Restricted Foods For Pregnant Women : Foods To Avoid When Pregnant

Pregnancy is a very special period for every woman and during this period what a woman eats becomes very crucial for her as it directly reflects on the fetus’ health and growth. A pregnant woman has to be aware of her food intake because there are some foods which can interfere or can disturb her health. So, in today’s article we are going to gain knowledge about the foods to avoid when pregnant. So, in general the foods to avoid when pregnant are shortlisted below : 

Fish Meat

  • Cold and cured meats
  • Raw or undercooked meats
  • Liver and liver products
  • Pre packed, frozen, and canned meat products

Milk or Dairy products made from unpasteurized milk : it may cause an infection called listeriosis, caused by listeria bacteria, which can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.   

  • Blue cheese (gorgonzola, roquefort, danish blue)
  • Soft goats cheese
  • Brie
  • Camembert
Image Source: Care Health Insurance

Caffeine rich food items like tea, and coffee

Processed and packaged foods like chips, candies, frozen vegetables, meats, etc.


Aerated drinks like soft drinks, colas, etc. as they are rich in sugar and caffeine. 

Fruits and Foods To Avoid When Pregnant

As we are aware during pregnancy women especially need a good amount of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fruits are one stop for that in a day to day diet plan. Fruits are known for their numerous benefits for human health but remember pregnancy is a state where some fruits can hinder the process resulting in miscarriage or health issues in the mother. 

So, here is the list of the fruits to avoid when pregnant :

  • Pineapple: Pineapple contains bromelain, which may result in the softening of the cervix. Bromelain has been associated with uterine bleeding and heavy menstruation. Secondly, pineapples are also found to have uterotonic properties which may trigger uterine contractions. Thus, it may result in early labor if consumed in large quantities. On the other hand, many doctors believe that pineapple is safe when eaten in small portions as the fruit contains many other nutrients which are good for health. But to be on safer side as we have no idea how pregnant women will react to its consumption. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid pineapple intake specifically in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Papaya: is a common fruit eaten all over the world. But it is one of the most common fruits that all pregnant women avoid eating during pregnancy.  Although it is a safe fruit for expectant mothers to eat ripe papaya. However, an unripe papaya contains latex, which is linked with premature contractions and may cause miscarriage or other complications. Ripe papaya skin and seeds are unsafe to eat so avoid them always. Papayas are nutrient-rich fruit but also the fruit is rich in latex which is the main culprit present in the fruit. You must be thinking what ‘latex’ is ? Well it is the white fluid that oozes out of papaya skin on cutting or chopping it. Different studies show that eating ripe papaya does not possess any significant danger to any pregnant woman as the quantity of latex in papaya skin is not large. In unripe or semi-ripe papaya concentrations of latex is higher, so, should be avoided during pregnancy for betterment of the fetus and mother’s health.
  • Polyphenols rich fruits: commonest consumed polyphenol rich fruits are grapes and oranges. The one and only reason for these fruits to be present in this list of fruits to avoid when pregnant is the fact that they are a rich source of polyphenols. Polyphenols can be defined as natural occurring organic compounds present in plants. Fruits which contain polyphenols such as strawberries, grapes, prunes, and oranges are very rich in  powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Although eating polyphenol rich fruits and foods are very much recommended by dietitians and doctors in general. But during pregnancy polyphenol-rich fruits may not be a great choice especially in the later stages of pregnancy, especially the last trimester, which may prove to be hazardous for the fetal health.
  • One must remember that eating things with above mentioned fruits are not restricted to a greater amount as extracts are mainly used as a flavoring agent like pineapple cake, orange flavored ice tea, muffins, candies, etc.
  • Fruits to eat during pregnancy include: apples, bananas, mangoes, sapodilla, custard apples, watermelons, and dates. However, it’s best to keep in mind that too much of any food which can be fruits too is not good for any person irrespective of pregnancy.

What to avoid during pregnancy?

  • Raw or Undercooked Seafood: Sushi with raw fish, oysters, clams, and other shellfish.
  • Raw or Undercooked Meat and Poultry: Rare or medium-rare meats, uncooked poultry.
  • Deli Meats: Avoid unless they are heated until steaming hot to kill any potential listeria bacteria.
  • Raw Eggs: Raw eggs and foods containing raw eggs such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, custards, etc. are not a good choice to be consumed in pregnancy. Though it can be eaten in minimal amounts.
  • Unpasteurized Dairy Products: Unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Feta, Gorgonzola, and Mexican-style cheeses like queso blanco and queso fresco, unless they are made from pasteurized milk.
  • Certain Fish High in Mercury: Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and bigeye tuna. Limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces (170 grams) per week.
  • Smoked Seafood: Avoid unless it is canned or shelf-stable, or heated until steaming hot.
  • Refrigerated Pâtés and Meat Spreads: Avoid unless they are canned or shelf-stable.
  • Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables: Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables to remove potential contaminants.
  • Raw Sprouts: well sprouts are very healthy food items but they can cause bacterial infection. That is why consumption of sprouts is minimized. Also, sprouts can cause bloating. Alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts are some of the examples to be avoided. .
  • Caffeine: Limit caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day (about one 12-ounce cup of coffee).
  • Alcohol: Completely avoid alcohol as it can cause fetal alcohol syndrome and other developmental disorders.
  • Unpasteurized Juices: Avoid juices that are not pasteurized to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.
  • Processed Junk Foods: Minimize intake of foods high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and additives for better overall nutrition.

What to avoid while pregnant ?

We all need to understand that intake of any substance be it a food item or drink reacts differently in every pregnant woman. But there are some things which are not recommended or recommended to be avoided in order to minimize the risk. This include not only food and drinks but other activities to avoid while pregnant: 

  1. Any medicine without prescription can be fatal for any pregnant woman.
  2. Alcoholic drinks.
  3. Smoking
  4. Aerated and caffeine rich drinks and food items
  5. Vigorous exercise.
  6. Too much of physical activity in day to day life
  7. Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep can prove to be hazardous for both mother and baby.
  8. Unbalanced diet
  9. Glued to screen all the time.
  10. Proper hydration is also important during pregnancy.

Also Read:

In the end pregnancy is a very special and cherishable period of life. So eating well and feeling good is also very important during this period. In short, eat fresh, thoroughly washed, home cooked food and avoid packed preserved food. 

Disclaimer :

The information on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet, exercise routine, or using any dietary supplements or herbal remedies. Individual results may vary, and what works for one person may not work for another. Please note that the information on this blog has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other regulatory body. This blog does not aim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition.

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