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What foods should you avoid while pregnant?

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Quick Answer

Pregnant women should avoid eating foods prone to the listeria bacterium, which causes listeriosis,, such as raw or uncooked meat, deli meats and unpasteurized dairy foods, explains WebMD. Listeriosis is a harmful disease that can result in serious health problems, stillbirth or miscarriages.

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Pregnant women should eliminate or reduce caffeine intake during pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Soft and imported cheeses that potentially contain listeria, such as feta, brie, Gorgonzola, Camembert and Roquefort, are not recommended for pregnant women unless the cheeses are made with pasteurized milk. Pregnant women should not consume raw eggs or foods such as homemade mayonnaise, dressings or sauces that contain raw eggs to reduce potential exposure to salmonella.

Certain types of fish are not recommended for pregnant women to consume, explains the American Pregnancy Association. Pregnant women should avoid fish with high levels of mercury, such as shark, tilefish and swordfish, as well as certain types of sushi. Fish obtained from a local river or lake has the potential to be contaminated by industrial pollutants. Pregnant women should avoid eating walleye, trout, pike, salmon or striped bass unless the local Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the fish safe to eat in the pregnant women's geographic area.

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