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The fact that diet is very important during pregnancy is undeniable. We often worry about what to eat, and spend time reading up about healthy foods for our nine months of pregnancy. But what are the foods that women should avoid during pregnancy? Are there any foods that could harm an unborn baby, or impact its health negatively? What are the foods not to eat during pregnancy?

Raw meats and fish are among the most important foods to avoid during pregnancy according to most professionals, though there are some that disagree. The main argument against eating raw meats and fish while you are expecting a baby is the fact that they can contain salmonella and listeria bacteria, which are definitely harmful for a fetus. Smoked fish from your fridge. Unless you are going to use it in a cooked meal, this poses the same risk of listeria infection. Any food from street stalls. These have been found to be less than sanitary on far too many occasions. Just stay away from them. Raw eggs. Are we boring you with this salmonella business yet? Raw eggs are another food that can contain this bacteria, so once again, steer clear!

Beware that cakes, salads, mayonnaise, home-made ice cream and custards can all have raw eggs in them. When in doubt, ask. While oily fish is extremely good for you in pregnancy, be careful not to eat fish that are high in mercury. If you limit the amount of fish you eat and check the food's labels, you should be fine. Raw cheeses such as brie, roquefort (many French cheeses, in other words) need to be avoided, unless they have been pasteurized. I find that most soft cheeses have now been pasteurized and are therefore perfectly safe to eat. Still, checking this could save you from many problems, and just takes a minute.

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