Avoiding some foods ensures that you and your baby are safe and healthy. Below, we give a list of such must-not-have foods.
1. Fish containing mercury:
Fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish have high mercury levels and must be shunned. Mercury, an element found in oceans, streams, and lakes, converts into methylmercury in the human body. It is a neurotoxin and is linked to brain damage and developmental delays in babies. You could choose fish such as salmon, catfish, cod, and canned light tuna, which have low mercury levels. According to the US FDA, you can eat up to eight to 12 ounces of fish per week, which is two to three servings. Consumption of white tuna (albacore) should be limited to six ounces per week .
Solution: Choose fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury as the high protein, low saturated fats and many essential nutrients contribute to the child's heart and brain development, and aid in proper growth. You should, however, check with a doctor or a qualified dietitian to know about the fish you can eat.
2. Smoked seafood:
Do not take smoked and refrigerated seafood, which are labeled as lox, jerky, nova style and kippered as they contain Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. This bacteria causes listeriosis (associated with symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting) that could lead to illness in newborn and even miscarriage or stillbirth. Moreover, processed seafood contains high levels of salt which can lead to increased blood pressure and swelling of the body parts .
3. Fish exposed to industrial pollutants:
Fish from local streams, lakes, and rivers contain harmful levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). On exposure to these contaminants, the babies may have low birth weight, smaller head size, learning disabilities, and memory problems. Avoid eating locally caught striped bass, pike, bluefish, salmon, trout, and walleye.
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