Can I Eat Cream Cheese When Pregnant? Find Out the Truth Now
Who doesn’t love the creaminess of a cream cheese? Just the thought of this cheese makes me hungry. I imagine white pasta with lots of bacon and cream cheese, a cookies and cream dessert with full cream milk and cream cheese, and a special steak with lots of cream cheese.
But some mothers are afraid of eating cheese when they’re pregnant. It is because of the myth surrounding it that cheeses cause harm to the fetus. According to some mothers I know, they were advised to stay away from cheeses during pregnancy as it may cause risks. I consulted other friends and health experts concerning this issue.
So, in this article, I will share with you the answer to the question: “Can I eat cream cheese when pregnant?”
What Is a Cream Cheese?
We use cream cheese in some of our meals to make them taste cheesier and creamier. Personally, I love using cream cheese in most of my desserts and pasta recipes. Cream cheese adds more sophistication to that straightforward, tasty dish. But, do you know what cream cheese is and how it is made?
Cream cheese undergoes a simple preparation process. However, the chemistry that comprises it is quite complicated. In making a cream cheese, lactic acid is added to the cream. This leads to the acidity level of the cream to elevate, thereby creating balance to the charge from amino acids and eliminating the fats that cause coagulation.
At this time, the pH level becomes too low, and the cream liquefies. When this happens, the mixture is given heat and stabilizers are added. That’s how you get cream cheese.
Is Cream Cheese Safe for Pregnant Women?
When a friend of mine asked me if she eats cream cheese when she is pregnant, I was completely stunned. In exclamation, I asked, “why not?” Cheeses are rich in Vitamin B, calcium, and protein. In fact, cheeses are good for moms and babies.
However, cheeses should be pasteurized for it to be considered safe. Unpasteurized milk can be risky for pregnant mothers because they carry harmful bacteria, including listeria, which makes mothers susceptible to it.
The cheese was one of my frequent cravings when I was pregnant. I could eat cheese every day, from pizza with lots of cheese, lasagna, Mac ‘n’ cheese, and a lot more. The only thing my doctor warned me about was to avoid unpasteurized cheese.
Cheeses to Avoid
While cheeses are healthy, there are particular types of cheese that need to be avoided because of the harmful bacteria they contain. Examples of cheeses to avoid include Brie, goat cheese, blue cheese, feta cheese, Camembert, as well as the queso Blanco. You might wonder why. Well, these cheeses are produced using unpasteurized milk.
According to experts, these cheeses have greater possibilities of containing bacteria called listeria. Listeria can only be eliminated through the pasteurization process. When mothers consume cheeses that are unpasteurized, this may likely result in a miscarriage.
Cheeses to Eat
Good news! While there are a few kinds of cheese to avoid, there are also several types of cheese that you can devour while on pregnancy.
Hard cheeses, for instance, are ideal for pregnant women. These cheeses undergo an extended period of maturity, typically years, and they contain a firm yet crystalline quality to it.
Hard cheeses are either cooked at severely high temperatures, capable of killing bacteria, or they are produced using pasteurized milk. High temperatures work best in separating the whey from the curd. Because of this, hard cheeses are usually safe for pregnant mothers. Examples of hard cheeses are Edam cheese, Cheddar cheese, Gruyere, Lancashire, Parmesan, and Gouda.
Have you tried Velveeta cheese and Cheez Whiz? They are considered processed cheese and are manufactured from modified natural cheeses. Processed cheese is produced by adding additives, stabilizers, and salt emulsifiers. These additives transform the natural cheese into a homogenous mass.
Processed cheeses regularly undergo heating. Hence, it is considered safe for women who are pregnant. However, processed cheeses should be taken in moderation because they contain a much higher amount of sodium compared to natural cheeses. This can pose risks if the pregnant woman has heart problems or high blood pressure.
Most cheeses are safe for expectant mothers. The only thing to be mindful of is to make sure that the cheese is pasteurized or has undergone heating as this process can kill the harmful bacteria called listeria.
Even unpasteurized cheese is safe for pregnant women as long as they undergo a heating process. Hence, it is safe to say cream cheese is safe for expectant mothers.
Did you find this article helpful? Was cream cheese also your favorite when you were pregnant? Share your story with us.