Every responsible mother-to-be should consider what are the pregnancy foods to avoid to ensure the well-being of her child growing inside her. Research has shown that over the past 5 decades, birth defects have dramatically increased, and there is a proven link between bad pregnancy diet and birth defects. Consuming the wrong foods can increase the chances of low birth weight, poor fetal development, and miscarriage.

The first thing for any mother to be aware of is that she is now eating for two people. Her baby depends completely on her to get all its required nutrients. This is why pregnancy diet is so important for the health of the baby. The second thing to realise is that a good pregnancy diet is simple to understand once you realise the basics, which are that it consists of a good balance of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and folic acid. These can be sourced from healthy wholesome foods. Avoid unhealthy foods such as junk food, fast food, and processed foods, as these foods are of low nutritional value, and will be of little benefit to you and your baby.

So what are the best pregnancy foods to avoid? The following is a list of foods that are best avoided to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Fish: Fish is an excellent source of protein, iron, and omega 3 fatty acids, which are all necessary for the healthy development of your baby so why is fish on the list on pregnancy foods to avoid? Certain fish are known to contain high levels of mercury which can be very harmful to the development of your baby’s brain and neural system. Such fish are predominantly large fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.

Raw Eggs: These contain salmonella which is a dreaded bacterium. To avoid bacterial infection such as food poisoning, it is best to put raw eggs and anything that is made from them, such as mayonnaise and salad dressings, on your list of pregnancy foods to avoid.

Liver: Liver is highly regarded as a rich source of nutrients and is excellent if taken in moderation. However it is very high in vitamin A and an excess of vitamin A can cause problems for the baby.

Raw Meat: Raw meat and fish may contain high levels of bacteria like toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and coli form, and in order to avoid food poisoning and other infections it is best to take your favourite sushi and rare steaks off the menu for 9 months!

Artificial Sweeteners: Saccharine and aspartame are two of the most commonly used sweeteners today and are linked to causing birth defects and many other problems in the unborn baby. Make sure that this item is high on your list of pregnancy foods to avoid.

Alcohol: There is no definitive research to show how much alcohol is permissible during pregnancy so if in doubt, cut it out!

Junk Food: As already stated, this food is highly processed and is very low in nutritional value, and will be of little benefit to you or your baby.

Place all these items on a list of pregnancy foods to avoid, and you will be well on the way to ensuring that your baby will develop normally and will be born healthy and well.