WHAT NOT TO EAT WHEN PREGNANT
There is a lot of confusion on what foods you should avoid when pregnant, so we’ve put together this handy list that shares popular foods and whether they’re safe or not
CAN YOU EAT FISH AND SEAFOOD WHEN PREGNANT?
Shark, swordfish or marlin, along with raw shellfish, shouldn’t be eaten when you're pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
Oily fish (like salmon and mackerel) are beneficial, but it’s not recommended having more than 2 portions a week. Tuna is low in fat and provides selenium and iodine, but make sure you don’t have more than 2 fresh tuna steaks or 4 cans of tuna a week.
WHICH CHEESES CAN YOU EAT WHEN PREGNANT?
Avoid raw (unpasteurised) milk or dairy products made from raw milk. Avoid eating uncooked mould-ripened soft cheeses like Brie or uncooked soft blue cheeses as there is a risk of listeria being present which can result in miscarriage, stillbirth and illness in new-born babies. Hard cheeses are usually fine. For a full list visit the NHS website.
WHICH TYPE OF EGGS CAN YOU EAT WHEN PREGNANT?
Raw and partially cooked eggs hens’ eggs are OK to eat if they’re Lion stamped, otherwise you’ll need to cook them until both the yolk and egg white is solid, along with other non-hen’s’ eggs. Shop brought mayonnaise should be safe to eat during pregnancy as it's made with pasteurised eggs.
WHICH MEATS CAN YOU EAT WHEN PREGNANT?
Don’t eat liver, liver products or any type of pate during your pregnancy as these foods can harm your baby. Also, be cautious with cold cured meats such as salami and pepperoni. Raw, cured and undercooked meat like Parma Ham or a rare steak. These can result in toxoplasmosis which can cause miscarriage and severe birth defects.
CAN YOU EAT NUTS WHEN PREGNANT?
Go nutty for peanuts! Mums used to be told to avoid during pregnancy, but you can enjoy your fave nuts without any worries - unless you're allergic to them or a health professional advises you not to. A handful of nuts, with dried fruit is a great low GI snack which takes longer to digest and keeps you fuller for longer.
WHICH FRUIT & VEGETABLES CAN YOU EAT WHEN PREGNANT?
Bananas are a great source of potassium to help regulate blood pressure and prebiotics, which friendly gut bacteria feed on. From strawberries to blackberries, these are full of antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and your baby’s risk of allergies. Broccoli is rich in iron and a good source of vitamin C, which helps with iron absorption. It is also low in fat and high in folate.
FURTHER ADVICE ON WHAT TO AVOID WHEN PREGNANT
- This is a good time to consider eating more organic foods as it’s the best way to help reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides. Organic certification provides assurance that food will, overall, have fewer pesticides than non-organic food. Despite washing and cooking, the pesticides used routinely in non-organic farming, often remain in the food we eat.
- Alcohol, there’s still no consensus among experts as to how much if any alcohol is safe whilst pregnant, so the safest things to do is not to drink at all while you're expecting.
- Make sure to prepare your food safely: wash all your fruit and vegetables thoroughly, use separate chopping boards for raw meats and keep raw food separate from ready-to-eat food.
- Cook all your food well, especially meat, poultry and eggs
SO WHAT CAN I EAT WHEN PREGNANT?
Now that you know which foods to avoid when pregnant, have a look at our guide to the best foods to eat to make sure you’re getting as many valuable nutrients as possible.