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Is Cheese Good for Pregnancy?

Explore the safety of cheese consumption during pregnancy, including tips on choosing pasteurized options, avoiding unpasteurized varieties, and maintaining moderation for optimal maternal and fetal health.

  • 07 Mar 2024
  • 2 min read
  • 23 views

Pregnancy is a time of joy and anticipation but there are often concerns about what foods are safe to consume. One common question that arises is whether it's okay to eat cheese while pregnant. Understanding the impact of including cheese in a pregnancy diet can help women make choices for their well-being and the health of their babies. Let’s explore the truth behind this common query: “Is cheese good for pregnancy?”.

Is it Okay to Have Cheese During Pregnancy? 

Yes, consuming cheese can be a part of a pregnancy diet as long as it is done safely and in moderation. It is important to opt for cheeses to avoid the risk of illnesses while steering clear of unpasteurized varieties. Cheese contains nutrients like protein and calcium which are beneficial for both foetal growth and maternal health. However, it is crucial to be mindful of portion sizes and choose cheeses with fat and sodium levels to maintain a balanced diet throughout pregnancy. Here are a few considerations when it comes to consuming cheese:

  • Safety Concerning Pasteurized Cheese 

Experts state that consuming cheese made from pasteurised milk is considered safe for pregnant women, as pasteurisation eliminates harmful bacteria. This includes cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan and Gruyere, as well as semi-hard and soft cheeses such as cottage cheese, mozzarella, paneer, feta, ricotta, halloumi, cream cheese, cheese spreads and goat cheese without a white coating on the outside (rind).

  • Avoid Unpasteurized cheese

Expectant mothers should avoid unpasteurised cheese. Soft cheeses made from milk, such as feta, Brie, and Camembert, should be avoided. This is because they may contain dangerous strains of bacteria like Listeria, Salmonella, E. Coli, and Campylobacter. Additionally, soft blue-veined cheeses like gorgonzola should be avoided due to concerns about mould. 

  • Moderation is key

Cheese not only adds flavour to meals but also provides valuable nutrients during pregnancy. It contains vital nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin B12 that are vital for the healthy development of the baby and the well being of the mother. However, it should be consumed in moderation as excessive intake may contribute to unhealthy weight gain and other health conditions.

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Conclusion

With the right choices in cheese selection, it is possible for pregnant women to enjoy cheese safely. Choose pasteurised hard and soft cheeses over raw milk options. Make sure to always read the labels and talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. Enjoy cheese together with other calcium-packed foods such as yoghurt, milk and leafy greens. Also, be mindful of your saturated fat, sodium and calorie intake. By carefully following these guidelines, you can safely include cheese in your diet. Also, it is important to consider health insurance policy for any unexpected events and healthcare costs that might occur during or post pregnancy period.

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