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14 Foods Meghan Markle Won’t Be Allowed to Eat While Pregnant

Uh oh! New royal Meghan Markle will have to follow a whole new set of rules now that she’s expecting Prince Harry’s baby!

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Duke and Duchess of SussexShutterstock

Rules, rules, rules

Now that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is pregnant with Prince Harry’s baby, she has a whole new set of rules she must follow. Plus, Meghan will need to keep abreast of dietary rules aimed at keeping mum and baby healthy. And some of them will definitely force changes on what Meghan normally eats. Poor Meghan has her hands full: Here are all the rules she has to follow now that she’s part of the royal family.

Before she was a mother-to-be, Meghan Markle’s diet was surprisingly easy to follow.

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Raw meatFixazh/Shutterstock

No raw meat

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This puts her at greater risk of contracting a foodborne illness, which has the potential to be more serious in pregnant women, not to mention a risk to the pregnancy and the unborn baby. The foodborne illness caused by listeria can threaten the life of both mum and baby. Accordingly, pregnant women are advised to avoid all raw and undercooked meat. But since Meghan follows a primarily vegetable-based diet, this may not be a huge loss for her.

Here are 8 BIG mistakes people commonly make with raw chicken.

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Rare burgersShutterstock / Chase Clausen

Rare burgers

Despite Meghan’s plant-focused diet, since she’s fallen pregnant she’s been observed eating a hamburger. While we applaud Meghan for rounding out her pregnancy-diet with vitamin B-12 rich foods such as red meat, we hope she is not ordering her burgers rare. The CDC recommends that pregnant women eat only thoroughly-cooked meat and poultry to avoid foodborne illnesses. Don’t miss how Meghan and Harry revealed the baby news to the rest of the royal family.

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Raw fish and seafood can also harbor dangerous foodborne bacteria, which is why the CDC recommends pregnant women avoid sushi during pregnancy; the food safety group also recommends that all seafood dishes be cooked to 145 °F. This will be a hardship for the new royal since we know that Meghan occasionally indulges in sushi.

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Green olives, sliced ciabatta, feta cheese on a wooden boardShutterstock / Avdeyukphoto

Soft cheeses

When pregnant, a woman should avoid the following soft cheeses—which tend to be made with unpasteurized milk, reports the CDC:

  • Brie
  • Feta
  • Camembert
  • Roquefort
  • Queso Blanco
  • Queso fresco

While Meghan can easily live without most of these, she may miss feta—particularly because watermelon and feta salad is one of her favorite foods.

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Unwashed herbsmarcin jucha/Shutterstock

Unwashed herbs

An important part of Meghan’s watermelon and feta salad is fresh mint. Even if she skips the feta, she’ll still have to be very careful with mint or any other fresh herbs on her salads: Any herbs that haven’t been washed thoroughly are another potential source of the bacteria that cause foodborne illness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Sproutssarocha wangdee/Shutterstock


Sorry, Meghan: We know you love raw sprouts as part of your mostly plant-based diet, but you should avoid them because—that’s right—they can cause the type of food poisoning that’s dangerous to pregnant women. This includes alfalfa, clover, mung bean, and radish sprouts; the CDC recommends pregnant women cook them thoroughly before eating. Find out what Meghan’s sister-in-law Kate Middleton eats when she’s pregnant.

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Soft-boiled eggsmeaofoto/Shutterstock

Soft-boiled eggs

While eggs are one of the top sources of folic acid—a B vitamin that very important for developing babies—those eggs need to be cooked to a temperature of 160°F to destroy any traces of Salmonella. This nasty bacteria will make mom feel horrible, but thankfully it’s not likely to make her baby sick. To get eggs to the proper temperature, the yolks and whites must be firm. Avoiding undercooked eggs will also rule out Christmas eggnog, raw cookie dough, and the kind of Caesar salad dressing made with raw eggs.

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Holiday EggnogTaste of Home


Don’t put rum in that eggnog—alcoholic beverages are a no-no for developing babies, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Homemade orange juicekina8/Shutterstock

Unpasteurized juices

When fruits and vegetables are peeled, cut, or fresh-squeezed, harmful bacteria that may be on the skin of the produce can spread to the inside, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That includes Toxoplasma, a parasite found on unwashed fruits and vegetables; this parasite can be particularly harmful to moms-to-be and unborn babies. The FDA recommends that pregnant women only drink juices that have been pasteurized or otherwise treated to kill bacteria. Find out how Harry and Meghan’s baby will change the line of succession.

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Fresh organic produce. Cabbage, Beets, Carrots, Onions, Kale and ParsleyEric Urquhart/Shutterstock

Unwashed fruit and veggies

“Remember to thoroughly rinse raw fruits and vegetables under running water before eating or preparing them at home,” the FDA strongly advises. This holds true even when it comes to bananas, oranges, melons, and other fruits with thick skins or rinds: Once you cut into a fruit, anything on the outside can be transferred to the inside.

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TeaShulevskyy Volodymy/Shutterstock

Too much tea

Since marrying Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan has taken quite nicely to the royal habit of regular tea-drinking. The issue? Tea contains caffeine—an 8-ounce cup contains about 47 mg, which is the same as half a cup of coffee. Although the effects of caffeine on a fetus aren’t clear, the Mayo Clinic recommends limiting intake to under 200 mg a day. Meghan will need to stay under four cuppas a day. Find out the clues you missed that Meghan Markle was pregnant.

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Japanese green tea; Shutterstock ID 592033208Shutterstock / Nishihama

Herbal teas

There’s little data on the effects of specific herbs on developing babies, the Mayo Clinic advises, so as a general rule, it’s best to avoid all herbal tea. For Meghan, that means putting aside her current favorite herbal tea: Licorice and Peppermint.

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Deli meatsDiana Taliun/Shutterstock

Cold cuts and deli-style meats

We doubt Meghan Markle has a problem with midnight snacking. But in case her pregnancy cravings take a turn for the weird, she’ll want to be careful with cold cuts and all deli-style meats—these should be off the menu unless they’re heated to a steaming hot 165°F before eating, warns the CDC. Next, find out the more royal pregnancy rules Meghan will have to follow

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.