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Foods and Beverages to Avoid During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, you want to do everything that’s in the best interest for your baby. That includes eliminating the following items from your plate.

With and Without Diabetes

It’s important whether you have diabetes or not to avoid certain foods while pregnant to help benefit you and your baby. It’s important to eat properly and avoid foods that could be damaging to the development of your child.


The most common thing we hear to avoid during pregnancy is seafood high in mercury. Too much mercury could harm your baby’s developing nervous system. Foods to avoid include: swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tile fish. Other fish that would be lower in mercury include; shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, Pollock and catfish. The recommendation for serving size of these fish is 12oz per week. If choosing albacore tuna (bigger fish=more mercury) limit your intake to 6oz per week.

Raw Fish, Shellfish, and Undercooked Meats

Avoid raw fish or shellfish altogether. Make sure all fish is cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. If you’re not sure of the temperature, invest in a meat thermometer. Avoid all raw or undercooked meats or poultry. It’s recommended to avoid hot dogs and lunch meat. However, if you do eat hot dogs be sure to cook them until steaming. Cook eggs completely until firm,  and avoid pates and meat spreads unless canned.

Unpasteurized Cheese

Avoid all unpasteurized cheese products such as brie, feta, and blue cheese unless they are clearly labeled as pasteurized. This also includes any unpasteurized juice, cider, or milk.


Pregnancy can leave you feeling extra tired and fatigued. Unfortunately caffeine can cross the placenta, so it’s best to avoid or limit the amount of caffeine you drink. For pregnant women, caffeine should be limited to less than 200mg per day. One cup of coffee contains about 95mg of caffeine, while one cup of tea contains about 47mg.


Alcohol can be damaging to your baby’s tiny developing organs including the brain, and can lead to a whole host of disorders called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so in this case eliminate all alcohol use while pregnant.


Although this list may seem like a substantial amount of foods and beverages to limit, remember it is only for a short time. The health of your baby is worth the sacrifice.

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