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Is non-vegetarian food safe during pregnancy?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Answered by: Dr. Arunima Saha
Lifestyle Counsellor,
Apollo Gleneagles Hospital,
Kolkata
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Q. I am 8 weeks pregnant and a non-vegetarian. I want to know if the intake of non-vegetarian food is safe during pregnancy? Is it true that I cannot have prawns and chicken since it is believed to be hot in nature? I want to know what kind of non-vegetarian food items are allowed?

A.  Consumption of a non-vegetarian diet is not harmful during pregnancy at all. Please continue with intakes of chicken, fish, egg, etc. unless you have any particular allergy towards these foods. Ideally, an intake of a portion of either of the non-vegetarian foods everyday can contribute to healthy growth of the baby by providing essential fatty acids to the mother’s body. Avoid very spicy food preparations (both vegetarian and non vegetarian) as they induce acidity during pregnancy more often than in non-pregnant state.

A.  Consumption of a non-vegetarian diet is not harmful during pregnancy at all. Please continue with intakes of chicken, fish, egg, etc. unless you have any particular allergy towards these foods. Ideally, an intake of a portion of either of the non-vegetarian foods everyday can contribute to healthy growth of the baby by providing essential fatty acids to the mother’s body. Avoid very spicy food preparations (both vegetarian and non vegetarian) as they induce acidity during pregnancy more often than in non-pregnant state.

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Read Comments
Posted by : hitha, on Monday, May 30, 2011
Meat contains 14 times the amount of pesticides as plant foods, since pesticides get concentrated as they move up through the food chain, and since they're more easily stored in fatty tissues. In 1980, six years after the pesticide dieldrin was banned, the USDA destroyed two million packages of frozen turkey products contaminated with dieldrin. (And such contamination can routinely occur without detection.) In 1974, the FDA found dieldrin in 85% of all dairy products and 99.5% of the American people. The EPA discovered that the breast milk of vegetarian women contained far lower levels of pesticides than that of average Americans. A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that "The highest levels of contamination in the breast milk of the vegetarians was lower than the lowest level of contamination…(in) non-vegetarian women… The mean vegetarian levels were only 1-2% as high as the average levels in the U.S."
 
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