Cheese is one of the most common cravings women have during pregnancy. Cheese can be an important source of protein and calcium for pregnant women, but certain kinds DO need to be avoided.
It is best NOT to eat soft, mould-ripened cheeses that are made from un-pasteurized milk, for example, feta, brie, camembert, and blue-veined cheeses, such as Danish blue and stilton.
Un-pasteurized cheeses are more inclined to allow growth of bacteria, such as Listeria, which can harm your baby. In healthy adults, infection with Listeria can cause a short-lived flu-like illness. But when pregnant you can be hit a lot harder because your immune system isn’t working as well.
Thankfully, you don’t have to skip cheese altogether, just ensure the cheese you eat is pasteurized first. Hard cheeses like hard cheddar, jack or mozzarella are good options. If you crave the softer cheeses, try something like cream cheese or Havarti. Other dairy products like sour cream and yogurt ARE safe to eat, as long as they have been pasteurized.
One important consideration, hard cheeses tend to be high in unhealthy saturated fat and calories. Choose skim and lighter versions of your favorite cheeses to satisfy your cravings and give you the good nutrients your body needs.
Here’s a great snack to satisfy those cheese cravings …
Skim Mozzarella (about an ounce per serving) and half cup of seedless grapes will satisfy your cheese and sweet cravings!