Pregnancy –a major blessing–but it does come with its restrictions. Eating the right food and managing your diet throughout pregnancy is one of the most important ways you can help your developing child.
As well ask knowing what to eat, it’s important to know what not to eat. Don’t worry foodies, leading Australian obstetrician Dr Peter Jurcevic is here to help.
Q. Can you eat sushi when pregnant?
A. No. “Raw fish is thought to increase Listeria risk but truthfully, ‘off’ fish is more likely to cause Salmonella or Campylobacter food poisoning than Listeria. These last two will make you very unwell for 1-2 days, but if you manage hydration, it usually does the baby no harm)”.
Q. Can you eat canned tuna when pregnant ?
A. Yes, mostly. “Canned or fresh, both are usually safe”. Pregnant women are encouraged to eat fish. Other than being a rich source of protein, they’re low in saturated fat and full of Omega-3 fatty acids, assisting in development of baby’s central nervous system. Concerned about mercury? The NSW Food Authority says not to worry. While all fish have traces of mercury in it ones caught here in Australian waters generally have low mercury content.
Q. Can you eat eggs when pregnant?
A. “Yes, as long as they are cooked”!
Eggs are a superfood with high protein and cholesterol balancing powers. It also aids in baby’s brain development.
Q. Can you eat chicken when pregnant?
A. Yes, if cooked. “Chicken is perfectly fine as long as it’s cooked”. About 100g of lean chicken will give you one of your required servings of protein per day. Just like any other food, though, you need to prepare it properly to prevent harmful bacteria. Cook thoroughly and eat it hot to reduce salmonella risk.
Q. What fruits can you eat when you are pregnant?
A. “Fruit can be great for improving fibre intake and aiding constipation, (common in pregnancy), but often has a high sugar content so be mindful of this”. Eating 3-4 servings of fruit per day is ideal, including one citrus fruit a day for the Vitamin C.
Q. Can you drink coffee while pregnant? Is decaff safe for pregnant women?
A. The chemicalisation of decaf makes it arguably worse for you than regular coffee. 2-3 coffees per day are safe. The antioxidant and heart stimulatory affect can be beneficial. So enjoy that latte”.
Q. Can you drink coke when pregnant?
A. “Sugar++ but safe if that’s what you crave. Try a Kombucha...fizzy, less sugar, flavoursome and good for your microbiome!”.
Q. Can you eat shellfish when pregnant?
A. “Shellfish are safe if freshly cooked. Oysters are to be avoided”.
Q. Can you eat peanuts when pregnant?
A. “The jury is still out. At this stage, eat nuts and if there is an allergy risk, you can take a specific probiotic (allergist recommended) in the third trimester”.
Q. Can you eat cheese when pregnant?
A. Yes and no. Dr Jurcevic has some blanket advice when it comes to cheese consumption during pregnancy. “For that rare Listeria risk, avoid non-pasteurised soft cheeses. Remember, you won’t die not eating them, equally, you’ll probably be ok if you do”.
So, in rapid fire fashion, here are the answers to all your cheesey dairy related questions:
Q. Can you eat pasteurized soft cheese when pregnant?
Q. Can you eat feta cheese when pregnant?
Q. Can you eat ricotta cheese when pregnant?
A. Yes. “Pizza would not be the same without it”.
Q. Can you eat gouda cheese when pregnant?
Q. Can you eat blue cheese when pregnant?
A. If you can find a pasteurised version ok, but in general, avoid it.
Q. Can you eat goats cheese when pregnant?
A. Again, as long as it’s pasteurised.
Q. Can you eat cream cheese when pregnant?
Q. Can you eat cottage cheese when pregnant?
Q. Can you drink cows milk while pregnant?
Q. Can you drink soy milk while pregnant?
Q. Can you have milk powder while pregnant?
A. “Yes”. But know that it’s less healthy due to being exposed to high heat.
Thanks Dr Pete!