Can You Eat Avocado When Pregnant?

Avocado is a buttery, high-fat fruit best known as the primary ingredient in guacamole. Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, avocados provide an excellent source of balanced nutrition during all stages of life. No compounds in avocado are known or suspected to cause pregnancy complications. There is no specific reason to avoid avocado during pregnancy.

Sliced avocado halves. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Nutritional Benefits

The health information website BabyCenter explicitly recommends eating avocado during pregnancy. Avocados are loaded with "good" monounsaturated fats, which help to lower cholesterol while also supplying the body with the essential compounds necessary for a baby's developing brain, eyes, nervous system and fatty tissues. Avocados are also rich in potassium, B vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Expectant mothers can benefit from the regular consumption of avocado and other plant-based fatty foods.

Uses

In order to reap the nutritional benefits of this fatty fruit, pregnant women can easily integrate avocados into their daily meal plans. Avocado is most famously and readily available in the form of guacamole, which can be used as a spread or dip for sandwiches, crackers, chips and wraps. Pregnant women can also safely enjoy raw avocado alone as a snack. As long as all other ingredients in a dish are safe, there is no reason to avoid meals made with avocado.

Considerations

Some dishes made with avocado can be dangerous for expectant mothers. The American Pregnancy Association warns expectant mothers to avoid imported soft cheeses, including queso blanco and queso fresco, since these may be contaminated with a bacterium responsible for listeriosis -- an infection that can be fatal to an unborn child. Before eating any meal made with avocado, ensure that it contains no ingredients that may be harmful to the unborn baby.

Prevention

Common-sense precautions can help to prevent the dangers associated with specific foods during pregnancy. During all stages in life, particularly gestation, women should take care to avoid foods that could cause allergic reactions. If you are allergic to avocado, do not try eating it in any amount during any state of pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association also urges women to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them, to minimize the risk of contamination from pesticides or bacteria. Always defer to the judgment of an obstetrician, midwife or prenatal nutritionist to determine the safest, healthiest foods for pregnancy.

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