Tuna, Salmon, Canned Foods: Pregnant Women, Avoid

Tuna. Caffeine. Canned foods.  Did you know these can be toxic to pregnant women?

A new study has found that such common foods can cause developmental delays in fetuses.  I remember craving tuna while I was pregnant with my son and ate it almost every day, only to find out that tuna, along with some other fish, is not recommended during pregnancies because the mercury in it can harm brain function.

Ttuna, salmon, canned foods, tap water, caffeine, alcohol and over-the-counter medications can contain substances known to cause birth defects.

“Unlike alcohol and nicotine, which carry a certain stigma along with surgeon general warnings on the packaging, tuna, canned foods, caffeine, and a handful of other foods and beverages with associated developmental effects are not typically thought of as unsafe,” Sarah Santiago, a Ph.D. student in psychology at UCR, and part of the study, said at newswise.com.

“Consumption of tuna, salmon, canned goods, sugary desserts, fast foods, and drinking of tap water, caffeinated beverages, and alcoholic beverages during pregnancy have been deemed unhealthy due to the appearance of environmental toxins found to have harmful effects in the developing offspring,” the researchers wrote.

According to newswise.com, the study found “staggering” levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in farmed salmon. Prenatal exposure to PCBs has been linked to lower birth weights, smaller head circumferences, and abnormal reflex abilities in newborns and to mental impairment in older children, according to researchers.

Metal food cans are lined with a plastic that contains Bisphenol A (BPA), which leaches from the lining in cans into the food. Prenatal exposure to BPA has been associated in animal studies with hyperactivity, aggression and reproductive problems.

Tap water also contains prenatal toxins. Some of those contaminants are known to result in central nervous system defects, oral cleft defects, neural tube defects, low birth weight and risk of fetal death, the researchers said.

So are you concerned there's nothing left for you to eat or drink?  Not so.  Eat the foods with toxins sparingly, and drink filtered or bottled if you live in an area with contaminated water.


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