Want an ad free reading experience?

Download PharmEasy App

Banner Image

Register to Avail the Offer

Send OTP

By continuing, you agree with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

Success Banner Image

What To Not Eat When You’re Expecting

By Nishkak +2 more


What you consume during pregnancy has an impact on both your health and the health of your baby. Doctors always recommend a healthy diet and lifestyle during pregnancy. Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, nuts can help you satisfy your nutritional needs. However, you can’t just eat any fruit or vegetable, certain fruits and vegetables aren’t safe to eat during pregnancy. It is also important to know what not to eat during pregnancy.

While most fruits provide the vitamins and nutrients your body requires throughout pregnancy, especially when the fetus experiences a development spurt, some fruits may be harmful to your health. Some fruits have been documented to affect the baby’s health, while others can cause a miscarriage. Here’s a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Not all Fruits

Fruits are an essential part of nutrition during pregnancy. Some people think that Tamarind and Pineapple should not be consumed during pregnancy. Experts say there is no science-backed explanation for this. However, moderation is the key. Excess citrus fruits can cause other problems related to acidity and indigestion.  

Unripe papaya is said to be harmful to pregnant women and should be avoided in all trimesters. It is best to talk to a doctor or dietician about foods to avoid during pregnancy as the list may differ based on your health conditions.

Uncooked/undercooked dairy, poultry and meat

  • Undercooked or uncooked foods may contain dangerous bacteria. Thorough cooking kills such bacteria and makes food safe from many infectious organisms
  • Runny eggs are a big no-no. Cook the eggs until the yolks are firm and solid. Avoid foods that utilize raw or uncooked eggs such as eggnog, mayonnaise, etc. 

Unpasteurized dairy products

  • Unpasteurized milk and dairy products may lead to food-borne diseases as they may contain bacteria. Check the label of cheeses and make sure that these have been made with pasteurized milk.
  • Soft cheeses are best avoided. If you do not have access to pasteurized milk, boil the milk thoroughly before consumption. If a milk or dairy product looks old, curdled, spotted, avoid it.  


  • Seafood is very healthy and is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, seafood may contain high levels of mercury. Mercury is dangerous for human consumption and especially for developing babies because it may impair their brain development.
  • If the sea fish is large and old, it is quite likely to contain mercury. It is best to avoid sea fishes during pregnancy. If you want to consume seafood, you may opt for freshwater fish (wherein there are lower chances of pollutants in water)


  • Caffeine isn’t barred from your diet. However, caffeine can pass through the placenta and its effects on the baby are not yet known. That is why doctors recommend curbing caffeine intake during pregnancy. How much coffee is safe? Stick to less than 200 mg of caffeine intake.
  • A regular 240 ml mug of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine. So it’s safe to have two drinks of coffee a day.  


  • It has long been established that alcohol is not safe for consumption during pregnancy, not even if you drink it in moderation. Any amount of alcohol has the potential to lead to miscarriages, stillbirths and foetal alcohol syndrome that may trigger stunted intellectual growth and deformities of the face.  

Unwashed fruits and vegetables

  • Fruits and vegetables may contain bacteria on their skins. It is crucial to clean them thoroughly before consumption. On this note, we should also advise you to steer clear of raw sprouts such as alfalfa, mung bean or radish.
  • If you want to eat sprouts, they need to be cooked through and through. Fruit juices from a street shop and processed fruit juices are foods to avoid while pregnant.  

Herbal tea

  • Unless there are any proven benefits of herbal tea that you plan to consume, it is best to avoid such teas (especially the ones with unknown blends of herbs). Your doctor can guide you on this.

Also Read: What is Anterior Placenta: A Comprehensive Insight into Maternal Health


These are some food items that are unsafe to be eaten during pregnancy. Every essential nutrient (both macro and micro) should be consumed in adequate quantities throughout the pregnancy. This will give your growing baby the proper nourishment and aid healthy development. Increase the number of fruits in your diet. If you don’t like large fruit dishes, you can eat a few with each meal. Stale, left-over, unwashed, undercooked food should be strictly avoided. Freshly prepared food and hygienic preparation methods should be incorporated into every expecting mom’s kitchen.  

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

You may also like

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments