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> Reasons To Avoid Raw Food During Pregnancy

A pregnancy craving differs from a regular craving in the sense that it's about a million times stronger. It can range from chocolate to pickles. You wake up with a burning desire for a Chipotle burrito or an ice-cold root beer, and will go out of your way to satisfy it. Distance isn’t a factor as long as the craving is satisfied.

However, there are some cravings that should be avoided during pregnancy, as they may cause harm to you or your baby.  


Raw or Undercooked Meat

Raw/undercooked meat carries the risk of contaminations such as toxoplasmosis and salmonella. Toxoplasmosis can cause a flu-like illness to develop after several weeks of being infected. This may be a fairly mild illness for you, but it can harm your baby and cause serious health problems. This illness can even lead to miscarriage!

Salmonella bacteria causes food poisoning. When you are pregnant, your immune system changes so that its main purpose is to protect your developing baby. This makes you more susceptible to food poisoning than you were before you were pregnant. 

Food poisoning causes lots of suffering, even more so when you are pregnant, so make certain the meat you are eating has been thoroughly cooked.


Raw Fish and Shellfish

Certain types of raw fish used in sushi contain high amount of mercury. This can be toxic to the nervous system, especially when you are pregnant, and has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Larger fish tend to be higher in mercury content, as they are higher up the food chain, accumulating mercury from the smaller fish that makes up their diet. Such fish include sharks, swordfish, large tuna, king mackerel and tilefish.

Raw shellfish, such as oysters, clams, and mussels may contain seafood-borne illness. There are also algae-related infections that cannot be prevented even with cooking. Since raw shellfish pose a concern for everybody, they should be avoided altogether during pregnancy.


Raw Eggs and Vegetables

Raw eggs have been known to contain salmonella, so these should be avoided. Homemade foods and dressings, such as mayonnaise, custards, hollandaise sauces and Caesar dressings may be made with raw eggs, so ensure that the foods are sterilized or cooked before consumption.

Raw vegetables are safe, and a necessary part of a balanced diet. However, it is essential to make sure they are washed well to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis may contaminate the soil where the vegetables were grown.

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