Most Important Foods to Avoid When Trying to Get Pregnant

August 28th, 2023 | 12:01 pm

One of the most significant periods in a woman’s life is during her pregnancy. While it provides the couple with much excitement and happiness, it also gives the parents an entirely new perspective on life. A healthy pregnancy depends on a number of elements, including exercise, hygiene practices, maternity clothing, regular medical appointments, and doctor consultations. 

The diet is one of the most important factors to consider. The body constantly benefits from a healthy and balanced diet. However, the body does experience significant hormonal changes throughout pregnancy. Therefore, even if something is healthy for a normal person, it might not be wise for a pregnant lady to consume it. 

In this discussion, we will talk about the foods that those who are attempting to get pregnant should avoid.

Fish with a High Mercury Content

For a healthy and safe pregnancy, it is often recommended to choose foods high in omega-3s. One excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish. However, mercury levels in the seas and lakes are rising due to deteriorating environmental conditions and an increase in environmental contaminants. Mercury is very harmful to babies and young children as it can negatively affect their developing brains and neurological systems. The fish are also polluted, rendering them completely unsuitable for human consumption. Women are strongly advised to avoid high-mercury seafood for at least one year before conception.

Low Fat Dairy

Since key nutrients are often lost when milk is skimmed, it is generally advisable to avoid consuming skimmed milk. Additionally, low-fat dairy products contain androgens, which may disrupt the normal functioning of hormones and lead to changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle. For women attempting to get pregnant, it’s important to include milk in their diet as it serves as a great source of calcium and protein. However, these benefits are only realised when the milk is consumed after pasteurisation. It’s crucial to ensure that expectant women do not consume unpasteurized milk, as boiling the milk destroys any bacteria and germs present. Therefore, unpasteurized milk should be avoided.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are unsaturated fats that might negatively impact your reproductive health, as they block the passage of vital nutrients to the reproductive system. Couples attempting to conceive should avoid trans fats, as they can disrupt the supply of essential nutrients to the reproductive system. These meals could also lead to insulin resistance, interfering with a person’s ability to become pregnant. These foods disrupt the body’s entire biochemistry by not only raising cholesterol levels but also increasing body weight, inhibiting insulin generation, and promoting higher body fat. Trans fats are present in many items that are made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as Vanaspati, including sweets, cakes, biscuits, and various other food items.


During pregnancy, it’s advisable to avoid caffeine. Numerous studies indicate that consuming excessive caffeine might lead to difficulties for women attempting to conceive. While limited amounts of caffeine are acceptable, individuals who become addicted to coffee may face challenges, as caffeine can be quite harmful. It can give rise to complications for expectant mothers and impede their ability to conceive. Additionally, caffeine raises the risk of miscarriages and increases the likelihood of congenital conditions in newborns. Beverages with high caffeine content, such as coffee and cola, should be avoided in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child.

High Sugar and Carbs

Limiting the intake of foods high in sugar and carbohydrates is necessary for a healthy diet, but avoiding these items becomes crucial for those who are trying to conceive. When a woman with PCOS is attempting to get pregnant, this becomes extremely important. Refined sugars and carbs in these foods undergo a process that eliminates several essential elements necessary for enhancing fertility. Additionally, consuming excessive amounts of sugar and carbohydrates can cause a significant spike in the body’s insulin levels, impacting the ovaries and reducing the likelihood of conception. Diets high in sugar and carbohydrates among women with PCOS can lead to low insulin sensitivity and hormonal imbalances.


Ajinomoto is a popular flavouring agent that is often used in Chinese and street food. However, it has certain significant adverse effects on the human body. As it is derived from the combination of sodium and glutamic acid, it is also known as monosodium glutamate. Consumption of Ajinomoto can have a noteworthy impact on the growth and development of the foetal brain. It is advisable to consult a doctor regarding the safe amount of Ajinomoto to consume during pregnancy.

Fennel seeds and Coriander 

When consumed in excess during pregnancy, coriander (dhania) and fennel seeds are thought to be harmful. These spices contain very small quantities of phytoestrogens, which behave like female oestrogen and can cause uterine contractions. According to Ayurveda, it is advisable to consume these seeds after childbirth to stimulate menstruation and cleanse the uterus. They work well in correcting hormonal imbalances and promoting lactation. 


Indians believe papaya to be extremely harmful because they think the fruit might cause an abortion. Additionally, some gynaecologists advise against eating papaya beyond the second trimester, as raw or semi-ripe papayas are hard to digest and might not be safe during pregnancy. Moreover, raw papaya contains minute amounts of latex, a milky substance that can cause painful uterine contractions. However, since ripe papaya doesn’t have any latex residue, it is completely safe to eat.

One of the most important aspects of pregnancy preparation is the pre-conception diet. Adequate levels of vitamins and minerals in the diet promote ovulation, enhance fertility, and improve reproductive health.

Giggles, one of the top maternity hospitals, offers comprehensive women’s and childcare services in a comfortable environment. Alongside state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, our highly qualified professionals possess years of combined expertise in treating mothers and their children. From conception to maternity and delivery care, as well as paediatric care, we have you covered. All the services you and your child need are available under one roof.