If you are thinking about having children or are already expecting a baby, there is one nutrition fact that is essential for you to know: foods prohibited during pregnancy .

By avoiding these ingredients and taking special care with hygiene when cooking, you will eliminate the danger of the most dangerous diseases related to diet during pregnancy : listeria and toxoplasmosis, as well as anisakis.

Foodborne diseases during pregnancy

Before knowing what a pregnant woman can't eat , take a look at the main ones

Listerosis is a mild and rare foodborne disease caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. It can have serious consequences for the fetus, as it causes premature births, abortions or children born with malformations, especially neurological ones.

Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite (Toxoplasma gondii) and, although its incidence is low and the effects are mild in the mother, it can cause intrauterine death or cause neurological sequelae in the baby. The problems are worse if the infection occurs early in pregnancy.

When eating fish, it is important to be careful with anisakis and also with the possible toxic effect of mercury , a heavy metal found in greater proportions in larger oily fish.

Prohibited foods during pregnancy

  • Raw meat and fish : pregnant women will have to wait nine months to enjoy sushi, ceviche or meat carpaccio again. These raw meats and fish have not received adequate heat treatment and could contain bacteria and parasites that transmit the aforementioned diseases.

  • Large fish : The AESAN warns that larger fatty fish are those that have more mercury, giving as examples bluefin tuna, swordfish and blue sharks and mako sharks. These should be avoided. Of course, it is advisable that pregnant women eat fish 3 or 4 times a week, and can opt for smaller fish such as sardine, herring, salmon, trout, anchovy or herring.

  • Sausages that have not gone through a cooking process such as sausages or fuet. In addition, only those that have been cured for more than 18 months can be eaten.

  • Cheese : some types of cheese cannot be consumed during pregnancy because they contain bacteria such as listeria. Parmesan, soft cheeses such as Brie, Camembert or Chaumes, blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola, fresh and Burgos cheeses made with raw milk, Comté cheese or feta cheese made with unpasteurized milk should not be consumed.

  • Raw milk and any other dairy that has not been subjected to heat treatment.

  • Smoked products, such as smoked salmon . Marinated salmon cannot be eaten either, as it is a raw fish.

  • Raw fruits and vegetables that have not been properly washed. You can use amukina or water with bleach suitable for disinfection, submerging for at least ten minutes and rinsing the product with plenty of drinking water before preparing and eating them. A brush will help you do the cleaning even better.

More extra tips: to avoid toxoplasmosis, the pregnant woman should also try not to change the cat's litter, since it can be transmitted through feces, and is especially dangerous for the nervous system of the embryo during the first trimester of pregnancy.

To prevent listeriosis, it is especially important to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before eating or cooking, disinfect raw vegetables, and carefully clean kitchen utensils and surfaces in contact with raw foods, such as cutting boards. or knives.

To avoid anisakis, freeze the fish you are going to cook for 2 to 5 days , and at a temperature of at least -20 degrees Celsius.

In summary, if you are pregnant, avoid raw fish and meat, fish and shellfish high in mercury, raw and unpasteurized dairy products, shellfish, smoked products and salads that have not been carefully disinfected throughout your pregnancy.

Of course, if you have any questions about foods prohibited during pregnancy , you should consult your doctor.


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