Pregnancy is a journey that combines excessive joy and never-ending worries. As an expecting mother, you would never want to eat anything that harms you and your baby. Some foods that you might have been eating regularly before you got pregnant may be harmful at this stage. So, you need to avoid or cut some of your favourite foods out of your diet.
Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein and you can eat cheese during pregnancy but some varieties aren’t safe to eat. All hard cheeses are considered safe generally whereas soft cheeses should be avoided. Here’s a list of some safe and unsafe cheeses during pregnancy.
Safe hard cheeses: smoked versions, derby, double, English goat’s cheddar, feta, caerphilly, cheddar, cheshire, gloucester, jarlsberg, Lancashire, halloumi, havarti, paneer, parmesan, provolone, red Leicester, edam, emmental, manchego, orkney, gouda, gruyere, pecorino (hard).
Safe soft cheeses (Processed): quark, ricotta. mozzarella, cottage cheese, goat’s cheese (that do not has white rind), cream cheese, herb and garlic roulade, mascarpone.
Unsafe soft/blue veined cheeses: cambozola, camembert, blue brie, brie, chaumes, chevre, pont l’eveque, stilton, tome, taleggio, roncal, roquefort, vacherin-fribourgeois, bleu d’auvergne, dolcelatte, gorgonzola, blue wensleydale, bergader, danish blue, shropshire blue, any soft unpasteurised cheese.
Soft boiled or raw eggs
A bacteria known as Salmonella is found in soft boiled or raw eggs. A pregnant woman is more vulnerable to food poisoning from Salmonella. Though it does not harm the baby directly, it may make you seriously ill, thereby harming your baby. You may experience severe vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhoea, high temperature, headache and dehydration, if you are infected from these bacteria. Any such symptom should be discussed with the doctor immediately. Mousse, mayonnaise and ice-creams in restaurants may contain raw eggs, so take care before placing an order.
Meat and meat based products
It is not safe to eat liver when you are pregnant. Other fresh meats can be eaten, however. Just make sure that you cook the meat well and there is no pink area in the centre of the meat. Kebabs, Tikkas and other such items that go on a barbeque or in a tandoor should be cooked really well. Cured meats like salami or parma ham should be avoided. Pâté (a mixture of ground meat/fish/fat/vegetables minced into a spreadable paste) should be completely cut out of your diet.
Oily fish (not more than two portions a week) is generally safe for you during pregnancy. Other fish such as sea bream, dogfish, turbot, crab, halibut, and sea bass can also be eaten (two portions a week).
Unsafe fish: shark, marlin, swordfish, any raw fish or raw shell fish is unsafe. Tuna can be eaten but not more than 4 medium cans or 2 steaks of fresh tuna in a week.
Any unpasteurised dairy product including milk is not safe. Go for either pasteurised or well boiled milk during pregnancy. Never drink milk without boiling. It is also wise to avoid products that contain paneer when you eat outside because it may contain paneer that is not fresh. However, fresh paneer prepared at home is absolutely safe and healthy during pregnancy.
So, you see how some very common foods may affect your pregnancy. You might also want to limit the caffeine intake during your pregnancy. Take no more than 200gm caffeine per day while you are pregnant. Alcohol is also a big ‘NO’ during pregnancy. If you can’t quit, limit your intake. EAT HEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY!