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Monday, March 31, 2014

Food avoid during pregnancy..

During your pregnancy there are a few things that might stress you out, but eating shouldn't be one of them. Unfortunately, all of the advice you hear -- from friends, family, and yes, even total strangers -- about what is and isn't safe during pregnancy is enough to confuse anyone. There are a lot of old wives' tales out there. So if you're wondering what's okay to eat (and whether you have to give your favorite foods the boot for nine months), check out our guide.


Foods to Avoid:

Why are somefoods off-limits when you're pregnant -- but fine if you're not? First, changes to your immune system now make you more vulnerable to food-borne illnesses. What would've meant stomach upset before could mean serious complications now -- from dehydration to miscarriage.
So to be safe, avoid the common culprits of food-borne illness:

Caffeine:
Taking in high doses of caffeine daily during pregnancy -- whether from coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, or energy drinks -- has long been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, and a 2008 study from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research confirms that link. The study found that women who consumed 200 milligrams or more of caffeine per day (that's two or more cups of regular coffee or five 12-ounce cans of soda containing caffeine) had twice the miscarriage risk as women who consumed no caffeine. It's a good idea to drink decaffeinated beverages, especially during the first trimester when the risk of miscarriage is highest.

Soft cheeses:
It's best to avoid cheeses such as Brie, goat, Camembert, feta, queso blanco, and blue or other veined varieties. Why? They may be unpasteurized and contaminated with listeria -- bacteria that can trigger food poisoning. These soft cheeses have a high fear factor because they're not aged, like cheddar or Parmesan, where the process kills bacteria naturally, says Hope Ricciotti, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School and coauthor of I'm Pregnant! Now What Do I Eat? And because pregnant women have a weakened immune system, they are more prone to certain food-borne illnesses -- which, if contracted in the first trimester, can lead to miscarriage or preterm birth.


Raw Meat:
Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

Deli Meat:
Deli meats have been known to be contaminated with listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which may be life-threatening. If you are pregnant and you are considering eating deli meats, make certain that you reheat the meat until it is steaming.

Raw Shellfish:
 The majority of seafood-borne illness is caused by undercooked shellfish, which include oysters, clams, and mussels. Cooking helps prevent some types of infection, but it does not prevent the algae-related infections that are associated with red tides. Raw shellfish pose a concern for everybody, and they should be avoided altogether during pregnancy.

Pate:
 Refrigerated pate or meat spreads should be avoided because they may contain the bacteria listeria. Canned pate, or shelf-safe meat spreads can be eaten.

Eggs:
No one is going to tell you to avoid eggs, which are a high-quality source of protein and contain important nutrients like choline. But eggs do have some risk of being contaminated with salmonella, which is more dangerous for pregnant women than for the general population. So be sure to practice good egg safety, says Swinney: Only buy refrigerated eggs, and toss any with cracked or unclean shells. Avoid eating runny eggs (go for scrambled instead of sunny-side up), Caesar salad dressing (if it contains raw egg), unpasteurized eggnog, and homemade ice cream. And don't taste-test that raw cake or cookie batter.

Alcohol:
The advice on alcohol is clear: In 2005, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a statement urging all pregnant women and all women who may become pregnant to avoid any alcohol consumption. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, too, states that there's no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy. That said, your doctor or midwife might tell you an occasional drink is harmless, and in some countries restrictions are much looser.


Unpasteurized Dairy and Juices:
Fortunately you don't have to worry about finding unpasteurized milk at the supermarket, thanks to the Food and Drug Administration. But soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk are another story — they can harbor Listeria and other pathogens. To stay safe, don’t nosh on feta, Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, blue-veined cheeses, and queso fresco unless you’re positive they’re made with pasteurized products.

High-Mercury Fish:
You know fish is loaded with all those brain-boosting (good for baby) and mood-boosting (good for you) omega-3s. But it's easy to get confused about which fish is bad (e.g., high in mercury) and which is safe to eat. So here's a way to keep the rules of eating fish while pregnant simple: Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish — they're the highest in mercury. Stay away from these other fish that contain contaminants: tuna steak and albacore tuna, grouper, farmed salmon, red snapper, wild striped bass, orange roughy, Atlantic halibut, and blue marlin. What's the safest seafood for expectant eaters? That would be wild salmon (fresh, frozen, or canned), pollack, arctic char, skipjack tuna, farmed rainbow trout, Pacific halibut, sole, tilapia, shrimp, sardines, or scallops. Aim for eating a six-ounce serving twice a week, but be sure the seafood is well-cooked.

Raw Sprouts:
Thinking of putting some alfalfa or bean sprouts into your sandwich or salad to give it that extra crunch? Better think again. Raw 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. But 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 some thin-cut, French-style green beans. That will definitely kick the color and flavor of your sandwich up a couple notches — plus give you a serving of those healthy green veggies.


Unwashed Vegetables:
 Yes, vegetables are safe to eat, so you still need to eat them. However, it is essential to make sure they are washed to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis may contaminate the soil where the vegetables were grown.

Smoked Seafood:
Refrigerated, smoked seafood often labeled as lox, nova style, kippered, or jerky should be avoided because it could be contaminated with Listeria. (These are safe to eat when they are in an ingredient in a meal that has been cooked, like a casserole.) This type of fish is often found in the deli section of your grocery store. Canned or shelf-safe smoked seafood is usually OK to eat.


4 Foods You Should Eat
Now that all the bad stuff is gone, here's a list of the best pregnancy nutrients -- and what to put on your shopping list.

     ·        Omega-3s: These fatty acids are vital for brain and central-nervous-system development, and they can also lower your risk of postpartum depression. Best sources: salmon, anchovies, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, and some brands of eggs (look for brands that say "omega-3 eggs" on the carton).
·        Choline: This vitamin B-like compound plays a critical role in fetal brain development and may help prevent spinal-cord defects. Best sources: beef (with the exception of beef liver, which pregnant women shouldn't eat), chicken liver, eggs, soybeans, and wheat germ.
·        Fiber Not only will a high-fiber diet help you avoid common pregnancy complaints like constipation and hemorrhoids, it also provides an even release of glucose in your bloodstream, helping you avoid surges and dips in energy. Best sources: whole-grain foods, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables.
·        Calcium. It's good for your bones, and women with a diet deficient in calcium may have more pregnancy complications, including high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Best sources: low-fat milk, hard cheeses, yogurt, and calcium-fortified orange juice.

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