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What Not to Eat: A Handy Chart

A List of Which Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
-- By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer

Pregnancy comes with its own set of nutrition rules, but then there's also an added safety issue for foods. The do's and don'ts can be rather confusing: Soft cheeses are off-limits. What about cream cheese? Fish is OK in moderation. What about California rolls? Lunch meats are verboten. How about other meats? Here's a detailed list of foods that you should not eat during pregnancy.

Print this out and carry it with you when you go the grocery store or a restaurant.

Do not eat
  • blue cheese (or any cheese that has blue "veins")
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • feta
  • gorgonzola
  • queso blanco
  • queso fresco
  • romano
  • Roquefort
  • Stilton
  • any cheese that says "raw milk"
  • any cheese that says "unpasteurized"

    *Look for the term "pasteurized" on the label of any cheese you buy. Any cheese (including the soft cheeses mentioned in this article) that is pasteurized is safe to eat during pregnancy. If a label is not available, the cheese is made from unpasteurized milk, you are dining out, or you are traveling overseas, take these precautions.

  • refrigerated pate or meat spreads
  • cold cuts or lunch meats (cold)
  • raw or cold hot dogs
  • rare or raw beef

    It is safe to consume lunchmeat, deli meat, cold cuts and hotdogs, if heated thoroughly until steaming.

  • refrigerated smoked seafood (Nova-style, lox or kippered)
  • sashimi (slices of raw fish)
  • nigiri (raw fish with rice)
  • sushi rolls containing raw fish
  • raw shellfish, such as clams or oysters
  • swordfish
  • tilefish
  • king mackerel
  • shark
  • ceviche or seviche, which is seafood "cooked" using citrus juice or another acid

    For more information about these topics, please read the following stories:

    Playing It Safe: Deli Meats

    Playing it Safe: Eating Fish

    Playing it Safe: Soft Cheeses

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    Member Comments About this Article
    "I think that you need to get a true nutritionist giving nutritional info. Raw milk and cheese are as healthy ad you can get. EVERYONE for thousands of years drank and ate raw dairy - that's all there was. Dairy has only been pasteurized in the last century or so which now CAUSES dairy allergies - the pasteurization process breaks down the good nutrients in the milk and actually makes it bad for you. Do your own research, ladies. Raw is best if you can get ahold of it." -- MOMUV4KS1C
    "I love sushi, so I still enjoy it on occasion, just for now I nix the sashimi and nigiri and go for rolls with crab and shrimp. My sushi place knows us, so they make me my favorite rolls with cooked seafood and call it the "pregnancy roll"!!" -- IRISHMAMALULU
    "you can eat tuna! if you are having canned tuna then eat chunk light tuna... not the albacore tuna. The albacore tuna is said to have a higher level of mercury in it. BUT eating fish is good for your growing baby in moderation and not the ones higher in mercury. Fish has the DHA in it which is great for brain development. I craved tuna salad and crackers and would eat it every other day for lunch with my daughter for a while." -- MANIS-JENNIFER
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    About The Author
    Stepfanie Romine
    A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health and fitness, with an emphasis on whole foods and from-scratch cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys Spinning, international travel and vegetables of all kinds. See all of Stepfanie's articles.


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