Diet of pregnant women often contains toxins

While most pregnant women know they should avoid certain foods and drinks, many continue to consume things that may not seem unhealthy, but could contain toxins that might harm their babies. Scientists from the University of California in Riverside and San Diego say their research, which primarily focused on pregnant Hispanic women, found that many continued to eat tuna, salmon and a number of canned foods and over-the-counter medications that could cause birth defects.

In this study, researchers observed 200 pregnant and recently pregnant women aged between 18 and 40 years old.  Hispanic women represented 87 percent of those surveyed.  The women filled out food questionnaires about what they ate, which beverages they drank and any OTC medications they took during pregnancy.  Nearly all of the women ate meat, three-quarters ate fish, and only one-third ate more than one serving of fresh fruit per day.  The study also found that three-quarters ate canned foods, 12 percent consumed tap water, 80 percent reported drinking caffeine, and half took over-the-counter medication at least once and prescription medications at least once.

The scientists were concerned with the results: Tuna, salmon, canned goods, sugary desserts, fast foods, tap water, caffeine and alcohol have all been deemed unhealthy during pregnancy due to environmental toxins that could hurt the offspring. They noted that health care providers need to do a better job of alerting pregnant women about the potential risks of certain foods and drinks.

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Sourced from: Science Daily, Diets of Pregnant Women Contain Harmful, Hidden Toxins