For anyone who is expecting a baby and you actually care about the thought: can i eat raw vegetables while pregnant. You will discover numerous valuable details on this topic, as well as tips, assistance, ideas, and answers to help questions around being pregnant, suitable nutrition and eating plans.
Recent cases of listeria have set off alarms
Is it worth keeping the secret during the first trimester of pregnancy?
The recent food security crisis caused by listeria has had one of its most dramatic aspects in abortions caused by this poisoning that affects more than 200 people and whose new outbreaks call into question that it is fully controlled. It is not about creating more scaremongering after a summer full of bad news, but about remembering some basic tips when it comes to eating safely during pregnancy and the foods to avoid during those months .
“We have a very high food safety level and although there is no zero risk, we can be calm about what we eat daily,” says Lluis Riera , from the food safety consultancy Saia . A message of tranquility that, although obvious, seems more necessary than ever so as not to get carried away by the headlines of recent months.
“We have a very high level of food security and although there is no zero risk, we can be calm about what we eat every day”
But it is true that within this general panorama of food security, pregnant women represent one of the main risk groups of the population both due to the process of fetal formation and due to changes in the mother’s immune system.
Parasites and bacteria
We are talking above all about two great biological dangers: a parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii that causes the disease of toxoplasmosis and a bacterium called Listeria Monocytogenes that causes the disease of listeriosis and that, unfortunately, is has become very famous these days.
Listeriosis represents a double danger because not only can it cross the placenta and affect the fetus, but also pregnant women are much more susceptible to being infected with Listeria than the rest of the population .
Unlike parasites that are killed by freezing, bacteria such as listeria can only be fought with heat . Hence, freezing raw meat or fish used to control toxoplasmosis in the case of listeria would be ineffective.
Bacteria like listeria can only be fought with heat
In fact, it is a microorganism that has its growth curve shifted towards the cold, so it is mainly concerned with those foods that do not undergo heat treatments, or these are very mild like smoked. But what if the shredded meat is roasted? Exactly, but the contamination has occurred afterwards. Its long shelf life and prolonged cold storage have facilitated its growth.
Products to avoid
The chances of contamination and not being detected are very low. But, as we have seen recently, it can happen, so it is better to eliminate potentially dangerous foods during the months of pregnancy.
In the case of listeria, unpasteurized dairy -especially cheeses, with a longer shelf life- pose a danger as they have not undergone any heat treatment. strong> Vegetables and fruits can also be a source of listeria . It is recommended that those for raw consumption be disinfected at home with food bleach -suitable for drinking water purification- or buy them already packaged , clean and disinfected. Be careful, if it says that you have to wash them before, they are useless.
In smoked meats and fish the same problem occurs: they have not been subjected to a sufficient temperature and are kept cold for a long time. The same happens with patés that need to be refrigerated. If there is a craving, better sterilized patés, the ones that are not in the supermarkets’ fridge.
Anisakis and freezing
The Toxoplasma parasite is relatively easier to keep under control. Among other things because toxoplasmosis is better known, as well as the list of potentially dangerous foods and the solution to be able to consume them safely: freezing.
If we do not want to give up the sausages during the gestation months, it will be enough to freeze them
Again, crude oil is the main focus. What if we don’t want to give up cold cuts for the 9 months?It would be enough to freeze them – vacuum packed – for a minimum of 48 hours at 20 degrees below zero to eliminate any risk , recommends the expert.
And what about the famous anisakis of some fish? Although it is not a specific problem for pregnant women, the infection can complicate pregnancy so, again, it is better to take extreme precautions by avoiding raw fish that have not been previously frozen.
Fish and mercury
“Fish, especially the species of blue fish , are a very good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which have a positive effect on the development of the nervous system of the future baby ”, points out Beatriz Robles , nutritionist and expert in food safety.
Between 3 and 4 weekly servings are recommended, but always avoiding -according to AESAN, Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition- four species due to their mercury content: shark, bluefin tuna, pike and swordfish . An advice that, by the way, is extended to lactating women and children under three years of age.
And canned food ? Exactly the same. “They are safe products (sterilized) and with a good nutritional contribution,” explains Robles. But again we must avoid the aforementioned four species , monitor their salt content -sometimes too high- and already from a nutritional point of view, bet on natural varieties or in olive oil. olive , no additional sauces.
Myths to overcome
As a general recommendation , take extreme hygiene in food preparation – salmonella can also be problematic in pregnancy – and overheat a lot, over 65 degrees , any prepared food that is kept in the fridge, explains Lluis Riera.
“Abundant fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, milk and dairy without added sugar and avoid ultra-processed and energy drinks”
Having clarified the foods to avoid , what is recommended to eat during pregnancy? “The general recommendations are what we would make to the healthy population,” says Beatriz Robles. Abundant fruits, vegetables, legumes , cereals, milk and dairy without added sugar and avoid ultra-processed and energy drinks.
The key, as almost always, common sense and avoiding some of those inherited and repeated myths that have no basis. Do you have to eat for two? Of course not. “A woman with normal weight should gain between 11.5 and 16 kilos during pregnancy, which means an average increase in energy of 300 kcal per day during 40 weeks,” says Robles. P >
And yes, pregnant women can drink coffee without problems (up to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day) without problems, despite the fact that many repeat the opposite. And since we are breaking absurd myths: no, the thing about cravings and blemishes on the skin is not true either.
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