Which Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy To Create A Healthy Womb

Snehil Sharma

Snehil Sharma
Feb 2023

2 min read
Foods to avoid during pregnancy

Table of content

Pregnancy is the most phenomenal moment in a woman’s life, so a big shout out to all the mommies-to-be. In this unexceptional journey of your life, your diet plays a crucial role in the baby’s well-being and health. Ladies, you might just crave all the mouth-watering dishes in the world. But controlling your taste buds for a few months and being extra careful regarding your diet can be beneficial for your child. During pregnancy, every woman must be extra careful when it comes to food because the food consumed by the mother can directly affect the health of the child. Keeping this in mind, foods to avoid during pregnancy are listed for a range of reasons.

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Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy

A steady weight gain during pregnancy is normal and essential for the health of the mother and baby. However, it is not crucial to gain too much weight during pregnancy.

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may increase the risk of certain health issues, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Also, weight gained during pregnancy is difficult to lose after pregnancy. This can be managed with the help of including vegetable protein rich foods. But to avoid all this hustle, a good approach is to eat to satisfy your appetite and continue to monitor your weight throughout the pregnancy. Moreover, you can take the advice of your physician and dietitian who can suggest foods to avoid during pregnancy.

So, depending on your body mass index (BMI) at the start of your pregnancy, the following weight gain is recommended:

To maintain the right weight gain during pregnancy, it is important to:

  • Choose healthy foods.
  • Limit foods and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugars, and added salt (such as cakes, biscuits, and sugary drinks).
  • Stay active during your pregnancy.

Food To Avoid In Pregnancy

Your baby eats what you eat. That’s why it is crucial to maintain a well-balanced diet during pregnancy. This ensures that you and your baby will get all the nutrients they need to grow. Apart from eating healthfully, there are a few foods and drinks to avoid during pregnancy.

1. Avoid Seafood With High Mercury

Seafood is a perfect source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These foods can help in the development of a baby’s brain and eyes. But some fish and shellfish contain a potentially dangerous level of mercury. So, too much mercury could harm a baby’s developing nervous system. The bigger and older the fish, the more mercury they are likely to contain. Also, these are the foods to avoid in the first month of pregnancy as well.

During pregnancy, avoid seafood like:

  • Tilefish
  • Shark
  • King mackerel
  • Swordfish
  • Marlin
  • Orange roughy

So, what’s safe?

The seafood that is safe to include is:

  • Catfish
  • herring
  • Cod
  • Light canned tuna
  • Salmon
  • Pacific oysters
  • Sardines
  • Pollock
  • Shad
  • Shrimp
  • Trout
  • Tilapia

Also Read: Pregnancy Diet Chart: Know What To Eat During Pregnancy?

2. Avoid Raw And Undercooked Food

During pregnancy, women’s bodies are prone to infections and other health issues. So, to avoid any harmful bacteria or viruses in seafood, uncooked, or raw food, do the following things:

  • Avoid Raw Fish and Shellfish: Seafood that is raw or undercooked, such as sushi, raw oysters, sashimi, ceviche, and scallops or clams, should be avoided. Instead of eating these raw fish try to include calcium rich foods such as legumes, dairy products, nuts, and seeds, etc.
  • Avoid Refrigerated Seafood: Refrigerators are expected to slow the growth of bacteria in food. So, when this natural process is interfered with, this will lead to health problems like food poisoning and others. So, always avoid refrigerating your food and try to include freshly cooked food in your diet plan.
  • Understand Local Fish Advisories: If you include eating fish from local waters, then pay attention to local fish advisories. And if you are uncertain regarding the safety of the fish you have already eaten, don’t eat any other fish that week.

3. Avoid Unpasteurized Foods During Pregnancy

Many low-fat dairy products, for example, skim milk, mozzarella cheese, and cottage cheese are healthy foods that can be included in your diet. Anything containing unpasteurized milk, on the other hand, should be avoided because it can lead to foodborne illness.

However, you can also avoid soft cheeses, such as feta and blue cheese, unless they are clearly labelled as being pasteurised or made with pasteurised milk. Moreover, avoid drinking unpasteurized juice as well.

4. Avoid Unwashed Fruits And Vegetables

Washing fruits and vegetables should be done regularly to remove any harmful bacteria. Avoid raw sprouts of any kind, for example, clover, radish, and mung bean. These might contain disease-causing bacteria. Be sure to cook the sprouts thoroughly. You can include leafy greens and vegetable in your diet but needs to wash them first.

5. Avoid Excess Caffeine During Pregnancy

Caffeine can cross the placenta, but scientifically, its effects on babies are not yet clear. So, to be safe, try to avoid or limit the amount of caffeine in your diet to less than 200 milligrams (mg) a day during pregnancy. For perspective, a 240-milliliter (mL) cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine, a 240-mL cup of brewed tea contains about 47 mg, and a 360-mL bottle of caffeinated cola contains about 33 mg.

6. Avoid Herbal Tea

In many various studies of foods to avoid during pregnancy, it is said that herbal tea is not good for the development of babies. As a result, try to avoid drinking herbal tea unless your healthcare provider says it’s OK. If you are recommended a specific tea, then try to include only the suggested one in your regular diet.

7. Avoid Alcohol During Pregnancy

Consuming alcohol during pregnancy has been associated with negative outcomes. It may cause low birth weight, premature delivery, and learning disabilities in the child. That’s the reason no level of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy.

Moreover, drinking alcohol during pregnancy leads to a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Also, it may also result in fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause facial deformities and intellectual disability.

Did You Know: Food To Avoid In Pregnancy

Nutrition’s Required For Women During Pregnancy

A healthy and balanced diet includes fats, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, and plenty of water. We have dietary guidelines in Fitelo, that can help you determine how many servings of each type of food to eat each day.

Please Note: Before beginning this dietary regimen, please consult with your dietitian or doctor first.

Here, the letters RDA, which you find on food labeling, stand for recommended daily allowance.

Here are some of the most common nutrients you need and the foods that contain them:

NutrientNeeded forBest sources
Proteincell growth and blood productionlean meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, beans, peanut butter, tofu
Carbohydratesdaily energy productionbread, cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruits, vegetables
Calciumstrong bones and teeth, muscle contraction, nerve functionmilk, cheese, yogurt, sardines or salmon with bones, spinach
Ironred blood cell production (to prevent anemia)lean red meat, spinach, iron-fortified whole-grain bread, and cereals
Vitamin Ahealthy skin, good eyesight, growing bonescarrots, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes
Vitamin Chealthy gums, teeth, and bones; assistance with iron absorptioncitrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, fortified fruit juices
Vitamin B6red blood cell formation; effective use of protein, fat, and carbohydratespork, ham, whole-grain cereals, bananas
Vitamin B12formation of red blood cells, maintaining nervous system healthmeat, fish, poultry, milk
(Note: vegetarians who don’t eat dairy products need supplemental B12.)
Vitamin Dhealthy bones and teeth; aids absorption of calciumfortified milk, dairy products, cereals, and bread
Folic acidblood and protein production, effective enzyme functiongreen leafy vegetables, dark yellow fruits, and vegetables, beans, peas, nuts
Fatbody energy storesmeat, whole-milk dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, margarine, vegetable oils
(Note: limit fat intake to 30% or less of your total daily calorie intake.)

How To Manage Some Common Problems During Pregnancy

Here are some of the common issues pregnant women face during their pregnancy:

1. Constipation

Iron in pregnancy is vital. The vitamins and other things can cause constipation during pregnancy. So, always try to get more fiber rich foods in your regular diet. At least include about 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day. The best source of fiber is fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grain bread, cereals, or muffins.

Be sure to consume plenty of fluids, especially water, when increasing your fiber intake, or you can make your constipation worse. One of the best ways to avoid constipation is to get more exercise and drink water between meals each day. This will help soften your stools and move food through your digestive system.

2. Gas

Many pregnant women find that spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and fried foods give them heartburn or gas. Try to plan a balanced diet to avoid these foods. Also, carbonated drinks can cause gas or heartburn for some women.

3. Nausea

If you feel nauseated often during your pregnancy, start eating small amounts of bland foods, such as toast or crackers, throughout the day. Some women find it helpful to eat foods made of ginger. If you want to help out your nausea, you can also:

  • Take your prenatal vitamin before going to bed after you’ve eaten a snack.
  • Eat a small healthy snack when you get up early in the morning.
  • You can suck candies (if recommended).

A Word From Fitelo On Food To Avoid In Pregnancy

A few foods to avoid during pregnancy are challenging. Moreover, it is hard to keep your hands off these delightful delicacies, but avoiding the above-mentioned list of food items will help you enjoy a safe pregnancy. Evading these food items through your journey of pregnancy will help you and your baby stay fit and healthy.

A Successful Weight Loss Story Of A Homemaker

An inspiring story of Kawalpreet, a homemaker who was diagnosed with thyroid disease. Going through this medical condition has made her weight loss journey a challenging one. With this concern, she contacted Fitelo, and our expert dietitians understood her problems and provided her with a customized diet plan. So, let’s take a look at her story and see how she lost 14 kg in 90 days. 

Fun Fact

Did you know white butter is a superfood? So, are you interested in finding out how? Click here to find out the answer to this question.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which Foods To Avoid In The First Month Of Pregnancy?

Ans: A few foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy:

  • High mercury fish.
  • Undercooked or raw fish.
  • Undercooked, raw, and processed meat.
  • Raw eggs.
  • Organ meat.
  • Caffeine.
  • Raw sprouts.
  • Unwashed produce.

Q: Is It Safe To Exercise During Pregnancy?

Ans: For regular healthy women who are having a low-risk pregnancy, exercise is actually recommended. Usually, doctors recommend 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) five days a week. It helps reduce back pain, ease constipation, and lower the risk of gestational diabetes, and cesarean delivery.

Q: Which Foods To Avoid During Early Pregnancy?   

Ans: Avoid undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs.

Q: Which Foods To Avoid When Trying To Get Pregnant?

Ans: Foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant

  • Soda and Other High Sugar Foods.
  • High Carb Foods: Pasta, Grains, Bread, Baked Goods, Potatoes, etc.
  • Low-Fat Dairy.
  • Trans Fats.
  • Processed Meats.
  • Excess Alcohol.
  • Excessive Caffeine.
  • Processed Foods.

Q: Is It Safe To Be Intimate During Pregnancy?

Ans: This is an important question that most women are embarrassed to address. You don’t need to stop being intimate with your partner while you’re pregnant.

Q: What Foods To Avoid During Early Pregnancy?

Ans: Try to avoid undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs.

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Contact Us Today

Your search to find the right guidance to be a part of all those fat-to-fit stories ends here. So, contact us today if you are looking for a diet plan with cheat meals. Also, we will discuss how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.


This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

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