Cravings for junk food like pizza during pregnancy are nothing new. In fact, most pregnant ladies, irrespective of the fact that they are fitness lovers or not, love to cheat on themselves for their diet plan during this overwhelming phase of nine months.
Pizzas are not amongst the healthiest food to be consumed during pregnancy or even after those nine beautiful months. But during pregnancy, our heart rules our mind more often and we have to sometimes give up to the need of our cheesy cravings. So it’s good to learn in advance – Is it safe to eat pizza during pregnancy?
Is Pizza Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes, as long one has the right kind of pizza with all the right toppings and also not on a frequent basis. We will be explaining which all toppings should one avoid when eating pizza at this time. However, the most important point to be noted here is to avoid the kind of pizzas which are not freshly prepared or are prepared in an unclean or unhealthy environment.
Better Ways of Eating Pizza During Pregnancy:
If you are fussy with veggies during pregnancy, using them as pizza toppings is a good way to intake healthy vegetables on the base of your cheesy crust. This way you will be able to satiate your craving and intake the nutrition factor too.
Instead of going for the regular pizza base, eat the pizza made out of extra fibrous whole wheat flour.
Hard cheese and soft processed cheese are good sources of calcium and protein as long as you have them in the right proportion.
Factors to be Considered when Craving Pizza:
- If opting for home-cooked pizza, confirm the cleanliness of your hands, workstation, and utensils to be used.
- Make use of pasteurized milk cheese only. Confirm the kind of cheese used, if going to pizza from a restaurant.
- Eat pizza when hot. Cold pizza is not good to eat. Reheat the pizza if it gets cold.
- Avoid street-side pizzas.
- Check if the pizza is properly cooked or not before consuming it.
- Satisfy your pizza craving with one or two slices only. Overeating is not advisable.
Advantage of Eating Pizza During Pregnancy:
- Pizza does contain some of the required nutrients and vitamins when topped with fresh ingredients.
- Pizza sauces containing vitamins C and A are good during pregnancy.
- The tomatoes present in the sauce consist of the antioxidant lycopene, which reduces the chance of developing cancer.
- A thin crust whole wheat base is beneficial. It’s fibrous.
- If part-skim mozzarella cheese is used, it does provide bone-building calcium and protein.
Disadvantages of Eating Pizza During Pregnancy:
- Certain pizzas are topped with cheeses like Danish blue, camembert, and brie. These cheeses contain mold-ripened bacteria, which consists of illness-causing bacteria called listeria. Listeria might lead to miscarriages in certain cases.
- Fully loaded or extra loaded cheese on pizza will add to the extra calories, which might be dangerous if you are overweight.
- Sometimes, gastric problems aggravate during pregnancy. And eating pizza might boost such concerns.
- Gestational diabetes should not be overlooked, when craving pizza.
- Semi-cooked, raw, or not properly cooked pizza might lead to an infectious disease called toxoplasmosis.
Safe & Unsafe Pizza Toppings:
- If you wish to have a meat topping pizza with any of the following toppings, like pepperoni, prosciutto, ham pieces, sausage or ground beef or pork, chorizo, or salami, make sure that the meat is properly cooked. Cold meat is not safe during pregnancy.
- Fresh vegetable and fruit toppings are always a good choice when craving pizza during pregnancy. It is safe to have pineapple topping too, provided it’s steaming hot.
- Certain Italian pizzas and breakfast pizzas have a runny egg yolk over them. Avoid such pizzas.
- Mushrooms are a safe and healthy topping for pizza, provided they are properly cooked.
- Pizza cheese like mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese are safe to consume during pregnancy. But avoid the following types of cheese during pregnancy:
- Unpasteurized or soft cheese such as brie
- Ricotta (if made with unpasteurized milk)
- Soft, blue-veined cheeses like gorgonzola
- Soft goat cheese (chevre)
Frozen pizza is also safe to rate during pregnancy, provided it is properly cooked first. This is because the chance of bacteria survival on frozen pizzas is very less or negligible. So if you are eating frozen pizza during pregnancy, ensure that you follow every direction provided by the given brand before consumption. Stay healthy! Stay cheesy!