Foods to avoid or limit during pregnancy

Foods to avoid or limit during pregnancy

"Planning and navigating a pregnancy involves making thoughtful choices about your health, a key part of which is sticking to a good pregnancy diet," says Hannah L. Chacon, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) at ARC Center Street in Kyle. "The foods to avoid or limit during pregnancy can significantly impact not only your well-being but also your baby's growth and organ development."

Here is a list of the foods that Dr. Chacon recommends avoiding or limiting during pregnancy to ensure a safe and thriving experience:

Uncooked meats and fish

One of the primary considerations for a healthy pregnancy diet is steering clear of uncooked meats and fish. Raw fish, such as sushi, can harbor harmful bacteria and parasites that pose a risk to both you and your baby. Similarly, uncooked meats may contain bacteria like salmonella or E. coli.

Instead, opt for: Thoroughly cooked alternatives to meet your protein needs without compromising your safety.

Raw/uncooked dairy

Raw or unpasteurized dairy products should be avoided during pregnancy due to the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria like listeria.

Instead, opt for: Pasteurized dairy products to ensure you get the essential nutrients without the associated risks. This includes milk, cheese, and other dairy items crucial to providing calcium for the baby's bone development.

Caffeinated products

While a moderate amount of caffeine is generally considered safe during pregnancy, limiting your intake is advisable. High levels of caffeine can lead to complications, including preterm birth and low birth weight.

Instead, opt for: Decaffeinated options or herbal teas for a healthier alternative.

Sugars for parents with gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes requires special attention to diet to manage blood sugar levels. If you are pregnant and have gestational diabetes, limit your intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates.

Instead, opt for: Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to maintain stable blood sugar levels and support both your health and your baby's development.

Alcoholic beverages

Perhaps one of the most well-known restrictions during pregnancy is the avoidance of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can have severe consequences on fetal development, leading to birth defects and developmental issues.

Instead, opt for: Alcohol-free or "virgin" beverages or fresh fruit juices as an alternative.

"In making informed decisions about your pregnancy nutrition, paying attention to the foods you consume is crucial," says Dr. Chacon. She summarizes her advice, saying, "Steer clear of or cut down on raw meats and fish, unpasteurized dairy, too much caffeine, and sugars if you have gestational diabetes. It's crucial to ditch alcoholic beverages, too. Instead, go for alternatives that give you all the essential nutrients you need without risking your safety. Making these mindful choices is your way of contributing to a pregnancy journey that's nourishing and fulfilling."

Make an appointment today

ARC Ob/Gyn doctors are primary care physicians who focus on women's health issues, including pregnancy, fertility, birth control, mammograms, menopause, STD testing, ultrasounds, and more.

Let Dr. Chacon help you with your pregnancy journey or other women's health issues today. Dr. Chacon is accepting new patients, ages 14 and older, at ARC Center Street in Kyle. Call 737-404-0347 or make an appointment online through MyChart or ARC Help Me Book today.

Tags: Pregnancy Tips, Healthy Pregnancy, Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy