Nutrition During Pregnancy: What to Limit

Last time, I mentioned a few items and habits that should be avoided entirely during pregnancy. Today’s post will discuss items that should be limited, albeit with difficulty, during pregnancy and why.

 

Caffeine

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Why? Some research shows that lots of caffeine (considered to be more than two to three cups of coffee a day or 200 mg) can raise your risk of miscarriage. It’s important to remember that chocolate and chocolate-based drinks contain caffeine as well, so this should be counted within total daily caffeine consumption.

Tips: Switch to tea (less caffeine) and decaffeinated products but AVOID herbal teas that might have medicinal effects (such as chamomile and hibiscus). Focus more on using popular tea brands and flavors (green, mild mint, black, fruit flavors).

 

Sodium

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Why? High levels of sodium contribute to an increase in water retention or EDEMA and an increased risk for high blood pressure

Tips: Processed or canned items tend to contain high amounts of sodium, so switching to whole foods decreases overall sodium intake.

 

Soft cheeses like feta, goat cheese, Brie, Camembert and blue cheese

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Why? They tend to be made with unpasteurized milk, unlike harder cheeses like cheddar or Swiss.

 

Cold cuts and deli meat, as well as sushi and sashimi

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Why? These food items are generally eaten cold and uncooked, which increases the risk of foodborne illnesses.

 

High-mercury fish (generally large, seawater fish)

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Why? Certain fish – mostly big fish – contain high levels of mercury, which isn’t good for anyone’s health (pregnant or not), but they can be particularly harmful to a developing baby’s nervous system, lungs, kidneys, vision and hearing.

Tips: Instead, eat cooked salmon, herring and sardines, which contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Raw or runny eggs

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Why? There’s a slight risk of salmonella in uncooked or undercooked eggs.

 

Spicy foods

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Why? They can cause heartburn. While this won’t harm the baby, it can make already uncomfortable pregnant women more uncomfortable.

 

I know that after reading this extensive list, it might seem overwhelming and unachievable to avoid all these items. The good news is that more times than not, there are healthier alternatives that should be incorporated into your meal plan, whether pregnant or not.

To make it easier for you, the next post will talk about a few SUPERfoods for mommies-to-be!

 

WE SAID THIS: Stay tuned!

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