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Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy


By Maureen Connolly

Eating for two doesn't mean you need to double your calories (you need only an additional 300 calories per day in the second and third trimesters), but you'll definitely want to double your efforts to avoid potentially harmful foods for you and your baby. "Everything you eat and drink you share with your baby, so it makes sense to be extra careful about the foods and drinks you choose during this time," says Bridget Swinney, M.S., R.D., author of Eating Expectantly: A Practical and Tasty Guide to Prenatal Nutrition (Meadowbrook).

Here's a rundown of certain eats you should stay away from if you're pregnant:

* Large fish
Shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel all contain dangerously high levels of methyl mercury, a poison found in fresh and salt waters thanks to industrial pollution. At high levels, mercury can cause damage to the nervous system -- especially to children and unborn babies. Low amounts can also affect the central nervous system, creating things like learning deficits. Since mercury builds up in the body, it's also wise to stay away from these fish if you're planning to become pregnant or are nursing.

Depending on where you live, there may be other types of fish and seafood you'll want to avoid. For a listing by state, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's fish consumption advisory Web page. You can also check out "A Woman's Guide to Eating Fish and Seafood.
Jump to full text of this article here.

Note: You can go to the Minnesota Department of Health's website about fish consumption for state guidelines.

Categories: Health & Wellness, Pregnancy,

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