Eating Sushi Frequently, No Reaction During Pregnancy Planning?
During pregnancy planning (conception), it is advisable to avoid consuming sushi that contains raw fish as it can increase the risk of fertility problems.
When prospective parents decide to undergo a pregnancy program, dietary intake becomes one of the important factors to consider. This is because there are some types of foods that are good for pregnancy planning and some that should be avoided.
Foods consumed during a pregnancy program should ideally contain balanced nutrition and be rich in nutrients, which play a crucial role in improving fertility.
It is advisable to avoid consuming raw foods, processed red meats, foods containing trans fats, packaged foods or beverages, or alcohol.
Consuming Sushi During Pregnancy Planning is Allowed, as Long as…
Prospective parents may have heard that there are certain food restrictions to follow during pregnancy planning or pregnancy. One of them is sushi. This is not without reason, as sushi is typically made from semi-cooked or raw fish. Consuming undercooked fish can increase the risk of parasitic and bacterial infections such as Salmonella, Vibrio, Listeria, and Clostridium.
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According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women who consume raw meat have a risk 10 times higher of contracting listeriosis.
This disease is caused by Listeria bacteria, which can reduce the chances of pregnancy, increase the risk of miscarriage, and even lead to premature birth. In some cases, it can even result in stillbirth.
There is no prohibition for prospective parents who are planning a pregnancy to consume sushi as long as the fish in the sushi has been thoroughly cooked. Cooking it thoroughly can kill parasites and pathogens that may be present in the fish.
To be on the safe side, prospective parents should also ensure that the sushi they consume has been cooked and prepared using different equipment than raw sushi. This is done to prevent contamination of bacteria or parasites from raw sushi.
More importantly, make sure that prospective parents do not consume types of fish that contain mercury, such as bigeye tuna, king mackerel, tilefish, and shark. High levels of mercury in fish can damage sperm DNA, leading to abnormalities in sperm shape and movement.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy Planning
In addition to sushi, there are several types of foods that should be avoided during a pregnancy program as they have the potential to disrupt the fertility of both men and women.
1. Processed red meats
If prospective parents are planning for pregnancy, it is advisable to avoid consuming foods made from processed red meats, such as sausages, burgers, and bacon. Excessive consumption of these foods can increase fertility problems.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition states that men who consume processed red meat have lower sperm quality compared to men who consume fish.
2. Foods containing trans fats
It is important to note that consuming foods containing trans fats can have negative effects on health. The fats found in these foods are the type of fats that can increase levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and the risk of heart disease.
Trans fats are often found in fast food. If prospective parents consume these foods excessively, it can affect fertility and reduce the chances of pregnancy.
3. Packaged foods and beverages
Packaged foods and beverages are a concern because plastic containers may contain chemicals, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), that can disrupt women’s fertility.
According to Dr. Febriyan Nicolas, Sp.OG., M.Kes., a specialist obstetrician and gynecologist at Bocah Indonesia, it is advisable to limit the consumption of these foods.
“It’s better to limit it. If it’s not necessary, replace it with healthier foods,” says Dr. Nico.
Moreover, exposure to bisphenol-A can also cause men to have poor sperm quality.
Consuming alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy planning. According to research published in the journal Human Reproduction, alcohol consumption can reduce the chances of pregnancy in women.
In addition, excessive alcohol consumption, with more than six drinks per week, can reduce the ability of eggs to be fertilized by sperm.
In men, excessive alcohol consumption can also reduce the quality of sperm, sexual desire (libido), and sexual function.
Now prospective parents know which foods are good to consume during pregnancy planning, right? Make sure to consume nutritious and nutrient-rich foods.
Don’t forget to share this information with other prospective parents!
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Listeria and Pregnancy. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/listeria-and-pregnancy
- Afeiche, M.C., et al. (2014). Processed Meat Intake Is Unfavorably and Fish Intake Favorably Associated with Semen Quality Indicators among Men Attending a Fertility Clinic. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 144, Issue 7, July 2014, Pages 1091-1098. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022316622009385?via%3Dihub
- Anwar, M.Y., et al. (2021). The association between alcohol intake and fecundability during menstrual cycle phases. Human Reproduction, Volume 36, Issue 9, September 2021, Pages 2538–2548.https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/36/9/2538/6294415?login=false
- Pivonello, C., et al. (2020). Bisphenol A: an emerging threat to female fertility. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology volume 18, Article number: 22 (2020). https://rbej.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12958-019-0558-8