Being pregnant

Pregnancy: What foods to avoid

While some off-limit foods when pregnant are obvious, you may be surprised by some of these no-nos.

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

You already know that alcohol, drugs and cigarettes are officially off-limits, but did you know that during pregnancy your immune system is suppressed, leaving you more susceptible to food-borne bacteria and viruses? It’s important to avoid certain foods that carry a higher risk of harming your developing baby (some bacteria and parasites have potentially life-threatening consequences for the fetus).

Read more: Is it OK to give in to my pregnancy cravings? >

Here’s what to avoid:

  • raw eggs and poultry
  • cold deli meats
  • unpasteurized soft or blue cheeses – like Stilton, Roquefort, brie, Camembert, soft goat or sheep cheese
  • raw shellfish and sushi fish that’s high in mercury – tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, orange roughy, tilefish and marlin
  • pâté and liver
  • caffeine (limit your intake, whether in coffee, pop, black and green tea, yerba maté, guarana in energy drinks, and chocolate)

 A version of this article appeared in our Spring/Summer 2013 issue of Today’s Parent Pregnancy with the headline “Nutrition,” pp. 10.