I found this info. very helpful, especially since my first dr. appointment isn't until November. Hope this helps some of you! pregnancy nutrition The minute you reveal your pregnancy, total strangers will start pointing at your lunchtime sandwich and asking, ‘should you really be eating that?’ Of course, your pregnancy diet is very important. Studies show a good diet will give your baby the very best start in life, and could even affect his health right into adulthood. But when it comes to what you shouldn’t eat, myths, confusion and misunderstanding abound. Many of us worry that we are eating the wrong things, but the truth is, there are few foods that are completely off limits. The reason some foods are risky is that they may cause infection – and pregnant women are more vulnerable to infections as pregnancy makes the immune system less effective. The three main worries are: Toxoplasmosis This tiny parasite can be found in raw or undercooked meat and the soil. If you get the infection you can pass it to the baby, causing a rare but serious illness that can harm the foetus - particularly in the last trimester. It affects around 1 in 50,000 pregnancies. Listeria This bacteria thrives on moist foods such as certain cheeses. It can cause a flu-like illness that can pass to the unborn baby and cause miscarriage. Again, it is rare, affecting 1 in 20,000 pregnancies. Listeria is killed by heat, so you can safely eat blue cheese or brie provided it is cooked thoroughly and piping hot, for example in a sauce or on pizza. Salmonella This is one of the commonest forms of food poisoning. It can make you feel absolutely terrible, but does not pass to the baby. The only risk to the baby is if your temperature becomes very high as this may harm the foetus. red-light foods It’s easy to steer clear of these infections and other problems by taking a few precautions, such as avoiding certain foods. Ideally, for the sake of your baby, you should completely cut out all the red-light foods below. But don’t panic if you do accidentally find you have eaten them, as food-related problems in pregnancy are really very rare. Avoid: Soft mould-ripened cheeses with rinds, such as brie and camembert. Why? Risk of listeria. Blue cheeses. Why? Risk of listeria. Soft unpasteurised goats’ or sheep’s milk cheese. Why? Risk of listeria. Liver and liver pâté. Why? May contain too much of the animal form of Vitamin A, which is believed to potentially cause birth defects in very large doses. The vegetable form of Vitamin A, betacarotene, is perfectly safe in any amount. Pâté. Why? Risk of listeria. Tinned, non-liver pâté is safe to eat. Raw or undercooked meat, including Parma ham. Why? Risk of salmonella or other bacteria. Always cook thoroughly and keep raw meat away from other foods. Unpasteurised milk including goats’ and sheep’s milk unless boiled for at least two minutes. Why? Risk of listeria. Soft-whip ice-cream from ice-cream machines (particularly from ice-cream vans). Why? Risk of listeria. Raw or undercooked egg (including in fresh mayonnaise). Why? Risk of salmonella, although Lion-marked eggs in the UK are now almost 100% salmonella-free. Swordfish, shark, and marlin. Why? These fish can contain potentially risky levels of mercury, which can harm the foetus’s nervous system. amber-light foods These are foods you should either limit your intake of, or be careful about where and how you eat them. Deli foods, such as cooked meat and prepared salads. Ensure they have been kept cold and hygienically. Why? Risk of listeria. Raw shellfish. Shellfish is fine if it is fresh and cooked until piping hot. Why? Risk of harmful viruses and bacteria. Tuna. Limit the weekly amount of tuna you eat to no more than two tuna steaks (weighing about 140g when cooked, or 170g raw) or four medium-size cans of tuna (with a drained weight of about 140g per can). Why? Risk of mercury contamination. Oily fish. Fish such as raw tuna (not tinned), mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout are excellent foods for your baby and full of brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. However you should limit your intake to no more than two portions a week. Smoked salmon is safe to eat in pregnancy, but remember your portions. Why? Possible high levels of mercury pollutants. Sushi. Sushi is safe to eat in pregnancy, provided any raw fish used to make it has been frozen beforehand. Bought-in, pre-packed, ready-made sushi is always pre-frozen so is always safe. Why? Occasionally raw fish contains microscopic worms, which could make you ill. Freezing kills worms and makes raw fish safe to eat. Peanuts. Peanuts are fine to eat unless you, your child's father or any of your other children suffer from asthma, eczema, hay fever or food allergies. Why? Possibility of triggering a peanut allergy in your baby. Coffee. Keep your intake to five or fewer cups a day. Why? High levels of caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage. green-light foods These are the superfoods that help ensure a healthy pregnancy, enjoy them as much as you like. Most dairy foods, except the cheeses mentioned above are safe (including cream cheese, cottage cheese, feta and hard goats’ cheeses so long as pasteurized). They are full of calcium, and vitamins A and D. You might want to choose lower-fat versions such as semi-skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurt if you are worried about gaining too much weight. They are even healthier and just as full of calcium as their high-fat alternatives. Aim for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day (ideally more) for vitamins and minerals such as iron. A glass of juice counts as one portion. However much you’re eating, take a 400mcg folic acid supplement during the first trimester. If you are eating fruit or vegetables raw, make sure you wash them thoroughly to remove any particles of dirt that could potentially harbour toxoplasmosis bacteria. Starchy foods such as bread (ideally wholemeal), pasta, rice and potatoes are essential for energy, fibre and nutrients. Proteins such as lean meat and chicken, fish, eggs and pulses (beans and lentils) and white fish are important because they are the building blocks for growth.