Nutrition · Pregnancy

Do I need to avoid foods that cause allergies when I’m pregnant?

DSCN6424The answer is no. The only time you need to avoid any common food allergens is if you have a known food allergy.

Health Canada identifies the following 11 foods as common allergens:

Eggs Milk Mustard Peanuts
Crustaceans Fish Molluscs Soy
Sulphites Wheat Tree Nuts Sesame Seeds

It’s common in pregnancy to develop an intolerance to certain foods but this is not the same as having an allergic reaction to specific foods.

An allergy to foods:

  • happens when your body is over reacting to a certain protein in that food.

A food intolerance is:

  • when your body is having a hard time digesting certain components in the food.
  • more likely to cause discomforts for your digestive system.

For example, some people believe that not eating peanuts, egg, soy, and nuts in pregnancy will reduce their baby’s chance in developing an allergy to any of those foods. In fact, avoiding these foods may make it harder for you to reach your energy and nutrient needs during pregnancy.

So if you need to avoid a certain food make sure you replace them with food that will give you the same nutrients.

What are you missing if you avoid common allergenic foods?

Dairy: missing out on calcium, vitamin D and protein. Replace with fortified non-dairy replacements such as rice milk, or almond milk.

Nuts: missing out on protein and healthy fats. Replace with meats and meat alternatives. Look for oily fish that will give you those fats.

Egg: missing out on protein and iron. Replace with meat and meat alternative servings daily.

Wheat: missing out on folate and energy. Replace with other grains such as quinoa, barley, and rice.

Comment below if you have a question or connect directly with one of our health professionals via eChat or call (416) 338-7600.

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