Pregnancy Articles

What Not to Eat: A Handy Chart

A List of Which Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy comes with its own set of nutrition rules, but then there's also an added safety issue for foods. The do's and don'ts can be rather confusing: Soft cheeses are off-limits. What about cream cheese? Fish is OK in moderation. What about California rolls? Lunch meats are verboten. How about other meats? Here's a detailed list of foods that you should not eat during pregnancy.

Print this out and carry it with you when you go the grocery store or a restaurant.

Do not eat
Cheeses*
  • blue cheese (or any cheese that has blue "veins")
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • feta
  • gorgonzola
  • queso blanco
  • queso fresco
  • romano
  • Roquefort
  • Stilton
  • any cheese that says "raw milk"
  • any cheese that says "unpasteurized"

    *Look for the term "pasteurized" on the label of any cheese you buy. Any cheese (including the soft cheeses mentioned in this article) that is pasteurized is safe to eat during pregnancy. If a label is not available, the cheese is made from unpasteurized milk, you are dining out, or you are traveling overseas, take these precautions.

    Meats
  • refrigerated pate or meat spreads
  • cold cuts or lunch meats (cold)
  • raw or cold hot dogs
  • rare or raw beef

    It is safe to consume lunchmeat, deli meat, cold cuts and hotdogs, if heated thoroughly until steaming.

    Seafood
  • refrigerated smoked seafood (Nova-style, lox or kippered)
  • sashimi (slices of raw fish)
  • nigiri (raw fish with rice)
  • sushi rolls containing raw fish
  • raw shellfish, such as clams or oysters
  • swordfish
  • tilefish
  • king mackerel
  • shark
  • ceviche or seviche, which is seafood "cooked" using citrus juice or another acid

    For more information about these topics, please read the following stories:

    Playing It Safe: Deli Meats

    Playing it Safe: Eating Fish

    Playing it Safe: Soft Cheeses

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    About The Author

    Stepfanie Romine
    A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health and fitness, with an emphasis on whole foods and from-scratch cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys Spinning, international travel and vegetables of all kinds. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

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