You must NEVER eat these 9 common foods during pregnancy!

You must NEVER eat these 9 common foods during pregnancy!

These foods have a higher risk of containing listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which can be harmful to pregnant women and their baby

Eating for two can be a nerve-wracking responsibility, especially with so much conflicting information.

You may, therefore, need to drop some long-established eating habits and learn how to walk the fine balance between getting enough nutrition for your baby, and avoiding foods that can harm the both of you.

Dr Rahul Manchanda, consultant and head, Gynae Endoscopic Surgeon, PSRI Hospital, New Delhi, explains, "Certain foods have a higher risk of containing the bacteria listeria monocytogenes. This can be harmful to pregnant women and their baby. The other bacteria such as Salmonella, is also found in many foods and causes food poisoning."

Explaining further, Dr Manchanda lists 9 commonly available foods that all expecting mothers should avoid during their pregnancy.

  • Soft and semi-soft cheeses (unless thoroughly cooked to at least 75oC and eaten soon afterwards): Raw milk and soft and semi-soft cheeses can carry bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes. And expecting mothers are at risk of getting listeriosis because of a weak immune system that may develop due to hormonal changes.
  • Processed meats (unless thoroughly cooked to at least 75oC and eaten soon afterwards): These meats can lead to a severe form of food poisoning called listeriosis. It can be very dangerous for you and your baby.
  • Cold cooked chicken: Again, cold cooked chicken can carry bacterium Listeria monocytogenes and therefore, it is better to avoid it. However, if you want to eat chicken, eat the fresh cooked kind.

never eat during pregnancy

  • Pre-prepared vegetables and salads: Chances are that many of these 'pre-prepared vegetables and salads' have actually not been cleaned properly and therefore, have a chance of carrying parasites.
  • Pre-cut fruit: Again, pre-cut fruit not only has the chance of carrying harmful parasites but also carry bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Both of which can severely affect the health of the expecting mother and the baby.
  • Soft serve ice cream: Most soft-serve ice creams are made from pasteurised milk, which has a high chance of carrying Listeria monocytogenes, thus leading to food poisoning.
  • Uncooked egg: Unless you actually enjoy the taste, avoid uncooked egg. These carry salmonella bacteria, which severely affects the body's immune system and harms the mother's health.
  • Raw seafood: Avoid fish that tends to be high in mercury, such as tuna, swordfish, mackerel, tilefish and shark.


  • Alcohol: Avoid alcohol during pregnancy because its consumption could expose your child to 428 diseases. These diseases are listed under Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disease (FASD), which can cause serious damage to your baby's hearing, vision, lack of attention and ability to learn and communicate.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is easily absorbed through the placenta and reaches the foetus in a concentration similar to that of maternal levels. Therefore, Less than 300 mg coffee per day is considered safe during pregnancy and lactation, which means 1-2 cups per day.

So then what should you eat?

Continue reading to know the doctor-recommended perfect diet regime during pregnancy. 

12 Indian foods you must include in your pregnancy diet

Dr Manchanda lists the foods that you must include during your pregnancy.

#1 Fruits and vegetables

For most healthy pregnant women, any fruit is fine to eat, as long as it is washed properly. Unwashed fruit not only has the potential to contain pesticide residue, but also contaminants from the soil where the fruit was grown.

Additionally, if you have a pregnancy complication, such as gestational diabetes, your health care provider may limit the amount and type of fruit you can eat in order to keep your blood sugar at normal level.

#2 Dairy

When you’re choosing dairy products to eat while pregnant, look for products that specifically state that they are pasteurised, or made with pasteurised milk. Unpasteurised eggs can contain salmonella, which is very dangerous for pregnant women.

never eat during pregnancy

#3 Whole grains

Enriched whole grain bread and cereals are fortified with folic acid and iron. These are rich in fiber also.

#4 Beans

Add black beans, white beans, pinto beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, and kidney, garbanzo, or soy beans to your diet. Besides providing protein and fiber, they are also good sources of key nutrients, such as iron, folate, calcium, and zinc.

#5 Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your baby's brain and eyes, and salmon is a great source. Plus it provides protein and vitamin B. Salmon is also relatively low in mercury compared to other fish.

Continue reading to know more about some other foods your pregnancy diet must include!

#6 Eggs

Eggs are versatile and a good source of protein that provides amino acids you and your baby need. They contain more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for baby's brain development. However, be sure not to eat undercooked or raw eggs.

#7 Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are delicious snacks and taste great in pancakes and on top of cereal. Berries are packed with vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber.

#8 Low-fat yogurt

One cup of plain, low fat yoghurt has more calcium than milk, is high in protein and does not have the added sugar of flavored yoghurt.

never eat during pregnancy

#9 Nuts

Nuts and dried fruits during pregnancy are extremely beneficial since they are replete of important minerals and vitamin E. They are also abundant in essential minerals and nutrients such as folic acid, chromium, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and Vitamin A, B6, C and D among others.

#10 Carrots and peppers

Carrots and peppers are packed with betacarotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This is an essential nutrient for both, the mother and the baby. It help's in baby's embryonic growth, including the development of the heart, lungs, eyes, kidneys, bones as well as the respiratory, circulatory and central nervous systems.

#11 Mangoes

Good news if your stomach flips at just the thought of veggies. A bite of mangoes contain more vitamin A and C than a bite of salad. Both of these are essential in the overall growth and development of the embryo.

#12 Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes get their orange color from carotenoids, plant pigments that are converted to vitamin A in our bodies. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, folate, and fiber. And like beans, they're inexpensive and versatile.

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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