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Foods to Avoid While Pregnant: The Dirty Details on Foods You Need to Stay Away From

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Now that we’ve covered pregnancy superfoods, let’s talk about those “no no” foods to avoid while pregnant.

I won’t pretend avoiding foods during pregnancy is easy – hello cravings!

Some women are blessed with some pretty strange cravings, while other women may feel normal – and yet still others may feel like no food sounds appetizing.

Pregnancy is crazy.

So let’s get down to the foods you really should be avoiding during pregnancy and why it actually matters!

If you’re hoping for the quick list and don’t feel like scrolling, grab the free printout along with your pregnancy checklist by adding your email below!

Why Are There Certain Foods to Avoid While Pregnant?

E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, mercury, parasites, & bacteria. Just hearing those words make them sound pretty awful, right? Well, for good reason.

During pregnancy you may notice that you become more susceptible to colds and other bugs and that isn’t a coincidence. Your body is so busy nourishing and growing a baby that your immune system decreases and you’re more likely to get sick. Therefore, these foodborne illnesses that may not normally affect you, are more likely to get into your body and cause some problems. (Yes, I’m talking to you, miss “I’ve never gotten salmonella from raw cookie dough before, so…” ;).)

It’s also important for you to keep in mind that just because you don’t feel sick, doesn’t mean the foods aren’t affecting your baby.

Foods to Avoid While Pregnant

Soft Cheeses (from unpasteurized milk)

Soft cheeses may have E. coli or Listeria.

Alternative: Try hard cheese such as swiss or cheddar.

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Raw Cookie dough/Cake Batter

You already know this one is bad for you, but with a decreased immune system you really shouldn’t be licking the spoon of that delicious cookie dough or cake batter.

Alternative: Find a cookie dough shop (they exist now!), bake your cookies or cake, or grab this delicious edible cookie dough online.

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Sushi (raw or undercooked fish), Raw Shellfish, & Fish High in Mercury

Fish have some great nutritional benefits, but unfortunately, some types have the ability to make you and your baby very sick. Some fish contain high levels of mercury, parasites, or other bacteria.

Alternative: If you’re a fish lover, don’t fret. The FDA has created this great list on fish that are okay to eat during pregnancy.

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Unpasteurized Juice & Milk

Pasteurization is a process where beverages are heated to help remove harmful germs. Some people will unpasteurized products because they feel it increases the immune system and they don’t want good bacteria also removed from the food/drink. However, the CDC and FDA still strongly recommend avoiding unpasteurized food/drink and here’s why: unpasteurized juice and milk could contain Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella. All things you want to avoid for both you and your baby, especially during pregnancy.

Alternative: Buy pasteurized juice or milk

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Raw/Undercooked Sprouts

Alfalfa, clover, and radishes may contain E. coli or Salmonella.

Alternative: Cook foods thoroughly

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Salads {not made at home}

The only way to know how long a salad has been out and how it was prepared, is to make it at home. Salads prepared in a store may contain Listeria.

Alternative: Make your salad at home so you know exactly what’s in it and how long ago it was prepared.

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Cold Hot Dogs & Lunch/Deli Meats

Cold lunch meats may contain listeria – even if the product says that it’s already been cooked. It’s best to avoid raw lunch meats all together.

Alternative: Heat or reheat these meats to at least 165℉ or until steaming.

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Undercooked Eggs, Meat, & Smoked Seafood

Again with raw and undercooked products. Just don’t do it – cook all your food thoroughly. Undercooked foods may contain E. coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, or Salmonella.

Alternative: Cook eggs until the yolks are firm or until 160℉. Cook all meats and seafood to the recommended temperatures.

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Homemade Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream may contain raw eggs, which could results in Salmonella. If you don’t ever make homemade ice cream – you really don’t need to worry about this one.

Alternative: Buy some delicious ice cream instead 🙂 – if you haven’t tried Halo Top yet, you might want to check it out. People are crazy for it, plus it’s low in calories so you can indulge a little extra. 

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Foodborne Illnesses

For more details on E. coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, or Salmonella check out the CDC’s Foodborne Illnesses page.

You Deserve a Treat, Momma – So Here’s Two!

Okay, as a treat, you deserve a list of pregnancy foods you should be eating! Head on over to this Pregnancy Super Snack Food list to find something that’ll satisfy one of your cravings.

Check out these 9 foods to avoid while pregnant! It can be hard to eat right and have pregnancy cravings. Make sure you avoid these common foods during your pregnancy to keep you and your baby healthy!Pin

Even your favorite foods can be foods to avoid while pregnant! Check this list to be sure your baby is getting the best nutrition during pregnancy!Pin


9 Dangerous Foods to Avoid While Pregnant! These 9 foods can be delicious, but can be dangerous foods for pregnant women to eat! Check the list and make sure you know which foods are safe for pregnant moms!Pin
Your favorite foods could be foods to avoid while pregnant! Make sure you're eating healthy pregnancy approved foods during your pregnant!Pin
Good food can sometimes be on the list of foods to avoid while pregnant! Make sure you choose a healthy diet and avoid these foods during pregnancy!Pin

Don't miss these popular foods to avoid while pregnant! Stay healthy and keep your baby healthy by avoiding these dangerous foods while you're pregnant!Pin


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  1. This list is super helpful, and I’m so glad you included the unpasteurized juices. I hadn’t ever thought about juices as a possible issue. There are so many places with “fresh squeezed juice” and one of the issues comes from possible bacteria that can grow in the machines used to make them. This wasn’t something that had ever occurred to me before, and as an orange juice lover, I was so sad! BUT it was temporary, and once I knew why I should avoid my fresh juices I felt even more like I was safely taking care of my baby.

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