Surprising Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Most moms know to limit caffeine and skip sushi, alcohol, and fish that contain high levels of mercury while pregnant. There are other foods to avoid during pregnancy:Â cold cuts, unpasteurized cheese and milk, and some shellfish are also commonly known no-nos. But there are still more foods to avoid during pregnancy, or at least eat in moderation. These might surprise you.
A new study suggestsÂ consuming large amounts ofÂ licorice while pregnant mightÂ be linked to memory issues and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The culprit could be glycyrrhizin, the active ingredient in the licorice root plant.Â Other research names heavy licorice consumptionÂ as aÂ potential culpritÂ in preterm birth.
The research is not conclusive, of course. ButÂ as a precaution, pregnant and nursing momsÂ should avoid foods, candies, teas, and supplements containing licorice. And make sure you check with your doctor about its inclusion in any medications you take.
Bad news if you switched from coffee to tea when you got a positive on the pregnancy test. The Mayo Clinic recommends cutting herbal teas out of your diet if youâ€™re pregnant. They point out that little data is available regarding herbsâ€™ effects on developing babies. That includes herbal teas marketed specifically toward pregnant women.Â Best to skip it, they advise.
Packaged salad greens
Pregnant women should definitelyÂ approach packaged salad greens (and all unwashed or carelessly cleaned raw veggies) with caution. They pose a small but serious riskÂ of listeria, a food-borne infection.Â Although not particularly serious for healthyÂ adults,Â listeriaÂ may cause a life-threatening infection in a newborn or even stillbirth. Thoroughly wash all produce, including â€śtriple washedâ€ť salad greens, which have been linked to recent listeria outbreaks.
Other foods that can be a listeria risk include cold cuts, unpasteurized milk and cheese, smoked (uncooked) meats including jerky, under-cooked hot dogs, and deli salads. In other words, be careful eating anything from the produce, meat, dairy, and deli sections of your store!
What off-limits food surprised you most? Anything youâ€™ve been craving that is not allowed during pregnancy?
This article is not medical advice and is not intended to substitute for professional medical care. Please speak to your practitionerÂ if you haveÂ any questions or concerns about whatÂ is safe to eatÂ during pregnancy.
Katie Quirk Dunyon is a mom of two, a boy and a girl. She lives and writes in Seattle, WA.