What foods should you avoid during pregnancy?

Being pregnant can be a heavily stressful period in life, but did you know there is in fact foods which you should be avoiding while pregnant as they could potentially harm you and your baby?

Below is a list of foods which leading health care professionals say you should avoid and reasons why, some of them even shocked us!

Soft Cheese with White Rinds (Brie, Camembert)


Soft blue-veined cheeses (Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Roquefort)Less acidic then hard cheeses and they contain more moisture. This is an ideal environment for harmful bacteria such as listeria to grow in.

Pâté(Meat Pâté, Vegetable Pâté)They often contain too much vitamin A, which can be extremely harmful for the baby.

Eggs (Raw or partially cooked) – To prevent the risk of salmonella food poisoning.

Goats’ or Sheep’s milk (Unpasteurised milk, or any products made from them) –Because raw milk is not pasteurized, it can carry disease-causing microbes.

Foods with soil on them (Vegetables, fruit, salad) –Increased risk of e-coli and toxoplasmosis.

Raw or undercooked meat (Meat joints and steaks cooked rare) – Potential risk of toxoplasmosis.

Cured cold meats (Salami, Parma ham, chorizo, Pepperoni) –These are not cooked, they are cured and fermented which means there is a risk toxoplasmosis.

Liver or liver-products (Pâté, sausage, haggis) –They may contain a lot of vitamin A.

Game that has been shot with lead pellets (Pheasant, duck) –This may contain high levels of lead.

Specified fish (Shark, swordfish, marlin) – These are slow growing and may contain more mercury than other types of fish, which can affect the baby’s developing nervous system.

Oily fish – no more than 2 portions a week (Salmon, trout, mackerel, erring) –Can contain pollutants and high levels of mercury.

Tuna – no more than 2 portions a week or 4 medium tins (Fresh tuna steaks, tinned tuna) –Contains more mercury than other types of fish.

Caffeine (Coffee, tea, green tea, hot chocolate, chocolate) –No more than 200mg of caffeine a day. One mug of instant coffee is 100mg, one mug of tea is 75mg and one 50g bar of milk chocolate contains less than 10mg.

Herbal tea – The FSA recommends drinking no more than 4 cups of herbal or green tea a day (Sage and parsley tea, Teas containing valerian) – Sage tea contains thujone which has been linked to miscarriage and high blood pressure. Parsley tea may increase risk of miscarriage and affect the baby’s development. It’s fine to use sage and parsley in cooking.

High-dose multivitamins (Vitamin A) –Having large amounts of vitamin A can harm the baby.

Peanuts or food containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) –can be eaten during pregnancy, unless there is a known allergy, or a health professional advises not to.

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