When you are pregnant, your body often craves foods you should not eat. It seems to be your body’s way of adding a little more something to those pangs for strange, weird, and unusual foods.
Many foods are perfectly safe to enjoy while pregnant if they are what you are craving. But there is also a long list of foods considered unsafe to eat while pregnant, such as raw meat, unpasteurized dairy products, and certain types of fish.
Some foods seem to fall between these unsafe foods, and one of these is cheesecake. Whether you can have cheesecake while pregnant is what we are going to find out.
There are many reasons why you should avoid foods that are considered unsafe during your pregnancy. You can get an increased risk of toxoplasmosis from raw or under-cooked meat, and unpasteurized dairy products may contain listeria.
You should limit the amount of oily fish that you eat and avoid certain fish altogether. They can contain pollutants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, which, if consumed in large quantities, can harm your unborn baby.
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In this article
- What Is A Cheesecake?
- What Makes Cheesecake A Food to Avoid?
- Why Does Pasteurizing Make A Difference?
- Precautions When Eating Cheesecake During Pregnancy
- Benefits Of Eating Cheesecake While Pregnant
- Differences Between New York Style and Regular Cheesecake
- Can You Eat Cheesecake When Pregnant?
What Is A Cheesecake?
Cheesecake is a dessert that comes in many flavors from chocolate to caramel pecan turtle flavor. It is a sweet dessert, and it is usually made up of more than one layer.
The base consists of a crust made from crushed cookies, graham crackers, pastry, or even sponge cake on occasion. The thickest layer is a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar.
Cheesecake is a high-calorie dessert and should be consumed in moderation, whether you are pregnant or not. The average slice contains around 321 calories and an enormous 18 grams of fat. So it is never going to be your waistline’s friend.
What Makes Cheesecake A Food to Avoid?
Apart from the fact that cheesecake is high in calories and fat, it comes with some particular issues for pregnant women.
Raw or Unpasteurized Eggs
Cheesecake contains raw or unpasteurized eggs. These eggs may contain salmonella, which is the most frequently reported cause of food-related illness in the United States. It can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
Most people recover at home within seven days. But for those who have a weakened immune system such as pregnant women, salmonella can be more severe and lead to severe complications for both mother and baby.
Cheesecake can also contain unpasteurized cheese, which may contain harmful bacteria called Listeria. This bacteria causes fever, chills, headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Pregnant women are considered more at risk than the average population as Listeria can cause miscarriage, fetal death, or severe illness in newborns.
Due to its high-fat content consuming high quantities of cheesecake while pregnant could lead to excessive and unwanted weight gain.
Why Does Pasteurizing Make A Difference?
Pasteurization is a process where foods such as milk or cheese are heated quickly and for a short time to kill bacteria that can potentially make people sick. This process helps to keep food safe while not affecting any nutritional value of the food.
Pasteurization is essential as the harmful bacteria found in some foods can cause pregnant women, along with other at-risk groups, to become very sick. For pregnant women, illnesses such as Listeria or salmonella associated with unpasteurized products can cause serious harm to their unborn child.
Precautions When Eating Cheesecake During Pregnancy
Not all cheesecakes are off-limits while you are pregnant. You can check to ensure that you can still enjoy your favorite dessert while still keeping your baby and yourself safe.
Many store-bought cheesecakes are made with pasteurized or cooked eggs, which means this significantly reduces the risk of getting salmonella or listeria—making them safe to eat during pregnancy.
You will need to check out the labels on these products to be certain that the ingredients used are pasteurized and safe.
Another way to enjoy your cheesecake craving while remaining safe and healthy is to make it yourself. This ensures that you know what goes into the dish and can alter the flavor to your preference.
If you are not much of a cook there is always the option of the easy cheesecake in a box below.
Benefits Of Eating Cheesecake While Pregnant
I know you wouldn’t believe that eating cheesecake can benefit you, whether you are pregnant or not, but it does:
- One piece of cheesecake contains 23% of the required daily allowance of vitamin A as cream cheese, and sour cream is high in retinol.
- 7% of the protein required by pregnant women can be consumed from one piece of cheesecake. Protein is crucial to the development of your baby’s tissue and muscles. But as we have no way of storing protein in our bodies, we have to consume it daily to meet those requirements.
- One piece of cheesecake also contains 350 mg of sodium and 18 grams of sugar. These are both necessities while pregnant. Sodium is crucial in the overall development of your baby.
- A piece of cheesecake also contains around 8 grams of saturated fat and 18 grams of unsaturated fat. You need to consume fat while pregnant as it provides your body with a source of energy and helps your body absorb certain nutrients.
Differences Between New York Style and Regular Cheesecake
There is only one difference between the traditional cheesecake and the New York-style cheesecake. That is its ingredients.
Regular cheesecake is made of three simple ingredients cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. Some countries have their spin on the traditional and often use ricotta, mascarpone, or quark.
This is one of the easiest desserts to make and gives the opportunity to have some fun by trying new flavors.
New York-style cheesecake is richer and more indulgent. Adding extra cream cheese, cream, or a few extra egg yolks creates a creamy, ultra-rich cheesecake. This is a step up from the traditional cheesecake.
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Can You Eat Cheesecake When Pregnant?
The simple answer is yes, as long as you check the labels and take precautions. So if you are pregnant and your craving cheesecake, go and indulge yourself.
There are so many varieties available these days, so give your taste buds a party. Just be careful not to overindulge too much as cheesecake does come with a high-calorie tag.