certain parasites and bacteria. However, if this salmon is previously heated to 165℉, than it's considered as a hot-smoked salmon and in this case shouldn’t cause dangerous infections as it's fully cooked.


Smoked salmon sandwich aka lox

Taramasalata in pregnancy

Is it safe to eat Taramasalata during pregnancy? No. 

This unique Greek meze made from tarama is tasty and might cause a crave while you are pregnant BUT it has a listeriosis risk due to raw fish eggs it contains. This is the ,main reason that it is not advisable for pregnant women to eat Taramasalata during their pregnancy. Sorry.


Taramasalata

Tofu during pregnancy

Is Soy Safe During Pregnancy? It depends.

Some experts warn that too much could harm your health and your developing baby. According to parents.com it's all about moderation and says that during pregnancy 1-2 servings of soy daily is OK (serving is half a cup of tofu or a cup of soymilk - your choice).

Tofu and soy - moderation is the key

Your health is more more important during your pregnancy. You want to give your body all the vitamins and best nutrition and at the same time avoid the risky foods that are not good for you and your baby. Sometimes it can even be dangerous - like foods that may be a good ground for salmonella... Here is the full list that is updating all the time with the foods you should avoid during your pregnancy and until you give birth. The content is based on leading experts found on the web and it's only a recommendation.