Written by Bindu Raichura
Cheese is a delicious food item. And when it comes to feta cheese then it is irresistible. But pregnancy is a completely different stage of life. Here you need to let go of a lot of your favorite foods for the sake of the new life inside you. For a healthy baby and a good delivery, you need to know what food is good for you, and what’s not.
Cheese is a great source of calcium and it can be beneficial for a pregnant woman. So can pregnant women eat feta cheese? What are the risks involved in having feta cheese during pregnancy? Can you eat feta cheese while pregnant? Here are all the answers to your queries.
In This Article
Feta cheese is made up of a blend of sheep’s and goat’s milk. This cheese is much easier to digest than cow milk. It is full of natural probiotics and is mostly used in garnishing food and salads. You can apply it as a topping on the pizza, you can melt it and mix it with your fruit salad, and you can also toss this salted cheese with your favorite veggies. Feta cheese is used a lot in Mediterranean cuisine to garnish the starter, main course, as well as dessert.
Feta cheese, just like any other cheese, is full of calcium fat, and protein. But it is very low in carbs which makes it more desirable. Even a diabetic can have it as it will not raise blood sugar levels. Also, the vitamins K, B, and A are present here. The B vitamin is good for bone health. Minerals and nutrients like magnesium, folate, and pantothenic acid are also present in them.
Feta during pregnancy is considered safe if you manage to have the pasteurized, mild, and soft feta in your diet. The process of pasteurization kills all the bacteria which are bad for your health. So eating pasteurized feta cheese during pregnancy days in moderation will not cause you any harm.
You need to make sure that it’s mentioned on the package that it has the pasteurized feta cheese in it. Also refrigerating is not recommended for feta cheese as it can double up the bacterial in it.
While answering “can you eat feta cheese when pregnant?”, we can’t overlook one factor. The harmful bacterium Listeria Monocytogenes is the reason why unpasteurized feta cheese should be avoided. This bacterium lives in the body of many dairy animals without any visible symptoms.
This may not harm the animals but is not good for the human body especially when your immune system is undergoing some changes or is poor such as during pregnancy or above the age of 65.
Also, the refrigerator temperature is the breeding ground for this bacterium. So refrigerating your feta cheese will worsen its quality.
The condition caused by this bacterium is called Listeriosis. This can cause a miscarriage or illness in the newborn’s body. This can even cause abnormal growth of your unborn baby.
So, if you, by any chance, have a doubt if feta cheese is pasteurized, then cook it for at least two minutes to let the bacteria die.
Even if you buy pasteurized feta then also you cannot be sure whether it is free from harmful bacteria or if it is processed hygienically. So it is best if you do not consume it raw. Cook it and have it melted. The cooked feta cheese and pregnancy are no rivals. Its protein will help your muscles to repair and provide you calcium and iron.
So you can have feta while you are pregnant but you need to avoid it if you are having digestive problems. It is not necessary that you can digest the excessive protein of this diary product. If you have lactose intolerance or any other allergy or acne breakout then avoid eating feta cheese.
Also, avoid having feta cheese from the supplier if you have any doubts regarding the hygiene and safety standards. Also if you are already on a low-carb diet then there is no need to have the low-carb feta cheese.
The fresh pasteurized feta cheese right from the farm is the best for your health. Read the label before you buy. If you have any confusion regarding what brand of cheese is more reliable, then you can consult with your doctor as well. Follow these basic steps while buying feta cheese for a pregnant woman or in general.
So can pregnant women eat feta cheese? You got your answer here. Have it but in a limited quantity and in a healthy way. For instance, melt it a bit and toss it with the garden-fresh veggies. You can also take it with cashews, cherry, almonds, dried figs, and roasted tomatoes. Make pizza at home with mushrooms, paneer, broccoli, and sprinkle feta cheese all over it. This can be the perfect solution for your pregnancy cravings.