You are here: Home » Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy (Complete Lists) 2020

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy (Complete Lists) 2020

foods to avoid during pregnancy

As a pregnant mother, you have probably already done tons of research on the topic. You have probably looked for best sleeping positions, best maternity pillows, and so on. What you might not know is that the foods that you eat can be of particular importance.

If you are not consuming the nutrients and vitamins that you need on a daily basis how do you expect to stay healthy? This is not to even mention the health of your child. Eating a fully balanced diet not only lessens the chances of complications during childbirth, but it can prevent a number of health problems with your child like malnourishment.

It goes without saying, that the importance of a well balanced diet while pregnant is essential to you and your baby’s health. With that being said, there are certain foods that you most certainly need to stay away from when you are pregnant.

Not only can these unhealthy foods compromise your immune system, but also they can affect the health of the growing fetus. Below you will learn about the many foods that you should avoid at all costs when you are pregnant and why you need to avoid them.

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

foods to avoid during pregnancy

Fish With High Mercury

Fish has always been known a particular healthy dish, because it is loaded with tons of essential nutrients like protein, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. With that being said, you also need to be aware of the fact that some species of fish contain an unusually large amount of mercury, which can be harmful to a growing fetus. Why is mercury bad for the fetus? Well, it not only could potentially cause brain damage, but it could do serious damage to the developing nervous system.

Some of the species that you want to avoid include tilefish, king mackerel, swordfish, and shark. You can, however, eat fish like tuna, catfish, and shrimp. You just need to make sure that you are not exceeding more than 12 ounces of fish per week.

Any Alcohol

It should pretty much go without saying that you shouldn’t consume any alcohol during pregnancy. Even less than just a pint a day and it could affect the development of the baby’s brain. However, uncontrolled intake of alcohol while pregnant can lead to major issues such as fetal alcohol syndrome and impaired learning abilities.

If you are addicted to alcohol you should probably seek help or either try to consume non-alcoholic beverages, water, or sparkling cider.

Overdoing It With Caffeine

Caffeine can be just about as dangerous as alcohol, and with such a large number of the population consuming caffeine this can be a dangerous situation. Not to mention all of the beverages that contain caffeine. There is probably a good chance that one of your favorite beverages contains caffeine. Caffeine can be found in soda, tea, coffee, energy drinks, and even chocolate.

Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can damage the baby’s nervous system, as well as cause mature birth and impaired fetal growth. It is recommended that any pregnant woman should not consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day. It would be best to avoid it altogether if possible.

Unpasteurized Soft Cheese

You may not be aware of the fact that pasteurized dairy products are considered to be safe during pregnancy. This is because they have undergone a heating process, which eliminates any bacteria. However, soft cheese is a different story altogether. Soft cheese contains listeria bacteria, which can lead to premature birthing or blood poisoning.

It would be best if you just avoided soft cheese altogether, but if you are going to consume it you want to make sure that the label clearly says that the product has been made from pasteurized milk. American Mozzarella and cheddar are often two brands that are made with pasteurized cheese.

High Sugar Foods

high sugar foods to avoid during pregnancy

There is a really good chance that during your pregnancy you are going to crave all kinds of weird foods. You might even get a craving during the wee hours of the night for ice cream or chocolate. While it will be really tempting to snack on these foods, you want to try to avoid them at all cost because it will only increase your sugar levels.

While all sugar eventually breaks down and turns into glucose, too much glucose is never a good thing. Your cells can only absorb so much glucose at one time before they start experiencing problems.


There are tons of different types of nuts available on the market. These nuts can be a healthy addition to your breakfast meals or dinner snacks. However, you should use some discretion when consuming these products, because some nuts like peanuts, cashews, chestnuts, walnuts, and pecans can cause allergies or skin rashes on the body.

If you have ever consumed these products before there is probably a good chance that you will know what and what you are not allergic to.

Undercooked Meats

Many women enjoy eating rare prepared meats, because it is not recommended during pregnancy. You do not want to complicate your pregnancy, by easy undercooked meats, because it could put you at risk of bacterial food poisoning.

This condition can create hours of days of discomfort, with diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fatigue. However, for pregnant women the condition can also affect the fetus or baby.

Pregnant women experience a more severe bout of foodborne illnesses than non-pregnant females. If you value the health of your unborn child, you will do whatever is necessary to prevent foodborne illness. Utilize a meat thermometer to measure the temperature of the meats, while it is cooking.

You will find a list of temperatures for each type of food that is fully cooked. If you frequently dine out, be sure to slice the meat down the center, just to make sure it is fully cooked, before you consume it.

Refrigerated Meat Spreads

Refrigerated meat spreads are perfect for making sandwiches and snacks, but pregnant women should avoid them all together. The meats utilized in these prepared foods may not be cooked fully. In fact, some types of refrigerated shrimp and crab spreads utilize raw seafood, which can potentially lead to foodborne illness.

While it is not safe to consume refrigerated meat spreads, while pregnant, it is okay to consume to shelf-stable and canned versions. Both of these versions utilize fully cooked meats. So, as long as the expiration date has not expired, you will be safe when consuming these versions.

Undercooked Eggs

Eating undercooked eggs is perfectly find, when you are not pregnant. However, if you are pregnant, you should avoid undercooked eggs at all costs. The raw or partially cooked yolks and whites can be contaminated with dangerous bacteria.

The bacteria has been linked to various types of foodborne illnesses. It is very much safe to consume fully cooked eggs, but you will need to make sure the whites and yolks are firm.

Home-made Dressings

Homemade dressings are a great way to dress up your salad, but there are several types that should be avoided by pregnant women. Caesar salad dressing that has been prepared in an independent kitchen may very well be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Homemade hollandaise sauce should also be avoided, because it to could be contaminated with bacteria.

Unwashed Veggies And Fruits

Many pregnant women make the mistake of thinking it is okay to consume fruits and veggies, before they are washed. Well, this is a misconception, because unwashed produce is contaminated with toxoplasmosis. This could lead to a foodborne illness, which would be devastating to a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.

Before consuming any raw veggies or fruits, be sure to wash them thoroughly. You can find a vegetable and fruit cleaner at most retail and grocery stores. This cleaner contains ingredients that will eradicate harmful bacteria, but the produce must be produce must be rinsed thoroughly after each use.

Unwashed produce may contain disease-causing bacteria, as well as sprouts, which should be fully cooked before consumption.

Herbal Teas

Yes, herbal teas are delicious, but they are not safe for pregnant women. There hasn’t been enough research on the specific herbs utilized in teas. With little data that shows the effects of the herbs on developing fetuses. Your best bet will be to avoid it all together, because you do not want to take any necessary risks that could affect your unborn baby.

Unpasteurized Juices

Juices are normally filled with loads of vitamins and nutrients that play a huge role in ensuring a healthy newborn. However, pregnant women should avoid consuming unpasteurized juices, such as cider. These juices are often sold at farms, roadside stands and even in grocery stores.

When shopping for bottled juice, be sure to take the time to read the label on the container. If the juice is not pasteurized, it could be contaminated with Escherichia coli (E coli), which can be found in the environment and foods.

E Coli has been linked to urinary track infections, pneumonia, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea. These conditions could be devastating for a pregnant women, but even more so for the unborn infant.