Pregnancy Nutrition – What Should You Not Be Eating?

We have all heard about pregnancy nutrition (the kinds of foods you should be eating during pregnancy for the health of your baby), but there are foods you should avoid during pregnancy as well.  Everything you eat or drink will affect your baby one way or another.  In some cases, certain substances like drugs, bacteria, and caffeine circulate through your blood, and therefore, through your developing baby’s body.  Even though you might not be eating or consuming a lot of these foods, why take the chance? 

Here’s a simple list of foods NOT to eat while pregnant:

Undercooked Meat and Dairy Products

You should not eat raw or barely cooked meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products (including soft cheeses like brie, camembert or blue-veined cheeses) because these products can contain salmonella, listeria, and other bacteria that can be very harmful to a developing fetus.


You should not consume certain fish including:

  • Swordfish
  • King Mackerel
  • Shark
  • Tilefish
  • Tuna steaks
  • Sea bass
  • Gulf Coast Oysters
  • Marlin
  • Halibut
  • Pike
  • Walleye
  • White croaker
  • Shrimp 
  • Largemouth bass 

All these fish are very high in mercury which is a neurotoxin.  It’s okay to eat wild-caught salmon or light canned tuna once a week.  These fish have much lower levels of mercury.


Avoid coffee, black tea, energy drinks, or soda (unless they’re caffeine free).

Deli Meats

Do not eat deli meats, including hot dogs and refrigerated smoked seafood, because they can contain listeria.


This should be a given! Alcohol causea fetal abnormalities and birth defects.

Junk Food 

Avoid junk food for two reasons: one, most junk food contains artificial colors, flavors and a lot of preservatives, all which are poison to a developing fetus.  Secondly, eating junk food provides a lot of unnecessary calories for you (causing unhealthy weight gain) and provides little or NO nutrition for the baby which can cause malnutrition.

Tap Water 

It’s a much better idea to drink bottled or filtered water all the time… but especially during pregnancy.  Tap water contains chlorine which kills bacteria, but chlorine is a toxic chemical and you’re baby is very small, therefore, amounts that may not affect you, could very possibly affect your baby.

If you follow these simple “don’ts” and eat healthy, nutrient-dense food during pregnancy, you are giving your baby the very finest start in life for a healthy body, a strong immune system, and a well-developed brain.


About Author

Posts By content