Food Products to Avoid During Pregnancy

There are certain food products which should be avoided or taken in limited quantities during pregnancy to prevent harm to the unborn baby. Here is the list of food products, vitamins and minerals which should not be taken in excess quantities or completely avoided.

Raw meat, eggs and milk – During pregnancy expecting mothers should be careful to avoid food which can cause food poisoning. There are certain bacteria such as Campylobacter and salmonella which can cause food poisoning. Campylobacter is found in raw meat, and salmonella is found in raw meat, raw eggs and unpasteurized milk. One should avoid unpasteurized dairy products and extra care should be taken while buying sausages and burgers.

Food which is given in parties, barbecued meats and buffets are not prepared cautiously and it can contain harmful bacteria. Pate should not be taken as it can contain bacteria listeria. Hot dogs and deli meats can be dangerous and one should cook eggs until the white yolk and yellow surface gets hard. High amount of listeria is found in some cheese products.

Caffeine – High quantities of caffeine can raise the risk of miscarriage. Caffeine reduces fluids from the body and it can result in dehydration and loss of calcium. One should drink a good amount of water and take fruit juices instead of caffeinated drinks. One can take milk to meet the need for calcium.

Harmful raw vegetables – One should always wash hands before eating and clean fruits and vegetables carefully with water. Vegetables also contain certain bacteria which can be harmful to the unborn baby. Raw sprouts such as clover, mung bean, radish and alfalfa should not be taken.

Herbal teas without recommendations – One should not take any herbs or herbal tea until it has been suggested to be safe by the physician. There are certain herbal teas such as the raspberry leaf tea which can lead to contractions and complications.

Alcohol – Avoid alcohol as it can cause deformities in the new born baby. It is directly related to low birth weight issue in babies.

Vitamin A – One should not take access amount of vitamin A because it can harm the unborn baby. One should avoid intake of liver because it contains a good amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in carrots and green leafy vegetables. Restricted quantities of vitamin A can be taken.

Untested Fish – Intake of certain kind of fishes can be harmful because certain fish contain pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins. Tuna is a type of fish which contains a good amount of mercury that can be harmful for the nervous system of the fetus. One should not eat shark, marlin and swordfish. There are certain fishes which are exposed to industrial pollutants and it should be avoided. Fish from lakes and rivers can be exposed to high quantities of polychlorinated biphenyls and undercooked shellfish such as oysters and mussels is also harmful for the unborn baby. One can meet the local fish advisories to know if the fish is safe for intake of not.

The Food Safety Modernization Act: How Food Traceability Requirements Protect Consumers

In an effort to make the food supply safer in the United States, President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act. Administered by the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, this act is a complete shift in how regulators monitor, trace, and protect high risk food supplies across the nation.

The Ace dramatically increases the federal jurisdiction of food for the protection of consumers. Under the Act, the FDA is empowered to quarantine the movement of food products within state lines with oversight by the judicial branch of the government.

Under the new law, both the Food and Drug Administration and Health and Human services will have the authority to increase the inspections of domestic food production operations. The improvement of the detection of food borne illnesses will reduce the danger of food poisoning outbreaks. This Act is a step away from the government’s typical reactionary response to threats to the food supply and a step toward the prevention of food borne illnesses. Through increase powers to recall tainted food and new regulations for record keeping by food producers, the FDA and HHS will have the power and information necessary to trace and recall food products throughout the food supply chain.

Still, much is yet unknown about what new record keeping regulations food producers must meet. One of the first steps will be for the USDA to run two pilot programs. Once these programs are complete, the newly acquired data will be combined with high-risk food data collected by the FDA over the past decade. This data will instruct the FDA in is creation of the new laws requiring food companies to put in place new safety rules to limit potential hazards.

Clearly a safe food supply is wanted by consumers and producers alike. Complaints by smaller producers are already starting to arise. There is some talk that the new laws may not be applicable to producers selling less than $500,000 in product per year. As is often the case, the Food Safety Modernization Act will spark debate between consumer advocates and business interest for some time. Until the FDA publishes its new rules, the true cost of implementing the Act by businesses operating here in the United States will not be known.

The Food Safety Modernization Act is intended to protect both consumers and growers and producers alike. For the first time in its history the Food and Drug Administration has been give a specific mandate to prevent food borne illness. The ability to trace food product from field to table will make it possible for the Government to identify risk and completely remove it from the entire food supply chain.

As the USDA pilot programs continue, stakeholders will have the opportunity to respond and proved valuable input into the writing of the new record keeping rules. A safe food supply can be good business for growers and producers. Consumers will be able to eat from the food supply with increased confidence.

Best Dog Food – The By Product Debate

When one of my dogs started to have health problems at the age of six, I got pretty serious about dog health issues. I don’t watch TV much anymore, if I have any free time I’m usually doing research to try and improve and extend the lives of my dogs.

Those of you that know me also know that I believe the number one cause of health issues with dogs is commercial dog food. That is why I have been on a mission to spread the word about the best dog food, and I am a big believer in homemade dog food.

The truth is most people, even if they do switch to a homemade diet, will need to supplement with some brand of commercial food. That is why I spend so much time on the best dog food subject.

During my research I come across many debates on different ingredients, and one such ingredient is meat by-products. This could be listed as chicken, poultry, beef or just about any type of meat followed with the word by-product.

So what is it and is it good for your dog? If you do research on the subject you will find two groups, one defends by-products as good, and the other saying it is toxic for your pet.

The truth is, it depends… let’s take a look at the definition of Poultry by-products.

“Poultry by-products consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of slaughtered poultry carcass, including necks, beak, feet undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, “except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices”

The problem is you don’t know what is in a by-product ingredient at any give time. There is no standard that says there are so many feet and so many intestines or any consistency of nutritional value what so ever. The truth is none of this stuff is fit for human consumption.

Some will argue that a dog in the wild will eat everything included in a by-product ingredient and that is what makes it okay to feed it to your dog. That might be true enough but, that is like saying a homeless person eats out of dumpsters and garbage cans, so so should we. People and dogs do what they need to do to survive but, does that make it the best things for either of us to eat garbage?

I want to feed my dogs the best dog food, and therefore I’ll be leaving the by-products where they belong and that’s in the dumpster and out of my dogs bowl.

The Foods You Think Are Healthy, But Aren’t

There are a lot of foods out in the world that have been promoted as healthy, but they actually are not. Certain food products get advertised as healthy to make us believe they are good for us. The reality is that there are many unhealthy foods we perceive as “healthy.” Knowledge is power, so here are some “supposedly good” foods that you should stay away from.

Canned Tomatoes:

Since tomatoes are prominent in many delicious recipes, this is hard to hear. You are better off using fresh, organic tomatoes to make those recipes. Why aren’t canned tomatoes good for you? Most cans contain BPA, which is a toxic chemical that leads to an increased risk of developing prostate or breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or other health problems. Tomatoes are naturally acidic and that causes the BPA to leak into the food. Some cans say that they are BPA-free. Don’t be fooled! Companies started removing BPA from products after severe pressure from the public, but they started using another product called BPS, which is just as bad. Avoid cans and go for glass jars.

Salad Dressings:

We like eating salads with different flavors. Our taste buds have become used to salad dressings, but most all of them are unhealthy and counteract the nutrients of the vegetables. Most salad dressings are full of sugar, vegetable oils, artificial chemicals, and trans fats. A great way to get the proper nutrients from salads is to make your own dressings. Apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil are the two best ingredients for salad dressings. Add the spices or herbs of your choice, or try this recipe.

Vegan Junk Food:

It doesn’t mean it’s good just because it has the word vegan in it. It’s still junk food, which means it’s processed. Case in point.

Pre-made Smoothies or Juices:

Those pre-made or store bought smoothies and juices aren’t as healthy as you think they are. These smoothies are not the best kept health secret. They are actually loaded with sugar and can contain 680-1,000 calories. The high sugar content in these can cause blood sugar levels to spike or drop, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Even those bottled green drinks aren’t giving you the healthy nutrients you think you’re getting. There can be as many as 50 grams of sugar in one of those bottles. You are way better off making your own smoothies or juices to actually get the nutrients from fresh fruits and veggies.

Trail Mix:

Trail mix is a great snack, if you make it right. Most people like the ease of grabbing a handful or a small bag of trail mix to snack on. The reality is that most trail mixes are high in calories, contain high amounts of sodium and sugar, have chocolate or candy-coated pieces, or have dried fruit, which contains sulfur dioxide and sugar. Most trail mixes are full of trans fats, refined carbohydrates, and simple sugars. Look for trail mixes that have unsalted nuts and no sugar. Better yet, make your own using raw, unsalted nuts and seeds and freshly dehydrated fruits.

Soy Protein Isolate & Unfermented Soy Products:

The health facts you have come to believe about soy are lies. The number one problem with soy is that 90-95% of soybeans, from which soy is derived, grown in the US are genetically engineered. Most soybeans are designed to be “Roundup ready,” meaning they are supposed to survive lethal herbicides. The primary ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, can disrupt the female reproductive cycle. Whether or not you eat soy milk or tofu, you have to pay attention to labels because there are many names for soy additives. You can be eating genetically modified foods without even knowing it. In addition to soy protein isolate, you should avoid all unfermented soy products. You should only eat soy products if it is organic and has been properly fermented. Other than that, stay away from soy.

Whenever you buy food, be it organic or locally grown, look for the highest quality product you can get. Avoid foods that have been grown with pesticides, genetically modified organisms, and have added growth hormones. Seek out your local farmer’s market or organic grocery store to get the best foods you can. Places to get actual healthy food are more abundant and closer to you than you think.