Whilst it’s true that fish can be a little troublesome during pregnancy, there’s no reason to cut it out completely! As well as being a good source of protein and other healthy fats, fish is a great source of omega-3 which is vital for your baby’s development. Omega-3 is generally not included in pregnancy multivitamins, so it is important to obtain it through natural sources. The fish you eat during pregnancy needs to be cooked thoroughly – smoked salmon and sashimi are no-go’s! – and should be low in mercury. See which types of fish are safe and not-so-safe below.
Safe (low in mercury)
- Tuna (preferably canned)
- Freshwater trout
Avoid (high in mercury)
- Sea trout
- Orange Roughy
For more information about how to include fish in your pregnancy diet, check out my Youtube video here.
Fruits and vegetables
If you’re currently pregnant, you’ve almost definitely been warned about listeria, as pregnant women have a risk ten times greater than the rest of the population. You may have also been told that fruit and vegetables can carry listeria. Whilst this is true, the risk is slight – just ensure you wash fruits and vegetables yourself (in other words, give your pre-packaged salad a miss), and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. The benefits of the nutrients found in fresh produce far outweigh the risk of food poisoning, so it is extremely important not to let a small risk deter you from eating them all together – just be logical with your food safety!
Nuts, eggs and dairy
It was previously believed that consuming large amounts of common allergens like nuts, eggs and dairy could cause one’s baby to develop an allergy to it. This old recommendation was based on an educated guess but research has been unable to support it – in fact, a recent study found that mothers with the highest consumption of peanuts during pregnancy have the lowest rates of peanut allergies. So go ahead and eat that satay chicken – you’ve earned it!
If you’re feeling any confusion about what is and isn’t safe to eat during in pregnancy, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider or dietitian. You can access my book ‘The Pregnancy Weight Plan’ here for more detail about how your diet can affect your baby’s health.
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