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Protein in pregnancy

Eat some protein-rich foods every day. Sources of protein include:

  • beans
  • pulses
  • fish
  • eggs
  • meat (but avoid liver)
  • poultry
  • nuts

Choose lean meat, remove the skin from poultry, and try not to add extra fat or oil when cooking meat. Click here to read more about eating meat in a healthy way (opens in new tab).

Make sure poultry, burgers, sausages and whole cuts of meat such as lamb, beef and pork are cooked very thoroughly until steaming all the way through. Check that there is no pink meat, and that juices have no pink or red in them.

Try to eat two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily fish such as salmon, sardines or mackerel. Click here to find out more about the health benefits of fish and shellfish (opens in new tab). There are some types of fish you should avoid when you're pregnant or planning to get pregnant, including shark, swordfish and marlin.

When you're pregnant, you should avoid having more than two portions of oily fish a week, such as salmon, trout, mackerel and herring, because it can contain pollutants (toxins).

You should avoid eating some raw or partially cooked eggs, as there is a risk of salmonella.

Eggs produced under the British Lion Code of Practice are safe for pregnant women to eat raw or partially cooked, as they come from flocks that have been vaccinated against salmonella.

These eggs have a red lion logo stamped on their shell. Pregnant women can eat these raw or partially cooked (for example, soft boiled eggs).

Eggs that have not been produced under the Lion Code are considered less safe, and pregnant women are advised to avoid eating them raw or partially cooked, including in mousse, mayonnaise and soufflé. These eggs should be cooked until the white and the yolk are hard.

Click here to find out more about foods to avoid in pregnancy (opens in new tab)

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