What's Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Meat and Eggs

Lean meats, poultry, and eggs are good choices for a healthy pregnancy because they're rich in protein and vitamins. But make sure they're thoroughly cooked. Raw or undercooked versions can increase your risk of a number of food-borne illnesses, including listeriosis, E. coli and salmonella infections, and toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis is an illness that often causes only mild flu-like symptoms or none at all. But if a pregnant woman contracts it, her baby may develop birth defects such as vision loss and mental retardation. If it's caught early enough, though, it can be treated with antibiotics.

Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are thoroughly cooked. Pork roasts and chops and ground beef should be cooked to at least 160 degrees F., when no pink is visible; beef, veal, and lamb roasts and steaks to 145 degrees F., where the meat is slightly pink in the center; whole poultry to 180 degrees F.; and chicken breasts to 170 degrees F. Cook eggs to the point where both yolk and white are firm, and avoid foods made with raw or partially cooked eggs, like egg nog and hollandaise sauce.

Most foods that make up a healthy diet are safe for you and your baby. But for now, see you later, trout and alfalfa sprouts, and bring on the salmon, veggie sushi, and pasteurized feta!

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