Pregnancy Diet You need to Observe

Did you know that certain foods can be harmful if consumed when you’re pregnant? Make sure you know which foods to avoid or limit in order to protect yourself and your baby.

Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy

It’s never been more important to make sure that you’re eating healthily. Your baby is relying on you to provide a broad range of vitamins and minerals, whilst keeping them safe from foods that could cause them harm. Knowing which foods to avoid and which foods to fill up on will keep both of you healthy and give your baby the best start in life. Find out which foods you should steer clear of during pregnancy.

Knowing which foods to avoid during pregnancy is as important as knowing which foods to eat plenty of. The majority of foods on the list below should be avoided because they increase your risk of food poisoning during pregnancy. Right now, food safety should be a priority which is why most mums avoid the following foods altogether, so as not to put themselves or their babies at risk:

  • Raw and undercooked eggs and foods likely to be made with them such as home-made mousses and ice cream. Cook eggs until they’re hard.
  • Very rare or undercooked meat and fish – ensure fish and meat is cooked through with no pink bits left.
  • Raw fishavoid sushi, smoked salmon and oysters.
  • Raw or cured meat such as steak tartare or parma ham.
  • Unpasteurised milk, yogurt or cheese including soft cheeses like brie, camembert, or blue veined cheeses. Pasteurised cheeses such as cheddar, double gloucester and cream or cottage cheese are fine but, to be on the safe side, always check the label to ensure they’re pasteurised.
  • Pre-prepared foods such as potato salad or coleslaw which can be a potential source of listeria. The mayonnaise they’re mixed with may contain raw egg.
  • Swordfish, marlin and shark can contain potentially unsafe levels of mercury which can damage your baby’s developing nervous system. Tuna also contains mercury, so eat no more than four medium-size cans (140g drained weight, per can) or two fresh steaks (up to 170g raw weight, per steak) a week.
  • Liver and products made from it, such as liver pâté, are also best avoided completely as they can have excessive amounts of vitamin A which may harm your baby.


Peanuts have, in the past, been a source of debate but after a review of scientific evidence, guidelines have changed; it is now considered safe to eat peanuts or foods containing peanuts during pregnancy or while breastfeeding even if you have a family history of allergies. This is because there is no clear evidence that eating or not eating peanuts during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding influences the chances of a child developing a peanut allergy.

Food hygiene

Safe preparation of food is key. Wash your hands before and after preparing food, and clean vegetables thoroughly. Always check that any ready meals, reheated food or restaurant dishes are piping hot all the way through before you eat them – don’t be afraid to send dishes back if this isn’t the case.

Call on our expertise

If you’ve got a question about any aspect of your pregnancy diet, our Careline team can help you find the answers. Call us on 800 6458 6262 (UAE)/ +971 4 420 9489 (Other countries) between the hours of 9am and 6pm Saturday to Thursday, or chat with us online through our one to one confidential instant messaging service.

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