9 Crave-Worthy Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy (and Why!) - Mumberry

9 Crave-Worthy Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy (and Why!)

If you’re like 99.99% of pregnant women, you have food cravings hitting you from all directions. Before you give in to these urges, check out this list of crave-worthy foods to avoid during pregnancy.

avoid fish during pregnancy


Undoubtedly, fish is a lean, healthy source of protein. Some fish have a higher level of mercury that is unsafe during pregnancy, like the following types:

  • Shark
  • King Mackerel
  • Swordfish
  • Ahi Tuna
  • Marlin
  • Orange Roughy

Why? Consuming fish with elevated mercury levels during pregnancy can cause your baby to experience brain damage or developmental abnormalities that can result in disabilities after birth.

avoid caffeine during pregnancy


Coffee. The aroma, the warmth, the feeling you get when you take a sip. It’s one of the toughest things to give up during pregnancy. Choose decaf. You may find that it’s the ritual of morning coffee and not the caffeine. 

Why? There are actually a couple reasons to give up caffeine during pregnancy. First is that just as you get a rush of energy in your bloodstream from the caffeine, so does the baby! It’s not safe for her. Second, caffeine causes heartburn...enough said.

avoid simple carbs during pregnancy


Simple carbs and pregnant ladies go together like bread and butter. Oops, maybe that’s a poor word choice. ;)

Simple carbs are best consumed in moderation even when you’re not pregnant. And when you are, they really should be avoided whenever possible. Choose high-fiber options instead of simple carbs.

Why? I could tell you that the baby needs proper nutrients, which is true. But, I’ll “go there.” These foods make pregnant women more susceptible to constipation and hemorrhoids.

avoid foods with high nitrates during pregnancy


Bacon. It’s one of the most crave-worthy foods on the planet! That delicious smoky sweet smell and delicate crunch is certainly hard to refuse. But really, you should.

Here are some foods high in nitrates:

  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Lunch meats
  • Diet soda
  • Hot Dogs
  • Pepperoni 

Why? Clearly, you can see from the list that while all the above-listed foods are yummy, they never make a list of healthy foods. During pregnancy, they are actually likely to trigger migraines.

avoid soft cheeses during pregnancy


You might very well crave the cheesy, gooey goodness of Brie during pregnancy. Sadly, it’s another crave-worthy food that should be avoided.

Soft cheeses include:

  • Feta
  • Bleu Cheese
  • Gorgonzola
  • Brie
  • Queso Fresco
  • Camembert

Indulge your cheese craving with a pasteurized hard cheese such as Gouda, Pecorino Romano, or Cheddar.

Why? Yummy as they are, soft cheeses can harbor Listeria bacteria which causes Listeriosis, a dangerous bacterial infection for an unborn baby. A serious case could even lead to miscarriage.

avoid raw eggs during pregnancy


While it’s certainly not unusual to crave a soft egg to dip your toast into, undercooked or raw eggs are on the list of foods to avoid. Opt to satisfy your egg cravings with fully-cooked eggs.

Be careful to avoid foods that contain raw eggs as ingredients. This includes the always craveable raw cookie dough!

Why? Raw eggs could contain salmonella bacteria which causes food poisoning. The bouts of vomiting and diarrhea during pregnancy that could result from this are dangerous.

avoid shellfish during pregnancy


Shellfish are another craveable delight that you need to give up during your pregnancy. Shellfish served raw cause the majority of seafood-related illnesses. You can cook them, but are you certain that they were properly cleaned? 

Why? Shellfish can contain dangerous algae-borne bacteria. If you get ill from this type of bacteria, you will have severe dehydration that could be harmful to the baby.

avoid raw meats during pregnancy


Sushi. It’s definitely a craving for many. Raw or rare meats should be avoided at all costs during pregnancy.

Cooking meats (and fish) to proper cooking temperatures kills dangerous bacteria. Pass on the plate of sushi or steak tartare and order well-cooked meats when you go out with your friends during pregnancy.

Why? Just as with shellfish and raw eggs, you don’t want to be exposed to food poisoning.

avoid fast food during pregnancy


It seems like the smell of golden, crispy French Fries permeates the air outside of every shopping center. This was my biggest craving during both of my pregnancies!

During pregnancy, fast food should not be a regular option. It is extremely high in fat and sodium. During my second pregnancy, I was often eating while running my older daughter to appointments. I opted to pack healthy snacks in my vacuum sealer, place them in an insulated cooler, and carry them with me to avoid this temptation.

Why? Fat and sodium. The high-fat content will make you feel bloated and the sodium can cause more swelling in your feet and ankles than you already probably have. No thanks!



If you’re uncertain of a particular food during pregnancy, it’s always best to check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. This is only a partial list of the foods you should avoid when pregnant. 

Your pregnancy is a joyous time in your life. You can indulge in food cravings but do so sensibly. Find substitutes for the foods that can be harmful to your pregnancy and enjoy in small indulgences.

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Author Bio: Nicole Vidmar is a busy mom of two. She’s the web designer, graphic artist, and publisher of My Kitchen Adviser. Nicole loves cooking, baking, and living a healthy lifestyle.


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