Food is a necessary component of daily life, and without it no one could survive. Not all of these items are created equally though, and in some situations there are certain ingredients and products that should be avoided to prevent high risks. This is especially true for women who are pregnant, and also those who are very young or very old. In the worst case scenario some of them could cause an illness that affects the unborn baby, or even encourage a miscarriage or stillbirth to occur.
Hot dogs and lunch meat are a poor dietary choice if you are expecting. These are highly processed and are full of chemicals to help preserve, stabilize, and improve the taste of the final product. These options are very high in nitrates and other ingredients that may cause fetal harm, birth defects, or even the termination of the pregnancy in some cases.
Seafood is another concern for women who are gestating, especially if the origin of the item can not be determined. Many fish that are sold may contain mercury, and a recent survey showed that much of the seafood offered in the USA has been improperly identified or labeled. That can make it very difficult to determine whether the catch of the day is really a safe option. Some obstetricians recommend only eating seafood once or twice a week, and then only from clearly identified sources.
Any foods that are undercooked or raw and that have an animal origin should be eliminated during pregnancy. Meats that are rare, eggs that are not fully cooked through, and all forms of sushi and other raw seafood should never be consumed by anyone who is pregnant. This also means no raw cookie dough or eggnog that is homemade or has not been pasteurized. Juices and ciders should also be pasteurized to ensure no contamination and health risks.
Raw milk is becoming more popular, but if you are expecting these items should be avoided because of the risks that are involved. This also includes any cheeses that are made from unpasteurized dairy products. Cheeses that are not a good dietary choice during gestation include Camembert, Brie, any queso versions like queso Panela and queso blanco, feta, and those in the blue veined category. Raw vegetable sprouts are also a prohibited product during any pregnancy. The seeds used to germinate the sprouts are often full of bacteria, and this can not be removed by rinsing. Cook these thoroughly to destroy any organisms before eating them.