can you eat blue cheese while pregnant

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat blue cheese while pregnant?”. We will also discuss what food is recommended to avoid during pregnancy and the risks associated with them.

Can you eat blue cheese while pregnant?

No, you cannot eat blue cheese while pregnant. Although blue cheese is popular in different sauces, salad dressings, and some other cheeses, fruit, and nuts on a charcuterie board, it can lead to unwanted effects when pregnant.

The reason why blue cheese should be avoided during pregnancy is that it is made with unpasteurized milk, which can have a harmful bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes, which can lead to miscarriage or some other severe diseases in the newborn.

What is blue cheese made of?

Blue cheese is made of cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk and then ripened with the mold called Penicillium. Due to its components, we can expect this cheese to have a strong odor and smell.

This type of cheese can also provide you with different nutrients. According to the USDA, a 1-ounce serving (28 grams) of blue cheese can provide

Nutritional facts about blue cheese
NutrientQuantityUnit
Energy100cal
Carbohydrates0.7g
Fiber0g
Total Fat8.1g
Sugars0g
Protein6.1g
Sodium326mg
Calcium150mg

As you can tell, blue cheese can provide you with an important amount of sodium, which when consumed in high amounts can produce different health effects. So, it is important to control the consumption of this product.

Some of the health benefits associated with the intake of blue cheese are

  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis. This is because blue cheese contains an important amount of calcium which can help you to improve your bone health.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease. Blue cheese contains spermidine, a compound that has been proven to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. 

Because blue cheese can be made of unpasteurized milk, there is the risk of carrying certain bacteria known as Listeria, which can lead to fatal consequences for the newborn in pregnant women. 

Does blue cheese carry Listeria?

According to Kelly A. Jackson, the scientist responsible for studying the listeriosis outbreaks associated with soft cheeses (like blue cheese) in the US from 1998 to 2014, the main cause of this phenomenon is unsanitary conditions during the cheese manufacturing process.

People in charge of producing soft cheeses must adhere to pasteurization protocols and sanitation measures that will help to avoid Listeria contamination. If you want to get further guidance on this subject, please click here

If you get listeriosis during pregnancy, most times everything will be fine and no health effects will occur to you and your baby, but sometimes it can lead to lethal consequences for the newborn. 

What cheeses can you eat while pregnant?

When you are pregnant, it is better to avoid eating any kind of cheeses made with raw milk, as they all can carry the risk of getting a Listeria infection. Listeriosis has been proven to lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or serious diseases in the newborn.

However, you should not say goodbye to all cheeses or dairy products, pregnant women can safely eat. According to NHS, you can enjoy the following foods without any trouble during pregnancy

  • Pasteurized hard cheeses.
  • Cheddar.
  • Parmesan.
  • Pasteurized semi-hard cheeses.
  • Stilton
  • Edam.
  • Pasteurized soft cheeses.
  • Mozzarella.
  • Cottage.
  • Ricotta.
  • In general, any pasteurized product, like milk, yogurt, cream, and ice cream.

What can occur if you have eaten blue cheese while pregnant?

Although most of the time a listeria infection will not represent any major harm to your health, or the baby’s, there is the risk that a miscarriage occurs, or that your newborn has some serious diseases.

However, being pregnant does not mean that you should say forever goodbye to blue cheese, look for the one that is steamed, this guarantees to kill most bacteria, which can reduce the risk of caught listeriosis.

What food should you avoid while pregnant?

Not only soft cheeses can cause damage to you if pregnant, or to your baby. There are some other foods you need to cut out of your diet or be extremely careful with, such as

  • Cold cured meats, unless you have cooked them thoroughly.
  • Salami.
  • Chorizo.
  • Pepperoni.
  • Undercooked meat.
  • Liver and liver products.
  • Raw eggs.
  • Smoked fish.
  • Alcohol.
  • Vitamin A supplements.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you eat blue cheese while pregnant?” We have also discussed what foods should be avoided during pregnancy and some other queries related to the subject at hand.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Citations

https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/foods-to-avoid/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blue-cheese-pregnancy#risks

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/is-eating-blue-cheese-during-pregnancy-safe/#What_Is_It_Made_Up_Of

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-blue-cheese#:~:text=Because%20of%20its%20high%20calcium,the%20risk%20of%20developing%20osteoporosis..

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