Categories: pregnancy

Foods and drinks to avoid during pregnancy

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Discover the foods and drinks to avoid during pregnancy for a safe delivery

Following a healthy diet during pregnancy is a recommendation that does not admit discussion. But several foods must be avoided during these months for the good of the baby and her mother and of which we have already spoken on occasion.

The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), has published an update of its guide ‘Safe food during pregnancy. Basic tips for 40 weeks of tranquility’, which includes healthy recommendations for the nutrition of pregnant women.

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Among others, avoid consuming sugary and energy drinks, raw sprouts such as soybeans or alfalfa, and only take food supplements if prescribed by a specialist. But there is more.

Foods to avoid in pregnancy

According to this informative guide from AESAN, developed in collaboration with the related professional associations and the General Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry of Health, the pregnant woman cannot take:

Big fish like swordfish, shark, bluefin tuna, or pike.

Raw milk and fresh or soft cheeses (Brie, Camembert, Burgos type or Latin cheeses, mozzarella and blue cheeses) if the label does not say that they are made with pasteurized milk.

Industrial grated or sliced cheeses. Also, you have to remove the rind from all cheeses.

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Raw fruits and vegetables that have not been previously peeled or washed and disinfected. This includes bagged salads.

Raw sprouts (soy, alfalfa,…)

Raw eggs or foods made with raw eggs, such as homemade sauces and mayonnaise, mousses, meringues, and homemade cakes.

Raw or undercooked meat (carpaccios).

Packaged sliced meat products. They can be eaten in croquettes, stews, or pizzas, for example, after cooking at more than 71º C.

Raw cured meat products (chorizo, salami, salami, cured ham …), if the woman is not immunized against toxoplasmosis. She should consult with her doctor.

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Pâtés that are sold refrigerated.

Wild game meat (animals killed in hunting such as wild boar, venison, etc.).

Raw fish (such as sushi, sashimi, ceviche, carpaccio), refrigerated or marinated smoked fish.

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Raw shellfish, such as raw oysters, clams, or mussels.

Packaged sandwiches and other prepared foods containing vegetables, eggs, meat, cold cuts, fish, and derivatives.

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Industrial juices. Only freshly squeezed juices should be consumed, not those prepared in advance and preserved. Packaged juices must be pasteurized.

Alcoholic beverages.

Caffeine consumption should be very limited and better avoided altogether (coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks …).

Precautions in the preparation and consumption of food

AESAN assures that it intends to offer “basic advice” based on the “most recent” scientific knowledge so that pregnant women can follow a “safe” diet in a “fundamental” stage of life. Hence, remember some basic hygienic-dietary measures to avoid risks to the fetus and its mother:

Thoroughly clean hands, surfaces, and kitchen utensils used after handling meat, fish, poultry, unwashed fruits and vegetables, and any other raw food.

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You should also always wash your hands with soap and hot water, for at least 20 seconds, before and after handling any food.

Cooked foods should be left in the refrigerator for as short a time as possible and at the correct temperature (4º C or less), always in closed containers and separate from cheeses and raw foods.

It is essential to always wash raw fruits and vegetables. When it is done with bleach, suitable for the disinfection of drinking water, 4 drops are mixed per liter of water and the fruits and vegetables are submerged for at least 10 minutes. Then you have to rinse them very well with drinking water.

Meats should always be cooked until the color of the center changes (71ºC).

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Never eat cold foods, including leftovers. Better to heat them to more than 75 °C.

Food supplements based on vitamins and minerals can only be taken if prescribed by the doctor.

In addition to defending a “balanced and safe” diet, it is committed to an adequate level and type of physical activity, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, to promote the health of the mother and the baby.

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